Meet Sue Mocniak, MSW, LISW
Sue Mocniak earned her Master in Social Work from The Ohio State University College of Social Work, (view Alumni Profile), her Bachelor in Social Work from Capital University, and her Associate’s degree in Mental Health from Columbus State Community College. She has worked in the mental health field for over 20 years, transferring from administrative and business roles to clinical and therapeutic services in 2010. During the course of her academic career Sue’s internships included:
Throughout the course of her academic and clinical career Sue has counseled a wide range of clients with issues such as anxiety, depression, grief, divorce, separation, low self-esteem, anger management, job stress, and life stage transition with a special interest in Pet Loss Grief as well as adults raised in addictive / rigid or chaotic family systems.
Recognizing the needs of individuals grieving the loss of a loved one and supporting them through this process is of critical importance and customary in our society. However, Pet Loss continues to be a disenfranchised form of grief. Recognizing this, Sue conducted an independent study on Pet Loss Grief while a graduate student at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio and later went on to author a grief model and guide booklet specifically for those grieving the loss of a pet.
Other special interests include helping individuals raised or living in troubled and addictive family systems, as well as those who are coping with addictions, which very often are one and the same. Sue believes it is not uncommon for these individuals to struggle through life with a chronic sense of loss, aloneness and shame, which tends to perpetuate the cycle of addiction and poor choices. People surviving these childhoods are trauma survivors, trying very hard to guess at what a normal life should look like. We now know from scientific research that addictions, alcohol, drugs, food, gambling, sex and others, originate in the brain and are not a sign of moral or spiritual weakness or character flaws but rather chemically altered brain functioning.
Those suffering from addictive illness and their loved ones experience profound loss - emotionally, physically, relationally, and financially, as the addiction progresses. The person with the substance use disorder and their loved ones are shattered by the addictive process and need on-going support. As a survivor of such a family system, Sue understands how overwhelming life can be for these individuals and she enjoys patiently supporting and working with them towards hope and healing. She has previously led addiction education and relapse prevention groups at Maryhaven and enjoys working with individuals, couples, families and groups.
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