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The Journey from Heartbreak to Connection Paperback – July 1, 2003

17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Susan Anderson is a psychotherapist who has devoted over 25 years of clinical experience and research to working with the victims of abandonment trauma, heartbreak, and loss. She is the founder of the Abandonment Recovery movement, leading workshops in Manhattan and nationally. Her website,, reaches out to abandonment survivors as well as clinicians throughout the world.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade (July 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 042519020X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425190203
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #374,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author
Susan Anderson has devoted more than 30 years of clinical experience and research to helping people overcome abandonment trauma and its aftermath of self sabotaging patterns. Founder of the abandonment recovery movement, she reaches out through her websites, workshops, and media to share her methods of abandonment recovery with abandonment survivors from around the world. Anderson is author of four trailblazing books including Journey from Abandonment to Healing and Taming Your Outer Child which guide people through a protocol specific to healing abandonment, heartbreak, and loss. People can contribute to Susan's ongoing research project by submitting (confidentially) your personal stories to her website The websites and reach out with help and information. You are welcome to contact the author directly.

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54 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Robert J. Hogan on February 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book has had a profound positive effect on my life. I went through a painful breakup just a couple of months before I happened to come upon this book in the bookstore. I was so upset about my breakup, I lost over 30 lbs, (and I was thin to begin with), was put on an anti-depression by my doctor and started seeing a Therapist 3 days a week because I was suicidal. This book truely helped me to let go and to realize that loving yourself is the path to healing. It also taught me how to take my ex off the pedestal and see my relationship for what it really was and to move on with my life. This book helped me to gain a feeling of self-worth and to truely realize that I will love again and someone will love me again, but the most important thing is to love yourself.
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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey C. Schinsky on December 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
I just wanted to comment on another reviewer's words before I give my review. The book does zero in on getting past abandonment to establish a healthy romantic relationship, but the things that made you an abandoment victim may or may NOT have had anything to do with with prior romantic situations. See more in my review that follows:

I got involved with a woman who has abandonment issues that stretch back to her disapproving/abusive father, all the way up through two abusive ex-husbands. All she's ever known was abandoment (at least from an emotional perspective). Abandonment, according to this book, can cause a person create all sorts of obstacles to true emotional intimacy because they're afraid of being hurt again. Thanks, in part, to this book, we're getting past many of our respective issues (I was dumped by an ex-wife) and learning how to love each other without reservation. If you've been emotionally OR physically abandoned in your life (even if it was just an alcoholic or "absent" parent), you could be what the book calls an "abandonholic." Get this book... it's full of good stuff to help get you out of a truly destuctive mindset.
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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Julie Jordan Scott on January 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
There is a lot of gold to be found in this book, especially for people who feel abandonment in relationship to a romantic relationship lost.
I picked the book up NOT because I was in this situation, instead because I have had "abandonment issues" (that sounds so stale) and also I think the entire concept really spreads across our culture as a whole.
Anderson separates the "platitudes" from her own 12 Swan Lessons and Gestures which she took deeper after having a romantic break as a known and respected "abandonment expert".
I was struck by her courage in applying her own teachings and deepening them to create this book which is chock full of exercises, questionnaires, places to take concept deeper.
Another piece that "book readers alone" might miss that Anderson engages and moves the reader to is taking an "Action Vow"... I wanted to stand up and applaud when I read that section.
My only real criticism is the title, which should let the reader know this is about ROMANTIC abandonment... and can be applied to other areas. It really zeros in, for the most part, on the romantic side.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on November 22, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read the author's other abandonment book first. This one is so much better. The publisher needs to start printing it again.

As I read this book, I felt like she was reading my mind. How I long for my ex, even though they treated me badly. How I yearn for them. How I criticize myself. One of her principal arguments in this book is that your amygdlada, your emotional brain, is responsible for these feelings. You have to take it from the amygdala and put it into your cognitive brain. She has numerous exercises to do this. Today, there's a big push in therapy about getting connected with your feelings and how your feelings drive you. This why meditations, hypnosis, and other therapies having become so popular. Anderson provide exercises that help you get to that part of your brain.

What spoke to me most about this book was the information about abandoholics. People who are addicted to the unavailable, and when someone actually likes then, the fear engulfement and push the person away. She explains the cause of this and has exercises to open yourself up to more mutual love.

An excellent, excellent book. I'm not done yet, but I'm what the author says, that these experiences will take us to a richer life, are true for me.

EDIT - Since getting married, I still like this book for some reasons, but then other issues frustrate me. Sometimes I do feel like I settled with my wife for getting married because we didn't have the excitement. Well then, this book is talking exactly to me then. She says that I would feel that way, and it is my amygdala who is addicted to excitement. So re-reading this book after I'm married and reading some of her blogs on thirdage is helping me really confront these issues so I can have a happy marriage.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By mary jane sebas on February 2, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Abandonment recovery was the missing piece I needed to heal completely from a childhood filled with parental neglect due to addiction and abandonment from my alcoholic spouse. This workbook has been invaluable in working through past issues of unworthiness, despair, and anger. I completed all of the exercises and gained considerable healing. Two concepts that really helped were the notion of attending to the little person inside of me and recognizing my outer child. Also, the practice of building my dream home has given me an internal infrastructure, the effects of which have been profound. I highly recommend this workbook.
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