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Dr. Susan Campbell Biography



Susan Campbell received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 1967. Two years later, she went on to become a member of that school’s prestigious graduate faculty where she founded their couple and family therapy graduate program in 1971. She has also received extensive post-doctoral training in couple and family therapy, group dynamics, organization development, Gestalt therapy, NLP, Psychosynthesis, and Buddhist psychology.

Since 1967, she has been a couple therapist, relationship coach, speaker, workshop leader, trainer of professional coaches, college professor, certified Radical Honesty trainer, and founding teacher of the Getting Real work. The Getting Real work is a body of communication and awareness practices that foster personal healing and social evolution. She has written eleven books on relationships, including several best-sellers. A faculty member at the San Francisco Gestalt Institute and an Adjunct Faculty at Saybrook Graduate School, Susan trains coaches and therapists throughout the U.S and Europe to integrate the tools in this book into their professional practices. In her own practice, she works with singles, couples, co-workers, and work teams helping them communicate respectfully and responsibly when conflicts arise. She works from the model that all significant relationships can be a path for inner growth and healing. Her groundbreaking book, The Couples Journey: Intimacy As A Path To Wholeness, published in 1980, was the first popular book that introduced mainstream audiences to the idea of relationship as spiritual practice. Her best-know books, besides this one, are: Getting Real, Saying What’s Real, Truth in Dating, Beyond the Power Struggle, The Everything Great Sex Book, and Five-Minute Relationship Repair.

She is the creator and publisher of three entertaining and educational card games for teens, adults, couples, work teams, and singles. Her games promote more authentic relating among players. Susan’s work with couples has been featured on national television, including CNN’s News Night, Good Morning America, and The Dr. Dean Edell Show, and she has been published widely in popular magazines, such as Self, New Woman, and Cosmopolitan. In 2003-2004, she was the couples therapist on the reality TV show, Truth in Love, which aired on UPN, an ABC affiliate network. Her blogs and videos also appear regularly on major internet portals such as Village, Care2, and Your Tango.

A trained sex therapist, Susan is co-author of Awakening Sexual Intimacy (available as a Kindle e-book at

Her Getting Real approach to communication, conflict, and change is the subject of a twenty-minute professional training video produced and distributed by CRM Learning. Based on her book, From Chaos to Confidence: Survival Strategies for the New Workplace, the DVD and accompanying workbook are widely used by Fortune 500 companies and government agencies. As an internationally known professional speaker, she speaks to corporate audiences on such topics as: Surfing Chaos, Honest Feedback in the Workplace, Coping with Constant Change, How to Build a Winning Team, and Dealing with Difficult People. She publishes a free newsletter/blog entitled Getting Real with Susan Campbell, which you can subscribe to by visiting her website,

Susan leads public seminars throughout the U.S and in Europe on such topics as: Real Intimacy, Getting Real Confidence, Gestalt Therapy, Getting Real, Truth in Dating, Truth at Work, What to do When Love Hurts, and The Couple’s Journey: Relationship as a Path to Awakening. She has a phone, Skype, and in-person relationship coaching practice in Sonoma County, California, where she also leads several Honesty Salons per month at her home. Susan trains and certifies professional Getting Real coaches to offer her unique brand of coaching and group facilitation. She also offers intensive couple retreats of 2-4 days, where a couple comes to her home for a facilitated immersion experience using her powerful relationship-building tools.

Thank you for your interest in the work of Dr. Susan Campbell. We hope you find the following information useful and informative…

Press Release & Reviews


Interview Questions

Radio and TV Appearances
Story Ideas
for Radio and TV Appearances
Story Ideas 
for Magazine Articles

Press Release & Reviews for: Saying What's Real

New Book, SAYING WHAT’S REAL, Uncovers Seven Secrets to Relationship Success


(Novato, CA) New World Library announced the February publication of a new book, entitled Saying What’s Real: Seven Keys to Authentic Communication and Relationship Success by best-selling author and relationship expert Dr. Susan M. Campbell.

Good relationships — especially those with friends, family, lovers — are founded upon good communication. Therein lies the challenge. “It’s a challenge because most communication problems stem from attempts to control the end result. The attempts show up as various defense mechanisms and only serve to cause communication breakdown and in some cases break-ups,” says Campbell. Good communication is dependent on understanding our own authentic feelings and being able to clearly express them “which can be hard to do if you don’t know how.”

