I am a psychotherapist who has devoted over 30 years of clinical experience & research to victims of abandonment trauma, grief, & loss.
Susan Anderson is a psychotherapist who has devoted over 30 years of clinical experience and research to working with the victims of abandonment trauma, grief, and loss. Author of Taming your Outer Child: Overcoming your Self Defeating Patterns; Journey from Abandonment to Healing; Black Swan: Twelve Lessons of Abandonment Recovery; and The Abandonment Recovery Workbook, she is founder of the Abandonment Recovery movement, a worldwide program of techniques and support groups that help people heal their abandonment wounds past and present, overcome their self-defeating “Outer Child” patterns, and find greater life and love.
Her books are translated into German, Japanese, French, Spanish, Korean, and sold internationally. Her websites www.outerchild.net and www.abandonment.net reach out to both abandonment survivors and clinicians throughout the world to promote group and individual support.
Through extensive clinical research, group work, and scientific study, she has developed a treatment protocol specific to overcoming the impact of abandonment trauma in adults and children. Her five universal stages of abandonment recovery (Shattering, Withdrawal, Internalizing, Rage, and Lifting) are based upon scientific findings related to the psychobiology of separation and attachment. Through her books and public appearances, she shares her own experiences with abandonment, grief, and recovery, speaking passionately from personal and professional experience.
Anderson has spent the past decade working with children, compiling anecdotal data on the impact of primal abandonment scenes large and small within their everyday lives – ranging from losing a pet or being “new kid on the block” to child abuse or death of a parent. An experienced group therapist and workshop leader, she developed a parenting education program to increase community awareness about issues affecting children and to strengthen family bonds. This award winning program won an annual $300,000 Federal grant to be replicated throughout the New York State (and is ongoing).
She runs Abandonment Recovery for lay audiences and training courses for professionals, and makes appearances at universities, conferences, national radio and television to increase public awareness and provide support for the far reaching issues of abandonment. She speaks on the related topics of overcoming Outer Child patterns of self-sabotage, relationship-repair, how to change behavior patterns, child abuse, heartbreak, divorce recovery, post traumatic stress disorder, parenting, addiction, and race – the ultimate human abandonment.
Some of the other experiences converging in her work include post graduate training in systemic family therapy, psychoanalytic psychotherapy, addictions counseling (CSAC 1997), and bereavement. She has worked extensively in psychiatric hospitals treating the gamut of diagnostic categories associated with abandonment triggers including addiction, schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, borderline personality disorder, conduct disorder, and substance abuse. She has been active in community group work developing clinical programs within agency and day treatment settings; conducting psycho-educational workshops within school systems; providing group supervision to Drug and Alcohol agencies; and providing social work internships for Adelphi Graduate Social Work Program. Ms. Anderson’s journal article entitled “Peer Model of Adult Education,” published by Jossey-Bass, Spring 1999, shares her expertise as a group therapist and workshop leader.
In addition to her national tours to promote abandonment recovery, she continues in private practice on Long Island.