Suzanne Fischer Comelo

Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

Providing a Safe, Non-Judgmental Space for Healing

Are you struggling with the impact of trauma, grief, anxiety, depression, relationship difficulties or major life changes? We all can use support to navigate life at times. I’m employed as an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist at Mindset Counseling Group in Fremont, California.  I’d love to help you on your journey toward healing and self-discovery. I have experience working individually and in groups with people of varied ages (children ages 6 +), pre-teens/teens, adults, older adults/seniors and from diverse cultural backgrounds.  I have supported clients with a wide range of issues and my focus areas include: anxiety, trauma, depression, grief and loss, work stress and burnout, life transitions, and Highly Sensitive Persons (HSPs).  

Life can be overwhelming and sometimes exhausting. My goal is to help you understand yourself and your relationships more deeply and find more effective ways to cope with life and relationship changes, whether planned or unexpected.

 
Calm Sea

About Me

As an HSP myself, I have navigated my life with gifts of deeper processing that also come with unique capacities and limits that need to be honored to avoid overwhelm.  My own journey led to a career change, from a profession riddled with overwork and burnout to my counseling career, which enables me to use my strengths to help others, while honoring my need for balance.

PROFESSIONAL CREDENTIAL

Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (113426)

Employed and supervised by Simi Markar, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (46537),

Director of Mindset Counseling Group

EDUCATION

MA in Counseling Psychology

Golden Gate University

ADDITIONAL TRAININGS, SEMINARS & EXPERIENCE 

Trauma Focused CBT (TF-CBT) (training)

Attachment-Focused Play Therapy (training)

Psychotherapy & Highly Sensitive Persons (HSPs)

Mindfulness (four 10-day silent Vipassana meditation retreats)

"Effectively Supporting Safe & Inclusive Spaces for LGPQ-TI Clients & Colleagues" (training)

"Crisis De-Escalation & Safety in the Field-Working with System-Involved Families"

"Transforming Stress & Trauma: Fostering Wellness & Resilience" (training)

Grief Recovery Method (group participant)

"Mindfulness & Grief" (San Francisco Zen Hospice Center)

"Awakening Our Hearts: Exploring White Privilege to Build Authentic Relationships Across Difference"

"Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love & Wisdom" (Seminar)

"Connection Practice & Connection Experience" (Rita Marie Johnson)(Seminar)

Family Paths Parent Support Hotline (training & past volunteer)

AFFILIATIONS:

California Association of Marriage & Family Therapists, East Bay Chapter

Included on Dr. Elaine Aron's List of HSP-Knowledgeable Professionals

 

Services Offered

I have experience providing clients in the East Bay with a wide range of psychological and counseling services to suit their needs. Whether you’re seeking help for yourself, your child, or an older relative and whether you are looking for individual, couple or family support - my therapy sessions are designed to increase awareness, strengthen your confidence, and support your healing process and improved relationships. Take a look at the services I offer, and reach out for a free phone consultation today.

Individual Therapy

A Healthier, Confident You

In our therapy sessions, we’ll work to solve current problems and improve positive thinking and behavior. I can help you explore coping skills you've developed to navigate life and help you decide which ones are of benefit, can be modified, or no longer serve you.  We can find valuable tools to give you more choice in how you cope with life’s obstacles. I specialize in clients who have or think they may have the normal genetic trait of sensory processing sensitivity (also called "Highly Sensitive Person or Child" by Dr. Elaine Aron, www.hsperson.com).  Get in touch to inquire about current availability.

Group Therapy

HSP, Anxiety, Grief & Older Adult Groups Offered

Sharing a part of our healing journey with others who may have some common experiences can help us know we are not alone and offer another avenue for healing through connection and experiencing mutually supportive relationships.

