About the Alliance

Sue N. Carlson, LMHC

Sue N. Carlson, LMHC received her certificate in psychoanalysis from Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society and Institute in 2005. She is a psychoanalytically-informed psychotherapist and supervisor in private practice, working with adults and couples. Sue has over 15 years of experience teaching and leading clinical case conferences for Antioch University Seattle, Northwest Psychoanalytic Society & Institute, Center for Object Relations, Seattle Psychoanalytic Society & Institute, and the Northwest Alliance for Psychoanalytic Study. She is a participating member of COR and the Alliance. Sue is a devoted student of Anusara yoga, an avid cyclist, and an over all nature enthusiast.

Available In-Service Topics

The Art of Integrated Listening

What does it mean to listen in a multi-dimensional way? To listen deeply is to bring a kind of fluid attention to what your client is telling you, how she/he is "being" with you, how it feels to be with her/him, what you find yourself responding to, and who you are to each other at any given moment of a session. We will explore these dimensions through the use of clinical material and our experience of listening to each other.

Therapist as Instrument: Working with Counter-transference

When you get down to it, the most continuous resource in the moment-to-moment encounter of the work is oneself. We will consider what it means to cultivate a working relationship with our own emotional responses to our clients, and how our subjective experience can be used in the service of understanding the other. Through clinical vignettes, we will, hopefully, be able to find a working understanding of how to think about and be with the “music and dance” of any given encounter.

When Knowing is Un-therapeutic

As clinicians, we walk a tightrope between needing to have a fair degree of competence in what we are doing and allowing for uncertainty. From the perspective that therapeutic action/change comes about through growing one's capacities rather than having one's problems solved, we will address the pressure-to-know and how this gets in the way of the therapeutic process. We will explore what it means to not-yet-know and consider the essentiality of curiosity, wonder, and imagining-into, in the process of facilitating healing, growth, and change.

Secondary Traumatic Stress: When Care is Needed for the Care-giver

Listening to and being with the stories of those who have suffered trauma and abuse is profoundly painful and disturbing. Feelings of shame, inadequacy, horror, de-personalization, disassociation, irritation, resentment, coldness/numbness, and boredom are not uncommon, yet are not often acknowledged which can lead to isolation and burnout. We will address the dynamics of projective-identification and how this relates to feelings of victimization within the therapeutic couple. We will also identify how a parallel process of trauma/abuse can be enacted in the supervisory relationship or the consultation group and how to work with this to restore a sense of emotional safety and support.

Sue is also available for consultation.