A biography of Susan Highsmith, Ph.D.

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Graduate Profiles

Susan Highsmith, Ph.D. is an educator and counselor residing in Southeast Arizona. She received her doctorate from Santa Barbara Graduate Institute (SBGI). She instructs masters and doctoral candidates, lectures at universities, community colleges, and charter schools, and speaks at international congresses on the new field of prenatal and perinatal psychology. Susan is a national board certified counselor (NBCC). She holds a Doctorate of Divinity from the American Institute of Holistic Theology, seeking to balance psychological theory and practice with spiritual and holistic wisdom.

In 2003, Susan co-produced an educational DVD “Babies Know” which has now been disseminated internationally. Her article “Primipara’s Expectations of Childbirth: The Impact of Consciousness” was published in the Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health. Susan has developed a prenatal education program entitled “Picturing a Better Birth,” designed to assist pregnant women in optimizing the application of their minds, both conscious and subconscious, to enhance their birthing experiences for the benefit of their babies and themselves. She presented “Mothers’ Minds Matter” in Heidelberg, Germany in 2009 and is writing a book by the same name.  Susan is dedicated to awakening consciousness in the realm of childbirth, promoting the concept that gentle life beginnings have positive long-term consequences for individuals and humanity.

Susan is a mother, grandmother, and great grandmother.  She has been married for 42 years to Charles, a retired Air Force navigator and electronics engineer.  Together they have traveled the world including scuba diving in the Galapagos Islands, Bali, Figi, Bora Bora, and many sites in Europe and the Caribbean.  They developed and co-taught “United in Love,” an original program designed for couples, which they have taught in both the United States and Canada.  They are certified by the Hendricks Institute to present seminars addressing “Conscious Relationships.”  They jointly participated in “Impact” intensives, group seminars that were developed as an outgrowth of early Erhard Seminars Training (EST) and became facilitators of trainings in Arizona and Utah.

Susan has worked with both private clients and Veterans who were separating from military service.  This stimulated her interest in finding approaches that could address Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Subsequently she became certified as an Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) practitioner.  She is a teacher of SpectraDynamics, a course that helps students access their subconscious minds to reprogram old scripts that no longer serve them as well as guide them toward the practices of relaxation and meditation.

After meeting Barbara Findeisen in California, Susan discovered that Barbara had just purchased a ranch in Tubac, Arizona to host STAR workshops.  She immediately participated in a STAR program and began volunteering at Kenyon Ranch.  She endorses STAR primarily because it is founded on the principles of prenatal and perinatal psychology and provides a ratio of one reader (staff person) for every two participants.  This permits the program to delve deeper into the issues that have troubled clients and to do so more safely and with more caring. Susan is a student of life and a dedicated teacher of practices that promote individual self-reliance and mind/body health.