Susan Pease Banitt, LCSW
Susan Pease Banitt, LCSW trained as a therapist and social worker in the rigorous Harvard medical system and has over thirty-five years experience in mental health work. She has worked in a variety of settings with hundreds of diverse clients over the years, including: residential child care, child abuse prevention, inpatient psychiatric hospitals, outpatient clinics, medical hospitals and private practice. Her clients have included individuals, couples and groups, including children as young as 3 years and adults into their 80s. As a healed survivor who has taken a deep journey into early traumatic abuse, Susan acts as a compassionate guide for those struggling to free themselves from the effects of traumatic stress.
The goal of psychoanalysis is to convert neurotic misery into ordinary unhappiness.
What Led to the Specialization of Trauma?
Susan talks about the exciting time in Boston during which information about trauma and PTSD was rapidly advancing, and which eventually led to the diagnosis of PTSD in the DSM.
A Crucial Early Mistake
Susan gets specific about an experience she had working with a young girl who taught her an important lesson about the tone of voice we as therapists use.
“I have a mission.” Susan talks about how she feels she can make the most significant impact in the world by learning about and understanding the psyches of individuals who are suffering, and then doing what she can to help them heal.
- “Get to know your own traumas” and “take the journey of getting involved in your own therapy.”
- Education yourself two ways: 1) Learn about trauma and the neurobiology of trauma, and 2) Scare yourself just enough so that you understand and get a tiny taste of what your clients have been experiencing their entire childhood.
Susan’s go-to books
- Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence–from Domestic Abuse to Political Terror, Judith Herman
- Father-Daughter Incest (with a new Afterword), Judith Herman
- The Trauma Tool Kit: Healing PTSD from the Inside Out, Susan Pease Banitt
- The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, 20th Anniversary Edition, Ellen Bass