Dr. Susan Zaidel, Clinical Psychologist, Divorce Mediator, Divorce Coach and Parenting Coordinator
Dr. Susan Zaidel is an American-educated clinical psychologist (Ph.D., 1970, University of California, Los Angeles) who has been living in Israel since 1970. She specialized in marriage and family therapy in Israel and is a Certified Family and Couple Therapist since 1990. Susan provides individual, couple and family therapy in private practice . Her main office is now in Herzlia. Skype sessions are also an option for people living in other locations.
Susan is also a Certified Family Mediator and a Certified Supervisor of Family Mediators. Since 1986 she has helped hundreds of divorcing couples reach agreement and avoid costly litigation.
Another service Susan offers is that of a Divorce Coach for couples who chose to use the Collaborative Divorce process – a multidisciplinary model involving two collaborative lawyers and other professionals as needed.
All of these services are available in Herzlia by appointment, and are described below.
Individual therapy - to help people overcome periods of depression or anxiety, or to help them cope with major life transitions, such as marriage, childbirth, divorce, death of a loved one, retirement, immigration, serious illness or disability in oneself or in a family member or any other stressful situation. Dr. Zaidel’s training in clinical psychology and her many years of work experience with a wide range of emotional problems and mental illness have made her skillful in working with people who suffer from minor and major life difficulties.
Couple therapy, also known as marriage counseling or couple counseling - to help couples work out the difficulties in their relationship or to make important life decisions, such as marriage, divorce, parenthood, adoption or surrogacy, or to resolve conflict or other problems with extended family members. Remarriage presents many challenges and counseling can be effective in strengthening the new couple bond while supporting the needs of children from previous marriages.
Family therapy - to help families improve the quality of their relationships and to assist them in coping with life events or with developmental changes in children. Family therapy is also helpful as a means of relieving tensions and misunderstandings among adult siblings and between adult children and their parents or in-laws.
Relationship Review for the Undecided
Relationship Review is a service for couples, whether living together or apart, who are not yet certain that their relationship has ended, but neither are they sure it can continue. Examining the relationship with a professional marriage counselor may be helpful in understanding the difficulties and in considering the options for the future.
Marriage Closure Therapy
This is a brief intervention (4-6 sessions) to help divorcing couples to come to terms with a one-sided divorce decision. Understanding the feelings and motivations of the other spouse and expressing recognition of the positives in one another and in the marriage helps put closure on the couple relationship and enables them to "let go".
Dr. Zaidel’s Orientation towards Therapeutic Interventions
Dr. Zaidel uses different psychotherapeutic interventions depending on the individual client and the particular problem he has. As a rule, Dr. Zaidel favors short-term therapy and encourages her clients to continue their progress, once achieved, without the need for weekly visits. She prefers to look for people’s strengths rather than label their “pathology”, and encourages her clients to believe in themselves and in their ability to cope with life’s challenges. If forced to “label” her therapeutic interventions, she would call herself a humanistic eclectic with a cognitive-behavioral approach to bringing about change. She is also a systems therapist, viewing the individual in the context in which he or she lives – the family, the culture and the work or learning environment in which the problems occur.
Mediation is a method for resolving disputes and for helping divorcing families to work out an amicable divorce agreement so that they can avoid expensive and unpleasant court litigation. Susan works with divorcing couples as a neutral and objective mediator who helps them resolve the issues in dispute in a cooperative way through discussion and negotiation. She helps parents understand the needs of children so they will make decisions in their best interests. Susan guides couples through the process but the couple makes the final decisions regarding care of the children, division of property and financial arrangements.
Dr. Zaidel went to New York for training in divorce mediation (1986) and became one of the pioneers of the mediation movement in Israel. She has written several books about divorce mediation in Israel and has published articles in professional journals.
Susan offers mediation services in Herzlia and in the Tel Aviv area. Appointments in Haifa are also possible. She mediates a wide range of family disputes in addition to those stemming from separation and divorce – inheritance, family business, care of aging parents, cut-offs among family members, prenuptial agreements and any other kind of family conflict. A new service is Marital Mediation - using mediation to resolve financial and other conflicts in the marriage that enables couples to remain married and to live in peace.
DIVORCE COACH in the COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE PROCESS
Susan works with collaborative lawyers in an interdisciplinary method of assisting couples to resolve divorce issues out of court. In this method, known as “collaborative divorce”, each spouse is represented by a lawyer who is committed to working towards an agreement out of court. In this model, the spouses are also assisted by a Divorce Coach who helps with the emotional “fallout” that inevitably is part of the separation process. In this role as a divorce expert, Susan also assists the clients in creating an appropriate parenting plan that will meet the needs of the children.
For more information about “Collaborative Divorce”, here is the website of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals:
Susan also works as a Divorce Coach with other interdisciplinary groups in Tel Aviv.
An article in English about choosing the appropriate pathway to divorce was published in ESRA Magazine: http://www.esra-magazine.com/blog/post/divorce-out-of-court
Separated and divorced parents who are in constant conflict with one another may need the services of a court-appointed Parenting Coordinator to help them with ongoing issues involving their children. Susan has served as a Parenting Coordinator for several high-conflict families. The job of a PC is to reduce the level of animosity and improve the communication and problem-solving skills of the parents for the benefit of their children.
Dr. Zaidel may be reached by phone or email: