Personal words
Recent appearances
Professional biography


Susan’s CBS Early Show appearance re: Broken Heart Syndrome


Personal Words


I am filled with wonderment and gratitude for the thousands of abandonment survivors from all over the world who contribute to the legacy of abandonment recovery. Thank you for your honest, open, and moving submissions to this website, for sharing stories from your childhood and adult relationships so that my work may continue and others can know they are not alone – that recovery is possible.


My work with you, as well as with my clients, workshop attendees, and children has helped me appreciate the impact of unresolved abandonment from childhood and adult losses and disconnections, as well as the overlap between abandonment and other types of grief – that feeling of being left behind – and what it takes to recover from a great loss.


Losing someone you love inflicts a special type of wound that can damage your sense of security. Left unresolved, its grief can linger beneath the surface, undermining self-esteem and interfering in future relationships. Until now, this wound has been very hard to overcome for professionals as well as lay people. Many abandonment survivors develop patterns that interfere in their adult lives; others self-medicate the pain with food and other substances. Abandonment recovery offers a way to pick up the pieces, end your self-sabotage, and increase your life capacity.


Abandonment grief breaks down into five overlapping stages. At each stage of the wounding, you are brought in touch with the powerful force of human attachment.


It is the thwarting of this attachment energy that creates grief’s intense pain. You feel the wrenching tear in the dense tissues of the bond to your beloved. The techniques of recovery are designed to tap into this powerful attachment energy and redirect it toward reconnection.


Suppressing the pain and turning away from the feelings is one of the ways that this grief can cause damage to your self-image and to future relationships. Understanding the origins and purpose of the pain, you are able to administer to long forgotten needs for the first time.


Surviving a loss brings us on a journey to the center of the self, awakening us to a molten core of feeling. At the bottom of the pain is a wellspring of healing and personal growth.


Learning to redirect the energy of grief is the basis of the AKeRU exercises.


Thanks to your input – for expressing your needs and interests – I have been able to find ways to convey the techniques of abandonment recovery that appeal to the variety of styles, strengths, and issues of the abandonment survivors of the world.


1999 I wrote BLACK SWAN to convey the Twelve Steps of Emotional and Spiritual Healing – the actual steps involved in overcoming the woundedness of abandonment. The allegorical tale is designed to help people get in touch with feelings that have been interfering from within. It provides step by step guidance.


2000 I researched and wrote “The JOURNEY FROM ABANDONMENT TO HEALING” to provide in-depth information about our universal emotional responses to ‘being left’ and the five stages of grief specific to abandonment (S.W.I.R.L.). I know the research information about the psychobiology of abandonment helps people better manage their overwhelming feelings during a bewildering and tumultuous emotional crisis. The techniques and tips for getting through it are a product of 25 years of research and clinical experience. JOURNEY FROM ABANDONMENT serves both abandonment survivors and clinicians as a comprehensive resource and personal guide through the stages of recovery, introducing the AKeRU exercise program.


AKeRU is a mental exercise program of five hands-on exercises that promote personal growth and healing.


2003 I wrote the workbook, JOURNEY FROM HEARTBREAK TO CONNECTION to respond to your many requests for step by step exercises to take your recovery to the next level. This book explores abandoholism and other relationship problems in depth as well as guide you through heartbreak recovery with hands-on exercises for AKeRU, SWIRL, Swan Lessons, and more. It contains detailed directions for setting up abandonment support groups.

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