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  • Writer's pictureMel Katzenmeyer

Episode #67 - Healing At Work: Pt 1 Ft. Susan Schmitt Winchester - Overcoming limiting beliefs

In this powerful episode, Susan Schmitt Winchester shares her personal journey of healing and growth, discussing how her childhood experiences and limiting beliefs impacted her 36-year career. Susan reveals that despite her impressive accomplishments, she struggled with feelings of inadequacy and turned to unhealthy coping mechanisms to manage painful emotions.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Childhood experiences and trauma can significantly impact our adult lives and careers, often leading to limiting beliefs and unhealthy coping mechanisms.

  2. Recognizing the connection between our past experiences and current emotional triggers is crucial for personal growth and healing.

  3. Susan and her co-author, Martha, coined the term "Adult Survivor of a Damaged Past" (ASDP) to describe individuals who have experienced significant negative events or trauma in childhood.

  4. Symptoms of being an ASDP include experiencing more painful emotions than positive ones in the workplace, ruminating on negative experiences, and engaging in unhealthy patterns to manage emotions.

  5. The Rapid Power Reclaim (RPR) is a three-step process Susan developed to help individuals regain their power when emotionally triggered:

  • Step 1: Create Choice - Allow yourself to feel and process your emotions through sound, movement, or breath.

  • Step 2: Elevate Action - Choose to take a different, more constructive action instead of falling into old patterns.

  • Step 3: Celebrate and Integrate - Reshape neural pathways by celebrating your progress and integrating new beliefs and response systems.

Susan's story serves as an inspiration for anyone struggling with the impact of their past on their present life and career. By sharing her journey and the tools she's developed, Susan empowers listeners to embark on their own path of conscious healing and growth. Part two available April 10, 2024.

Episode Transcript


Susan Winchester healing at work

Susan Schmitt Winchester is currently Senior HR Advisor for Applied Materials, a Fortune 150 Silicon Valley company, and the former Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer for Applied Materials.  Additionally, she previously held the CHRO role for Rockwell Automation. She is also the CEO and Founder of Healing at Work. 


She has more than 36 years of experience in corporate HR providing executive leadership in multiple leadership roles, both in the US and globally. She continually looks to meet today’s global business challenges with creative organization and people strategies that engage people, support a dynamic, inclusive corporate culture, and enable company exceptional performance. Her passion is teaching and inspiring executives, leaders and professionals how to succeed by discovering greater self-acceptance, fulfillment and joy at work and in life, especially those who came from dysfunctional childhoods.


Susan is the author of the book, Healing at Work: A Guide to Using Career Conflicts to Overcome Your Past and Build the Future You Deserve, with Martha I. Finney.


Additionally, Susan is a fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources—the highest professional honor for leaders in HR. She serves as a Board member for the HR Policy Association and on the Executive Committee of the Peer Roundtable for CHROs.  She is Chair, Leadership Advisory Board to the Dean of Engineering, College of Engineering at the University of Michigan. And Susan is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management Executive Network.

For more information about Susan, please visit: 


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