About Dr. Berger

Dr. Susan A. Berger is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) who has extensive experience counseling individuals confronting significant loss and other life changes. In the wake of terrorism and wars in the past five years, multiple natural disasters, most notably Hurricane Katrina, and the personal traumas that have resulted, we seek ways to understand how to explain to ourselves the meaning of our losses, individually and collectively.

Dr. Berger brings a depth of knowledge, skills and insight about how to tackle the most challenging problems individuals face — death of loved ones, divorce, loss of physical and mental capacities, lost dreams, the demands of maturity and old age, and the loss of pets who have shared our lives. As a lifelong animal lover, and current owner of two Siamese cats, she understands the importance of the animals in our lives, and the pain of losing them.

In addition, Dr. Berger is a social psychologist who has conducted research on the lifelong affects of loss on an individual’s sense of mortality, identity, and purpose in life. This work has led her to specialize in helping individuals grieve the many kinds of loss that affect people throughout their lives.

As an expert on the long-term impact of loss on people’s lives, Dr. Berger has found that survivors change their views about life, their sense of their own mortality and their values and priorities — all of which influence how they live and work. These changes shape the survivor’s identity and reflect how they create meaning from their losses.

Her Scholarly Paper, “Helping Survivors Find New Identity through an Innovative Identity Typology”, was published in Resources in Education, ERIC/CASS, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC (2002) and enthusiastically received at the Association of Death Education and Counseling, a leading national organization in the field of Thanatology.

Dr. Berger has written on mental health, substance abuse, health and human resources topics that have appeared in professional and trade publications, including The Washington Post. She has been cited nationally in numerous print and broadcast media, and has spoken at many conferences and workshops throughout the country.

Dr. Berger earned her Doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, as well as a Master’s degree in Social Work and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Boston University.

To enhance her expertise in the area of bereavement, she also earned a Certificate in Thanatology (Death, Dying & Bereavement) from the National Center for Death Education at Mt. Ida College in Newton, MA.