Suzanne Berndt – MC, LPC, MHSA

I am a licensed professional counselor with a masters in counseling and a masters in health services administration – both from Arizona State University. My bachelors degree in psychology and anthropology is from the University of Michigan. I am trained in Somatic Experience which addresses unresolved trauma that may be carried in the felt sense of the body. The body remembers trauma and this inherent “knowing” can support trauma resolution in the therapeutic process.

In addition, I am certified in the Grief Recovery Method and have special interest in complicated grief and bereavement. As a former patient advocate for Hospice of the Valley, I am well-versed in end of life issues and challenges for individuals and families. My training in addiction includes my work at The Meadows in Wickenburg as well as Sundance Residential Treatment Center in Scottsdale where I had the opportunity to work with patients experiencing both substance/process addictions as well as dual diagnosis.

My therapeutic approach is integrative and holistic, focusing on the mind, body and spirit and I frequently work with clients challenged by co-occurring disorders. I am interested in the relatively new field of eco-psychology which studies humans in relation to our natural world using psychological and environmental principles. Humans, by their very nature, are social animals and yet many of us have lost connection/community within ourselves and the web of life. I believe this is due, in part, to a frantic world with constant stimulation and relational trauma.  Losing that connection may create a lack of purpose and meaning in one’s life. This may, in turn, lead to addictive behaviors and relational distress. As an example, studies have shown we are more “connected” through social media than ever before and yet many of us experience loneliness and isolation because of it.

I work closely with my clients to achieve goals and develop lasting skills that will support them in life’s journey.  These skills may include setting functional boundaries, creating mindfulness practices, defining wants and needs in recovery, providing relapse prevention support, developing a healthy sense of self, utilizing sound coping skills and supporting resiliency and self-agency to address unresolved trauma and grief.

I feel privileged to walk alongside my clients as they develop a better understanding of themselves and their place in the world.

On a personal note, my interests include Buddhist philosophy, existentialism, Jungian symbolism and dream analysis, hiking and Pilates.