Dr. Susan

Dr. Susan Swartz 
is currently accepting new clients for one-on-one, virtual psychotherapy as well as new couples for virtual couple’s counseling.

Dr. Susan Swartz
Licensed Psychologist (PSY 30882) in California
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT 42894) in California 

Professional Doctorate (Psy.D) in Clinical Psychology from Ryokan College
Completed the Basic Certification in EMDR

My Approach to Individual Psychotherapy

I believe change is possible. This is why I’m a therapist, and I believe that profound transformation can happen in a moment–even this very moment!–if there is openness and authentic contact that is also safe and appropriate.  I love what John Bradshaw used to say: “We human beings can handle anything as long as we have a benevolent witness” (paraphrased).  This ties in with something else I believe: that we are self-healing, so long as we have a safe and respectful space where we can express and unburden ourselves.  I believe that all action is purposeful; it’s just that sometimes we don’t understand it.  I believe the body can give us a lot of useful information about what’s really going on, and it can point us in the direction of integration and peace, if we can just learn to hear it.  

I am more of an active and directive therapist, but sometimes it takes me a long time before I can be active and directive, because first I need to feel that I understand the situation well enough to be able to say something useful and accurate.  It’s hard to describe myself as a therapist any more fully — it’s like trying to describe how I dance — which is why I really like that we at California Women’s Therapy offer a free consultations.  This way you can see for yourself what I’m like and what it’s like to talk to me (you can also find out if I am the right fit given what you’re dealing with and what you’re looking for in a therapist). 

I’ve been doing this a long time (since 2002), and I care deeply about remaining open to the moment (to really listening and really seeing, not just with my intellect but with my heart) and to developing myself as a therapist and human being, which hopefully makes me useful to clients wanting change.  I don’t always work quickly but I do try very hard to help clients achieve their goals.

My Approach to Couple’s Counseling

I have completed all levels of trainings of the Gottman Method for couple’s counseling, including Level 3 with Drs. John and Julie Gottman in Seattle, WA. I love how the Gottman’s approach couple’s counseling because it’s very much about meaning and how each person is just trying to get their needs met.  It is a supportive and gentle approach to couple’s counseling.  This is not to say it’s not clear and directive–it’s those things, too, but it just has a lot of compassion. The idea is that we’re all doing the best we can — and sometimes we just didn’t learn the right way.  There is a focus on meeting people where they’re at and helping them acquire the skills they need.

Though I use the Gottman Method as my base, I also bring to my couple’s work a focus on addiction, past trauma, and codependence.   What I bring to the table is a desire to deeply understand each person individually — as well as the lifespan of the relationship itself — and from that base to begin to work on how to make the couple’s life happier and more fulfilling for both partners. 

Thank you for your interest in therapy and in California Women’s Therapy!

So you can learn more about my services and make sure we’re a great fit, I offer free consultations over the phone or via live video chat.

Video Sessions:

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Both individual psychotherapy & couples counseling are available through a secure video conferencing system.

Phone Sessions:

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Most clients seek to be “seen” in a figurative sense, but not everyone wants to be seen (literally) during a therapy session.

Phone counseling allows clients to focus on their thoughts and emotions.

To begin your journey of healing and personal growth with a member of the California Women’s Therapy team, please reach out below.

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Contact us to schedule your initial consultation.

Begin your journey with Dr. Susan today 🌱