"Young girl, chalkboard, abc, relationships"Let’s say there’s someone in your life you feel ambivalent about. Perhaps it’s a colleague at work…or someone you’ve just started dating…or even someone you used to be friends with but who now makes you feel a bit uneasy. According to Susan Apollon, it’s not always easy to put a finger on what you’re feeling—much less why you’re feeling it.

If this is true for you, it’s time to practice what Apollon calls the ABC technique or the “Face, Embrace, and Replace” method. Here’s how it works:

A is for AWARENESS and ACKNOWLEDGMENT. First, you must “Face” what makes you feel bad. Find a place you can be alone for a few minutes and sit quietly in a chair or on the floor. Think about the person and relationship in question. Picture him or her in your mind.

Now, put your hand on your heart (this is the center of truth) and ask yourself, Am I feeling good (or okay) or not good at this moment? If your answer is “not good,” put the same hand on your forehead and ask yourself, What is my thought, picture, or image that makes me not feel good?

Now, take time to Acknowledge or “Embrace” the picture or thought. If you feel pain or anxiety, give yourself permission to really feel it. Don’t be surprised if you have a strong emotional reaction. Kick, scream, or cry it out—for a few moments, or more, if needed, but not too much more, if possible.

B is for BREATH and BREATHING OUT YOUR PAIN. Learn to use the Gift of Breath and then use your ability to lift yourself energetically to a higher level of well-being. Take three deep breaths. As you breathe in, visualize yourself breathing in the colorful and magnificent energy of the Universe or God. (Yes, actually give it a color so you can “see” it more readily.)

Watch and feel this powerful healing energy coming in and filling your body with amazing warm, relaxing energy. Be aware that you are breathing in peace and breathing out the pain and anxiety that this unhealthy relationship causes you. As you breathe, you experience heaviness, warmth, and deep relaxation, as well as a feeling of lightness, enabling you to shift to a higher energetic level. Be sure to visualize yourself breathing up the energy of pain and suffering in your heart and belly and releasing it through your mouth, lips slightly parted.

C is for CHOICE and CHOOSING RELATIONSHIPS THAT FEEL GOOD or BETTER. Here’s where you “Replace” your negative energy with positive energy. Be conscious of how you are feeling, moment by moment. It’s time to make a conscious choice: do I want to continue this relationship as it is, or should I shift to a different level of connection…perhaps one that’s less intimate and more cordial?

Make your decision. Then feel the healing energy of your choice flow through your body.



As a psychologist and an author, Susan Apollon empowers and heals the body, mind, and soul; as an educator, she informs; as a speaker, she inspires and touches the heart.

For more than twenty-five years, Susan has been in private practice in Yardley, PA, evaluating and counseling adults, families, and children who are dealing with difficult life situations similar to what she has personally experienced, researched, and written about, including cancer, other health issues, trauma, and grief.

She integrates the gifts and challenges of having lived more than sixty-five years with the joy and satisfaction of being married for more than forty-four years to her husband, Warren, a practicing orthodontist, along with the role of being mom to her two adult children, Rebecca, an Emergency Medicine physician, and her son, David, a Management Consultant.