I'm Susan Lerner. I am a licensed social worker based in Ithaca, New York, with many years of experience and an informal, client-centered, interactive style. I offer counseling to individuals and couples. I support my clients in learning to take care of themselves in all ways.
Do you find yourself overwhelmed or just confused more often than you like?
Do you feel isolated, depressed, or unable to communicate with the people around you?
Do you try to change things in your life -- the way you do things, the way you feel-- but get frustrated and discouraged when it feels like you're stuck?
Counseling can be useful in these situations. I can help you figure out:
What you really want
How you can get what you want
What might be getting in the way
My approach is to work as an equal partner with my clients to establish and reach specific, pertinent and attainable goals that will meet your needs as soon as possible. I listen and support clients, help to reframe problems, and teach new skills applicable to their particular situations. My preferred emphasis is on helping my clients in the present time with present concerns, which may include some exploration of the past to understand behavior.
I believe that all behavior patterns are learned and habit-based and can be changed. I assist clients in identifying behavior that leads to unhappiness. We then work together taking a step-by-step approach to learning and practicing new patterns.
When I work with couples, I focus on the relationship itself and the patterns that emerge in it, rather than focusing on individual concerns.
I encourage clients to let me know if something in our work is not working for them so we can change the pattern together. I think it is important for me to hear how they feel so we can work together in an honest and open way.
My success is measured in client satisfaction.