Susannah Cyrus

When I first met Dr. Malanowski, who always humbly insisted I call her Eva, I was fleeing a physically and emotionally abusive relationship, was addicted to drugs and alcohol, was cutting myself, bingeing and purging, broke, hopeless and had attempted suicide.

I was also pretty resentful of mental health professionals and skeptical that anyone would listen to me in a meaningful way before whipping out the DSM IV, slapping me with a diagnosis and a prescription and sending me on my way.

After one session in Eva’s office, I knew I had found a different sort of doctor. One of the most important things Eva did for me initially was to help me “de-catastrophize” my life. She challenged me to move from a sense of constant overwhelm and crisis to leaving each session with a plan for simple, solutions-based actions. I needed that to feel empowered in my own process.

The growth work experience was not always easy, but the devoted creativity with which Eva met me in the moment each time we did inner work assuaged my fears that I would be abandoned before I could integrate some emotional maturity into my life. Dr. Malanowski embodies the courageous poise and balanced energy that I wanted. I trusted her immediately because she was honest and real with me from the start. Working with her changed my trajectory. Eva helped me permanently transform my personal narrative about victimization and resignation and to start to see myself as spiritually fit and emotionally capable. The wellness I have today is due in large part to the care she provided and the strategies I learned from her.

SUSANNAH CYRUS, 31, Kapa’a, Hawai’i