Source: Blog | Teresa Susmaras
Teresa Susmaras works today as a neuropsychologist at a major healthcare organization in the Midwest. Her medical specialty has required many years of study in brain functioning and structure in connection to behavior and process related to the psychology of humans. Practitioners of neuropsychology like Teresa Susmaras aim to make diagnoses in patients who suffer from behavioral patterns related to the function of the brain. The ultimate goal is to provide or refer patients for treatment of their impairments in reasoning, thinking or ability to remember and behavioral problems which may result. Patients may come to Dr. Susmaras as a result of referrals for behavioral and cognitive dysfunction, and her field of neuropsychology, though experimental in the field of psychology, may come closer than any other to assisting the patient in understanding how their brain is connected to their impairments, and what sorts of therapy and care can improve their suffering.
This combined specialty, which combines the doctor’s studies in the physiology of the body’s nervous system with academic understanding of the functions of the mind as they relate to behavior, is involved with research and diagnosis in the correlation between the two. Teresa Susmaras shares with her fellow neuropsychologists an interest in research in the university setting or research institutions, as well as work evaluating and caring for patients. Dr. Susmaras can act as an advisor and expert in the development of products related to the field, especially trials and research for new pharmaceuticals which may affect cognitive function.
Antisocial personality disorder was defined in the DSM-IV as a consistent disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others. It typically begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood.
A 1997 study illustrated aggressive inmates with higher levels of anger, impulsivity, poorer performance on neuropsychological tests, and less brain involvement in front cortical areas. Teresa Susmaras studied structural brain imaging analysis extensively at Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts.
A study of incarcerated women in 2002 (Hurt and Oltmanns) indicated that antisocial personality disorder and borderline personality disorder were correlated with aggression and impulsivity. Hochhausen, Lorenz and Newman, in another study in 2002, also showed that incarcerated women diagnosed with these disorders scored higher on the Impulsiveness-Monotony Avoidance-Detachment Inventory and behavior task, showing higher degrees of impulsivity.
Historically, women have been far less likely than men to engage in serious, violent antisocial behavior (Moffitt, Caspi, Rutter & Silva, 2010). However, Sommers & Baskin, 1993, and Warren, 2005 have suggested that women who do engage in violent behavior exhibit violence that is more reactive and impulsive compared to violence among men. The Prison Violence Inventory by Warren et al. 2002 was used to measure the self-reported violent behavior of 590 women incarcerated in a maximum security prison in central Virginia. 12 questions were included about violent acts, including making threats, throwing objects, pushing, grabbing or shoving, slapping, kicking, biting, or choking, hitting with the fist, forcing sex on someone, threatening with a weapon, spreading rumors or lies, stealing, or other actions that the inmate considered to be violent. Teresa Susmaras’ dissertation used Levenson’s Self Psychopathy Scale as a self-report survey.
Northwestern Medical Hospital today is the only academic medical center in Chicago that takes part in city and state Level I trauma networks, and NMH is a Level III neonatal intensive care unit. NMH continues the former commitments of Passavant Memorial and Wesley Memorial to care for the sick and destitute through its joint work with Erie Family and Winfield Moody Family Health Centers, as well as the Lawson House YMCA, providing health care to those in need and the homeless. Teresa Susmara’s fellowship training at Northwestern Memorial Hospital gave her a rich added dimension in her education of providing clinical psychology patient care.
Having completed her residency at Rush University Memorial Center and additional fellowship training at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, both in Chicago, Teresa Susmaras is prepared to enter her field of Neuropsychology. She will join the one of the largest hospitals in LaCrosse. Teresa Susmaras looks forward to clinical psychology work as a counselor and research group member for this facility, which has treated patients in the greater LaCrosse area for years and has gained the trust of its residents through providing consistent, quality care.
Teresa Susmaras completed her residency at Rush University Medical Center, an academic medical facility, which offers hospital care for adults and children and a rehabilitation facility for those transitioning back to health. Associated with Rush University, the RU Med Center is a not-for-profit institution for health care, education and research. The Rush Oak Park Hospital, Rush Health, Rush University, and Rush University Medical Center are contained within the facility. Rush was one of the first medical colleges in the Midwest, and today includes a nursing college and graduate study in allied health, health systems and biomedical research. Rush offers 70 fellowship programs in medical and surgical specialties.
Rush University Medical Center, where Teresa Susmaras worked her residency, provides a Level II trauma center and tertiary care, with 676 beds. Rush Medical College was actually chartered two days before the city of Chicago, where it is located, was chartered. It opened with 22 students in 1843. It is named for the only physician to sign the Declaration of Independence, and was founded by Dr. Daniel Brainard. In 1843 and the years after, the facility was famed across the early frontier of America for medical expertise, patient care, research, teaching and new clinical procedures. Rush became involved with other new institutions like St. Luke’s Hospital, Presbyterian Hospital, and the University of Chicago, the last of which united with Rush from 1898 to 1942.
Rush ceased the education of undergraduates in the 1940’s, although the faculty continued to teach at the University of Illinois School of Medicine. In 1969, Rush Medical College merged with Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Hospital, to become the Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center, where Teresa Susmaras pursued her residency.
There are as many different types of Master’s programs for psychosocial counseling, as there are types of universities and colleges that offer them. Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy, and School Counseling are the primary areas of study for the advanced degree. Some counselors work with domestic violence survivors in corollary positions, such as survivor shelter managers or residential counselors who organize the day-to-day needs of residents while offering support and counseling. Teresa Susmaras volunteered her services prior to even beginning graduate school, putting in the work hours of a volunteer, while accumulating significant experience which could lead to a certification in the field, or excellent job experience toward a variety of other areas, including psychology and social work, field experience toward an advanced degree, and licensure.
Although Teresa Susmaras did not go on to specialize in domestic violence counseling, it was an invaluable experience. She completed a 40 hour certification program, many years ago, so she could provide counseling and resources to those who suffered domestic violence. Domestic abuse can become a generational behavior wherein the victim becomes an enabler, carrying their victimization on into adulthood in other abusive relationships. Sometimes, childhood victims of domestic abuse become perpetrators, inflicting abuse upon the next generation.
Nearly all victims carry the psychological scars of violence all their lives, as it hinders their ability to work, form positive relationships, assert themselves and achieve and keep high levels of self-esteem. The cycle of violence can often be broken with the help of abuse counselors.