Susan has been a devoted advocate for children and families since 1975. She was a Special Education teacher for “Learning Disabilities and Behavior Disordered” elementary aged children and a curriculum writer for 5 years. She graduated from the University of Chicago in 1980 in Clinical Social Work. This began her career with marginalized families and children in a variety of settings: Inpatient for Children and Adolescents, Director of Circle Therapeutic School, Director of Social Work for a Children’s Inpatient Unit, Collaborator with the Louisiana State Department of Children and Family Services Sexual Abuse project, Therapeutic Nursery School, Governor appointed Foster Care Review Board member, simultaneously having a private psychotherapy practice.
She also formally studied Family Systems and Narrative Therapy and has written 2 book chapters and journal articles on topics from abuse, exceptional children, genetic testing.
In 1993 she returned to Chicago and began a private practice and joined the Faculty of The Chicago Center for Family Health. At this time, she began specializing in the hardships and dilemmas of chronically ill individuals and families. From navigating the medical systems to the psychosocial issues of illness, she began teaching postdoctoral level mental health care providers as well as presenting multiple workshops. She started groups for medically ill patients and became very passionate about their concerns.
In 2007 she completed a documentary about chronic illness entitled, “It’s about Living” . It was cocreated with members of her illness group who shared their stories with a Chicago Art Institute filmmaker.
Susan also started a nonprofit organization called Caring Voices to aid in the isolation,loss and frustrations people face with life altering illnesses.
She also was an Adjunct Faculty member at Loyola University while participating in a School Social Worker Supervision Project for many years.
Currently, she has a private practice in Evanston, Illinois. Her interest and passion are still devoted to children, teens and families. She runs 2 ongoing groups including a teen social skills group and a group for medically ill young adults (18-30). She collaborates with the CAPS program at Northwestern University.
Susan is interested in Mind-Body approaches for not only medical illnesses but for a range of anxiety, mood disorders and trauma.
Currently Accepting Referrals:
Chronic medical illness of all ages
Life transitions ( i.e. divorce, job, aging)
Young adult group (20’s-30’s) for chronic medical illness
Adolescent group for social anxiety