Suzanne Goudzwaard, Psy.D. '12 Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.)
"Because I have learned to get to know people as unique individuals first, I find that am able to collaborate and cooperated with my clients relatively quickly and effectively."
-Suzanne Goudzwaard, Psy.D. '12
Suzanne Goudzwaard graduated from Adler in 2012 with a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.). Suzanne completed her practicum requirement in Jerusalem, Israel, working with an international school and methadone treatment center. She is currently a licensed clinical psychologist for Associates in Behavior Counseling and Mind Springs Health in Grand Junction, Colorado.
Q: Tell us about your practicum experience in Israel.
Suzanne: A few months before beginning my graduate studies in Chicago, I attended the international Adlerian conference. During these two weeks, I had opportunity to learn with Adlerians from all over the world and was challenged to consider how Adlerian thought and techniques are impacted by cultural influences. I was particularly drawn to several talks given by Israeli psychologists who brought to light the factors of cultural conflict, prevalence of trauma and religious conflict as related to an individual’s psychological health and ability to change. I decided to complete a portion of my studies and training abroad as I knew this would give invaluable depth to my training and work as a psychologist. With the help of Dr. Erik Mansager, I was able to make contact with Dr. Joseph Prinz, an Israeli psychologist and educator, and an Adler University graduate, who agreed to allow me to work under his supervision in Israel.
Dr. Prinz met me at the airport and drove me to Jerusalem. After I had found an apartment and had several weeks of Hebrew training under my belt, I began work at an international school and a methadone treatment center. I met at least weekly with Dr. Prinz to discuss cases, my adjustment to the country and to continue to plan the course of my practicum. When I started the practicum, the plan was to assist Dr. Prinz in conducting research and designing teacher leadership training curriculum to address the needs of Israeli teachers. After my arrival, the ministry of education changed the in-service training requirements, which also changed my dissertation topic. Fortunately, with the help of my dissertation advisor, Dr. Price, and the willingness of the international school, I was able to shift my focus to teacher leadership needs in an international school setting.
Q: What was your impact on the individuals or communities with whom you worked?
Suzanne: While in Israel, I worked at an International school with children and families from around the world who happened to be living in Jerusalem at the time as well as with many Palestinian families that also attended the school. The international school was characterized by diversity in race, ethnicity, religion, and linguistics. I collaborated with the sole school counselor to provide counseling support for the pre-k through 12th grade students, and provided consultation to staff and parents. In addition, I had several clients at a methadone clinic who had drug and mental health issues. I worked closely with my supervisor to provide integrated care for these clients, which included in-home family therapy and visits when in residential placement for several months.
Q: How did your Adler University experience affect where you are today?
Suzanne: In August of 2013, I joined a local group practice, Associates in Behavioral Counseling, in Grand Junction, Colorado. By becoming a private practitioner in this group practice, I have been able to split my time between three distinct but exciting endeavors. Part of my time is spent providing therapy for individuals, families and couples. A second part of my week is dedicated to collaborating with a fellow psychologist in the practice to provide Parent Responsibility Evaluations (PRE). Finally, and closest to my heart, about 10 hours of my week I work with homeless teens that have sought help at the local youth homeless shelter, The House. I provided integrated mental health services in coordination with a case manager, volunteers, mentors, and doctor.
I continue to work with the teens after they leave the shelter by providing individual therapy, family therapy and collaborative consultation with other team members. I believe that my time and training at Adler, including my advanced practicum in Israel, as contributed to my professional versatility and wide range of interests. In addition, because I have learned to get to know people as unique individuals first, I find that am able to collaborate and cooperated with my clients relatively quickly and effectively.
Q: Was there a particular Adler University faculty member or experience as a student that has most influenced you, and why?
Suzanne: Dr. Erik Mansager: Dr. Mansager tirelessly supported my desire to find and establish an international advanced practicum. He used his Adlerian contacts to find a just the right supervisor for me in Israel and met with me as many times as I needed in order to problem solve and talk through the steps I needed to take in order to make the endeavor successful. His enthusiasm helped to fuel my motivation to overcome the obstacles in my way.
Dr. Harold Mosak: The fact that Dr. Mosak taught at Adler was a major deciding factor in attending the University. I took as many classes as I could from him and always left his classes feeling truly excited about my choice to work towards a career in Adlerian Psychology.
Dr. Brian Price: Dr. Price was my dissertation chair who enthusiastically supported me when I was in Israel doing my research. He patiently listened, encouraged and assisted me in figuring out a different approach when I was forced to change the location of my research mid-stream due to access problems. Dr. Price also excitedly supported my desire and plan for international study and training.