Susan Oringel, Ph.D.

My Background:  I went to college to be a writer but a summer internship in a mental health center exposed me to people and their stories, making me decide to become a psychologist.  My Clinical Psychology graduate training at Texas Tech University stressed clinical, rather than, research experience, and  I left for internship grounded in psychodynamic, behavioral, and family therapy approaches.  My internship at the Albany Medical College/VA Consortium deepened my knowledge of psychodynamic and family approaches, as well as providing experience working with children and adolescents..  In my almost forty years of post-internship clinical work, I have worked at outpatient, inpatient, and residential centers for adults, adolescents, and teens and at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation hospital. In  full-time practice with Bethlehem Counseling Associates since 1989, I also renewed study in creative writing and received an M.F.A. in Poetry from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers in 1998.  I have taught at SUNY Albany, Empire State College, and at  Hudson Valley Community College since 2002--currently I teach creative writing there.  I also have a certificate in the assessment and treatment of substance use disorders from the American Psychological Association.

My Philosophy and Approach: I bring from my writing and psychodynamic backgrounds an interest in deep listening, in understanding patterns of thought and behavior that lead to happier living.  I see myself as a fellow traveler and and empathic guide in the therapy process, willing to use all tools at our disposal, whether interpreting dreams, encouraging writing, or using behavioral homework.  I try to tailor treatment to individual needs and see our work together as a creative processcreating new understandings and new possibilities for growth and change.  I work with children, adults, adolescents, couples and families; occasionally I run interactive therapy groups.  Some of the issues I treat include anxiety, phobias, and depression; relationship and parenting problems; addictions, addiction-family issues, eating disorders and trauma; and transitions, divorce, aging, spirituality, and grief and loss issues.  Working with blocks to creativity is also a special interest.  I speak Spanish and can work therapeutically in Spanish.