Meet Susan Farber
My name is Susan Farber and I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice with a specialty in sport psychology. For over 15 years, I have been helping athletes of all ages and skill level unleash their full potential both in their sport and life.
Education and Training
My education began at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology in 1989. I then graduated from Antioch University, Santa Barbara, in 1993 with a Masters of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology. As an intern, I received specialized training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Mind-Body Modalities at the Family Service Agency. I also developed expertise in treating individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury and Stroke while working at a neuro-cognitive rehabilitation facility for 7 years.
In 2002, I became licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist and entered into private practice. I developed an interest in sport psychology as a competitive cyclist and pursued advanced training in peak performance from California Southern University and the Association of Applied Sport Psychology.
Self-Limiting Beliefs – Be Careful
My desire to specialize in sport psychology grew out of my own struggle with self-limiting beliefs as a competitive cyclist. I was a late bloomer to competitive sports having grown up with non-athletic parents who stressed pursuit of the arts and academics. Most importantly, I come from a multi-generational family of women who lived in fear of loss. Both my mother and grandmother often told me to, “Be careful, don’t hurt yourself” implying that the world is a dangerous place and that caution best be taken.
Enter Competitive Cycling
Not until my early 30s did I become interested in competitive cycling. It happened without prior thought, but on a body level. One morning, I was riding solo on my road bike and got swooped up by a pack of cyclists on a club ride. The thrill of going fast within close quarters was invigorating and thrilling. I was instantly hooked, started to ride with a pack, and soon thereafter began competing. What I didn’t anticipate was the negative self-talk and anxiety that arose during competition which kept me from asserting my place and taking the lead in the pack. Many of my competitions involved me riding in the back, scanning for danger. I had the physical power to ride up front but not the mindset. I was behaving according to unconscious childhood beliefs.
Recovery from Injury
Then barely into my season, I injured myself during a solo recovery ride and suffered a mild traumatic injury and lacerated spleen. The accident resulted in post concussive syndrome for 8 months and fear of sustaining a second head injury while riding my bike. This incident combined with my previous performance issues led me to reach out to a psychotherapist for help. I was able to successfully work through my trauma and negative beliefs, successfully returning to competitive cycling a year later.