I became a Marriage and Family Therapist after a successful career in the high tech world, serving on the Stanford faculty and working in industrial research and development. I bring from this background an understanding of the stresses that can arise at work and how they affect relationships at home. My training and experience in counseling and psychotherapy have prepared me to work with a wide range of clients and concerns.

Counseling Approach
Much of my work as a therapist is in the humanistic/existential mode. In this approach, the focus is on current issues in your life, self-understanding, values, and choices. You and I work collaboratively to build understanding and find ways for you to enrich your life experience.

I believe that childhood experiences continue to influence an adult's understanding and response to the world, and where appropriate I will work with you in a psychodynamic mode to understand these influences and modify their impact.

At times I may use the tools of cognitive therapy to help you change the way you think about issues in your life; such changes in thinking can often lead to changes in mood and greater emotional well-being.

If you want to improve your communication and relationship skills, I will work with you on skills for listening well and expressing yourself effectively. In this approach, I am influenced by Dan Wile's Collaborative Couples Counseling.

I am experienced in both short-term (10 sessions or less) and longer-term therapy, and I am willing to work with you in the time-frame you prefer. Of course, some goals require more time than others.

As you consider choosing me for your therapist, you will want to know that I am qualified to provide the help you want. The following are highlights of the education, experience, current clinical activities and affiliations that I draw on in serving my clients.


    • M.A. in counseling psychology from Santa Clara University
    • Additional training in couple counseling, grief counseling, domestic violence, adolescent development, family therapy, group psychotherapy
    • Ph.D. in Computer Science from Cornell University

    Clinical Experience

    In my seventeen years of counseling, serving people from many countries and ethnic groups, I have worked with...

    • Individuals, couples, families, and groups
    • University students, faculty, and staff (at Stanford student and faculty/staff counseling centers and at Santa Clara University)
    • Adolescents in middle school and high school
    • People coping with grief (at Kara in Palo Alto), including individuals, groups, and crisis intervention

    Life Experience

    • Academic experience: Ph.D. in Computer Science, Associate Professor at Stanford
    • High tech background: 15 years employment in industrial research and development
    • Career transitions: from academia to industry to Marriage and Family Therapy
    • Dual-career marriage, raised two children

    Current Clinical Activities

    • Counsel faculty/staff at Stanford Help Center
    • Facilitate support groups for graduate students and post-docs at Stanford University
    • Facilitate community support group for people in job transition
    • Maintain private practice


    • California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
    • American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists

Susan Owicki, MFT
License MFT39238
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