GROUPS to Overcome Self Sabotage


Dear Recovering Outer Children, 

Those of you involved in Outer Child support groups (and setting up abandoholics anonymous groups) are helping each other heal your collective wounds and overcome your patterns of self-sabotage. (See Susan's Workshop Schedule)

Outer Child groups gain their depth and dynamic from zeroing in on the issue of abandonment – the source of most self-defeating patterns. 

Creating Outer Child – Abandonment groups is as easy as following a recipe.  Groups can be facilitated on a peer-to-peer basis.  An easy-to-follow self-help format and 50 topic questions are available – enough to keep your groups running for a year or more.  

You can also get Training in Outer Child and Abandonment Recovery techniques from the author.  Attend one of Susan’s workshops. 

Use this link to join the member services at our sister website,, to:

For Mental Health Professionals 

Additional services for therapists include:  

All visitors to these sites can view your postings; whereas only members can post. 

Group Training

Group Training in Outer Child / Abandonment Recovery Techniques is experiential. You learn by performing exercises and sharing feedback within a supportive group setting. (See Susan's Workshop Schedule) Susan creates a safe, open, working, life-changing process within the group. Through training you:

         • Target Outer Child patterns of self sabotage. Outer Child is an overarching concept that encompasses defense mechanisms, character traits, knee-jerk reactions, habits and compulsions – all of your maladaptive behavior patterns.

         • Identify emotional triggers.

         • Connect dots between automatic defenses and primal abandonment fear.

         • Learn exercises that redirect attachment energy toward learning healthy new “automatic” behaviors.

         • Practice using new power tools to break through obstacles and propel you forward.

Abandonment component:

Through advanced training you learn to:

        • Discern acute abandonment crisis from chronic patterns such as mood or anxiety disorders, as well as long standing outer child patterns of self-sabotage.

        • Distinguish normal (albeit intense) abandonment grief from the onset of major depression

        • Identify acute symptoms of the emotional crisis of abandonment, including:

                 Re-emerging symbiotic feelings

                 Increased risk-taking

                 Neglected self-care




                  Need to self-medicate

                  Borderline regression and other forms of acting out

         • Identify chronic (versus acute) symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder of Abandonment. In "Journey from Abandonment to Healing (pages 41-42)" I outline a complete list of abandonment’s posttraumatic symptoms, which comprise what I have come to call the “outer child syndrome.”

                 Outer Child Post Traumatic Syndrome:

                 Difficulty forming primary relationships


                 Poor self-image



                 Chronic insecurity.

        • Help clients work through tendency to get caught up in outer child patterns such as abandoholism or abandophobism, or stuck in one the five stages of abandonment grief.

        • Deal with the intense transference that our clients exhibit during their abandonment crises including (when their Outer Children are most triggered):

                Over-dependence upon therapist


                 Missing appointments

                 Unrealistic expectations toward therapeutic process, etc.

        • Discern client’s tendency to temporarily revert to default defenses, i.e. becoming over-controlling toward the abandoner, punitive, self-abdicating, and outer child maneuvers.

        * Help the still fragile, narcissistically injured abandonment survivor move beyond protest, blame, self-denial, and acting out, and on toward emotional self-reliance, behavioral change, and increased capacity for love.

        * Learn effective new tools experientially within the safety and open sharing of a supportive group process.

Abandoholics Anonymous Meetings

Do you have an Abandonment Addiction?  Are You Love Addicted?  Caught Up In Cycles of Abandonment?  

Abandoholism is just like the other ‘oholisms.  And this addictive pattern -- addicted to the unavailable -- is more prevalent than anyone imagines.     

I would love to see 12-step-style meetings for “abandoholics anonymous” set up.  Once word got out, these meetings certainlhy would be well atttended.  Millions are afflicted with this love-defeating pattern.  

See Susan's Workshop Schedule

Please contact me with your interest in creating a program like this so we can post your prospective groups.  

Millions of people are caught up in this abandonment addiction. Many don’t realize it, but those who do find that awareness alone isn’t enough to break it.

Abandoholics anonymous meetings, once set up, would help people help each other break down these walls, uncross their “attachment wires,” and learn how to find, tolerate, and sustain love.  

You also have the option to join or set up Outer Child / Abandonment Recovery Groups.