Susan Sosa, M.A., LMFT

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About Me

I have been a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist for 20 years.  My clinical experience has been working with adults, adolescents and children from all socio-economic backgrounds providing individual, couple, & group psychotherapy in clinics, schools and private practice settings. My Private Practice offices are in Sherman Oaks and Beverly Hills, California.  From 2000 to present I have also been working as a School Therapist providing psychotherapy for Elementary, Middle and High School students and their families in the Special Education Program for the Los Angeles Unified School District.  I am licensed to practice Marriage and Family Therapy in the state of California by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.  

My Treatment Focus

 Psychotherapy refers to different techniques and methods used to help people who are experiencing difficulties with their emotions, thoughts, or behaviors. Although there are different types of psychotherapy, each relies on communication as the basic tool for bringing about change in a person's feelings and behaviors.


In psychotherapy you can receive emotional support, receive help if dealing with loss, learn to resolve conflicts with people, understand feelings and problems, and try out new solutions to old problems. Goals for therapy may include (changing behaviors; improving relationships with friends or family; managing depression, anxiety, or anger; increasing motivation, decreasing self-destructive behaviors; and developing healthy coping strategies for life). The length of psychotherapy depends on the complexity and severity of problems.

My Theoretical Orientations

 Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Based on the idea that our thoughts cause our feelings and behaviors…not external things, like people, situations, and events. The benefit of this fact is that we can change the way we think in order to feel and act better, even if the situation does not change.  Focus is on your present thoughts and beliefs, and how they influence your relationships, moods and actions. The goal is to change your thinking to be more adaptive and healthy. We also focus on your actions to change unhealthy behavior patterns and develop healthy behavior patterns.


Psychodynamic Therapy 

To have a better understanding of how your past effects the way you think, feel and behave now. 


The Humanistic approach

 Based on the idea that the most important ingredient in psychotherapy is the relationship that develops between the therapist and the patient. The patient must feel comfortable, safe and understood.  This type of trusting environment motivates the exploration of self and enables individuals to reach their full personal potential (self-actualization).

Areas of Practice

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Depression

 According to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 17 million adult Americans suffer from depression during any 1-year period. Depression is a real illness and carries with it a high cost in terms of relationship problems, family suffering, and lost work productivity. Yet, depression is highly treatable. 


 Psychotherapy is often the first form of treatment recommended for depression. During psychotherapy, a person with depression talks to a licensed and trained mental health care professional who helps him or her identify and work through the factors that may be causing their depression. Sometimes these factors work in combination with heredity or chemical imbalances in the brain to trigger depression. Taking care of the psychological and psychosocial aspects of depression is important. 

Anxiety

 Anxiety is a normal human emotion that we all experience. But when panic and anxiety symptoms escalate into anxiety attacks and panic attacks, it may be an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, and panic disorder. There is excellent treatment for anxiety attacks, as well as panic attack symptoms, including medication and psychotherapy.


Anxiety is having too much fear and worry. Some people have what's called generalized anxiety disorder. They feel worried and stressed about many things. Often they worry about even small things. Some people also may have panic attack. A panic attack is a sudden feeling of extreme anxiety. People who have social anxiety disorder worry that they will do or say the wrong thing and embarrass themselves around others.


Anxiety can cause physical symptoms like a fast heartbeat and sweaty hands. It can make you limit your activities and can make it hard to enjoy your life. Positive thinking can help you prevent or control anxiety. 

Anger Management

 Anger is a natural emotion that every human experiences. Mild forms of human anger may include displeasure, irritation or dislike. When we react to frustration, criticism or a threat, we may become angry - and usually this is a healthy response. Anger may be a secondary response to feeling sad, lonely or frightened. When anger becomes a full-blown rage our judgment and thinking can become impaired and we are more likely to do and say unreasonable and irrational things. 

 

Anger is not just a mental state of mind. It triggers an increase in heart rate, blood pressure and levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline. Anger has survival benefits, and forms part of our fight or flight brain response to a perceived threat or harm. When a human or animal decides to take action to stop or confront a threat, anger usually becomes the predominant feeling and takes over our behavior, cognition and physiology.


Anger management is a procedure of acquiring the skills to recognize signs that you are becoming angry, and taking action to deal with the situation in a positive way. In no way does anger management mean holding the anger in or trying to keep from feeling anger. Anger is a normal human emotion, a healthy one when it is expressed appropriately.  


Anger management teaches you to recognize frustrations early on and settle them in a way that allows you to express your needs, while remaining calm and in control. Coping with anger is an acquired skill which involves unlearning some of the bad behaviors that result from frustration.  


Anger management helps you identify what triggers your emotions, and how to respond so that things work in your favor, instead of against you.  


We all feel angry sometimes and may say or do things we regret. This is a normal part of life, and may not necessarily mean you need anger management help. If your anger is having a detrimental effect on relationships, is making you unhappy, or is leading to violent or dangerous behavior, you probably need help.

Couples Counseling

 Solution-focused Couple’s Counseling:


Research shows the primary complaints leading to divorce are not physical abuse or addiction, but rather, lack of communication, lack of affection and nagging. (Hetherton, Cox, & Cox, 1981).

Most relationships are worth saving simply because most problems are solvable. Or more specifically, most unhappy relationships can be changed, and therefore, are worth changing. In fact, it’s not about "saving relationships," it’s about ending the old relationship and beginning a new one--with the same partner.


Solution-focused counseling is a dynamic, results-oriented counseling approach. The methods are based on radically different assumptions that enable couples to make sudden shifts that transform their relationships.


Solution-focused counseling’s emphasis is on finding solutions to marital problems rather than on exploring the problems. Learning to do more of what works and less of what doesn't work in a relationship.


Couples learn to identify what they do when they are getting along so that they can do more of it, and to identify unproductive patterns of interactions so that they can eliminate or do less of that. Once couples see what they need to build on and what to eliminate, they have specific parameters to guide them.


What if your partner won’t come with you to counseling? A common stumbling block to working out problems in a relationship is the idea that both partners need to commit to working on the relationship in order for the relationship to change. Relationships are such that if one person makes significant changes, the relationship must change. Too many relationships go down the drain because each person is waiting for the other to change first. Change your relationship by changing yourself. You can’t change someone but you can change how you react to them. You can learn to react in ways that will make the relationship feel better.

Free Phone Consultation

Online therapy may not be a good fit for some clients.  Call or email me for a 10 minute phone consultation free of charge to determine if online therapy is right for you. If a client is experiencing suicidal thoughts, is in crisis or is struggling with severe psychiatric conditions it is recommended that you see a local therapist who can provide immediate and direct treatment.

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30 minute Online/Virtual Session

$90.00
Pay with PayPal or a debit/credit card


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50 minute Online/Virtual Session

$150.00
Pay with PayPal or a debit/credit card


Susan Sosa, M.A., LMFT

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Licensed to practice Marriage and Family Therapy in the state of California by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. LMFT #39341

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Email: Susan@susansosa.com

Phone or Text:  (818) 919-4061

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Contact Me