Susan

SVD-BioI am a holistically and spiritually trained healer, therapist, mentor and writer.  My belief is that lasting healing and fulfillment come about with a change in perspective.  This perspective holds all of who we are as precious.  We learn to trust life , and ourselves as part of it,  with all of its ups and downs.  We come to feel whole in ways that earlier we could not have imagined.

I also believe that we are fully equipped with the resources for our own healing and awakening.  My job is to offer the guidance, support and skills that help others to connect with their innate capacities, be with themselves compassionately, and trust the way their lives unfold.  Witnessing each person’s journey as she/he becomes less encumbered and blossoms into her/his unique humanity is my greatest satisfaction.  (Please see About:  Wholeness and Services: The Work.)

I work with adults from diverse backgrounds who bring a wide range of goals, desires and concerns to our sessions.  Many seek support for emotional symptoms, historic wounds, and the normal life transitions that challenge us all while also pursuing personal growth and spiritual development.  (Please see Services:  Healing Doorways to learn about specific approaches I bring to my work.)

I began a conscious healing journey as a senior in high school when I became inspired by an English teacher who taught the spiritually-oriented psychology of Carl Jung.  Later, I studied spirituality and psychology at the University of Chicago, earning masters degrees in religious studies and clinical social work by 1988.  As someone who’s always loved to learn about the inner workings of reality and the soul, I continue to work with teachers and paths that recognize the physical, psychological, and spiritual aspects of our humanity as inseparable, interpenetrating dimensions.  My combined training and life experience have made me a practitioner who values both traditional and alternative healing paradigms and the ways they complement each other.  Today, I bring all of this, along with my love for the amazing mystery in which we participate together, to private practice in Andover, Massachusetts.

  • 1981 – Earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Theater from McGill University, Montreal.
  • 1985 – Earned a Master of Arts degree in Religious Studies from The Divinity School at The University of Chicago.
  • 1988 – Earned a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Social Work from The School of Social Service Administration at The University of Chicago.
  • 1993 – Earned California license for the independent practice of clinical social work.
  • 1994 – Moved to Michigan; entered private practice as a psychotherapist for the first time.
  • 1999 – Worked as a hospital chaplain intern at Bronson Methodist Hospital, Kalamazoo, Michigan.
  • 1999-2000 Completed Spiritual Formation program; engaged in Spiritual Companioning training at the Dominican Center at Marywood, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
  • 2001 – Moved to Massachusetts; obtained license for the independent practice of clinical social work in this state (#110808).
  • 2002 – Began a 4+ year training in Nondual Kabbalistic Healing through A Society of Souls in New Jersey.
  • 2002 – 2005 – Led Spiritual Companioning groups through the North Parish of North Andover Unitarian Universalist Church.
  • 2005 – Introduced Nondual Kabbalistic Healing and related workshops into private practice in Andover, Massachusetts.
  • 2006 – Completed Spiritual Leadership training through A Society of Souls.
  • 2009 – Ordained in the Universal Life Church.
  • 2010 – 2011 – Studied Diamond Approach Work, teachings of A.H. Almaas.
  • 2011 – 2012 – Completed immersion work in The Constellation Approach, based on Bert Hellinger’s family constellation work.
  • 2012 – Attuned as a Reiki Master.
  • 2017 – Completed EMDR Basic Training.

“I feel fortunate to have known Susan for over a decade.  During these years, I have witnessed her extraordinary commitment to healing which has unfolded in her ever-expanding capacities as a healer.  Susan has gathered an elegant structure of supportive practices and methods over the years.  These tools, in her hands, become profound—even alchemical—because she also brings the depths and insights of her own authenticity and wholeness.”

Jude Rittenhouse, M.A., Counseling, NKH