As Dr. Campbell explains honest, authentic communication requires letting down guards and clearly expressing thoughts and feelings. The key is staying present in the moment. Dr. Campbell focuses on seven statements designed to enhance one’s capacity for love and trust by bringing their awareness into the spiritual practice of staying in the present moment. Learning to use such phrases as “Hearing you say that, I feel…” and “I hear you, and I have a different perspective” allows readers to clearly express themselves and remain present versus trying to control the future outcome. By relating more and controlling less, readers will see their communications take on a quality of caring, openness, and authenticity that naturally engenders respect and love from those they’re close to. After all, when communication skills grow healthier, healthier relationships can’t be far behind!

“Saying What’s Real will unequivocally help you to discover your true reality so that you can say what you really feel, want, and believe.”
John Bradshaw
“Susan Campbell’s new book is a clear guide to the practice of authenticity in your relationships. We can also testify that she has an additional quality. She practices what she teaches.”
Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks,
authors of Conscious Loving
“My friend and colleague Susan Campbell has done it again! The conversation about honesty has been significantly refined into pearls of wisdom posted on “post it notes for life” presented throughout the pages of Saying What’s Real, and explained in articulate detail throughout. The speaking and listening that are modeled here will change the world.”
Brad Blanton, author of
Radical Honesty: How to Transform
“In Saying What's Real, Susan Campbell offers her readers an executive summary for good communication. The seven phrases are simple and effective--- employ them and your relationships will undoubtedly improve.”
Jett Psaris, co-author of Undefended Love
“There is no book I have ever come across that so cleanly, clearly, andsimply outlines the skills that will allow you to truly hear our partner andbe heard. If you want rich and healing communications in your relationship,this is the book for you.”
Mary O’Malley, author of
The Gift of Our Compulsions
“Saying What’s Real is the clearest and most useful guide to successfulrelating imaginable! If everyone practiced these key communicationstrategies there would be much more happiness and many fewer divorces!”
Deborah Anapol, Ph.D., author of
Polyamory: The New Love Without Limits
Press Release & Reviews for: Truth in Dating

Popular Book for Singles Asserts: Truth-telling is Sexy…Really!

Truth in Dating: Finding Love by Getting Real By Susan Campbell, Ph. D. (Foreword by Gay Hendricks)


(February 12, 2003, San Francisco) Want to be more radiantly attractive to your date? Then “don’t play it so safe” is the research finding of relationship expert Susan Campbell, Ph.D. in her new book, Truth in Dating, which lays out 10 practical communication skills designed to improve the dating experience.

“Most singles out on a date try too hard to make a good impression. As a result, tensions rise and enjoyment falls. The single then tries even harder and the mood and authenticity deteriorates further.” According to Campbell, a leader in the “honesty” school of psychology, both research and experience shows that “when you show up honest and real, you become more attractive and interesting. First, your relaxation has a disarming effect on others, creating a greater sense of safety. And then by “going first” in terms of speaking honestly, you inspire others to take chances. The result can be a strong and even sexy sense of excitement and aliveness in the moment.

Campbell believes most of us would be more honest if we only knew how to communicate without fear of damaging the relationship. Campbell’s 10 “truth skills” help people feel safer to risk being honest.

“Courageous daters are practicing letting go of their need to control how others see them and are communicating with the intent to relate,” says Campbell. “When you learn the difference between relating and controlling, your communications take on a quality of openess and authenticity that just naturally engenders respect and love. It’s a paradox—when you stop trying to play it safe so others will like you, then you wind up winning the admiration and respect you had been seeking!” explains Campbell, whose book is based on interviews with hundreds of dating singles.

Truth in Dating chapters cover such topics as: Is Truth in Dating for You? The First Date: Getting Started without Getting Ahead of Yourself, How to Flirt with Presence, What You Can Realistically Expect in a Relationship, 10 Common Myths About Sexual Intimacy, How to Be Real in Tough Situations, and What to Do When Your Button Are Pushed.

Although improving dates is the focus of the book, “How to Say Goodbye Consciously” is a topic that has received much attention. “Many mis-matched dating couples hang together way too long and then break up in a way that damages their confidence,” says Campbell. “Skilled daters start honest and end honest and often turn bad dating partners into decent friends.”

