About Me

Susan Valkenaar

My name is Susan and I began my career as a Business Analyst working for a high-tech corporation in Silicon Valley, CA prior to becoming a therapist. I began my counseling career working as a Perinatal Substance Abuse Counselor at the county level. During that time, I received my credential as a Registered Addiction Specialist. I completed my graduate work while assisting clients getting treatment in county systems and working closely with recovery programs.  I later transitioned to becoming a Mental Health Clinician and then specializing in the treatment of co-occurring disorders, both mental health issues and addictions. Also, during this time, I began working in hospitals and jails doing psychiatric crisis work. From there I joined Kaiser Permanente team and worked as a Health Education Instructor prior to working at the Behavioral Health Center in the Crisis Stabilization Program. 

I took all this knowledge, and built a private practice business, and now apply it to assisting individuals, couples and families who are working on relational issues, working on their recovery from chemical or behavioral addictions and even those in crisis. I enjoy getting to know my clients at a deeper level to ensure I am best able to understand their unique set of circumstances and assist them to achieve their set goals for treatment.


  • Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist from 2014
  • Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor -Certified Addiction Specialist from 2015
  • Registered Addiction Specialist from 2005


  • Certified Divorce Mediator, Conflict Resolution Training
  • Certified Brain Health Professional with Amen Clinics
  • Gottman Seven Principles Leader with Gottman Institute


  • Master of Arts, Counseling Psychology in Holistic Studies
  • Emphasis in Buddhist Psychology
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology


  • Individual & Family therapy
  • Couples therapy 
  • Group therapy 
  • Crisis intervention specialist from 2009
  • Certified W&I Code 5150 Evaluator from 2009
  • Certified Women’s Issues Specialist from 2010
  • Former Business Analyst in high tech, Silicon Valley 

Facilitated Groups

  • Co Occurring disorders, for mental health and addictions
  • Women's groups
  • Family Education & Support, for family members of patients in treatment
  • Domestic Violence Survivors, both women's and children's groups

Health Education Instruction

  • Couples Communication
  • Mind Body Stress Connection
  • Understanding Your Anxiety
  • How to Manage Depression
  • How to Manage Anger
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