The courage to put into words: share and (en)lighten, even if difficult
Changes in Susan's writing reflect shifting foci: from expressive arts therapist to personal coach, from hobby artist to fine artist. Earlier published books explore art-making, reading, writing, and journaling as important therapeutic tools. ”Works in progress” revolve around musings and inspiration that emerge from day-to-day happenings and life experiences.
Most of my writing incubates for a long time. Fresh events or encounters act as catalyst: bring it to the surface at unexpected, as well as synchronistic moments. Regardless of when or how, underlying truths and habitudes prevail. I like to mean what I say and say what I mean. I am also a bit of a perfectionist. Text is edited and re-edited countless times, even if that does not appear evident here. A lot of effort goes on behind the scenes, much good stuff (by others’ standards) not getting aired since I am my own toughest critic.
Academic, clinical, and comprehensive
Susan’s earlier publications, about her work as novice expressive arts therapist are more clinical and academic. They were intended as “primers” for anyone wanting to enter, or know more about, the expressive arts therapies (with art and poetry, in particular), as well as the treatment of eating disorders. Fundamental theories, practices, and issues are discussed with the sensitivities of someone who was learning and growing on the job, and while writing. These books can be purchased from most popular on-line booksellers, like Amazon. Locally, in Toronto, the land-mark Caversham Booksellers has always championed Susan's work, hosting a couple of her book signings.
THERAPEUTIC ART DIRECTIVES AND RESOURCES:
Activities and Initiatives for Individuals and Groups
Commentaries by Cathy Malchiodi (pub. Jessica Kingsley, 2000)
This book stands alone, as well as evolving naturally from More Than Just a Meal. It includes a myriad of exercises that can be used by various populations, eating disordered or not. All exercises are tried and proven. Cathy Malchiodi, Susan’s most influential expressive arts therapies teacher/mentor, comments on their application, and shows a strong appreciation for her student's work.
Translated into Hebrew (by Ach Publishing, 2006) and Korean (by Sigma Press, 2009).
MORE THAN JUST A MEAL: The Art of Eating Disorders
Forewords by Brian Lask and Cathy Malchiodi (pub. Jessica Kingsley, 2000)
This book explores Susan’s innovative/pioneering approach to the treatment of eating disorders through consideration of seven years' professional experience with a variety of clients. Approximately 50 images and 25 poems, as well as reviews of theories, practices, and case histories are included.. Leaders in the fields of eating disorders and art therapy, respectively, give forewords (Brian Lask and Cathy Malchiodi). Both know Susan’s work and respect her methodology, enthusiasm, and results.
POETIC WISDOM: Revealing and Healing
Foreword by Peggy Osna Heller. (pub. Charles C. Thomas,1998)
Susan's experience with poetry therapy was similar to that with art therapy: the search for a single book that outlined its history, theories, and practices. Inconclusive, she decided to create her own. Though written in the language of someone still gathering her “qualifications,” constantly seeking mentorship along the way, this book is quite innovative. The 250 “Wordscapes” (the name Susan gives to her poetry) bring it to life. In her foreword, pioneering poetry therapist, Peggy Osna Heller, praises Susan’s industry, creativity, and originality.
A CONSUMER'S GUIDE TO ART THERAPY:
For Prospective Employers, Clients, and Students
Foreword by Judith Rubin (pub. Charles C. Thomas,1994)
As a student art therapist, Susan tried to find a single book about art therapy, one that outlined its history, theories, and practices. Nothing available, she resolved to create her own—written in the language of someone still in training and constantly seeking authority along the way. (Quotes and references are included from many sources.) Pioneering art therapist, Judith Rubin, writes the foreword, validating and applauding this book's conception.
Provocative, Insightful, Amusing, Sad, Real
Susan's newer work focuses on actual life experiences rather than therapy theories and techniques. Under consideration: topics of special interest to dog-lovers, travellers, the personally and socially responsible, and more…