SUSAN GOODELL, LMFT, AC
EMDR transforms: Let’s start earlier. What inspired you to become a therapist, period?
SG: I was a teacher originally and became very interested in how the learner views him/herself and the emotions which enhance or detract from effective learning. I then decided to become a school guidance counselor so that I would be able to focus on the developmental, preventative, and remedial aspects of the student/learner. I conducted many meetings to provide the optimal environment for learning and success. These meetings and classes helped various groups of people: students, parents, teachers, counselors and classroom aides. Topics included self-esteem, intergroup relations, and problem-solving, and how to become “Peace Patrol Members” (they patrolled the play-ground during lunch reinforcing good behavior, helping prevent or resolve conflicts.)
However, I began to realize that I was spread so thin, over various schools, that I decided to become a therapist. I wanted to focus exclusively on how people view themselves and helping them resolve obstacles to their successes in relationships with self and others, as productive and confident people.
EMDR transforms: How did you find out about EMDR? Why did you decide to take EMDR’s Part I and II training?
SG: Many years ago I heard about EMDR, and the idea intrigued me. Since I value life-long learning very highly, I always am taking classes, trainings, and attending conferences. EMDR sounded like a very different approach to therapy, so I was interested in learning more about it.
EMDR transforms: Some therapists take the training, and then rarely use it. What kept you using EMDR with such dedication?
SG: I consider the appropriate use of EMDR to be challenging to master, yet I continued to attend trainings, conferences, seminars, and study groups regularly because I was seeing clients benefit greatly from the work. I wanted to continue to improve my effectiveness and to absorb new information about the brain and how information is stored and processed in order to help people achieve their goals and heal.
EMDR transforms: I’ve seen you attending EMDR Therapists’ Study Group meetings regularly for years. Why?
SG: The EMDR Study Groups have been invaluable over the years in that people come together and share their challenges, successes, and new learnings in a mutually beneficial fashion. So, I decided to become a co-facilitator of the monthly Study Groups because of how much I value the opportunities they provide.
EMDR transforms: What is it you like about being an EMDR therapist?
SG: I love being an EMDR therapist! Multiple clients have benefited from our work together, and continue to share with me, even after therapy is completed, how much they appreciate and value the work. The EMDR approach to therapy has completely transformed how I conceptualize clients’ concerns, has allowed me to be very specific with clients as they identify their goals, what they want to be experiencing and doing differently after the therapy is complete, and how to plan the route(s) so that they can manifest their goals and experience confidence and success in achieving them. Because of this, I find the work exceptionally satisfying, uplifting and inspiring and therefore not experienced as “work” but as something very gratifying. I want to continue to do my part to help people heal. For this reason, I not only co-facilitate the Study Groups, I also provide EMDR Consultation to the therapists at Camp Pendleton who are EMDR-trained, helping them implement EMDR for the active duty people with whom they work.