Jaime Suvak, LMHC
1999 – 2001 Northeastern University, Boston, MA
Master of Science, Counseling Psychology
Concentration: Gender, Culture and Political Psychology
1994 – 1998 The Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA
Bachelor of Arts, Psychology
I have spent many years as a counselor/advocate/activist in the field of sexual and domestic trauma. I have a foundation in emergency hotline and medical accompaniment service provision, and crisis. I am a licensed mental health counselor currently working in a private counseling and consulting practice in management and post-trauma symptomology. Building upon clinical expertise, I continually widens my range of study and practice.
- Sexual Trauma: Prevention, Education, Recovery & Healing
- Relationships: With ourselves, our bodies and each other
Questions & Answers
Q: Please describe theoretical orientation and your teaching philosophy.
Answer: My theoretical orientation is firmly grounded in a relationally informed Feminist Perspective that utilizes the Empowerment Model across all techniques.
One of the most important pieces to teaching counseling processes is to get students to actively participate. Including multiple forms of didactic and experiential learning allowing the students to engage with the materials from multiple perspectives in an open and inviting atmosphere. This allows the students to process the content as well as open themselves up to a powerful learning experience. Using my experience, as a group leader, therapist and instructor assists me in creating this environment.
Q: Why did you choose to enter the field of counseling psychology?
Answer: I have always had an inclination towards and a talent for helping people find their own way to navigate their life situations. Ever since I was a child, I wanted to know “why people did what they did.” Although my interests are varied, the core component has always been on human relationships, emotion and behavior. Throughout high school I was involved in our social service curricula and practice and entering undergraduate studies at PennState I immediately applied for a student counselor position at school and a volunteer advocate/counselor at the community women’s center. The more that I learned, the more passionate I became about psychology. Psychology unites the creative and intellectual mind in a way that has always fascinated me. There never seems to be a lack of questions, or ways to answer them.
Q: What do you enjoy most about teaching in the MHCBM Program?
Answer: It has been a wonderful experience teaching at MHCBM. The students are eager to learn, excited to take risks, and a pleasure to engage in this process with! The faculty is welcoming and happy to share their vast knowledge and expertise to create an atmosphere of learning!
Select Recent Presentations
- Gentile, L., Kisber, S., Suvak, J., & West, C. (2008). The practice of psychotherapy: Theory. In M. Ballou, M. Hill, C. West, M. Ballou, M. Hill, C. West (Eds.) , Feminist therapy theory and practice: A contemporary perspective (pp. 67-86). New York: Springer Publishing Co.
- First Responders: Responding to Sexual Assault Disclosures I developed and helped implement this course designed specifically for staff in college and university settings. The course presents and innovative model for responding to a disclosure of sexual violence and is an essential tool for creating a safe point of entry for anyone choosing to disclose the sexual violence they experienced. It stresses the importance of a supportive response to reduce secondary trauma and to encourage the survivor to seek further care. This approach trains staff to respond to disclosures emphasizing four key areas: Safety, Empowerment, Empathy, and Knowledge (SEEK). Online course offering for CEU’s and presented across Massachusetts
- Secondary Trauma and Self Care I developed and periodically provide a Secondary Trauma and Self Care workshop that consists of practical and working knowledge presentation and experience. It is designed for novices to the most experienced service providers. It encompasses an understanding of the importance of self-care as a practice to blocks that prevent us from taking care of ourselves and the realistic expectations of self-care practice. Presented at: BARCC volunteer training, student groups, and service agencies
- Group Dynamics and Process
- Supervision and training of volunteers, Interns and staff in the areas of: Individual and group counseling, rape crisis, and self-care.
- Workshop development and presentation in the areas of Trauma Response, Clinical Advancement with Trauma Survivors and self-care.