Appropriate for both couples and singles, this book offers help for anyone seeking more satisfying, alive, loving relationships.

About the Author

Psychologist Susan Campbell has worked as a professional speaker and a dating and relationship coach for over 35 years. She is author of seven other books, including her ground-breaking The Couples Journey (over 100,000 sold) which introduced the idea into the mainstream of using intimate relationships as a spiritual practice. Her work has been featured in many popular magazines including New Woman, Lear’s, Psychology Today, Harvard Business Review, New Age, Fast Company, and Yoga Journal. She has appeared on many TV talk shows including Dr. Dean Edell, CNN’s Newsnight, Good Morning America, and People Are Talking.
Truth in Dating: Finding Love by Getting Real
Publication Date: February 14, 2004
ISBN: 1-932073-06-x
Price: $15.95, Trade Paper
Pages: 256, 5.5” x 8.5”
Distributed by Publishers Group West

“This book is about the loving life, single or not. You might not expect to find such wisdom in a book called Truth in Dating but now and then we are lucky enough to get surprised. Truth in Dating is a hell of a fine book! Read it! It will definitely help your LOVE life!”
— Brad Blanton, Ph.D., author of Radical Honesty
“Appropriate for both couples and singles, this excellent book shows practical ways to make truth-telling safer. It is full of heart-warming stories of courage, risk-taking, and positive outcomes.”
— Jack Canfield, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Couple’s Soul and Chicken Soup for the Romantic Soul
“Encylopedic in scope, packed with wisdom and generously sprinkled with real-people examples, Truth in Dating takes you on a guided tour of your dating journey. Beginning with your inner self, she deftly acquaints you with a panorama of choices, transforming the bumpy road of dating into a growth-enhancing, easy slide. For all travelers navigating the dating maze, this is a gem of a book.”
— Marcella Bakur Weiner, Ph.D., co-author (with Edward Hoffman, Ph.D.) of The Love Compatibility Book
“Whether you are single or in an intimate relationship, this book is an important resource for you. In page after page of clear insight, Susan Campbell provides a much-needed map to a territory still largely unexplored: authenticity in our romantic relationships.”
— Gay Hendricks, Ph.D., co-author (with Kathlyn Hendricks, of Conscious Loving and Lasting Love, from the foreword
“Truth in Dating is just plain sane guidance for singles who get that to find lasting love, they're going to have to practice a sometimes uncomfortable realness in that strange dimension we call ‘dating.’ Brava to Susan Campbell, especially for first ‘walking the talk’ by testing her recommendations in her own life. And her ‘Ten Common Myths about Sex and Intimacy’ ought to be reprinted on its own and distributed to every sexually active person alive!”
— Saniel Bonder, author of
The Tantra of Trust and Great Relief
“Anyone who’s ever struggled with the emotional agony and ecstasy, practical concerns, and overwhelming fears triggered by diving into the dating scene will be grateful for Susan Campbell’s wise, warm, and down-to-earth guidance. I agree with Susan that honesty is the only hope for relationships. Truth in Dating tells us clearly how to replace control patterns with honest relating and inspires us to risk being more real at every juncture of the couple’s journey!”
— Deborah Taj Anapol, Ph.D., author of
Polyamory: The New Love Without Limits
“Dating itself — or the prospect of dating — can tumble anyone into a well of unconsciousness and fear. But take heart! Susan Campbell's new book, Truth in Dating, skillfully offers a step-by-step guide through the perils and pitfalls of the dating process. You're sure to rediscover the thrill of getting to know someone new while expanding your capacity to love and be loved.”
— Jett Psaris, Ph.D. and Marlena S. Lyons, Ph.D.,
"Truth and Dating are rarely words spoken in the same sentence yet Susan Campbell has brilliantly given us the path to be ourselves and find love at the same time. Her guidance is simple, effective and enlightening. If you want to give love, find love and be loved, read this book cover to cover. You will not want to miss a word of Susan's insightful guidance for the heart."
— Rhonda Britten, author of Fearless Loving: 8 Simple Truths That Will Change the Way You Date, Mate and Relate and the star of NBC's daytime show, Starting Over
“Inspiring, practical and a pleasure to read. Susan Campbell repeatedly shows us that our willingness to be open and transparent with others opens the way to heartfelt, loving relationships — whether we are single or seeking a primary partner.”
“Inspiring, practical and a pleasure to read. Susan Campbell repeatedly shows us that our willingness to be open and transparent with others opens the way to heartfelt, loving relationships — whether we are single or seeking a primary partner.”
If the Buddha Dated and Women, Sex, and Addiction

