Susan Gorey is a licensed clinical social worker and attorney who has been helping individuals, couples, and families for over 20 years, in a variety of capacities. She provides psychotherapy services for adults, in both individual and couple sessions. Her psychotherapeutic emphasis is on mood disorders, substance use disorders, trauma, life transitions, and relationship issues. She also is skilled in working with couples and families to resolve conflicts involving family, estate, guardianship, marital, divorce, and co-parenting issues through mediation and parenting coordination services.
THE CORE OF THIS WORK
My work, at its core, is conflict resolution: sometimes in the context of internal conflict, sometimes, with regard to interpersonal conflict. I warmly welcome individuals, couples, and families to bring into being their best selves, for themselves and often, for their children as well.
As a psychotherapist I am attuned to the underlying issues that show up in a client’s depression or anxiety or the stress that clients experience as their lives transition from one stage to the next, from the end of a relationship through grief to a re-emergence, from shame to a sense of self-worth, from defensive reactions to an open, emotionally skillful response. I am aware of the stances and dances between partners and how to facilitate intimacy and joy when partners want a loving relationship. I challenge clients to see the truth—and their part in it—so that they can decide whether they want to change something about the way they are living their lives to create a different experience.
As a mediator, parenting coordinator, and divorce coach, I am skilled at facilitating difficult conversations between individuals in conflict. Understanding the law and the legal implications of the dialogue as well as being directive regarding the process, helps me to keep the process moving forward productively. At the same time, my psychotherapeutic training and skills help me to understand and work through the impasses when parties burdened by internal conflicts and external pressures engage in repetitive, unproductive behaviors that they feel powerless to change.
And, in whatever I do, I try to honor my social work professors’ advice never to ask of a client something that I, myself, cannot or will not do. In my free time, I love to listen to great music and dance my heart out, to cook for loved ones, and to get outside and hike whenever possible with all the dogs.
At the Disability Law Center, Susan represented parents of children with special educational needs under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, several times with the help of a mediator.
Following a two year stint with her family in Santiago, Chile, Susan moved away from the practice of law and toward providing services as a mediator.
Mediation is a less adversarial approach to conﬂict resolution—and is particularly relevant in matters where there is reason to preserve relationships. From 2004 to 2006, Susan mediated child welfare matters for the Utah State Courts. In that capacity, she facilitated conversations and negotiations between the Utah Division of Child and Family Services and parents alleged to have abused or neglected their children, with the goal being to create permanency and stability for the children.
In 2006, Susan further receded from the law by returning to school for a masters degree in social work. Her background in the law—working to achieve some measure of social justice—provided the footing for her desire to facilitate change and growth on a deep, individual, and relational level.