Susan Watkins, Psychotherapist,MS,LMFT
Santa Clarita, CA, (In-person and online)
Client Focus: Faith-Based Biblical Counseling, Spiritual Growth, Couple Counseling, PTSD/Trauma Resolution (EMDR), Depression, Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Women’s Issues, Stress-Management, Conflict Resolution, Co-Dependency, Sexual Assault, Spiritual Abuse, and Grief.
With compassion and understanding borne of my own journey toward the heart of God through debilitating life experiences, I bring a genuine sense of calling to my task as a psychotherapist. It is profoundly meaningful to me to witness hope as it rises and to partner with the Spirit in encouraging sincere Christ-followers toward a richer union with God, not despite the trials they face, but rather, because of them. I incorporate a multi-faceted approach to working with clients by addressing the mind, body and soul utilizing biblical wisdom along with solid, proven, research-informed clinical treatment practices.Healing for Shattered RelationshipsSadly, when a relationship which once was a source of fulfillment becomes a source of recurring pain, the barrier to finding a renewed connection with your loved one can feel insurmountable. My role as a Marriage and Family Therapist is to help you understand the internal factors which drive your behavior, to assist you in understanding more fully the issues influencing your loved one’s reactions, and to coach you in learning to reach to one another in a way which invites closeness and restores a sense of safety within the relationship. In my work with couples, I have seen that learning and implementing new ways of communicating and relating can make all the difference in restoring and solidifying bonds which last. As a Level II Practicum Trained Gottman Couple Therapist, an Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy Therapist, and a faith-based marital counselor, I can offer you keys (proven effective based upon empirical research) to turning around the negative trajectory in your relationship which can be implemented right away.Trauma RecoveryWhether you have suffered through experiences of past abuse, encountered a life-threatening event, unexpectedly lost a loved-one, or travailed through serious illness, traumatic experiences can overwhelm your mind, body and soul leaving you feeling frozen and unable to access a restored sense of well-being and safety. In treating trauma, I utilize a multi-dimensional approach, informed by neuroscience, which addresses the physical, mental, and emotional components sustaining symptomatology. I am fully trained in EMDR Therapy (a widely recognized and proven treatment for trauma resolution) and I also draw from Cognitive Processing Therapy and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to treat the unique complexities associated with healing trauma.Working through Anxiety, Depression, Stress-Management, Grief and Other ConcernsWhile each of us go through numerous ups and downs throughout our lifetimes, there are moments when the challenges we are experiencing may exceed our capacity to manage them. Conditions such as anxiety, depression, ongoing stress, grief, and other concerns, can often constrict our ability to enjoy flourishing lives. With a faith-infused mindset which sees God present in the midst of the everyday difficulties we all face, I am a clinician who employs evidence-based practices to help mitigate the symptoms you may be experiencing. My goal in working with you would be to bring a compassionate approach to facilitating healing as well as to provide you with clinically effective tools to assist you along the path toward achieving wellness. I utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy, and biblical wisdom to coach you in implementing new skills which can lead to both growth and transformation.Encouragement Along Your Faith JourneyThere are seasons within our faith journey when our soul may feel less like a well-watered garden and more like a desert. When our fervor for God has given way to weariness, when the future we had hoped for seems elusive, or when tragedy strikes and God seems stunningly silent, we all need a safe place to turn where we can grapple with life’s wounds and disappointments without judgement, especially when our unanswered questions leave our hearts shattered and our once solid faith shaken. What I have found time and again is that moments of disillusionment and desperation can actually become a doorway leading toward encountering God in a deeper way. For each devoted Christ-follower who hits a wall along their spiritual journey, my desire is to walk with them through wilderness seasons and to assist them by shining a light illuminating their path so they may see the Holy Spirit at work, even within the darkest and most desolate places.