Susan Ocean, PhD




Old Dominion University

Graduate School(s):

University of Montana


Susan Ocean originally began working with CHKD as an undergraduate researcher for its Child Advocacy Center while attending Old Dominion University. She returned to CHKD as a licensed clinical psychologist and an assistant professor of pediatrics at Eastern Virginia Medical School.

Dr. Ocean earned her doctorate at the University of Montana. There, she taught undergraduate psychology courses and worked with UM’s Clinical Psychology Center, a sliding scale community clinic. While in Missoula, she also worked with Youth Homes, the Dan Fox Family Care Program, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Behavioral Health Department, and the Youth Crisis Diversion Project.

Dr. Ocean completed a fellowship with the University of New Mexico’s community behavioral health department. There, she worked with the ACTION childhood trauma clinic (Addressing Childhood Trauma through Intervention, Outreach, and Networking) and as a part of the Community Behavioral Health research team. While in Albuquerque, she also worked with UNM’s Children’s Psychiatric Hospital, programs for children and adolescents, and the center for neurological services.

Dr. Ocean specializes in working with youth and families who have experienced trauma. She is committed to working with families to support growth in parent-child relationships. Dr. Ocean is experienced in working with foster and adoptive youth and within foster and adoptive family systems. Her work combines attachment, cognitive, and behavioral theories to support healing and growth.

Dr. Ocean likes to travel and spend time in nature. She is passionate about her work and finds joy working with youth, parents, and other caregivers to discover and develop strengths that support healthy families, resulting in a healthy community.

Clinical Interests:

  • Healing after traumatic experience (including complex a developmental trauma)
  • Connection and attachment in primary relationships
  • Strengthening parenting and familial relationships
  • Building strong foster and adoptive Families
  • Building resilience


  • Traumatic experience
  • Complex and developmental trauma
  • Connection and attachment in relationships
  • Parenting
  • Factors of resilience


Powell, A. K., Ocean, S. E., & Stanick, C. (2017). Depression disorders. In S. Goldstein and M. DeVries (Eds.), Handbook of DSM-5 Childhood Disorders. (pp. 151-172). New York, NY: Springer.

Contact Info:



CHKD Main Hospital
601 Children's Ln
Norfolk, VA 23518