Interview Questions for:

Saying What's Real & Truth in Dating

Interview Questions for Dr. Susan Campbell about Saying What’s Real
  1. The book’s subtitle is 7 Keys to Authentic Communication and Relationship Success? What is your definition of a successful relationship?
  2. What’s your idea of authentic communication? Are you saying people should be totally honest all the time?
  3. Why aren’t people more honest? Why do so many of us lie, sugar-coat or pretend?
  4. If you think someone isn’t being honest with you, how can you get them to be more honest?
  5. What if someone asks you to tell them the truth, but you know it’s going to hurt them? Aren’t some things better kept to yourself?
  6. What are some of the other difficult or touchy situations where the 7 keys can turn things around?
  7. How about using this with teenagers? I know of some parents whose kids are just out of control? Do these techniques help communication between parents and teens?
  8. How can these techniques help people become better at dealing with conflict? [or You’ve said this book is good for people pleasers. What if you’re a people pleaser and afraid to say anything that might upset someone…how can you learn to be more comfortable just telling it like it is?]
  9. We are now hearing that over one-third of marriages end in divorce. How can couples use your tools to keep them out of the divorce courts?
  10. Can these tools be used even in a very new relationship or a new friendship or are they most useful for long-standing couples? ( My answer will mention dating relationships)
  11. What about mystery? Doesn’t telling so much truth take much of the mystery out of dating?
  12. Are young people even looking for long-term relationships anymore? Are most of them just being friends and “hooking up” for sex on an as-needed basis?
  13. How would you counsel a person to introduce the topic of being more honest to someone they care about and would like to be more honest with?
  14. You also teach 10 “truth skills.” What are these 10 skills and why are they important? What does knowing the truth skills get you?
  15. You have a game that people can play to help them learn these skills. Who would play this game, and what does it involve?
  16. What advice do you have for someone who is trying to be more honest but is also afraid of hurting someone’s feelings?
  17. How can people begin to be more honest and real? What’s the first step?
  18. You talk about the Addiction to Control—calling your work “A 12-step Program for the Rest of Us.” Do you think we’re all addicted to lying? Is that what this implies?
  19. How can I tell if I’m too controlling?
  20. You write, “A complaint is a want in disguise.” This is interesting. What do you mean?
Interview Questions for Dr. Susan Campbell about Truth in Dating
  1. What’s the idea behind truth in dating? Are you saying people should be totally honest even on a first date?
  2. Why aren’t people more honest? Why do so many of us lie, sugar-coat or pretend?
  3. What about mystery? Doesn’t telling so much truth take much of the mystery out of dating?
  4. It takes people some time to get to know and trust another person. When would you advise people to begin telling the truth in dating?
  5. Are you telling people to tell the truth even about things that could hurt someone else?
  6. How would you counsel a person to introduce this topic to someone they are dating?
  7. You teach 10 “truth skills.” What are these 10 skills and why are they important? What does knowing the truth skills get you?
  8. What if my date asks me “Do I look fat in this dress?” If I’m honest, she might get her feelings hurt.
  9. What about with your kids? I can’t tell my kids everything I’m up to. I need to set a good example for them.
  10. You have a game that people can play to teach the skills. Who would play this game, and what does it involve?
  11. Where can people get the game?
  12. I hear you teach workshops titled TRUTH IN DATING. Do you really expect people who are first getting to know each other to speak truthfully—like about how someone smells or what they’re wearing?
  13. I have a situation with a person I’m dating (e.g. he has bad breath; e.g. the other person is attracted to me, but I don’t feel attracted) How should I tell this person?
  14. What advice do you have for someone who is trying to be more honest but is also afraid of hurting someone’s feelings?
  15. You talk about the importance of using dating relationships to “practice being yourself.” What do you mean by this?
  16. How can people begin to be more honest and real? What’s the first step?
  17. You talk about the difference between controlling and relating. What is the difference and why is this important?
  18. You talk about the Addiction to Control—calling your work “A 12-step Program for the Rest of Us.” Do you think we’re all addicted to lying? Is that what this implies?
  19. If I think I might be addicted to control—a control freak—how can I tell for sure?
  20. What’s wrong with being a control freak?
  21. You have a chapter in here called, “What can you realistically expect in a relationship?” So what can people realistically expect in a relationship?
  22. You talk about “Flirting with Presence.” Is this a new type of flirting? What do you mean?

