About Susan (aka The Paleo Shrink)
Why did I begin to explore ways to become lean and healthy?
Due to my own health concerns, (I was diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis), and increasing weight and mood challenges, I decided to take action. First, I joined a gym and hired a personal trainer. I had always been athletic in my earlier years, but as time passed and life became more hectic, my physical activity significantly dwindled. A little bit later, I began to work with a nutritionist. This allowed me to learn how to eat properly for the first time ever.
Of course, I tried for a long time to do things my way. I thought I knew how to eat healthfully and lose weight. I actually did lose weight intermittently but only because I greatly reduced my portions. This lead me to always being hungry and eyeing what everyone else was eating. I wasn’t all that happy and I felt very deprived of the foods I wanted. My cravings were extra strong for sweets, pastas, ice cream, and just about any and all types of carbs. I also wasn’t feeling all that well. I was chronically bloated in my belly and had ankle swelling. Both my mother and maternal grandmother had edema in their legs and ankles and I didn’t want to repeat the cycle of family puffiness. I finally accepted that I couldn’t do it all on my own.
How did I become interested in the Paleo approach and why am I so committed to it?
For several years, while I worked with a personal trainer and nutritionist, and subsequently thereafter, I learned and practiced the fundamentals of clean, healthy eating and safe, effective movement. In time, I began reading voraciously on the topics of nutrition, health and leanness. Through this research and my own personal experience, I discovered that there actually is a very natural and simplistic way to a healthier, happier and leaner self. I personally believe in keeping things simple and getting back to basics. That’s why I follow a Paleo lifestyle for eating, movement and more.
What is my professional background?
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, (LCSW), who’s professionally counseled adults from all walks of life. As in any field, the skill level of the provider influences the ultimate results and success. I take into account a broad perspective of each person who comes for support, help, information and change. But how can I talk to people about good health and becoming and staying lean for life? I’ve maintained 18% body fat on average for the past 4 years (down from 30+% in the past). I know what it takes to get lean and I understand the challenges that come with making a sustained change.
Moreover, for the past 20 years, I’ve provided psychotherapy services in my private practice for many people facing a broad variety of life issues and challenges. I’ve also counseled individuals in a NYC substance abuse clinic during that same time period for approximately 10 years. As a mental health practitioner and human being, over the past 2 decades I've observed an increase in peoples’ degree of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and physical body sizes. At the same time, not only has obesity increased, but health issues like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic inflammation and more, have also been on the rise.
My education and training include the following programs and credentials:
Bachelor of Arts, Adelphi University, Garden City, NY
Master of Business Administration, Pace University, New York, NY
Master of Social Work, New York University, New York, NY
Licensed Clinical Social Worker, (LCSW), with the R privilege, State of NY
Advanced Certificate in Treatment of Alcohol & Drug-Using Clients, New York University, New York, NY
Post-Graduate Training Program on Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy of the Disorders of the Self,
The Masterson Institute, New York, NY
I am affiliated with, or have worked with, the following organizations:
Ancestral Health Society, Sacramento, CA
Institute For Brain Potential, Los Banos, CA
The Institute for the Psychology of Eating, Boulder, CO
The Lower Eastside Service Center, New York, NY
The Masterson Institute, New York, NY
National Association of Social Workers, New York City Chapter, New York, NY
Paleo NYC Meet Up Group, New York, NY
Weston A. Price Foundation, Washington, DC
In short, my fervent interest in health and truth; my understanding of people and their challenges with weight loss; the frequently related feelings of depression, anxiety, obsessiveness, compulsiveness, fear and/or perfection that occur when we make poor food choices and eat more than we intend; as well as my knowledge and experience with food/carb addictions and cravings, have all inspired me to create and now offer you the Paleo Shrink Program. I am dedicated to providing a non-judgemental and confidential environment in which you may look at yourself, your feelings and thoughts, and challenge old myths about who you are, what you can do, and who you may become.
"I'm very excited about the Paleo Shrink Program and all it has to offer to people who want and need to change. Evolve your life and body to a place that truly works for you."