“Apparently most of the fuel that is used by spaceships traveling to the moon is consumed in just getting them beyond Earth’s gravity. After they have done so, NASA scientists count on lunar gravity to pull the spaceship toward the moon. Similarly, it is “escape velocity“ that requires most of the energy moving us away from our former way of life. A compelling vision must be so clear and so powerful that its very magnetism and gravitational forces will literally pull you toward it.”
                                                       — Laurie Beth Jones

Welcome to the Fall 2014 edition of Westside Notes. As I cross the half-century mark this month, I’ve been giving a lot of focus and attention toward purpose and meaning — in other words, what makes life worth living. As I shared at my recent book release gathering, for me it boils down to connection, deeper contact, community and contribution. I feel so fortunate that all of these core values tend to be in alignment in both my personal and professional life with lots of room for fine-tuning, expansion, creativity and celebrations.

Escape Velocity
(adapted from my new workbook From Now On: Seven Keys to Purposeful Recovery now available through my websites or Amazon)

“Escape velocity” requires rocket fuel and combustion to move us away from old patterns and into a brand-new orbit. Clarifying one’s core values and discovering greater purpose are the primary ingredients toward a meaningful, effective vision in recovery.

Living life with purpose — what does this really mean? Investing yourself in a recovery process opens up a window of opportunity to ask yourself essential questions and to start to imagine what purpose will unfold for you.

Read more . . .

Featured Article:
Self Care is Not Selfish
by Maria Gray, M.A., M.Ed.

Edward Khantzian, M.D. (2008), (psychiatrist, author and one of the founders of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry) describes addiction as consisting of problems of control (addicts have lost the power to choose) and psychological suffering in four areas. One of these four areas is “an inability to desire self-care for oneself.” Khantzian’s theory is that addicts self-medicate as a result of being unable to care for themselves.

Sometimes when I discuss self-care with my clients they respond by saying “that sounds selfish.” Adult Children of Alcoholics often grow up spending the majority of their time focusing on their parents; this can make shifting the focus to themselves feel awkward. One of the most practical 12-Step slogans is HALT, which is short for — Don’t get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired.

Read more . . .

National Group Psychotherapy Institute (Washington, DC)

I recently enrolled in a 2-year group psychotherapy training program at the Washington School of Psychiatry which will begin on October 10th. I’ll be attending 3 weekends for the next two academic years as I avail myself of the opportunity to be with a talented faculty and a solid program to enhance my existing group therapy leadership skills. As I grow older, I truly believe that “the more I know, I really don’t know” so I enter this experience with a “Beginner’s Mind” and an open heart. In addition to a training opportunity, it’s also a terrific excuse to visit my old stomping grounds in and around Philadelphia.

Current Group Openings

Mixed Adult Psychotherapy Group (2 opening)
Mondays 6pm–7:30pm
Andrew Susskind, LCSW, SEP, CGP

Men’s Psychotherapy Group (1 opening)
Wednesdays 7pm–8:30pm
Andrew Susskind, LCSW, SEP, CGP

If you prefer not to receive future mailings, simply unsubscribe below. As the days get shorter and the holidays are just around the corner, I wish you a very peaceful and healthy end of 2014.



Fall 2014

In This Issue:

  • Escape Velocity
  • Featured Article:
    Self-Care is Not Selfish
  • National Group Psychotherapy Institute
  • Current Group Openings

Order Andrew’s New Book:
From Now On:
Seven Keys to Purposeful Recovery

About Andrew Susskind

Andrew Susskind, MSW, SEP, CGP is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, Certified Group Psychotherapist and Life Transition Coach who brings more than 22 years of experience to his work.


Annabel Raymond, M.A.

Maria Gray
Maria Gray, M.A., M.Ed.

Schuyler Ha, M.A.

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2550 Overland Avenue · Suite 100 · Los Angeles, CA 90064 · 310.281.8681
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