Radio and TV Appearances

A Representative Sample of Radio and Television Shows that Have Featured Dr. Susan


CNN’s Newsnight
Dr. Dean Edell Show
Good Morning America
People Are Talking, KCBS, San Francisco, CA
Thinking Allowed, Nationally Syndicated
WISDOM Television , DISH Network
Morning Show, KFTY, Santa Rosa, CA
Asia Powers Show, Marin Channel 26, San Rafael, CA
Access Health Show, Petaluma Channel 11, Petaluma, CA

TRUTH IN LOVE, a weekly reality show based on Susan’s book, Truth in Dating (on UPN)


Nicholas Cimorelli Show, WBAI, New York, NY
Joey Reynolds Show, WABC, New York, NY
Positive Mind, WBAI, New York, NY
Forum, KQED, San Francisco, CA
Nita Valens Show, KPFK, Los Angeles, CA
The Aware Show, KPFK, Los Angeles, CA
The Qwest with Peter Weissbach, Seattle, WA
New Dimensions Radio with Michael Toms, Nationally Syndicated
Healthy Lifestyles, WDVR, Quakertown, NJ
Dick Kernan Show, WNIC, Detroit, MI
The Messenger Journal, WLBE, Leesburg, FL
Deelia Quigley Show, WNTI, Hackensack, NJ
Spiritkeeper, WDVR, Vancouver, BC
Elizabeth Gill Show, WWC/WSMB, New Orleans, LA
Morning Show, WTPT, Greenville, SC
Love Bytes,
Pandora’s Box, Planet Radio, Jacksonville Beach, FL
Bruce Edwards Show, WLAP, New Orleans, LA
Katrina Pulos, WPOW, Miami, FL
Powertalk, St. Augustine, FL
WCMY, Ottowa, IL
Donna Vonda Show, WWBA, FL

Story Ideas for Radio and Television Appearances

14 Story Ideas for Radio and Television Appearances

1. Dr. Campbell coaches a few singles on how to be authentic while flirting and meeting strangers. Then singles go out on the town with the intention of “flirting with presence” (one of the chapter titles from the book, Truth in Dating) The next day we all talk about how it went—what did you learn, what worked and didn’t.

2. Some audience members write “sales pitch-type” personals ads. Others write “nakedly honest” ads. (They are coached in how to do this.) Dr. Campbell reads a few and takes a poll re which approach is more appealing. (The naked truth almost always wins by a landslide.)

3. Audience members write personals ads (or some are taken from the local newspaper). Dr. Campbell reads some and comments on obvious people-pleaser strategies –how people unwittingly reveal the belief that they aren’t good enough.

4. Stage a debate (pro vs con) around the statement, “In LOVE, honesty is the best policy.” Volunteers from TV audience pick one side or the other and come up on stage. They are coached in how to use specifics from their own life experience to supprt their position. Each has one-half minute to convince a panel of judges (or the audience as a whole). For radio, listeners call in.

5. Get a group of single women who are interested in finding a life partner to attend one of my TRUTH IN DATING seminars. Viewers see them learning some of my “10 truth skills” and then trying these out with the male participants.

Alternative #1: They learn the skills and then go to a cocktail party, a bar, or a singles dance and try out what they have learned.

Alternative #2: Use both men and women or just men.

Afterward, they are interviewed on camera about what worked and didn’t work.

6. Do a show on “How Being Truthful Got Me Into Trouble”
Many sinlges will be pessimistic about the idea of telling the truth in a dating situation. On this show, Dr. Campbell listens to stories of disaster dates and shows the singles involved how they really were NOT being honest—even when they thought they were. Most people do not have the skills to be honest. Then Dr. Campbell shows them the difference between “honesty” that comes from the intent to CONTROL vs. honesty that comes from the intent to RELATE. Campbell has found that 90% of peoples’ communications come from the intent to control. We’re all control freaks in our own way!

