Susan d. tweeten, Psy.d.
Dr. Tweeten's Background
Education & Licensure
I have been licensed as a psychologist in the state of Florida since March 2015 (License #PY 9261). I obtained my doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 2012 from Xavier University, which is currently ranked the 8th best Psy.D. program in the nation.
You may be wondering what does “Psy.D.” mean and how is it different from someone with a “Ph.D.”? Both are doctoral level degrees. The primary difference is that the training of a Psy.D. is intensively focused on the practice of therapy and assessment of psychological concerns, with less emphasis on conducting research. This was a perfect fit for me, as I always knew that my heart for this field was in direct interaction with clients, be it through therapy or testing.
I was trained within a generalist model, meaning that I am equipped with working knowledge of a broad range of presenting concerns and approaches to therapy.
I have worked in the mental health field for over 10 years within: school based therapy programs, community mental health clinics for children & families, inpatient & partial hospitalization programs for children & adolescents, a private practice setting focused on adults, and university based counseling centers.
I have extensive background in comprehensive assessment of ADHD, learning disorders, emotional functioning, behavioral and developmental concerns. With adult populations, I also have experience with personality and memory testing.
Prior to transitioning to private practice, I had the privilege of working at University of Central Florida Counseling & Psychological Services for close to 4 years. In addition to my role as a staff psychologist, I coordinated the UCF Eating Disorders Management Team, a multidisciplinary team focused on treatment and case management of eating disorders.
Another invaluable aspect of my time at UCF was the opportunity to work with individuals of diverse cultural backgrounds, gender identities, and the intersection of marginalized identities. I was delighted to be part of an additional treatment team, Trans* Care Team, which spearheaded policy to provide documentation in support of UCF students seeking Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). I remain closely connected to my colleagues at UCF CAPS and offer a discounted rate to UCF students.
Dr. Tweeten's APPROACH
I want to start by addressing a common misconception that therapy is a space where people vent about their problems to someone who sits back and occasionally asks, "How does that make you feel?"
Yes, therapy involves exploration of feelings and objective listening. However, I cannot emphasize enough that it is an active collaboration. Therapy is not something "done" to you like a medical treatment. It is an exchange of perspectives, emotions, and hope in conjunction with skill building.
If I am the right fit for you, your partnership, or your family, you will find that we laugh a lot, build actionable plans, feel emotionally moved together, and connect themes across your life that maybe you never knew were there.
I will rely on you as the expert on your own experiences and needs, while compassionately challenging you to engage with fear and pain so that they cannot rule your life anymore.
Combining Cognitive Behavioral & Depth oriented therapies
Many people delay seeking therapy because they are worried that it will take a great deal of time to make meaningful progress. This does not have to be the case!
I am well versed in brief treatment strategies that hone in on your core needs and equip you with coping skills. For some people, this is sufficient and they feel ready to end treatment. For others, a foundation of coping skills and insight sets the stage for deeper exploration.
For those of you who may appreciate technical terms, my approach to integrative treatment is informed by the following theoretical orientations: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Family Systems, Interpersonal, Psychodynamic & Multicultural Theory. I also frequently use specific empirically valid treatment modalities, for example Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Motivational Interviewing, and Exposure & Response Prevention.
Think we might work well together? I am waiting for your call!