Hi, I’m Susan and I grew up in the valley of beautiful Glacier Park in Montana. I’m a mountain girl through and through even though I’ve literally never been in a tent! Feel free to tease me about this, you won’t be the first. Although I was “raised” in the mountains, I feel like I “grew up” in New York City. I lived there for several years as a teenager and into my mid-twenties. The City introduced me to the glories of Indian food, a wonderful group of friends, the value of diversity, the importance of affordable housing and the music of Bruce Springsteen. (Yes, that is a photo of me and Bruce and it hangs proudly in my dining room.)

I made a pit stop briefly in Seattle before moving on to Los Angeles for nine years, which was everything and nothing I thought it would be. This sprawling desert city introduced me to the most complicated freeway system I’d ever navigated, another wonderful group of friends, love and loss, UCLA, and my journey to becoming a therapist. I’m a seasoned human being and have had many, many life experiences which have been in some ways more valuable in my capacity as a therapist than grad school, lectures, or workshops. (Although those have been important in a different way.)

I moved to Portland in 2006 with the super smart, talented, funny guy I sat next to in grad school and we started a life here. We have full, busy lives and try to make sure we have time for ourselves, each other, our girls and our friends and family. We do not always succeed but we practice, practice, practice.

What do I love besides being a therapist? In no particular order: Bruce Springsteen, my fierce and feisty daughters, animals, growing food and giving it away, my family and friends, a house that is set at 68 degrees, wolves, reading and laughing really, really hard. I have three dogs and I am almost positive that I will not adopt a fourth.

Education has been influential in my life. I received my B.A. in History from UCLA at the age of 34 and my Master of Arts in Psychology from Phillips Graduate Institute in Encino, CA, two years later. Prior to starting my private practice in 2007 in Portland, I facilitated groups for children who had experienced the death of a parent, educated UCLA and USC medical students on the importance of quality and respectful end of life care for patients, and worked at several community mental health facilities in Los Angeles and Portland. I have been a Child and Family Therapist in several schools in Portland and have worked with really complex family dynamics. Although I no longer work with children and families, this led me to my love of working with couples. (More on this later.)

I continue my professional education through seminars and workshops, as well as case consultation with trusted and talented colleagues so I can better serve my clients. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and my license # is (C2498).

My philosophy of therapy

Therapy can take many forms- sharing a quiet space with a good friend, journaling, a spontaneous adventure on our own, standing firm to someone who does not have our best interests at heart, learning a new skill/activity, listening to music REALLY loud, loving on an animal, exercising our bodies and souls and at times, seeing a therapist.

My approach to therapy combines warmth, humor and creativity and is very collaborative. I provide therapy for people interested in depth work and "fine tuning" as well as those in immediate crisis. I work with individuals from a perspective that helps them to feel encouraged, valued and productive in their lives with our therapeutic relationship as the foundation for change. Research studies demonstrate consistently that the #1 predictor of improvement of symptoms for clients is not the “theory” of therapy, it is the “relationship” of therapy.

Being a therapist is my dream job.


3449 NE 25th Ave
Portland, OR 97212

Phone: 503.995.5264