Susie Musch, PhD
Senior Staff Psychologist, Eating Disorders Coordinator
Despite identifying as a generalist, I do have some specialized areas of clinical interest that I am particularly happy to discuss for hours. As our Eating Disorders Coordinator, I love supporting students in developing more flexible and compassionate relationships with their bodies, food, and exercise. I am also passionate about working with trauma survivors, particularly survivors of sexual assault, and am a member of our IPV response team.
Some of my other clinical interests include: mood and anxiety disorders, career development, and diversity issues. I am particularly drawn to working with: bi-cultural identity development, acculturation issues, women's issues, non-traditional college students, and student veterans. I identify as a perpetual student as I love learning new approaches and interventions, and have at least one pile of books teetering precariously somewhere in my office at any given time.
Theoretical Orientation and Therapy Approach
I approach my clinical work from an integrative perspective that pulls together cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and interpersonal process therapy. I work collaboratively with clients to better recognize and understand how beliefs they hold shape the way they feel and behave, in the interest of empowering them with the knowledge and skills to respond, rather than react, to these belief systems. When possible, I use the therapeutic relationship to deepen their understanding of their relational patterns and as an opportunity to experiment with new ways of coping and interacting.
To this framework, I apply a feminist, multicultural lens and enjoy deconstructing with clients the way their intersecting identities have interacted with their socio-cultural contexts to shape their ideas about themselves, other people, the world, and the future. I do my best to engender self-compassion by helping clients understand the adaptive function behind their "problem behaviors" (i.e. as efforts to cope with systems of oppression). Additionally, I see information and skill development as means for personal empowerment. Much of my work is supplemented with elements of neurobiology, dialectical behavior therapy, and mindfulness.
Supervision Approach and Model
I use an integrative approach to supervision that is grounded in developmental, interpersonal, feminist, and multicultural foundations. Essentially, I start by doing my best to make supervision a safe space where supervisees can explore reactions to clients, the supervisory relationship, and aspects of our system. Within this space, I work collaboratively with each supervisee to identify meaningful goals and strategies that take into consideration individual learning style, professional trajectory, and existing strengths. Philosophically, I am holistic and as such invite reflection upon the integration of personal and professional identity, where that may feel relevant and helpful. I strive to remain mindful of and transparent about the contribution of cultural identities, interpersonal process, and power dynamics within the supervisory relationship. My tendency is to work with meaning at both a cognitive level and at the level of the more intuitive "knowing" afforded by the exploration of affect. I love utilizing tape in supervision, but promise I am also able to happily commiserate about how much I hate the way my voice sounds in recordings.