Susan Duggan

Clinical Social Worker

Susan Duggan

I graduated from Memorial University with a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree in 2000.  I spent 15 years working primarily in the areas of Child Protection, Community Corrections and Youth Services.  I completed a Masters of Social Work (MSW) degree at the University of Toronto in 2013, specializing in Child and Family Therapy.  I completed a practicum at a multidisciplinary children’s mental health agency in Toronto, where I received training in family therapy utilizing a range of treatment approaches.  Since 2015, I have been working in a long-term residential treatment program for youth who are experiencing complex mental health concerns.  This program is based on a DBT-informed model of treatment, and has provided me with the opportunity to further advance my skills and knowledge in this approach by offering DBT-informed individual therapy, facilitating adolescent and parent DBT groups, and participating in weekly DBT peer consultations.  Treatment approaches in which I have received training include trauma-informed practice, attachment-based family therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy, emotion-focused therapy, and acceptance and commitment therapy.  While I am most familiar with trauma-informed practice and DBT approaches, I believe in tailoring services and supports to meet the unique needs of each individual and family and that the most important tool is a strong therapeutic relationship. 

I have experience working with individuals and families across the life span who are experiencing difficulties in the areas of anxiety, depression, emotion regulation, anger/aggression, trauma, self-harm, suicidality, justice involvement, relationship difficulties, addictions, and LGBTQ issues.  I had the pleasure of working in an Indigenous community in northern Labrador for 2 years which strengthened my commitment to providing culturally responsive practice.  My overarching therapeutic framework is based on principles of family systems, attachment theory and rooted in a trauma-informed perspective.  In keeping with this foundational approach, I recognize the importance of establishing a safe environment in the therapy setting through relationship-building, consistency, and emotional attunement with individuals and families.  My hope is that through the therapeutic relationship, I can support individuals in areas where they may be experiencing current difficulties, while offering additional tools to help improve functioning, alleviate pain and suffering, and restore quality of life. 

When I am not working, I can usually be found hiking the East Coast trail, reading, taking in a local live music events, or travelling.