Alumnus and Trauma Therapy Expert Shares How to Succeed as a Psychotherapist

Alumni Success

December 10, 2018

Written by Moe Kamal

Not everyone can say that they love their job, but Suzanne Duc, a psychotherapist, based in Ottawa Ontario, is unabashed about how much she enjoys her work as a psychotherapist with Reesor and Associates.

“Honestly, it doesn’t feel like work to me,” Duc said. “Every day I skip to my office. I am so excited and [I love] what I do.”

Duc graduated from Yorkville University’s Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology in 2013 and worked for several years as a successful corporate recruiter. But Duc had done her undergraduate degree in Psychology and harboured a longtime dream of becoming a therapist. When her role as a corporate recruiter was impacted by downsizing, Duc saw in this the catalyst she needed to take the leap and enrol at Yorkville.

Recently, Duc sat down for a conversation with Yorkville’s Alumni Relations Coordinator to talk about her passion for her work, and why Yorkville was the perfect fit for her.

Like many Yorkville University students, Duc was managing significant family responsibilities while completing her MACP, and she acknowledged that it could be a challenge to balance the rigours of postgraduate education while raising young children. Duc ended up resuming part-time work during the latter part of her master’s, but she encourages prospective students to dive into the program with enthusiasm.

Duc’s offers the advice that an organized approach to schoolwork and a willingness to break projects down into smaller tasks to complete when time allows will increase student success, even while juggling life with kids or full-time work.

“Don’t let fear of study stop you in any way,” said Duc encouragingly. “Yorkville’s program is very flexible…and it’s a 24/7 environment, so chunk your tasks down, and take the time you have.”

Many MACP graduates aspire to dive into work as a therapist right after graduation. But moving seamlessly as Duc did, from student life to practicum, to entering successful private practice immediately can be difficult, especially without a deliberate strategy.

In the following video, Duc shares some of the approaches she used to ensure her success as a new psychotherapist, including networking tips, and how her use of social media propelled her career forward, allowing her to establish her professional reputation early on.

Becoming a therapist was a long-time aspiration for Duc; she always had a desire to help others. Her experience working at a hospice during her practicum intensified that drive and gave her additional insight into the human condition. This enhanced perspective prompted Duc to pursue her own goals with the understanding that life is transitory and unpredictable and reinforced her compassion for others.

“I’m choosing, purposefully, to live the life that I want,” Duc said, “and I’m trying to do that in a way that is thoughtful towards others. I do acknowledge that as far as I know, you only get one chance, and we need to carpe diem–to seize the day. Yorkville was a vehicle for me to do that and it’s brought me great happiness.”

In the following video, Duc expands on why she believes she has been so successful in her position as counselling psychotherapist.

As a prominent trauma expert, Suzanne Duc is not only widely recognized for her work with victims of car accidents and other distressing events, but she now teaches trauma therapy to other practitioners as well.

In this video, Duc talks about how she became inspired to focus on trauma work, the steps she took to establish herself as a thought-leader within this niche area, and how her career has snowballed as a result. “It’s been a fascinating journey and rewarding for me as a practitioner,” Duc said.

“What I love about it, is that it has assisted me in helping so many people and also really helped me make strong connections with veterans affairs, with the police force and other first responders in my community…and across the world at this point.”

In the following video, Suzanne Duc discusses the state of her career in general since graduating from Yorkville University’s Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology program and offers her views on the value of the Yorkville MACP.