Michele: IN MY OWN WORDS
Mission | Purpose | Passion | Values
To creatively inspire and intuitively assist emotional and spiritual healing after trauma through gentle, efficient and effective holistic modalities.
To help every survivor who desires to feel better find freedom from the negative effects of trauma so that she can build a successful life that does good in the world.
Guiding survivors to release post-trauma patterns and habits so that they can effortlessly access creativity, imagination, energy, and the ability to manifest the life and career they most deeply desire.
My Story: HOW I GOT WHERE I AM TODAY
1 horrific trauma + 1 healing rampage = 1 happy life
In 1981 I survived an horrific trauma. A thirteen-year-old child, I was given a routine antibiotic for a routine infection and suffered anything but a routine reaction: An undiscovered allergy to the medication turned me into a full-body burn victim -- inside and out. I spent weeks in a quarantined burn unit room in a New York City hospital. I lost 100% of the first two layers of skin. I had a Near Death Experience that rocked me to the core. By the time I was released from the hospital I had experienced fear, terror and excruciating pain. I had lost my skin, but even more importantly, I had completely lost myself.
For the next twenty-four years I struggled with anxiety, fear, anger, insomnia, recurring nightmares, mood swings, depression, suicidal thoughts, fibromyalgia, hypervigilance, control issues, anorexia, digestive issues, mystery illnesses no specialist in Manhattan could diagnose-- and the absolute inability to speak about what happened to me.
A complete mental and physical meltdown drove me into therapy. Five years of talking about the past worsened my symptoms until I feared for my life. Something had to change. I decided to take control of my recovery.
I dove into research about trauma psychology and healing methodologies. I read everything from the dawn of trauma theory in the 1880s to modern day. I started to understand that simply talking about the past does not heal it. The memory of trauma lies buried deep in our body's cells and our subconscious mind's programming. These are the most crucial elements to engage in healing.
Without guidance or guarantee of success, I launched my own trauma recovery protocol. First, I found a trauma trained professional to diagnose PTSD. Then, I combined a physical program with alternative modalities to rewire my subconscious mind and deactivate the trauma neurology. Suddenly, my physical, mental and emotional symptoms started to wane, and then disappear.
I learned a lot during my own trauma and PTSD recovery. I learned about the importance of hope and belief – from inside myself and from those working with me. I also learned about the critical elements of self-empowerment, vision, meaning and identity. Plus, how we can harness those core strengths and apply them to healing trauma.
By the time I completed my trauma recovery transformation I’d learned a lot about what it takes to release the past, connect to the present, and build a new future. I’d also developed a really deep desire to do something with all that knowledge.
Since then I have made it my focus to inspire, guide and assist survivors to overcome depression, worry, and fear as they rebuild their lives after trauma and adversity. A popular keynote speaker, award-winning PTSD blogger, award-nominated author, workshop/seminar leader and mentor, for many years I hosted the radio program and podcast series, Changing Direction, a show dedicated to interviewing the top experts in the fields of trauma, psychology, and neurobiology. Lastly, I am the creator of an award-winning blog and educational web site about posttraumatic stress disorder.
My Training: WHY I WENT HOLISTIC
Hypnosis | Neuro-Linguistic Programming | Coaching
Traditional approaches to trauma healing only utilize the 12% of your brain that is your conscious self. That is, the part of your brain responsible to short-term memory, analytical thinking and rational thoughts.
But what about the other 88% of your brain; your subconscious mind? That's the part that houses all of your long-term memory, assumptions, beliefs, associations and reactive emotional motivators. Surely, this part of your brain can offer an enormous amount of opportunities to effect healing, right? Yes!
In fact, while my own trauma recovery started with traditional talk therapy and other conventional methods (all of which can be very important in the healing process), I discovered -- as do many trauma survivors -- that just talking about what happened rarely brings healing. More than that, it can often stall the healing process as we get stuck in telling and reliving our story (and being defined by that story) for far too long.
When it came to getting trained to help survivors heal trauma I had a big choice to make: traditional therapy or alternative healing modalities. I chose the latter for one simple reason:
At a certain point in my recovery I realized that survivors need more effective methods than talk and cognitive practices. I tested out a slew of alternative modalities and was delighted to discover that I could heal from engaging in practices that allowed me to stop telling my story -- and start rewriting my story instead.
Later I became certified in the three modalities that I felt added the most to my trauma recovery success: high-level coaching, hypnosis and Neuro-Linguistic Programming. In combination these modalities address both parts of the brain, the conscious and subconscious (or, if you like math, 100% of the brain).
For my trainings I sought out the top teachers in each field and the most rigorous programs so that I could stretch, develop, explore and refine my skills. As a trauma recovery specialist I am trained and certified as a Professional Coach, Trauma and PTSD hypnotist, and Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming. (All of these tools are available to you. In our work together you call the shots and choose which techniques you want to include.)
After Work: WHEN I'M NOT IN THE OFFICE I'M...
Dancing| Relaxing | Reading
....on the beach with our Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier rescue (and now Certified Therapy Dog working in my office), Tipper.
....with my dance instructor, turned dance partner, turned husband. Our favorite dances: salsa, bachata and Argentine Tango.
.... because there's always so much more to learn, experience, and discover!