My Philosophy

susan cummings nicholsonHave you always been hesitant about the idea of talking with a stranger about the things that trouble you the most, or ashamed that you haven’t been able to fix your problems by yourself?  Have you tried therapy in the past, but found that you could not establish a strong enough connection to feel really heard?  I have always seen my role as a therapist as being in partnership with each client, or each couple.  We become a team, working together to find effective solutions for each person.  I can heal no one; but I have guided, encouraged and supported many people to find within themselves the power of healing for their own lives.  The deepest, most lasting change within any of us involves discovering wholeness within ourselves.

Why We Seek Help

When we are in pain, whether physical or psychological, we generally seek help because we want the pain to stop.  Sometimes the solution is fairly simple.  More often, the reasons for our psychological pain are not so obvious, and relief of symptoms requires a deeper look – much like discovering the cause of a fever.  Much of my work is in helping clients look beneath the surface to discover what is prompting their symptoms, and then to help them courageously deal with what they find.  When people begin to trust themselves and trust life enough to do those two things, improvement follows.  In providing help for my clients, I draw upon multiple psychotherapeutic modalities, depending upon the need of each individual.  I also know that for therapy to be effective, it must incorporate far more than just talking about the difficult issues in life.  The use of scientifically informed methods to help people change thought, behavior and even feeling patterns, offers clients the opportunity to have a different relationship to both their internal struggles and their troubling life issues.

How Change Occurs

When clients begin to master a different reaction to the hard places in life, a healthier perspective on their own abilities emerges, making lasting change much more likely.  This is what allows old feelings and symptoms to shift and to be supported and eventually replaced by self-confidence and hope for the future.  Growing evidence from the field of neuroscience highlights the inseparable connection of body-mind, and informs the most effective ways of dealing with the issues that plague us.  In addition to creating a safe environment in which my clients can explore their difficulties and share their dreams, I also guide them to consider effective ways to create deep and lasting changes.  I invite them to partner with me, as we explore together ways that will work for them, to find healing for their hurting minds, bodies and souls.