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2021 GROUP OFFERINGS:

HIGHLY SENSITIVE PERSON (HSP) GROUPS:

ADULT Online HSP Level-I Skills Group

Starts: Friday April 16th

Meets:  Fridays @ 10:00am-11:30am​

Duration: 8 group meetings @ 90 min each 

Cost:  $350 (deposit $50; balance due 50% at start & 50% at end) 

RSVP: comelo.suzannef@gmail.com  or (510) 497-1516

Size:  small (max 5-6 members)

Location: Online/Video for CA residents

About: This is a closed group, facilitated by an Associate MFT (also an HSP), providing a structured agenda to incorporate education, self-exploration and group sharing.  Living and working in a non-HSP world can impact an HSP’s sense of self, well-being, physical health, boundaries, and tolerance for social, family and work activities. HSPs are often the default caretakers and confidants. Some feel out of place in their own families, relationships and jobs, often comparing themselves to others, not realizing they may just have different strengths and capacities. Many go through life with their filters wide open, pushing and enduring, until they burn out from trying to conform. Join fellow HSPs for safe, mutual support & skills-building to learn how to better navigate your non-HSP world. Goals: Increase understanding and acceptance of our Trait; better tune in to our own stimulation levels; tools to modulate our nervous system response; start a foundation for our own unique HSP Operating Manuals; and strategies to communicate our needs and limits to others.  Members will receive handouts to facilitate work between sessions.

YOUNG ADULT Online HSP Skills Group (Level I) (8-wks)

Starts: April 19th, 20201

Meets: Monday mornings @ 10am

Duration: 8 weeks @ 90 minutes each 

Cost:  $350 (deposit $50; balance due 50% at start & 50% at end) 

RSVP: comelo.suzannef@gmail.com  or (510) 497-1516

Size:  small (max 6 members)

Location: Online/Video for CA residents

About: This is a closed group, facilitated by an Associate MFT (also an HSP), providing a structured agenda to incorporate education, self-exploration, skills-building & group sharing. Being a teen in a predominantly non-HSP world can impact a teen-HSP’s sense of self, well-being, physical health, boundaries, and tolerance for social, family and school activities. HSPs often compare themselves to others, not realizing their nervous systems are just wired differently, leading them to be sensitive to different stimuli at often greater levels, which can push them into overstimulation and overwhelm much sooner and more often than peers or family members. Comparisons to others (without fully understanding their own, normal, genetic brain and nervous system wiring) often leads to shame that erodes self esteem makes it hard to function at their ability level or fully enjoy life. Some teens report feeling odd or out of place in their own families, relationships and schools. They may start to experience anxious and depressive symptoms, as they go through life with their filters wide open, pushing and enduring, until they burn out from trying to conform.

TEEN Online HSP Skills Group (Level I)(6-wks)

Starts: April 20, 2021

Meets: Tuesdays (4-5:15pm)

Duration: 6 weeks @ 75 minutes each 

Cost:  $250 (deposit $50; balance due 50% at start & 50% at end) 

RSVP: comelo.suzannef@gmail.com  or (510) 497-1516

Size:  small (max 6 members)

Location: California, state-wide, online/video

About: This is a closed group, facilitated by an Associate MFT (also an HSP), providing a structured agenda to incorporate education, self-exploration, skills-building & group sharing. HSP is a common, genetic Trait, hardwiring the brains and nervous systems of 15-20% of the population to take in much more subtle stimuli and process it much deeper.  This a great asset in so many ways.  Yet, being a teen in a majority non-HSP world (especially if unaware of their Trait) can start to impact a teen-HSP’s sense of self, well-being, physical health, boundaries, and tolerance for social, family and school activities. HSPs often compare themselves to others, not realizing their nervous systems are just wired differently, leading them to be sensitive to different stimuli at greater degrees, which can push their nervous systems into overstimulation and overwhelm much sooner and more often than peers or even family members. Comparing themselves to others often leads to shame that erodes self esteem, making it even harder to function at their ability levels or fully enjoy life.  Some teens report feeling odd or out of place in their own families, relationships and schools. They may start experiencing anxious and depressive symptoms, as they go through life with their filters wide open, pushing and enduring, until they burn out from trying to conform.

