Susan E. Swim, Ph.D., LMFT 40480

Executive Director
Now I See A Person Institute, Devoted to serving Service Area 2, Service Area 5 and Los Angeles County
Educator, Researcher, Theorist, Author 
Faculty, Houston Galveston Institute
Emeritus Member TIAC
Editor Emeritus, Journal of Systemic Therapies 
Editor, The Qualitative Report
Retired Faculty, Loma Linda University
Retired Advocacy Chair, AAMFT-CA
Retired Board Member, AAMFT-CA
Retired, Insurance Task Force, AAMFT-CA
Associate Member, Los Angeles Bar Association 
Member, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
Providing Certificate Program in Community Engagement: A Collaborative Recovery Model
Providing Certificate Program in International Collaborative-Dialogical Practices

Phone: (626) 487-9305

Susan is the Executive Director of Now I See a Person Institute, California, USA, she is on the Faculty of the Houston Galveston Institute, Houston, USA, Taos Associate, USA. She 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. She retired in June 2011 from faculty at the Department of Counseling and Family Sciences at Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California, and adjunct faculty Alliant International University where she specialized in teaching and supervision from a social constructionist viewpoint. Her retirement allows Now I See a Person Institute to be her full time endeavor. She founded Now I See a Person Institute– and Community Engagement: A Collaborative Recovery Model. This model of therapeutic engagement is used for all populations and diagnoses, especially with populations diagnosed with severe mental illness narratives and who unfortunately have not succeeded in prior therapeutic and psychiatric treatments. Now I See a Person Institute is a nonprofit organization for research, graduate and post graduate training and clinical services. Students from various universities locally and outside of the United States come to learn and study. Now I See A Person Institute embraces the concept of “Out of the Office Therapy and Life Coaching”. The normalcy of using a horse ranch, nature, or client’s homes lends to egalitarian practices. Here the person is seen as a person and not a diagnosis. The generation of novel collective experiences is an organic process with the clients participating in caring and nurturing venues. At Now I See a Person Institute, Dr. Swim provides workshops and two certificate programs. She offers an International Certificate in Collaborative-Dialogical Practices and a certificate in Community Engagement: A Collaborative Recovery Model. In 2023 Now I See A Person Institute launched online video courses for the certificate programs, in alignment with self-tailored courses. With Now I See a Person Institute she is able to pursue her lifelong passion of education, and training that she has developed and researched over four decades. She views any engagement as collaborative and self tailored to the needs of each individual. Clients are “seen” and “heard” as people and not diagnostic labels, or language of deficiency. Clients are “seen” within “safe environments” and where they are not afraid to speak the unspoken. Dr. Swim within her forty year career has treated all mental health issues and holds expertise in these areas.

“As clinicians, theorist, researchers, coaches we help to generate a conversational space where there are no right or wrong answers but an abundance of common and collective knowledge, possibilities; the potential and realization of the new and what the Other defines as helpful and “good”. It is through the eyes of the Other that we are led. Therein our personal  posturing is left outside the door of the the conversational space. 

As practitioners our prior understandings and ideas are not important unless there is an embracement, a welcoming, in this new conversational process. The aloneness stops in lieu of collective compassion, responsibility and collaboration. The right and good for each member in conversation is celebrated. The generation of knowledge reflects freedom for success, certainties and futures.”

She is Editor Emeritus for the Journal of Systemic Therapies, on the Editorial Board for the Qualitative Report, and a former Associate Reviewer for International Journal of Collaborative Practices. She was active for several years in AAMFT-CA. She helped cultivate the first on-line HGI-Taos Institute distance learning and continues to facilitate on-line collaborative learning.

Now I See A Person Institute

Now I See A Person Institute (NISAPI) is a nonprofit research, training and clinical mental health and substance institute devoted to serving populations who have not succeeded in previous traditional therapy, medication interventions, hospitalizations or institutionalization. NISAPI was created in 2007 by Swim (with the voices of multiple colleagues) to offer a novel, natural and nurturing environment to create sustainable transformation. NISAPI foremost provides research and educational and training opportunities, therapy, recovery, and transitional services (especially family reunification family re-attachment, family life coaching, family therapeutic monitoring) for individuals (children, teens, adults) families and couples. Our clients, most with histories of extensive trauma, histories of unsuccessful therapy or psychiatric intervention come to a normal and nurturing horse ranch or other “Out of the Office” environments to heal, recover, and transform in Los Angeles County. Our specialty is severe trauma, severe family conflict and severe previously diagnosed mental illness narratives. People come with long treatment histories, extensive histories of trauma and individuals and families who have lost all hope of change or transformation. Often these clients have had open cases with government services. We include in our community model these voices as well as those community members (judges, lawyers, social workers) to collaborate in sustainable change. In addition to therapeutic services we provide training through our ICCP program with interns and clinicians. NISAPI is a CAMFT approved provider of continuing education. We invite visitors through our hosting program with the Taos Institute to come for extended periods of time. All learners are invited to create their own self-tailored agendas and can come at anytime of the year. NISAPI welcomes you to visit Here you can see our services, the voices of our clients, current and past articles, our training programs and research.

Susan Swim Resources

Susan Swim Manuscripts