Susan Anderson

Susan Anderson is a psychotherapist who has devoted the past 30 years of clinical experience and research to helping people overcome their “outer child” patterns of self-sabotage and resolve their underlying abandonment wounds. She is author of  Journey from Abandonment to Healing; Black Swan: Twelve Lessons of Abandonment Recovery; and the WORKBOOK: Journey from Heartbreak to Connection.  Her lastest book, Taming Your Outer Child: Overcoming Self-Defeating Patterns can ordered now. Her books are translated into German, Japanese, French, Spanish, Korean, and sold internationally.

Anderson is founder of the Outer Child and Abandonment Recovery movements – complementary programs that propel people forward to reach their behavioral and emotional goals. Her websites and reach out to recovering people and clinicians throughout the world to collect input for her ongoing research in abandonment and acting-out patterns, and to provide community, group, and individual support.

Through extensive clinical research, group work, and scientific study, she has developed a treatment protocol specific to overcoming the residual impact of abandonment trauma – maladaptive (outer child) defense mechanisms – in both 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, as are her groundbreaking tools for overcoming “outer child” patterns of behavior.

Through her books and public appearances, she speaks passionately from personal and professional experience, sharing experiences with her own outer child, abandonment, grief, and recovery. Anderson has spent the past decade working with children, compiling anecdotal data on the impact of primal abandonment scenes in their everyday lives, ranging from losing a pet or being “new kid on the block” – all the way to child abuse or death of a parent.  Children’s traumatic experiences, both large and small, trigger patterned responses which too easily become new “learned behaviors” in a developing child.

An experienced group therapist and workshop leader, Anderson developed a parenting education program to increase community awareness about issues affecting children and help 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 Outer Child- Abandonment Recovery Workshops 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 recovering people.  She speaks on the related topics of relationship-repair, behavior change, child abuse, heartbreak, divorce recovery, post traumatic stress disorder, parenting techniques, addiction, and “racism: the ultimate human abandonment (global outer child behavior).”

Some of the post graduate training externships and programs converging in her work include training in systemic family therapy, psychoanalytic psychotherapy, addictions specialty (CSAC), and bereavement. She has worked extensively in psychiatric hospitals treating the gamut of diagnostic categories associated with abandonment triggers and entrenched acting out behaviors, including addiction, bi-polar disorder, borderline personality disorder, conduct disorder, and schizophrenia.

Anderson 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 a Drug and Alcohol Agency; and providing social work internships for Adelphi Graduate Social Work Program. 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 her program, she continues in private practice in Manhattan and Long Island.

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