“People heal form their pain when they have an authentic connection with another human being’ – Marshal B. Rosenberg
At Passages Counselling + Consulting Services, the primary focus is on providing a safe and welcoming space where you can be seen, heard and supported wherever you are at. At times, a person’s past experience and current circumstances can interact in ways that may be difficult to understand. As a seasoned psychologist, Susannah Horgan has knowledge and experience that offers perspective and genuine support when life becomes overwhelming.
Susannah has a natural ability to connect quickly with each person she meets. She integrates aspects of different psychological theories and therapeutic approaches to customize therapy for each individual. The use of metaphor, humor, practical life examples, mindfulness and gentle movement are all integral to therapy with Susannah. Her well-established practice is informed by knowledge of trauma, resilience and spirituality. She has been described as having a gentle, open and clear approach that puts clients at ease quickly and fosters deep and meaningful change.
Susannah uses a variety of therapeutic modalities including:
EMDR Therapy is an approach to therapy developed in the 1980’s by Francine Shapiro. Initially, it was used in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), mostly with veterans and survivors of sexual violence. Since then, its use has expanded to include therapy for many other concerns of varying severity.
EMDR is a semi-structured approach to therapy that helps a person process and resolve the effects of trauma and stress. The therapy involves use of a protocol that outlines a target memory, with its associated thoughts, feelings and physical sensations. Bilateral stimulation of the eyes (or tapping) is then used to process this baseline information.
The goal of EMDR therapy is to reduce distress associated with the traumatic memory. Therapy helps adapt the way in which information is stored in a person’s nervous system. Processing usually allows the target memory to become more neutral. In addition, the client may gain insights about themselves and their life.
Susannah has completed Levels 1 + 2 of EMDR training as well as advanced trainings in use of EMDR for dissociative symptoms, attachment focused approaches and addiction.
Sensorimotor psychotherapy is a holistic mind-body approach to therapy developed by Pat Ogden. Its roots are in Hakomi.
Sensorimotor psychotherapy blends elements of bodywork, sensory processing, attachment and neuroscience. It promotes psychological health through engagement of the body and senses to balance the nervous system. SP allows a person to tap into the deeper aspects of their experiences that are not accessible through words, cognition or emotion.
With SP, the therapist facilitates experiential exercise to help the client develop self-awareness and confidence. Bodily sensations are considered important sources of information. The therapist skillfully guides the client through different exercises involving mindful attention, movement or action. Stored tension or blockages in the body can be recognized, worked through and released. This is called bottom-up processing and can generate new insights for the client.
SP therapy offers a learning opportunity where the therapist supports the client to experiment with action and movement in ways that are safe, interesting and fun. Previously stuck memories, perceptions and behaviours can shift and a healthier sense of self can develop.
Susannah has completed Level 1 of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy training and some training in the Hakomi method of psychotherapy.
Additional information about Sensorimotor Psychotherapy can be found at: www.sensorimotorpsychotherapy.org
Additional information about Hakomi can be found at: https://hakomiinstitute.com/
Mindfulness & Yoga
Mindfulness is an ancient practice that has been incorporated into modern psychotherapy as a method for managing and reducing stress. Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment differently, with intention. It can help a person gain psychological distance from distraction and distress. Mindfulness helps create a sense of stability and clarity in the here and now. To be mindful is to approach day to day life with more awareness, acceptance, compassion and gratitude.
Mindfulness is integral to Susannah’s daily life and practice in psychology. Exercises are incorporated into sessions with her clients. Practice is also encouraged between sessions to build on mindfulness as a personal resource for health and wellness.
More information about mindfulness can be found at:
Yoga is an ancient philosophy and practice that includes physical poses, breathwork, and meditation. The practice of yoga helps a person develop awareness of the body and mind in the present moment. The practice of specific yoga postures and sequences over time can heal and balance the nervous system. Yoga is ‘mindfulness in action’ that promotes health of the whole person.
Gentle yoga can easily be incorporated into therapy through use of simple seated and standing poses. Postural adjustments can release tension, tap into emotions and produce new insights. This guided practice within a safe, supportive environment can promote self-acceptance, concentration, confidence, stability and balance.
Susannah has been practicing yoga for 20 years. She is certified as a Level 1 yoga teacher with the Iyengar Yoga Association of Canada (IYAC). She has additional training on the use of trauma-sensitive approaches to teaching and practicing yoga which informs her clinical practice.
For more information on the approach and benefits of Iyengar yoga specifically, please visit:
As a seasoned psychologist, Susannah has developed expertise in providing psychotherapy to adults with a variety of concerns including:
- Stress management
- Developmental trauma
- Complex trauma
- Grief and Loss
- Workplace bullying
- Relationship concerns
- Challenges related to communication
- Emotion regulation
- Conflict resolution
- Disability related concerns
- Adjustment to illness or a diagnosis
- Understanding stigma
- Alternative communication methods
Deafness and Hearing Loss
- Adjustment to acquired hearing loss
- Awareness of Deaf Culture
- Ability to communicate using ASL
- Use of interpreters when needed