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Susan Ko, PhD

I have been licensed as a clinical psychologist since 2001. I first became interested in psychology during my first psychology class in high school when I learned that there are actually words to describe the experience that I had grown up with and seen all around me: the sometimes conflicting experiences of living between two different worlds, or cultures.

I became passionate about wanting to find a way to address the experience of people whose hurts and wounds are often invisible—fractured hearts and minds vs physical challenges, such as broken bones. I was saddened by my observation that too many people feel stigmatized, marginalized and alone with their inner turmoil and wanted to find a way to help heal these hidden hurts and make the heart, mind and body whole.

My dream is that therapy becomes accessible to everyone and viewed merely as another source of support—a resource, just as a friend is a resource—and that the barriers to giving it a try completely evaporate.

My background and training allow me to primarily integrate psychodynamic, systems and cognitive behavioral approaches to develop the overall framework for treatment. Specifically, I regularly utilize the following evidence-based treatment modalities:

• Gottman Method Couples Therapy
• Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)
• Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
• Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)
• Exposure Therapy 
• Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT)
• Family Systems Therapy

We will work together to identify and co-create goals for treatment and then address them in a way that resonates with you.

California License


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New York License



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Managing Consultant • YSC Consulting 
VP of People • Science 37, Playa Vista 
Assessment Services Manager • Korn Ferry, Los Angeles
Managing Director • National Center for Child Traumatic Stress
Psychologist • Harvard-Westlake School, Los Angeles 
Clinical Director • Center for the Promotion of Mental Health in Juvenile Justice, Columbia University
Psychologist • Project Liberty, New York City
Psychologist • Counseling & Psychological Services, Columbia University
Expert Witness & Consultant


New York Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University
Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School
Wediko Children’s Services, Boston & Medford Public Schools


University of Massachusetts at Boston • Master’s & Doctor of Philosophy 
Brown University • Bachelor of Science


Playa Vista Direct
The Real Women of Playa Vista

October 10, 2018
Susan Ko uses personal experience to heal others

NPR | Morning Edition
Are Traumatized Students Disabled?
A Debate Straight Outta Compton.

April 20, 2015
Morning Edition’s Cory Turner speaks with Susan Ko
of the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress about
how exposure to violence can have a profound effect on
the brain’s ability to learn.

NPR | Take Two How Traumatic Stress From Home Enters the Classroom

March 23, 2016
To learn more about how children process stress and trauma, Take Two’s A. Martinez speaks with Susan Ko, clinical psychologist and Co-Managing Director at the UCLA-Duke National Center for Child Traumatic Stress​.​

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