We plan to do a book review of Susan Elliott’s new book, Getting Past Your Break Up. But in the mean time here is her bio. Check out her blog if you want more information about her and the book. And pick up a copy of the book if you can.
Getting Past Your Past Productions is a different New York City enterprise even though its founder, Susan Elliott, is compared to other popular speakers and personalities. On a seminar evaluation form, one student wrote that she was a “shoot-straight-from-the-hip” cross between Dr. Phil and Judge Judy because she is a trained therapist and a licensed attorney who often gives pithy advice on matters of both love and law.
But the comparisons end there. Elliott is a different teacher because she has been in difficult places and shares that story. “When I heard her heartbreaking story,” one student says, “I felt if she could do it, I can do it. Not only does she give you the tools and techniques to change your life but she gives herself as an example.”
For someone who now seems to be in demand everywhere, she once felt as if she didn’t belong anywhere. As a child, her birth mother and half brothers were in Manhattan and she lived as a foster kid up in the Bronx. She felt deeply wounded by feelings of rejection. “Being a foster kid is like having a sign around your neck that says no one loves you enough to keep you and no one wants to adopt you.”
She was adopted when she was 8, but two years later her parents’ marriage fell apart leaving her adrift once again. She started looking for distraction in dangerous situations and abusive men. “I was all about the drama.” She says, “The crazier it was on the outside, the less I had to pay attention to my hurt and my anger on the inside.”
Elliott had children at a young age to feel connected to someone, but she didn’t know how to be a mother. Three children later, she felt as if there was no way out. She also felt guilty that she had brought innocent children into the mess. She says, “I felt incredibly guilty, inept, stupid, confused and worthless.”
Then one day Elliott realized she spent too much time waiting for a man to save the day. “I had this epiphany that no one was going to save me but me and if I wanted things to be different, I had to make it different.” She threw herself into finding people to talk to, books to read, support groups to attend, and courses to take. She spent years researching how to work through loss and abuse and how people can change permanently. She moved away from everyone and raised her children, learning how to be a good parent to happy and healthy kids.
She felt stymied by her family when, as a child, she said she wanted to go to college and be a social worker or a lawyer. They mocked her and said she was book smart but had no common sense and thinking of going to college was just dumb. She put off her dreams of higher education for a long time, but eventually returned to school receiving a BA in English from Mount Holyoke College where she graduated with High Honors, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, an M.Ed. from Cambridge College and a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. “I guess,” she says, “I wasn’t really that dumb after all!”
In addition to a great education from good schools, she has a happy marriage, a great career, she has wonderful relationships with her children who credit her with breaking the cycle of abuse in their family.
After being approached by countless people who wanted to know how to break out misery, she began teaching Getting Past Your Past in 2005. Her seminars are always sold out and she started her blog at http://GettingPastYourPast.wordpress.com to talk to students but after a post about getting past a breakup the readership soared to almost 100,000 unique page views a month without any marketing or advertising. The blog spread through word of mouth and an intensely loyal readership who contribute and feel important and listened to.
And she doesn’t forget where she came from or the others who might still be there. She works hard to give scholarships to domestic violence victims, the newly divorced, single parents and people who have fallen on hard times. “I wrote the book,” she says, “For another revenue stream that can be used to get the message out that you don’t have to settle for less or have a life full of pain. It’s possible to get beyond it and not only survive, but thrive.”
The blog is now devoted exclusively to moving beyond breakups and after numerous requests for “the book” she wrote “Getting Past Your Breakup: How To Turn A Devastating Breakup Into The Best Thing That Ever Happened To You.” She is also working on bring her workshops, seminars and lectures to MP3s, DVDs, downloadable audio and video files and television. She still teaches seminars, gives talks, expert commentary and quotes for articles on relationships.
Although she is a busy attorney, she works with others to give back for what was given to her. “The life I’ve lived is so good, and I believe that to keep it to myself would be shameful. My seminars are my way of letting others know there is hope, and there is a way out of any difficult situation.”
Read more at: http://gettingpastyourpast.wordpress.com/about.