7. Internet Dating and the personals ad craze…

  • How to use these dating services
  • Why people often prefer fantasy to reality
  • How you can tell if someone is lying

8. Can truthfulness and romance co-exist? Eight-time author and noted dating coach, Dr. Susan Campbell, says, “Absolutely. The fact is when you are being truthful, you’re more present, more “all there,” so you’re just naturally more magnetic and attractive.”

9. How to know when to end a dating relationship, and how to do so gracefully.

10. Why opposites attract This is the subject of a one-hour audio program produced and distributed by Psychology Today Magazine’s “experts in the fireld” series.

11. Don’t Look for Love…..Attract It! How You Can Become Magnetically Attractive…Once You Give Up Trying

12. How to say “no” gracefully.

13. How to keep the sense of obligation from ruining your marriage. [A recent study found that 37% of spouses lied to their mates about something significant.]

14. How to ask for what you want in a way that makes people want to give it to you.

Story Ideas for Magazine Articles

Story Ideas for Magazine Articles
[To: Lifestyles editor or Features editor]

1. Emerging Trend in Relationships and Lifestyles

“Baby Boomers are getting more real,” says noted psychologist Susan Campbell

Tell your readers How to Get the Most from Your Mid-life Crisis (No Matter What Your Age!)

A mid-life crisis is a time for taking a hard, sober look at your life…a time to take stock of what you have made of this precious gift called life.

As the baby boomers become 50-something (see cover of “O” Magazine, Dec 2003), more and more of them are doing just that. And what are they finding? Many are finding that they have accomplished this or that, but something more fundamental and real still eludes them. Many are finding that the life they have been living does not reflect who they truly are.

Noted psychologist, researcher, and baby boomer herself, Susan Campbell, after studying baby boomer trends for many years, has discovered an emerging trend among this age group–a trend that she calls “Getting Real.”

Getting Real means becoming fully yourself, freeing yourself from the “shoulds” you have taken on in response to social pressures. It means living with integrity and speaking the truth of your own experience–even if others disagree with you.

Dr. Campbell can show your audience/readers how to get real. She has developed a 10-step program that shows people how to:

  • let go of shoulds and discover what you really want in your life
  • express your needs with clarity and compassion
  • stop worrying about how others might react to your honesty
  • discover the joy and self-confidence that comes from being “real, unique and open to surprise” instead of always trying to be “right, safe, and certain.”

Dr. Campbell is author of 8 books, including, GETTING REAL: 10 Truth Skills You Need to Live an Authentic Life and TRUTH IN DATING: Finding Love by Getting Real

2. Baby Boomers Meet Modern Maturity: 
How the Effects of Aging are Affecting the 50-somethings

Hormonal changes and other physical changes due to aging make us more vulnerable. Our defenses don’t work like they used to. Neither does “our act.” So we are forced to get real.

3. Stop Being a People Pleaser: How to Say What You Honestly Feel Without Ruining Your Chances

Most singles admit that too much of their energy on a date is spent trying to impress. If you find yourself inhibiting what you really want to say for fear of making waves….or automatically agreeing with things you’d rather not do, maybe you’re too much of a people pleaser.

Dr. Campbell’s research has found that over 75% of this country’s adult population are people pleasers. She also notes also that people pleasers are really control freaks in sheep’s clothing. Campbell has developed a method for helping singles find their sense of safety and security within themselves instead of looking to others for validation. She calls her program TRUTH IN DATING. According to Campbell, this is sort of “a 12-step program for people pleasers.”

Magazine articles can be excerpted from the book, Truth in Dating, on such titles as:

The First Date: Getting Started Without Getting Ahead of Yourself

Deep Dating: Can You Love Your Partner’s Shadow?

Ten Common Myths About Sexual Intimacy

Dating Dilemmas: How to be Real in Tough Situations

What Can You Realistically Expect in a Relationship?

Fighting for Love: How to Disagree in a Healthy Way

The Five Stages Of Relationships: Romance in Only the Beginning

Flirting with Presence: Aware Communication Can Be Fun