Join fellow Teen-HSPs for safe, mutual support & skills-building to learn how to better navigate your non-HSP worlds. Goals: Increase understanding and acceptance of this normal, very advantageous genetic Trait; better tune in to our own stimulation levels; build tools to modulate our nervous system response to reduce and recover from overwhelm; start a foundation for building our own unique HSP Operating Manuals; and learn some strategies to help others better understand this normal Trait and our unique skills, strengths as well as needs and limits. 

ADULT Online HSP Support Groups (Level II)  (TBD)

Starts: Ongoing

Meets: 1x each month (90 min)

Days/Times: TBD

Cost:  $35/meeting

Size: small (min 3 -max 6 members per meeting)

Location: Online/Video for California residents who have completed HSP-I Group

About: This is a support-focused group, facilitated by an Associate MFT (HSP) to provide a semi-structured agenda to incorporate some education, while fostering self-exploration, group sharing and support. This group is for HSPs who have completed an HSP Skills Group or have a sufficient base level of understanding of the HSP trait, how it manifests for themselves, and some coping skills in managing overstimulation. Come join fellow HSPs in supporting one another and discovering new ways to navigate life more successfully in this non-HSP world. 

(*If you only recently learned you are/might be an HSP or are fairly new to trying to adapt your life to capitalize on your HSP trait while minimizing overwhelm, please register for the HSP Skills Group-I first.)​

ANXIETY GROUPS: 

TEEN "Taming Our Anxiety" Groups (Start Date: TBD 2021)

Therapist-facilitated support group for teens with anxiety from various stressors (ex: school, online learning, peers, social media, grades, online school, COVID-19, family). This group offers a safe, supportive space to learn how thoughts, feelings and behaviors can impact our mood, energy, sleep, confidence, focus, health, relationships, etc. You're not alone. Together, we'll learn tools to better manage anxiety, fears and stressful situations so we can enjoy our lives more. (6 weeks @ 75 min each; Max 6 teens; COST: $250 (Deposit $50; 50% due at start 50% due at end). 


*Flexible start dates based on when clinically-appropriate groups are filed (minimum 4 persons)


RSVP @ comelo.suzannef@gmail.com

or (510) 497-1516.

*Flexible start dates based on when clinically-appropriate groups are filed (minimum 4 persons)

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​**Feel free to email your interest in being added to a list for notifications of future Group offerings.)


GRIEF GROUPS: 

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Future Grief Groups (TBD)

Feel free to email your interest in being added to a list for notifications of future Grief Group offerings.

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SUPPORT GROUPS FOR OLDER ADULTS (60+): 

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Online Older Adult Groups  *(TBD 2021)


In-Person OA Groups (Resume, once safe to do so in light of COVID)

Couples Therapy

Support for Your Relationship

I support couples in improving their communication and understanding of each other and the strengths and needs of their relationship. With the help of various therapeutic methods, you can develop new understandings, new attitudes, and new hopes for your relationship. Developing knowledge and skills to navigate complex relationship topics in respectful, loving ways can be of great benefit.  Schedule an appointment today to begin your journey toward stronger connection.

Family Therapy

Strengthening Your Family Connection

Family Therapy can be an invaluable way to increase awareness and understanding of your particular family system and the subsystems and individual roles that sustain it.  It can help you learn to better communicate, connect and support one another and your family unit. Contact me today to learn more about how family therapy can help you and your loved ones thrive.

Children and Adolescents

Creative Art, Play & Narrative Therapy

Children and teens face multiple changes and challenges at these key developmental stages, which can result in increased anxiety (social and general), depressed feelings, decreased self esteem, and peer rejection that may negatively impact their lives at home and in school.  I use a variety of creative, play, narrative and mindfulness-based therapeutic techniques to connect with kids and teens, to meet them where they are at, and to help them reconnect with their sense of worth, build confidence, and learn new skills to better express their feelings and needs so they can more capably navigate change, relationships, school, and life.

