Thursday, 10 March 2016

Teresa Susmaras - Benefits of Dialiectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) teaches patients to control self-destructive thoughts, increase self-awareness and deal with conflict and stress through a combination of behavior and cognitive therapies. DBT was first used in the 1970s to treat patients with borderline personality disorders and today is used to treat a wide array of emotional and behavioral disorders. Dr. Teresa Susmaras has used DBT throughout the course of her career as a clinical neuropsychologist.

The practice of DBT involves going through four stages of treatment modules—mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness. During DBT, treatment is organized into these phases, with a strict order as to how problems are addressed.

Through DBT, patients focus on changing and controlling harmful behaviors. Benefits of DBT include learning ways to decrease high risk and self-destructive behavior, decreased symptoms related to anxiety and depression and enhanced self-respect. These benefits are achieved through focusing on facts over emotions, enabling patients to react in positive and productive manners without spiraling into destructive behaviors and thoughts.

Doctors have found success in treating a wide range of emotional disorders with DBT including bipolar disorder, depression disorders, chemical dependency and addiction, anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Eating disorders such as bulimia, binge eating, anorexia and emotional eating are increasingly being treated with DBT as well due to the emphasis this type of therapy puts on emotional regulation and incorporating healthy coping strategies.

Dr. Teresa Susmaras currently practices clinical neuropsychology in Wisconsin. She has also practiced at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Rush University Medical Center and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Teresa Susmaras - American Psychological Association - A Resource for All Psychologists

American Psychological Association (APA) is the largest professional and scientific organization in the United States devoted to serving psychologists in all fields. The Association represents more than 122,500 members including psychologists, educators, clinicians, researchers and students while striving to further the field of psychology. Teresa Susmaras, a licensed neuropsychologist, has been a member of APA since 2006.

APA strives to support the advancement of psychology as a science and promote psychology as a way to improve health. APA promotes research, improvements in research methods and the use of those findings in psychological care. The association also follows trends in the field, creates educational material to inform the public about mental health issues, and publishes peer reviewed books and journals. APA also aims to elevate the standards in the field of psychology by establishing standards of ethics, education and conduct.

APA is comprised of 54 different interest groups, or divisions, representing different areas of psychological care. Divisions are organized by members and represent both sub disciplines in the field such as clinical, experimental and social, while others spotlight topics such as women, aging or trauma. Each group serves as its own entity within APA; examples of interest groups include Rehabilitation Psychology, Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuse, Behavior Analysis and Society for the Psychology of Women.

Teresa Susmaras began her studies in psychology at the University of Chicago where she earned a degree Psychology. She went on the earn both a M.A. and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Suffolk University in Boston and currently practices in Wisconsin as a clinical neuropsychologist.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Teresa Susmaras - The Storied History of Suffolk University

Suffolk University is located in the heart of Boston, with the Boston Commons at its front door.  This distinguished university has a long history of providing excellent educational opportunities with the all the culture and amenities of historic Boston as a backdrop.

Suffolk University was born when Gleason L. Archer was loaned the funds to complete the study of law. In 1906, Archer opened the Suffolk School of Law, which offered men the opportunity to work during the day and study law in the evening, making the pursuit of education a reality for the working class.  Soon after, Archer moved the location of the school to central downtown where his law offices were located.  The move made the school even more accessible to students and eventually led to partnerships with both businesses and the government. By the 1930’s, the school was the largest law school in the country.

The College of Arts and Sciences was established in 1934 and in 1937 the College of Business Administration (currently the Sawyer Business School) was founded.  In 1937, the three academic entities were merged to form Suffolk University.  The initial night school idea was eventually expanded to include traditional offerings of part and full time programs leading to a multitude of degrees.
Teresa Susmaras attended Suffolk University earning both a Masters and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.  With her Suffolk education as a backdrop, Susmaras now works as a clinical neuropsychologist at one of the largest medical facilities in Wisconsin.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Teresa Susmaras - What Is Wada Testing?

The Wada test, also referred as the intracarotid sodium amobarbital procedure (ISAP), was nicknamed after the first doctor to perform the procedure, Dr. Juhn Wada.  This test is carried out during an angiography and is used to assess the location of the language and memory functions of the brain.

During the test, each side of the brain is examined independently.  In most people, speech is controlled by the left side of the brain; with the Wada test, doctors can determine which side of the brain controls this function in each individual.  Memory is typically controlled by each side of the brain and the Wada test can show which side has a stronger memory.

The Wada test is completed while the patient is awake by injecting a barbiturate into one side of the brain at a time.  While injected, the two sides of the brain cannot communicate with one and other, enabling doctors to test each side of the brain independently for memory and language function.  Doctors use electroencephalography (EEG) to determine that the injected side of the brain has stopped functioning.  Once this has been confirmed, a neurologist can conduct neurological tests.  The Wada test is mainly used for epilepsy patients prior to surgery to determine which side of their brains are accountable for memory and speech functions.

