What is therapy all about?
It’s about learning new information and skills to cope with life’s never-ending and often challenging circumstances.
It’s about telling your story: the good, the bad, the ugly and the things you’re afraid to share with other people in your life, so you can move towards healing.
Therapy is about embracing change – even if change is something you dread. Trust me, you are not alone in that feeling.
It’s about finding and living your truth and growing into the best version of you.
It’s about thriving in your life, rather than merely surviving.
How does therapy happen?
I’m glad you asked. Vital to this process is developing a relationship.
You need to trust, feel safe with, and be understood by the person with whom you embark on this journey.
You want to feel welcome and accepted for who you are – know that you’re not being judged for the past and that you have someone to walk with into the future.
All while staying in the present and learning to accept and embrace it.
Change begins with you…you have to make the first move.
What do you have to do?
Therapy is collaborative. We have to work together.
You will tell your story and during that process, and we will identify areas to do some work towards change.
Yes, work… therapy is work, but it is work well worth doing. It is all about you, and it’s an investment in something important.
A lot of the work of therapy takes place outside the walls of the office.
It involves learning, applying, and practicing skills that will enable you to make sense of and heal from the past. Live mindfully and fully present in the here and now, and have hope (yes, there is always hope) for a bright and fulfilling life.
What does the therapist do?
I will listen to your story and identify areas to focus on – you will probably recognize some of these areas; you know they exist, and that’s why you are here.
But, you may also be surprised by what you don’t recognize. That’s why the feedback you receive during your sessions is valuable.
Therapists are trained to identify things you may not see. Then, you will be given information, tools and skills that the therapist has been trained and educated to provide. These things will help you to feel empowered to do the work (there is that word again) necessary to make the changes you desire.
This isn’t your typical therapist’s office.
You will find yourself relaxing (at least that’s what current clients say) even in the waiting area.
What’s so special about this waiting area, you ask? It’s private, it’s outdoors, it’s surrounded by flowers and running water, it’s an oasis in the middle of the city. It’s heated in winter and cooled in summer.
Inside the office you will find comfy sofas, soothing art and decor, coffee and sparkling water. Oh, and a restroom, should you need it.
My mission is to empower you with the knowledge and skills you need to heal, change, grow and thrive.
I believe in the transforming power of therapy. Being a therapist has been my dream since high school. But, like a lot of people “life happens”, and it took me a while to achieve that dream.
As it turns out, that’s part of what makes me a great therapist. I’ve had my own struggles and victories. And yes, even my own therapy – something that’s very important when considering a therapist.
I provide unique perspectives to clients and know about what doing the work (are you sensing a theme?) in therapy can achieve because I’ve done it myself!
My passion for helping comes from personal experiences and values of acceptance, meaning, purpose, humor, and a love of hearing people’s stories.
I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Georgia State University and went on to complete a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, also from GSU.
I received training in addictions at MARR Women’s Recovery Center in Atlanta, while working with women, individually and in groups, who were diagnosed with both substance addictions and disordered eating. I helped start a trauma program at MARR!
I went on to receive training and experience in a three-year clinical residency program working with clients who were healing from trauma and other mental health issues. During my residency, I received 80 hours of training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).
Later, I worked for over three years with clients dealing with sexual compulsivity and sexual offenses at The Highland Institute for Behavioral Change in Atlanta.
Most recently, I became a National Board Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist after receiving 60 hours of intensive training from Dr. Rebecca Beaton.
Now, I’m living my dream of helping others in private practice in Grant Park, Atlanta GA.
On a more personal note…
I’m the mother and MIL of a beautiful 27-year-old daughter and her husband. I’m an extremely proud grandmother to a precious 4-year-old granddaughter.
I’m also a fur mommy to two adorable Shih Tzus – Westley and Buttercup (named after the movie Princess Bride), and one or more of them are usually available to snuggle with you while you wait, or even during therapy if you’d like.
I love being a part of the community in Grant Park, Atlanta with its diverse and eclectic population, “crunchy” and hipster lifestyles, and beautiful natural surroundings, all while being a big city with all it has to offer.
Here’s what a few of my clients had to say about their experience at Parkside:
Suzanne is a wonderful therapist who has helped me navigate through the most difficult times of my life. She goes above and beyond typical expectations of a therapist to ensure her clients feel safe, and that their emotional and psychological needs are met. Her skill sets in her field are vast, and she applies her knowledge in our sessions with appropriate methods like hypnosis, CBT/DBT training, and talk therapy. I would recommend her to everyone I know! Female, age 30
I’m so thankful for my counseling experience with Parkside Psychotherapy. I’ve been to counseling before, but this go around has been more helpful than all the other counseling experiences combined. I always leave Suzanne’s office feeling heard, understood, and capable of making my life better. What I appreciate the most is how compassionate she is when gently pointing out things I can work on or improve with my own behaviors. I always feel supported and reassured by those conversations, never judged or trivialized. Having my feelings validated by someone who gets what I’ve been through has given me the extra push I needed to heal and move forward. I would recommend her to anyone. Female, age 30.
I came to Suzanne at one of the most difficult times in my life. Having never been in a counseling setting I was fearful of the experience and afraid that I would not open up. From our very first session Suzanne’s compassionate, direct and logical approach comforted me and allowed me to discuss topics I had never discussed with anyone before. Our weekly sessions helped to free me of burdens I had been carrying for years and gave me a better understanding of who I am and how I interact with my world. In addition, our sessions taught me life skills and coping mechanisms that I have been able to take with me and apply in my life on a daily basis. If you are ready to make a true change in your life and willing to put in the hard work – I could think of no one I would recommend more. Male age 36