Zanny, aka Suzanne Maiden, M.A., Family Therapist, certified grief counselor, and co-host of TheDivaCast Internet talk show, recently merged her professional experience with broadcasting to produce Dear Zanny, a one-of-a-kind virtual cozy couch where listener’s plop down their most confidential concerns. The online audio advice column offers a compassionate ear, a sympathetic shoulder, and sound suggestions to the world’s most universal relationship dilemmas.
Do you need to set firm boundaries with a toxic friend or family member? Maybe your child has suicidal tendencies or is engaging in the disturbing new trend of “cutting” (self injurious behavior). Is your spouse depressed, addicted, or abusive? Do you suspect he/she is caught up in an extramarital affair? Listeners are encouraged to email or call into the Dear Zanny hotline with their concerns. Zanny posts questions to her website, minus any identifiers for anonymity, and shares answers on-air in a radio-style format with concise considerations, suggestions, and resources.
Is Dear Zanny a substitution for professional counseling? Absolutely not. Zanny is quick to point out her show is for entertainment purposes only. Her talk show is an excellent place to touch one’s toe into the sometimes-intimidating reflecting pool of therapy, but is never intended to substitute for professional help.
Before adopting the Zanny persona, Suzanne Maiden, M.A. worked hard to qualify her post and earn listeners’ trust. Suzanne is revered by peers and clients, not only for her academic credentials, but her ability to relate to others with empathy and compassion. "Suzanne's tender heart fuels her in the art of psychotherapy,” says Cindy Carter, Ph.D., RN, Clinical Psychologist, Registered Nurse, and Pacifica Graduate Institute Professor. “Suzanne is an amazing host for affect, story, and experience. Her tenderness with clients is palpable.” And, as silly as it may sound, Suzanne is just plain FUN. Let’s face it, at times, the most healing quality a therapist may possess is a sense of humor.
Suzanne’s vivacious energy has brought her through experiences some only dare to imagine. She served five years active duty Air Force during the Cold War, where she earned expert marksman status and the title “Barbie in Combat Boots.” After tragically losing two close family members, one in a plane crash, the other a murder victim of a botched burglary, Suzanne found herself staring straight in the fear-evoking face of a rare and life-threatening cancer. Sometimes, truth is more far-fetched than fiction. As the mother of a young son, Suzanne had no other option than to face her fight head-on. After undergoing surgery and radiation therapy, she stood at a metaphorical crossroads and chose the path towards living a life committed not simply to surviving, but embracing her circumstances, learning from them, and reaching out to others with optimism and purpose.
Pain turned positive when Suzanne earned her certification in grief/bereavement counseling and began facilitating support groups for those who lost loved ones. While earning her Master’s in Counseling from Pacifica Graduate Institute, Santa Barbara, CA, Suzanne took a leap into the “wild frontier” of new media and supplemented her thesis with a complementary podcast--an Internet talk show called Insytworks--based on the work of famed Swiss Psychiatrist, C.G. Jung. And from there, Dear Zanny was born.
Suzanne is humbled and encouraged by the countless emails she receives from people seeking help. Patricia, from Green Bay, says "I logged onto your Dear Zanny podcast and one in particular struck a chord. I must tell you--you have changed my life today. Thank you so very much, Zanny.”
How do you find Dear Zanny? It’s as easy as clicking your computer mouse. Just visit her website and you can have the show delivered to your computer for free. If the mere idea of computers is enough to send you into therapy, you can simply dial 1-801-823-1125 and listen to Dear Zanny directly over your telephone. To ask an anonymous question, call the Dear Zanny hotline at (678) 884-0524 or visit . Suzanne Maiden is also available to speak to audiences about Self Injurious Behavior and Grief.