Hi, I'm Sue Shekut! I am passionate about helping you become more self-accepting, feel less shame, and have more fulfilling relationships. My approach to working with you is collaborative and validating. I can help you learn to become more balanced, less reactive, and more confident about facing life's challenges, in your past, present and future. I use the tools of validation, compassion, expressive arts, somatic psychology, EMDR, DBT, and gentle humor to help you get unstuck from old patterns and behaviors that are not working well for you.
Research shows that therapy works best when you feels comfortable and connected to your therapist. I know that many people with difficult childhoods struggle to connect with others. I understand this and view resistance as protection, not a problem, and roll with it. I work with you and your natural protective instincts to help feel more comfortable growing and changing through our work. As part of therapy process, I can teach you how to use somatic awareness to determine which people are trustworthy and how to set boundaries to protect yourself from people that are challenging for you.
I try to be transparent about our therapy process, which interventions I am applying, and the reasons I use particular interventions. I aim to demystify therapy. I meet you where you are at, creating a comfortable environment for you to work within your own religious beliefs, your own cultural beliefs, and your own values. I am not a cold, impersonal expert, but a real person who cares about you and your life!
My work is informed by Brene Brown, shame and vulnerability researcher; Bessel van der Kolk, leading expert in the field of trauma recovery; Peter Levine, master somatic therapist; and Marsha Linnehan, creator of dialectical behavior therapy, a type of psychotherapy that combines behavioral science with Buddhist concepts of acceptance and mindfulness.
Part of my approach to being a trust worthy therapist is letting you know that I am qualified to treat your issues. Let's look at my qualifications: I have a Master’s degree in Clinical Professional Psychology from Roosevelt University and a Bachelor’s degree in Communication from the University of Michigan. I also also completed master's level classes in business administration at Eastern Michigan University in my own career journey.
I am trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), which I find helpful for addiction, shame, anxiety, and anger. DBT helps you learn to calm their nervous systems, handle emotions and discomfort, set boundaries, and to communicate more effectively.
I am also certified in EMDR and trained in Cognitive Processing Therapy, which are both recommended for PTSD treatment by the Veterans Administration and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.
A lifelong learner, I have additional training in Psychodrama (Experiential Therapy), Improvisational Theater, Mindfulness, and Trauma-Sensitive Yoga. I am currently expanding my training in somatic psychology, sex therapy, and neurobiology. So far, I have completed over 130 hours of training in Somatic Experiencing® training, including Beginning I, II and III and Intermediate I, II, III. I finds integrating somatic psychotherapy techniques in my work allows you to process emotions more effectively and easily than talk therapy alone.
I am also trained in Somatic Resilience and Regulation, a form of somatic therapy, that addresses developmental trauma. SRR theory is based on a combination of attachment theory, developmental trauma psychology, somatic psychotherapy and gentle noninvasive touch. It is not massage therapy or bodywork. Working online now, I use the theory behind SRR to help you learn to better co-regulate and heal from developmental trauma. I am not providing touch therapy at this time, however.
My experience as a psychotherapist includes providing individual therapy and co-leading groups at a large metropolitan outpatient medical center. I worked at an adolescent substance use facility as well as in a private group counseling practice, where I provided individual, couple's, and group therapy for clients with trauma, depression, anxiety, and addiction issues.
My background as a Clinical Massage Therapist since 2000 and a Wellness Coach since 2009 enables me to help clients increase their somatic awareness and understand the mind-body connection to mental health.
I previously worked as a Technical Writer, a Trainer, and an Instructional Designer in the business world. My corporate background enhances my skills as a group facilitator and in providing psychoeducation to you and your family members. My business experience, along with my training in career counseling, gives me expertise to counsel you regarding career issues. This is useful when a job or career change is needed to improve your environment and wellbeing.
In my personal life, I has also been a yoga practitioner for over 25 years. I enjoys traveling, training, exploring nature, hiking, biking, swimming, and Stand Up Paddle boarding with my spouse to keep my own nervous system and body, happy and healthy!.
Illinois Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor: 180.011295
Arizona Licensed Professional Counselor: 18848
Indiana Licensed Mental Health Counselor: 39004065A
Georgia Licensed Professional Counselor: LPC013299