Sue Mandel


Sue Mandel


Professions: Marriage & Family Therapist, Life Coach
License Status: I'm a licensed professional.
Primary Credential: LMFT - MFT 22333
Billing and Insurance:

I don't currently accept insurance, but I can provide documentation if clients wish to submit to an insurance company for "out of network" benefit coverage

Fees: $225
Evening Availability


16311 Ventura Blvd.
Ste. 1050
Encino, California 91436

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My Approach to Helping

With 30+ years of experience and solid training working with adults, parents, and children, I am dedicated to helping you feel and be your best as a parent, partner, and person navigating the ups and downs of life. With a direct and gentle style, I am open, sensitive and focused on you and your needs. Discover and resolve what contributes to, and helps maintain, underlying patterns of helplessness, self-defeat, and unsatisfying relationships. Self-exploration, leading to a broader understanding of early experiences and their influence on your life and relationships, can generate compassion, insight and awareness, creativity, better interpersonal skills, resilience, flexibility and more effective adaptations to life's challenges.

Life Coaching: If you're not looking for therapy, but have some difficulties you can't figure out on your own, Life Coaching might be the answer. Let's talk and see how I can best help you.

Date Coaching: Are you single and struggling with dating or building a relationship? I offer private and group coaching, and workshops on an irregular basis. I coach individuals throughout the country, and overseas, by telephone, email, and face time. Local clients can come to my office if they like. Groups include informational talks, discussion, group interaction, sharing, role-play, demonstrations, and mindfulness as well as other exercises. Online learning will be available in the coming year.

As a Hippa compliant psychologist and marriage & family therapist, I provide coaching clients with the same confidentiality and locked, password protected files. Additionally, your personal information forms, personality and attachment screenings, credit card info, and notes are kept locked files at all times.

More Info About My Practice

I like to have an initial telephone consultation (no charge to you) where you can share your concerns and get a sense of how well I understand you, your needs, aspirations, frustrations, and goals. Effective psychotherapy is about a good "fit" between two people, as well as education, training, and experience. During our meeting, we will chat about your particular situation and you can raise questions about psychotherapy, coaching, or how I work.
I am not on any insurance panels but instead, prefer to work directly with you. If you need to use your insurance, or there is a true financial need, I will do my best to have us figure out a fee that is workable. During the course of therapy, I will provide you with a monthly statement that contains all the information required by your insurance company for reimbursement.

What I Say to People Concerned about the Therapy Process

After 30+ years of being a therapist, I have come to think of the therapeutic process like doing a jigsaw puzzle. With a good fit between you and your therapist you can explore your situation, build strategies; create a positive mindset; develop ways to strengthen abilities to enhance your puzzle-solving skills, and find pieces that fit and further your efforts. My approach is psychodynamic by training, and we'll explore your life to learn more about the suffering and pain you feel. I always look through the lens of psychobiology, and attachment theory; and use cognitive-behavioral strategies, mindfulness techniques.

You and your therapist begin to see parts of the puzzle you didn't know belonged to the big picture - maybe they were off to the side or in the corner. Pieces become easier to recognize, and a bigger picture begins to emerge. Talking about old wounds, painful experiences, and some relationships can also cause painful feelings and memories.

The right therapist will follow your lead and go at your pace. As a result, you can become more knowledgeable, self-aware, confident, and have better relationships and interpersonal skills. You will have more options for choosing a response or action. Some of the positive outcomes of therapy are increased self-esteem, greater clarity, emotion management, the ability to take reasonable risks to create positive change, feeling more connected to yourself, and less anxious or depressed.

Why Going to Therapy Does Not Mean You are Weak or Flawed

Choosing to be in therapy is a sign of strength, not weakness; of being human, not flawed; and an affirmation that you are worthy.

When you choose to take care of difficulties that are interfering with self-esteem, mood, relationships, attaining career or personal success, or any other disruption, you are saying, "I am worth feeling better; I am resilient enough to survive some emotional pain in order to grow and reach my potential; I am willing to develop a trusting relationship with someone who wants to hear what I'm about and is compassionate, well-trained, experienced, and skilled enough to help me get on with pursuing the life I've always wanted."

What happens in therapy is that the process itself- largely through the relationship between you and your therapist- re-wires the brain in important ways, creating new neural pathways that enable you to achieve self-acceptance; develop positive ways of behaving, thinking, interacting; enable you to better tolerate distress without falling back on foodsubstancescompulsive shopping or other self-destructive or self-defeating patterns; and the ability to reflect upon your feelings, thoughts, intentions, and motivations. You have found some strength, hope, and curiosity and can tolerate temporary uncertainty in the service of allowing self-discovery to unfold.

Services I Provide

  • Coaching
  • Consultation
  • Family Therapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Individual Therapy & Counseling
  • Marriage, Couples, or Relationship Counseling
  • Premarital Counseling

Ages I Work With

  • Children
  • Teens
  • Adults


  • English

Groups I Work With

    Relationship Difficulties; Family of Origin Struggles; Life Transitions; Coping With Adversity; Divorce; Parenting; Depression; Anxiety; Examining Life's Meaning and Purpose; Early Trauma; Loss.

    Life Coaching, Date Coaching, Parent coaching

    Living with Epilepsy

    PARENTING- Infants,Toddlers & Preschoolers

Client Concerns I Treat

  • Abandonment
  • Abortion / Post Abortion Issues
  • Academic Concerns
  • Adjusting to Change / Life Transitions
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Attachment Issues
  • Blended Family Issues
  • Career Choice
  • Caregiver Issues / Stress
  • Child and/or Adolescent Issues
  • Codependency / Dependency
  • Communication Problems
  • Control Issues
  • Creative Blocks
  • Depression
  • Disability
  • Divorce / Divorce Adjustment
  • Eating and Food Issues
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Emotional Overwhelm
  • Emptiness
  • Family of Origin Issues
  • Family Problems
  • Fear
  • Forgiveness
  • Grief, Loss, and Bereavement
  • Habits
  • Helplessness / Victimhood
  • Identity Issues
  • Inadequacy
  • Individuation
  • Irritability
  • Isolation
  • Life Purpose / Meaning / Inner-Guidance
  • Midlife Crisis / Midlife Transition
  • Mood Swings / Mood Disturbance
  • Other - Not Listed Here
  • Parenting
  • Posttraumatic Stress / Trauma
  • Pre-Marital Counseling
  • Relationships and Marriage
  • Self-Care
  • Self-Confidence
  • Self-Criticism
  • Self-Doubt
  • Self-Esteem
  • Self-Love
  • Sensitivity to Criticism
  • Shame
  • Social Anxiety / Phobia
  • Spirituality
  • Stress
  • Trust Issues
  • Values Clarification
  • Women's Issues
  • Workplace Issues
  • Worry
  • Worthlessness
  • Young Adult Issues

Types of Therapy

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Depth Therapy
  • Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP)
  • Family Attachment Narrative Therapy
  • Integration of different therapy models
  • Mindfulness-Based Interventions
  • Parent Work
  • Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)
  • Play Therapy
  • Psychodynamic
  • Relational Psychotherapy
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