Susan Ficke, Psy.D.

 

My path to becoming a psychologist grew out of wanting to understand how the world works.  As a child, I loved learning, was constantly curious, and was drawn to science.  I think learning how things worked helped me mitigate my worries and anxieties.  If I could understand something, it was less scary and uncertain.  The world was simpler to me when viewed as all or nothing or black and white with no shades of gray.  I also thought that if I followed a carefully mapped out trajectory, which I would achieve through hard work and good grades, then I was in control of my own destiny.  This all gave me a naïve sense of control over the world around me.   

My desire to understand the world morphed into a desire to understand human behavior as I took AP psychology my senior in high school; which progressed into a passion for understanding myself and others.  This first came through the SCIENCE of psychology; drawing upon research to know why people do what they do and what interventions help people make changes.  This was an overly simplistic view that I soon learned was not enough.  In graduate school, I discovered the importance of the ART to behavioral health work.  I found that having the flexibility to meet people and families where they are and the patience to build connection is just as important as implementing empirically validated treatment.  At the same time, life showed me that no matter my plans and hard work, things did not always pan out the way I wanted.  I came to embrace the serendipity of life, become more comfortable with uncertainty, see many shades of gray, and grow through my mistakes.  I learned that I may know what research says will work, but the implementation of those treatments must be done with consideration of unique aspects of each individual and family.  Through an integration of science and art, structure and flexibility, I strive to join with clients, parents, and families to make steps toward positive and meaningful change.  

I attended University of Kentucky for my undergraduate degree and earned my Masters and Doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from Xavier University.  I have been a licensed psychologist in Kentucky since 2003 and Ohio since 2004.  I was thrilled to join the talented team at Basset Psychological Services in 2019.  Over my career, I have worked with a wide variety of clients in a multitude of settings including inpatient, partial hospitalization, outpatient, school-based, and forensic sites and in both clinical and director positions.  I have enjoyed contributing to the field of clinical psychology by training and supervising more than 40 trainees, publishing articles, and serving on dissertation committees.  Immediately prior to joining the Basset team, I was the director of a school-based behavioral health program.  I loved so many aspects of the position, but I missed working directly with clients which drove me to return to a clinical role at Basset.  I am grateful for the privilege of serving the clients and families at Basset! 

I live with my husband, 3 wonderfully challenging children, and very active dog.  When not working, you will find me working out, running children all over the Tristate area for sports and activities, enjoying books about health and nutrition, and laughing a lot with friends and family.  My family shows me again and again that I must roll with the punches, embrace the mess (at least sometimes), and grow from my mistakes.  I continue to strive to learn and understand, not as much for a sense of control like in the past, but to foster my continued growth and appreciation of this world and the people in it.