mental health, therapy, counseling and psychology terms glossary


Everyone has experienced abandonment in one form or another. As children grow and begin to develop their self-worth, certain life events can cause shame and feelings of inadequacy. These past hurts can be hidden deep and may not be obvious, however, they can cause very real pain and be a driving force throughout adult life.

What is abandonment?

Abandonment is not a stand-alone health condition but is a form of anxiety and in some cases can be considered a phobia. People with abandonment issues have trouble in relationships because of a fear of the other person leaving them.

There are 5 different stages of abandonment as well as an acronym for these stages, SWIRL – Shattering, Withdrawal, Internalizing, Rage, and Lifting. Most people experience these stages all at once or they may flip flop from one to the other. Abandonment issues can be treated through therapy.

At Claibourne Counseling, we offer supportive treatment for individuals seeking freedom from past hurts!