Susan has nearly 30 years experience of working as a Movement Psychotherapist and applying the model to a variety of client needs. Starting life as a social worker with a interest in mental health, developing community rehabilitation projects for people surviving strokes, followed by a period in psychiatric nursing and community mental health care, Susan embarked on her movement psychotherapy career with adults with visual impairment and other disadvantageous conditions. She was inspired by a residential week with MotionHouse dance company, when Contact Improvisation was introduced to people who rarely left their wheelchairs. This world of possibilities led Susan to train as a Dance Movement Therapist at the Laban Centre, London (1990), later completing the Certificate in Movement Analysis from theLaban/Bartenieff Institute for Movement Analysis in New York (2008). Susan’s MA thesis concentrated on women surviving violent relationships, which has led to a long-term interest in developing an accessible and relevant service to support men and women survivors of abuse and neglect. In 2009 she completed Level 1 of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy training from the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute (SPI USA) and Trauma Training in Scotland (TTiS). This study deepened Susan’s understanding of how the bodymind is affected by trauma. Since 2015 Susan has engaged in further studies in BodyMind Centering – an intensive experiential anatomy training devised by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen.
In addition to therapeutic skills Susan gained the Certificate in Reflective Practice and Creative Supervision in 2014 and provides supervision to health practitioners and arts therapists in Edinburgh and via on-line forum sites such as zoom and skype. She has been supervising since 2005, in groups and individually, and devised a model of movement supervision to address somatic awareness of other. This model has grown and now Susan incorporates many creative tools with which to facilitate the supervisee.
Susan combines her Movement Psychotherapy practice with teaching internationally and being pro-active in the European Dance Movement Therapy association. She held the role of President of the European Association Dance Movement Therapy (EADMT) for six years, and continues to support their work as coordinator of the Training Standards working group. Susan is a named counsellor with the Joshua Nolan Foundation (JNF), who offers funding towards counselling and psychotherapy to people struggling with serious mental health and well-being issues, including suicidality.