I am a Licensed Professional Counselor whose goal is to use evidence based practices to effectively treat your life problems. I strive to be both professional yet relatable and am flexible with treatment options that match your values systems and worldview.
After years of working in community clinics, a group private practice, and contracted Employee Assistance Program, I achieved my goal of opening my own private practice in 2013. My goal is to continue to provide quality services to individuals, couples, families, and groups that suffer from mental health, addictions, personal, and family problems using evidence based practices.
My practice accepts most private insurances. I have led therapy groups for addiction, recovery, divorced couples coparenting, depression education, dual diagnosis, pain management, and bariatric support. I have provided training and presentations to local companies on EAP orientation, stress management, administrator roles when identifying substance abuse in the workplace, managing stress between coworkers, and tobacco smoking cessation. I enjoy the diversity my job offers, both in providing direct service to individuals and families, as well as contracting with local EAPs to serve their local participating companies, to improve their overall health and wellness.
Gannon University, Erie, PA
M.S., Community Counseling, 2007
Mercyhurst University, Erie, PA
B.A., Psychology, 2000
Minors: Sociology, Criminal Justice
Licenses and Certifications
LPC: Licensed Professional Counselor.
NCC: Nationally Certified Counselor.
CADC: Certified Addictions Counselor.
Certificate of Competency: gambling addiction counseling.
Advanced training: eating disorders.
Workshops on ERP: anxiety treatment.
Master of Science: Community Counseling.
Clinical Therapist / Sole Proprietor
Susan Toner, LPC, Erie, PA. (Previously Susan Hoffer, LPC) I own and operate my independent private practice. Therapy responsibilities include providing individual, family, and group therapy to people with stress / adjustment issues, mental health disorders, substance and behavioral addictions, and couples / family distress. This also extends to being contracted by a number of local employee assistance programs to provide employees with evaluations, counseling, workshops / trainings on a range of topics. Administrative tasks include promoting practice via marketing in the community, establishing and maintaining relationships with local referral sources, maintaining requirements of insurance companies and other payment sources, scheduling clients, obtaining insurance authorizations, billing for services provided, and documentation of therapy services provided. (February 2013 – Present).
Employee Assistance Program Specialist
UPMC Life Solutions, Erie, PA. Temporarily helping out the EAP that bought out the previous EAP worked for (Northwest Beacon). Tasks include providing short-term individual counseling of General Electric for personal or work-related stressors. Coordinate with administration and medical center as needed for mandated referrals at GE. Promote EAP benefits to employees via workshops during their shift meetings. Coordinate with clinical managers through UMPC network. (November 2015 – Dec. 2017).
Employee Assistance Program Therapist
Northwest Beacon, Erie, PA.
Responsibilities included providing short-term individual counseling to employees of General Electric for personal or work-related stressors. Coordinate with administration and medical center as needed for mandated referrals at GE. Performed trainings, workshops, and health fairs for administration and / or employees of various participating companies including GE and Lord. (July 2010 – December 2012).
Outpatient Mental Health Therapist
Center for Personal and Family Growth, Erie, Comprehensive services included mental health, addictions, and personal therapy for adults and adolescents. Duties included facilitating individual, couples, and family therapy sessions; case management of clients; completing daily documentation. Utilized cognitive-behavioral and psychodynamic approaches with most clients. Continued tasks previously performed at Safe Harbor, but increased use of evidence-based approaches targeting anxiety, eating disorders, pain disorders, sleep disorders, marital therapy, and borderline personality disorder. Broadened consulting from psychiatrists, family doctors, higher levels of care both mental health and addictions, and family members, nutritionists, holistic treatment providers, and church leaders. (January 2010 – January 2013).
Outpatient Mental Health Therapist
Safe Harbor Behavioral Health, Erie, PA. Responsibilities included mental health counseling of adults and adolescents; performing intake assessments; appraisal of disorders; diagnosing and making referrals; developing treatment plans; facilitating individual sessions; case management of clients; and completing daily documentation. Both developed and led education and therapy groups on a variety of topics, including depression education, dual-diagnosis, and bariatric support groups. Advanced training included attending community trainings, medication trainings, and conferences. Also participated in individual supervision, interdisciplinary team meetings, and agency and department staff meetings. A solution-focused treatment approach was utilized. (May 2007– June 2013).
