The One Question That Can Change Everything for ASDPs

When we were children just learning about life, the people with the most influence on our beliefs were the adults in our immediate circle – usually our parents, sometimes guardians, possibly other influential adults. But what if they were adult survivors of damaged pasts (ASDPs) themselves? The adults from their childhoods taught them harsh lessons … Read more

“I’m Not an ASDP But….”: How Your Damaged Past May Be Blocking You From Your Joyful Future

“I’m not an ASDP but…your message really resonated with me.” Yes, I’ve heard that before. I’ve read that before. Heck. Even I still have trouble admitting to one person, never mind a whole audience, that I’m an ASDP myself. There are times I still stumble over the acronym. Adult Survivor of a Damaged Past.  But, … Read more

H@W pdf 1080

5 Ways You Can Heal at Work

Healing at Work Did you see the recent announcement from the World Health Organization about how it has identified the workplace as a key source for burnout worldwide?  When I first saw that article, my immediate reaction was, “Really?  We needed a United Nations-funded study to come to that conclusion? Tell us something we don’t … Read more

How Your Past Lives Rent Free in Your Present (Part 2)

“Life is difficult.”  M. Scott Peck opened his 1983 book, The Road Less Traveled, with these three simple words. And all over the world, hundreds of thousands of readers opened this landmark book, read the first sentence, and exhaled. As universal as the experience of a difficult life might be, to see those words written … Read more


How Your Past Lives Rent-Free in Your Present (Part 1)

I am beginning to the spread the word about how to build a life of self-acceptance and joy, despite self-esteem wounds that so many of us bring into their adult lives. When I first began this research I specifically looked at adults whose childhoods were negatively impacted by parents and guardians who were alcoholics, narcissists, addicts, etc.


6 Ways Being an ASDP Makes You a Better HR Professional

If you are an ASDP, chances are that you grew up with people telling you what’s wrong with you. Everyone’s past is different, of course. But because the ASDP childhood story is so riddled with toxic secrets, neglect, and sometimes even physical abuse, ASDPs’ parents and guardians had to find a way to justify their behavior.


How Your HR Career Can Help You Heal Your Past

When you think about it, a strong argument can be made that we begin our organizational training and development almost from birth. Our first bosses – our parents – first put us through an extensive orientation program. Then they layer on the skills and experiential learning required to perform satisfactorily in our new company – our family.


Receive a PDF version of Susan Schmitt's chapter published in HR Directions.

Building Leadership Capability: How the Suitability Model Simplifies the Way We Think About Talent