Susan M. Pava, LMFT
What you once thought of your life is now over…
… And where you’re heading is unknown.
This thought is as powerful as kryptonite in preventing us from becoming the person we’re meant to be. Have you noticed the older we get the more it feels like time moves “faster than a speeding bullet?” A frustrating thought for anyone who doesn’t believe in wasting a moment of this precious life we’ve been given. While most of us don’t need to be brain surgeons and rocket scientists to feel fulfilled, we do strive for “a life worth living.”
I’ve traveled a circuitous route to become a Psychotherapist. Born and raised in New England, I received a BA from Union College and an MS in Communications/ Film from Syracuse University. I worked in advertising as a Commercial TV Producer and Business Manager for 19 years with other marketing roles thereafter. I loved the creativity, the often ‘glamorous’ community with whom I worked and yet, I felt something in my life was missing.
So why this noble profession? I’ve been married twice and I shudder! Proudly, I remain friends with my first husband, co-parenting our daughter with little distress. I wish I could say the same for the second. Ten years is a very long time to be married to a Narcissist who also happens to be a lawyer. I went from self-confident to second-guessing, happy and balanced to depressed and impulsive; I was gas-lighted, cheated on, falsely arrested, accused of anything and everything in the most egregious, litigious, scorched-earth divorce campaign.
Today although difficult, my experience has reaped many unexpected gifts. I decided to take the proverbial lemons and make lemonade. I went back to school, got an MS in Marriage and Family Therapy, training further in Behavioral Therapies as well. I feel passionately about sharing what I’ve learned during my divorce, believing no one should experience what I did without a helping hand. I’m proof there’s life after divorce and with hard work and commitment, you may just find the person you left behind or better yet, the person you always wanted to become. I did and have never looked back. I invite you to do the same.
My Philosophy & Approach as a Therapist
We live in a world that is ever changing. Once we accept change as an inevitable part of life, how we embrace the very personal process of self-discovery determines our future selves. I long for a time when mental health issues are seen less as failure and stigma and more as personal journey. Psychotherapy gives us an opportunity to examine our values and, in a sense, a rebirth. A new awareness of our resilience, knowledge in and of ourselves as fallible human beings and the freedom to live life’s twists and turns with passion and compassion. If we envision this experience more as a “Hero’s Journey” and less as a “Loser’s,” we may find ourselves in a more authentic and transcendent place.
I practice a combination of Evidence Based Behavioral Therapies (REBT, CBT, and DBT). It’s my firm conviction that mindfulness is paramount, both in psychotherapy and in daily living. Here all work is heart-centered and grounded in mindfulness.
In the great upheavals of life, we’re challenged beyond anything we’ve ever imagined. It’s then we understand we have a choice: to live the life we’ve always hoped for or remain mired in the one we have. Either way it’s hard work. And only one way is worth it.
Get In Touch
White Plains, NY 10601
Tue - Fri: 9am - 7pm