Dr. Susan Swim, Ph.D. MFT and NISAPI Staff and Faculty

Dr. Susan Swim, PhD, MFT

Senior Faculty, NISAPI


Faculty, Now I See a Person Institute
Faculty, Houston Galveston Institute
Associate, Taos Institute/Educator, Theorist, Researcher, Author
Past Member Taos TIAC
Editor Emeritus, Journal of Systemic Therapies/Editor The Qualitative Report 
Retired Faculty, Loma Linda University
Retired Advocacy Chair, AAMFT-CA/Retired Insurance Task Member AAMFT-CA
Retired Board Member, AAMFT-CA

Providing Certificate Program in Community Engagement: A Collaborative Recovery Model
Providing Certificate Program in International Dialogical-Collaborative Theories

Dr. Swim has been on faculty at the Houston Galveston Institute since the early eighties. She moved to Southern California from Houston in 2002 and continues to participate as faculty.  Upon moving to California she was faculty at the Department of Counseling and Family Sciences at Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California  where she specialized in teaching and supervision from a strength based and client involved post-modern viewpoint. In 2008 she created Now I See A Person Institute. She retired from Loma Linda in 2011 to participate full time with Now I See A Person Institute. Her passion has been her research on Supervision (her early work with Harlene Anderson was on publishing supervision articles on collaborative learning), Process Ethics (what is the right and good for every client in therapy), Healing the Underserved From Trauma (helping clients transform from trauma after lengthy histories of unsuccessful therapies, hospitalizations, and psychiatric interventions), and Family Reunification (aiding families with high family conflict, including families in danger of loosing parental rights or extended separations). Her articles have been used in various universities on Supervision and Training, Law and Ethics, Trauma and Family Reunification. Dr. Swim feels every client has the opportunity for successful change and is inclusive of on the collaborative client-therapist relationship creating collaborative goals and sustainable, individualized outcomes.

She is senior faculty at Now I See a Person Institute using Community Engagement: A Collaborative Recovery Model. Now I See a Person Institute is a nonprofit organization for clinical training in post modern theories and clinical services. At Now I See a Person Institute, Dr. Swim teaches in two certificate programs.  NISAPI offers International Certificate in Collaborative Practices and certificate in Community Engagement: A Collaborative Recovery Model.

Dr. Swim’s lifelong passion has been an educator of post modern theories, especially Dialogical-Collaborative Practices  Her early mentors and friends were Harold Goolishian, Harlene Anderson, Lynn Hoffman, Ken Gergen and Tom Andersen. Currently she trains learners at NISAPI in Community Engagement: A Collaborative Recovery Model (CEACRM). Within CEACRM are the premises that therapy is collaborative and self tailored to the needs of each individual. Hence clients are “seen” as people and not just diagnostic labels,  and many problems are relational and accrue from trauma. Dr. Swim within her thirty-seven year career has treated an abundance of mental health issues. She researched and authored on Supervision in the mid eighties, Process Ethics starting in the 1990’s, and Healing the Underserved From Trauma and Family Reunification starting in 2008, and remains passionate on these themes of how change occurs through the authentic and collaborative process between client and therapist, always including the need of each client in a unique manner. She continues to publish on these themes and views strength based proficient therapy as social justice.

She is Editor Emeritus for the Journal of Systemic Therapies, on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Qualitative Report, and an Associate Reviewer for International Journal of Collaborative Practices. She helped cultivate the first on-line HGI-Taos Institute distance learning and has served on the TIAC board as well as various board positions with AAMFT-CA.

NISAPI is a Member of the Association for Family and Conciliation Courts and Associate Member of the Los Angeles Bar Association. Most referrals are with severe family conflict and what we call “under-served populations” (lengthy previous therapies or hospitalizations were not successful and clients and their families are hopeless that change can occur).

Dr. Swim continues presenting at state, national, and international conferences on Collaborative Dialogical-Practices and Community Engagement: A Collaborative Recovery Model for Individual, Marriage and Family Therapy, Teaching and Research. Among her various current and past interests are: academic teaching, qualitative research, authoring publications on supervision, teaching, and clinical practice centering upon a postmodern backdrop at NISAPI.

Dr. Susan Swim, PhD, MFT 40480

Phone:  (626) 487-9305
Email:  swiminc@aol.com

David Abramovich, JD, MA, MFTA, Taos Associate,  Senior Faculty, NISAPI


Phone: (310) 993-9144  Email: abramovitch74@gmail.com

Website:  www.nowiseeaperson.com

Under supervision by Dr. David Nylund, LCS #514463

David hold both a faculty and clinical position at Now I See A Person Institute. Since 2013 he has been providing services at NISAPI and was appointed a Taos Associate in 2018. He has authored several articles and co-hosted national and international conferences on CEACRM, reflecting his approach with clients who have not found success previously in their lengthy search for symptom alleviation, hopeless populations. His mission is focusing on how change and transformation in current clients leads to intergenerational change. This change in turn effects the futures of both clients and their families, thus lessening the need for intergenerational services.

