Andrea Sussel, MSS, LCSW
Andrea is a licensed clinical social worker with 12 years in clinical practice. Andrea received her BS in Health and Physical Education from Pennsylvania State University and her Masters of Social Services from Bryn Mawr College, Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research. She has a postgraduate certificate as a Gestalt Therapist from the PA Gestalt Center and has co-facilitated workshops at The Esalen Institute.
Andrea has extensive experience treating students and their families who are struggling with a range of mental health issues including drug and alcohol addiction, eating disorders, autism spectrum, depression, anxiety and general difficulties with relationships, and successfully separating and individuating from their parents or caregivers. She also has extensive experience and success working with young people who struggle with self-harming, suicidal behaviors, and personality disorders. Andrea has worked as a psychotherapist for the last 8 years at a liberal arts college on the Main Line of PA where she led the initiatives to impact a culture shift at the college regarding disordered attitudes about body image and our dieting obsessed culture. She did this by founding The Body Image Coalition and implementing college wide protocols to appropriately care for students with serious eating disordered behaviors. She also fostered many collaborations with faculty members to further educate the entire college population surrounding these issues. Prior to that she worked in two levels of care; inpatient eating disorders and LGBTQ, and outpatient, as that center’s eating disorders specialist. She has also maintained her own private practice during the past 10 years.
Andrea brings her deeply held belief that each person has an innate ability to heal when given the proper “soil”, and uses her compassion, and training to help her clients access that inner wisdom. She values patience and believes that the most respectful way to be of therapeutic assistance is to listen deeply and guide in accordance with her client’s inner voice. Andrea has been spending time on the Island of Hawaii for 30 years and draws upon her connection to the land and culture to promote healing. Very relational in her approach, she uses her talents to form deep bonds that help her clients reach their potential by tapping into that inner well. Her use of humor, and creativity to meet her students where they are, while creating a safe space for them to open at their own pace is what makes her approach gentle, effective and ultimately sustainable.
Andrea was drawn to Pacific Quest because “I feel incredibly synchronistic with all the essential practices that are promoted”, and “I believe PQ has illuminated the core elements of a healthy life for all people”.
In her spare time Andrea enjoys hiking, swimming, yoga, spending time with family and friends and meditation retreats. She also volunteers in the ancient forest at Niaulani in Volcano Village. Her 24 year-old son is currently teaching ESL in Thailand.