Other Professional Experiences
Gannon University, Erie, PA. Assisted the Counseling Psychology Ph.D. Program at Gannon in the research, development, and implementation of Working Together: Cooperative Parenting Program. This group works with individuals and couples court-ordered to participate due to custody conflicts. Developed leader manual and participant manual for one module of the program. Co-facilitated group with the director and two therapist teams to present educational material and think of ways to integrate new skills into participants’ outside lives. (November 2006 – April 2007).
Outpatient Drug & Alcohol Counselor
GECAC Drug & Alcohol Services Network, Erie, PA. Responsibilities included drug and alcohol counseling of adults and adolescents; performing assessments using the ASI; developing treatment plans; facilitating individual sessions; leading therapy groups; case management of clients; completing daily documentation following JCAHO and BDAP regulations; attending trainings towards CAC credentialing; and participating in treatment team meetings. Trained in using motivational interviewing, as well as using MET-CBT5 approach with adolescents. REBT was the approach typically used with adults. Also assisted in developing satellite offices in a secondary school environment and in an adult correction center. (October 2002 – December 2006).
College Counselor / Supervised Graduate Practicum
Mercyhurst College, Erie, PA. Duties included individual counseling for undergraduate and graduate students in a college setting. Focus was placed on using an interpersonal psychodynamic approach, as well as incorporating cognitive-behavioral strategies. Also helped facilitate campus-wide eating disorder awareness event; provided crisis consultation to students; helped plan a social anxiety group; attended weekly didactic learning sessions; and participated in weekly individual and group supervision. (January 2006 – May 2006).
Child Development Specialist / Therapeutic Staff Support
Sarah A Reed Children’s Center, Erie, PA. CDS responsibilities included individual and group counseling of adolescents within a residential environment; implementing treatment plans with behavior modification; supervising daily activities; and documentation of activities and interventions. TSS responsibilities included supporting children and their families in their home setting through facilitating family communication, modeling conflict resolution and effective parenting skills, and documenting support of child/family through daily activities. (January 2000 – April 2006).
Project Intercept Day Treatment Counselor
Boys & Girls Club, Erie, PA.Duties included counseling and case management of behaviorally challenged youth through formulating treatment plans; weekly family counseling in the home; weekly individual counseling child both in the school and office settings; advisor for youth leadership group; group-leader for summer program; tutor for after school program; manager of billing for the summer program; and assisted administration of program. (September 2000 – October 2002).
Behavior Management Specialist
Hamot Institute of Behavioral Health, Erie, PA. Responsibilities included individual and group counseling with adolescents admitted for acute mental health care through facilitating therapy groups; formulating on-unit treatment plans as well as take-home behavior management plans; documentation; and participation in treatment team meetings. (April 2000 – September 2000).
American Counseling Association (ACA)
International Association of Marriage and Family Counseling (IAMFC)
Collaborative Professionals of Northwest Pennsylvania (CPNWP)
International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP)
Young Erie Professionals (YEP)
Erie Chamber of Commerce
Professional and Community Service
Church Council Chair, LUMC, 2013 – 2014.
Crisis Response Team Member, LUMC, 2012 – 2014.
Church Counsel Member, Lakewood United Methodist Church, 2012 – 2014.
Co-parenting Group Co-facilitator, Gannon University, 2006 – 2007.
Treasurer, Gamma Upsilon Chi, Gannon University, 2004 – 2007.
Volunteer, American Counseling Association Annual Convention, 2005-2007.
Additional Training / Workshops
Family Mediation for Collaborative Divorce
Exposure and Response Prevention for Anxiety Disorders
Diaphramatic Breathing and Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Training in Eating Disorders
Training in Anxiety Disorders
Training in Sleep Disorders
Training in treating clients with Chronic Pain
Training in Depression and other Mood Disorders
Training in Stress Management
Training in Marital Therapy
Training in Substance Abuse and Dependence
Training in treating Problem Gambling
Motivational Interviewing for Substance Abuse Disorders
MET/CBT5 for Substance Abuse Disorders
Therapeutic Crisis Intervention for Adolescent Residential Treatment
HIPPA for Substance Abuse
PCPC for Substance Abuse Referral
ASI for Substance Abuse Assessment
Ethics for both Mental Health and Substance Abuse Issues
Numerous other Drug & Alcohol Workshops
Numerous other Various Mental Health Disorders Workshops