Emma Wilson, MSW, Certified Life Coach and Mediator, Senior Faculty, NISAPI

Post graduate Child Protection (MSW), Life Coach, BSc(Hons) social work. Emma brings to NISAPI decades of narrative practice in public and private sectors. Her passions include a holistic model for change and social justice within client services.

Email: narrativeknots@gmail.com  Phone: (323) 736-7177

Dr. David Nyland, Associate Faculty and NISAPI Supervisor, LCS #514463

Dr. Nyland is known internationally for his innovative narrative therapy work. He supervises students and clinicians at NISAPI.

Monica Sesma-Vazquez, PhD  Adjunct Faculty NISAPI

Email: admin@nowiseeaperson.com Phone: (818) 407-0922

Pavel Nepustil, PhD,  Adjunct Faculty NISAPI

Pavel has been busy publishing this year and we will be attaching his English articles soon. He has a new chapter in the Sage Handbook of Social Constructionist Practices, and a podcast published July 2020. Email: admin@nowiseeaperson.com Phone: (818) 407-0922

Rene Buenfil, MA, Adjunct Faculty

 I am very excited to join the international associate faculty at NISAP’s online training community, so let me update you on my current passions.

My passions are driven by my clients, students and my curiosity, because those 3 keep me reading, inquiring, and attending workshops and seminars. Since my first years as a psychologist I have been interested in professional identity formation, which I dedicated my two dissertations to, psychologist’s identity at Marist University and psychotherapist’s identity at Kanankil Institute. Then, I have dedicated my private practice to stay curious about couples’ communication patterns and its emotional background, no matter the issues at hand, when each partner finds a way to empower herself or himself and make their voices heard by taking care of the relationship in new ways, they open themselves to new possibilities. The third of my passions as a therapist are the psychological and emotional aspects of diabetes care and education, where people are struggling to accept their life condition, changing habits, improving communication with their family, health professionals and social support network, and even burn out from diabetes care. My last passion would be my journey towards becoming a collaborative teacher, since it was hard for me to find a position where I felt like I didn’t have to fight with my students to facilitate courses from a postmodern, social constructionist perspective on knowledge and teaching-learning process. Moreover, I take this approach to organizational training since I find them similar in many ways.
And there is a bonus: as you and all my collaborative colleagues from over the world know, I am a collaborative translator, I learned from the best (Sylvia London) and took it up a notch by moving from the metaphor of the invisible translator, to the “right there in the middle of all” translator, developing a relationship with the people I translate, for everyone to see.

I hope this clarifies my drives and motivations, and what I can share with the online learning community.

Email: admin@nowiseeaperson.com Phone: (818) 407-0922

Megan Kadler, MC,  Adjunct Faculty NISAPI

Email: megankadler@gmail.com Phone: (818) 407-0922

I am thrilled and honored to join the community of folks at Now I See A Person Institute. I’m a believer in possibilities, connections, hope, and transformation. I’m drawn to, and inspired by, ideas within the realm of postmodern and social constructionist thought, and how these philosophies are enacted within ethical therapeutic endeavors. My masters thesis centered on articulating aspects of Community Engagement: A Collaborative Recovery Model (CEACRM), a way of being with folks that was modeled by Dr. Swim and her team through the way that they genuinely embraced, respected, and related to me as a person during my time as a learner with the institute. As a clinical counsellor practicing in Vancouver, BC I am dedicated to honoring and valuing the unique perspectives, life experiences, and wisdom of the people I encounter. My hope and wish as part of the adjunct faculty at NISAPI is to continue engaging in generative and meaningful dialogue, to expand understandings, and possibilities for inviting further consideration of relational and collaborative processes internationally within our field.

Joannna Buickians, MA, Licensed MFT, PsyD , Adjunct Faculty NISAPI

Phone: (818) 407-0922  Email: joanna@nowiseeaperson.com

Lena Margardechian, PsyD, Adjunct Faculty NISAPI , Life Coach

Phone: (818) 407-0922  Email: lena@nowiseeaperson.com

Momoko Takeda, LMFT,  Adjunct Faculty NISAPI

Phone: (818) 407-0922 Email, Admin@nowiseeaperson.com