 

A Bit About Therapy

Personalized Attention for Your Needs

I use an integrated, humanistic approach, drawing on various psychotherapy methods to help foster more self-understanding among clients and encourage them to adopt new attitudes and feelings about their life situations. Therapy is a healing process and it requires participation and investment from both client and therapist. I have experience using brief and long term models and, ultimately, even small changes to unconscious patterns and old coping behaviors can improve one's ability to cope with and enjoy life. 

"We don't have to do it all alone. We were never meant to."​   - Brene Brown

 
Two Dried Leaves

Helpful Information and Resources

 

Highly Sensitive Persons & Children

Dr. Elaine Aron's Website & Resources

Website: www.hsperson.com 

Self-Test (Adults & Children): HSP Self-Test

Self-Test for HSPs who are also High Sensation Seeking:  HSP-HSS Self-Test 
http://hsperson.com/test/high-sensation-seeking-test/


Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)  Books  

The Highly Sensitive Person: How To Thrive When The World Overwhelms You
by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D.

The Highly Sensitive Person's Workbook
by Elaine N. Aron Ph.D.

Brain Training For The Highly Sensitive Person: Techniques To Reduce Anxiety and Overwhelming Emotions: An 8-Week Program

by Julie Bjelland LMF

The Highly Sensitive Person in Love: Understanding and Managing Relationships When the World Overwhelms You

by Elaine N. Aron Ph.D.

Making Work Work for the Highly Sensitive Person

by Barrie S. Jaeger and Elaine Aron 


High Sensation Seeking HSPs (HSS-HSPs) Books  

"Emotional Sensitivity and Intensity: How to manage intense emotions as a highly sensitive person" 

by Imi Lo

Highly Sensitive Children (HSC) Books & Parent Resources

The Highly Sensitive Child: Helping Our Children Thrive When The World Overwhelms Them

by Elaine N. Aron Ph.D.

Other Parent Resources (Dr. Elaine Aron)

Parenting the Highly Sensitive Child

(website and blog by Maureen, a parent of an HSC)

Understanding the Highly Sensitive Child 

by Jamie Williamson

Understanding the Highly Sensitive Child: Seeing an Overwhelming World through Their Eyes (My Highly Sensitive Child)

Book 1 of 2: My Highly Sensitive Child 

by James Williams

Supporting the Highly Sensitive Child: Making Sense of Meltdowns (My Highly Sensitive Child)

Book 2 of 2: My Highly Sensitive Child 

by James Williams

My Great Big Feelings: A Story for Sensitive Children

by C. M. Tolentino

Ducks Over the Lake

Fees

Session Length: 50-minutes


Fee: $120 per session

(sliding scale available based on financial need)

Payment: check, cash, credit card (Square), PayPal accepted


Insurance:  CIGNA only.  

(As of May, 2020, CIGNA has started reimbursing services provided by Associate MFTs, who are supervised by Licensed MFTs who are members of CIGNA.  Thus, my services can now be billed to CIGNA through our Director, Simi Markar, LMFT.)

 

Contact Me

I love helping people reconnect with their own wisdom and develop the tools they need to better cope with life’s challenges and more authentically engage in life.  Contact me today to set up a free 15-minute phone consult to see if we would be a good fit.

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SUZANNE FISCHER COMELO, Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (#113426), employed and supervised by Simi Markar, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (#46537), Director, Mindset Counseling Group.

MINDSET COUNSELING GROUP

SKS Building

39845 Paseo Padre Parkway

Fremont CA 94538

(510) 497-1516

I am interested in:
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©2019 by Suzanne Fischer Comelo, AMFT, employed and supervised by Simi Markar, LMFT, Director, Mindset Counseling Group