As a neuropsychology resident at Rush University, Teresa Susmaras developed her interest in Wada testing while conducting the tests in the Behavioral Sciences Department.  Since then, Susmaras has continued to develop her expertise and interest in this procedure.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Teresa Susmaras Works Early Post-Secondary Studies at ISU

Teresa Susmaras eventually transferred her studies to the University of Illinois at Chicago in her early years of post-graduate study. But Susmaras time at Illinois State University, where she enrolled after her high school graduation, was rich in the learning experiences which assail the first-time university student.

Illinois State University was founded in the town of Normal, or rather, the town of Normal took its name from the original purpose of the institution: to act as a ‘normal’ school, training teachers who would educate the citizens of Illinois. Abraham Lincoln was the attorney hired to prepare legal documents for the funding of the school. Its original name was Illinois State Normal University, and it was first located in downtown Bloomington, Illinois, at the state’s center. Eventually, the school relocated to its current campus in North Bloomington, which promptly adopted the name ‘Normal’.

The name of the university would change twice more, to Illinois State University at Normal in 1965, and to Illinois State University in 1968. ISU is the oldest public university in Illinois, and continues today to turn out well-prepared teachers, remaining in the top ten largest producers of teachers in the United
States. Illinois State, by the era of Teresa Susmaras’ enrollment, had expanded far beyond its meager academic beginnings. Today ISU offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level programs in the academic colleges and research centers typified by the College of Applied Science and Technology, the College of Arts and Sciences, The College of Business, The College of Education, The College of Fine Arts, The Mennonite College of Nursing, and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Teresa Susmaras Witnessed First-Hand the Violence of AntiSocial Behavior

Psychosocial counseling, a discipline for mental health practitioners in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy and School Counseling, is generally pursued after acquiring at least a Master’s degree in the field. Teresa Susmaras did volunteer work in the clinical setting of a domestic violence clinic, gaining hours toward her intern requirements and simultaneously gaining valuable first-hand experience with the manifestations of violent behavior.

Dysfunctions in personal and social behavior prompt humans to seek out help from psychologists specializing in the counseling arena. Psychosocial counselors work in many areas of human endeavor: government agencies, schools, therapy venues for individual and group therapies, and clinics specializing in substance abuse, anxiety disorders and other behavior and development issues. Emotional, social, educational and developmental behavior is the focus of the counselor attempting to bring his academic expertise to bear in the treatment of a multitude of human behavioral disorders.

Counselors may work with domestic violence survivors in a variety of positions: volunteering as did
Teresa Susmaras in pursuit of early experience in the mental health field, survivor shelter supervisor, as residential counselors who work with patients on a daily basis and offer counseling and support, and as mental health professionals in independent offices. Significant mental health facility experience earns hours toward a certification in the mental health field. Counseling experience can also advance one toward a higher degree and licensure in social work, psychology and other fields of endeavor. Dr. Teresa Susmaras complete a 40-hour certification program years ago, enabling her to provide counseling to domestic violence survivors.


Saturday, 30 January 2016

Wada Test Normally Administered by Neuropsychologists like Teresa Susmaras

Teresa Susmaras and other neuropsychologists have noted side effects of the Wada test, administered prior to brain surgery.   Possible dramatic personality changes are possible, although a lack of inhibition is generally more common.  Shivering is a frequent effect.  During an injection into the left hemisphere, typically, the patient may experience impaired speech function including loss of understanding, although the ability to sing may still be present.  The recovery of speech after the medication dissipates may include errors in comprehension or expression.  The greatest risk may be in the insertion of the catheter into the internal carotid artery.  Scientists are currently searching for non-invasive alternatives, such as using fMRI, TMS, magnetoencephalography and a near-infrared spectroscopy.

The Wada test originated with a Canadian neurologist and epilepsy researcher, Juhn Atsushi Wada, from University of British Columbia.  While a medical resident in Japan during World War II, Wada researched a technique which decreased the cognitive side effects of electroconvulsive therapy.
Teresa Susmaras has studied dualism, or the dual brain theory.   First posited by Rene Descartes in the early 1600’s, dual brain theory holds that each hemisphere of the brain may perceive and react to the environment independently.  Further, one hemisphere may theoretically dominate the other as the result of emotional trauma, effectively protecting the traumatized hemisphere.  Dual brain theory rises from studies of epileptic patients who have undergone corpus callosum separation in an attempt to reduce seizures and their severity.  Studies with intact corpora callosa in healthy subjects have also indicated differing abilities and emotional reactions of the brain hemispheres.