Michele Rosenthal, CPC, CHt, NLPAward-Nominated Author, Speaker, Post-Trauma Coach
MICHELE ROSENTHAL is the Chief Hope Officer (CHO) of Your Life After Trauma, LLC. In this role she inspires and guides audiences to overcome depression, anxiety and fear as they rebuild their lives after trauma and adversity. A popular keynote speaker, award-winning blogger, award-nominated author, workshop/seminar leader and certified professional coach, Michele hosts the radio program, Changing Direction, and is the founder of HealMyPTSD.com. Michele is also a trauma survivor who struggled with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for over twenty-five years.
After successfully completing her “healing rampage” several years ago (she remains 100% free of PTSD symptoms,) Michele now dedicates her professional career to helping survivors, caregivers and healing professionals learn about the effects of trauma and more efficiently navigate the recovery process.
In her role as a mental health advocate Michele appears frequently in the media including, CBS, NBC, The Dennis Miller Show, Ladies’ Home Journal, The Washington Post, Newsday, St. Petersburg Times, Orlando Sentinel, The Palm Beach Post and the Huffington Post. Michele is a staff writer for RewireMe.com, a top health blogger for the Stress Management Community on Wellsphere.com, the founder of Trauma! A PTSD blog on HealthyPlace.com, and a frequent contributor to Anxiety.org, Addiction.com and Recovery.org.
Winner of the Mending Broken Survivor Advocate award, in 2015 Michele was named a finalist for the WEGO Health Activist Hero award. She is a former faculty member of the Clinical Development Institute for Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center. A former university business and writing instructor, Michele holds an MFA in Poetry.
Michele’s books include, Before The World Intruded: Conquering the Past and Creating the Future (selected as a finalist for the Books For A Better Life Award, Next Generation Indie Book Award, and the International Book Award); Your Life After Trauma: Powerful Practices for Reclaiming Your Identity (W. W. Norton) and Heal Your PTSD: Dynamic Strategies That Work (Conari Press).
A dynamic and compelling speaker Michele appears across the country at conferences and events for survivors and professionals representing a wide range of traumas, including life-threatening illness, traumatic brain injury, sexual assault, child abuse and combat. Her trainings and presentations have been sought by many organizations, including Brain Injury Association of Tennessee, Department of Children and Family Services, LunaFest, JFK Comprehensive Cancer Institute, Bethesda Women’s Health Center, Susan G. Komen, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Florida Society of Clinical Oncology, Mental Health Association of Palm Beach County, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Jupiter Medical Center, Florida Atlantic University, Pasco-Hernandez Community College, Palm Beach County, Wellington Regional Hospital, Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response Center, South Florida Radiation Oncology and Florida Writers Association.
Michele's MediaA sample of print, radio and television appearances.
In Michele's Own WordsA brief history....
HOW TRAUMA & PTSD CHANGED MY LIFE
In 1981 life really shocked me: I was 13 years old when I found myself struggling to survive Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis Syndrome (TENS), a freak allergy to a medication that turned me into a full-body burn victim almost overnight. With a mortality rate of up to 70% this rare illness was so unknown that none of my doctors had ever seen a case. By the time I was released from the hospital I had lost 100% of the first two layers of my skin. Today, TENS patients are immediately induced into a coma. Back in 1981, however, we were left to endure the horror of having your skin ripped off your body while fully awake. You can imagine that after such an experience I was a very different girl. The kid I had been was gone. The girl in her place was a complete stranger. It didn’t take long for insomnia, intrusive thoughts, nightmares and flashbacks to set in. I didn’t tell anyone. I was determined to go back to who I’d been before my illness, so I avoided all mention of my trauma, pretended the past was behind me and ran as fast as I could into the future.
Within 5 years I was a complete and total insomniac, anorexic, melt down mess. Over the years everyone thought I was a difficult teenager, and then a temperamental artist, and then just a really moody woman. The therapists my parents forced me to see didn’t recognize my classic symptoms of PTSD. By my mid-twenties the stress of constant hypervigilance and hyperarousal, the lack of sleep, the unrelenting on-the-go lifestyle I lived so that I did not have to be alone with my thoughts began to entirely undermine my health.
By the end of my twenties I was very ill: my hair was falling out, my liver, stomach and small intestines were in various stages of dysfunction. I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, and possible liver cancer (both of which turned out to be false, psychosomatic symptoms). By my mid-thirties I had developed advanced osteoporosis because, unable to get the nutrition it needed, by body pirated the minerals in my bones. Still, none of the specialists or psychologists we consulted and with whom I worked recognized my symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress.
In desperation I began to do my own research. It was my proactive, self-empowered search for information and help that led to my PTSD diagnosis. Finally, after 24 years of living without understanding why I seemed crazy, I had a name for my insanity. Receiving my diagnosis was only the beginning of my healing journey. Literally, the journey took me from New York City to Palm Beach, Florida. In the end, it required 10 modalities and quite a few practitioners to get me to where I am today: 100% free of all PTSD symptoms. If you’re on the edge of your seat to know how I made it to freedom, you can read the full version of my PTSD recovery and current mission.
HOW I’M USING MY EXPERIENCE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Now that I’m on the other side of healing I’m devoting my career to giving back and pulling together all the information anyone would need to discover what there is to know about symptoms of PTSD, treatment options and the path to feeling better.
How Heal My PTSD came into existence:
I learned a lot during my 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 element of self-empowerment and how we can harness its strength and apply it to PTSD recovery. By the time I came out of the dark PTSD fog 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. I began blogging about my recovery. The first to respond with comments and emails were veterans writing,
How do you know exactly how I feel? You’ve just put into words what I’ve been trying to find words to describe for over 20 years.
It didn’t take long before I was receiving those kinds of comments and emails from survivors of all types of trauma, from child abuse, to sexual assault, domestic violence, childhood sexual abuse, rape, accidents and illnesses. A community formed. We got into conversations and I realized that the best thing I could do with what I learned was pull all of it together in one place where information and education were easily accessible to survivors and their caregivers, families and friends. In 2009 HealMyPTSD.com was born. Basically, I built the site I wished I had when I was diagnosed: something easy to read and full of information about PTSD symptoms, PTSD treatment options, and PTSD recovery support.
The birth of a bigger vision:
The response to Heal My PTSD was overwhelming and positive. It didn’t take long for me to understand that this site was only the beginning of my post-PTSD journey. In order to really be equipped to give back I’d have to become professionally certified to help people. So that’s what I did. In order to become a PTSD Coach I studied to practice as a Certified Professional Coach, Certified Hypnotist, and Certified Neuro-Linguistic Programmer. I learned how to help survivors access their healing potential through methods that empower, strengthen, and harness the creativity of both the conscious and subconscious minds. Now, as a mental health advocate, professional keynote speaker, award-winning blogger, award-nominated author, workshop/seminar leader, certified professional coach and Changing Direction radio show host I use my personal experience, education, professional training and research to help survivors learn to cope with, manage and strategize the PTSD recovery process. Geez, I love my job! Partnering with survivors to help them take back their power and learn to live with courage, confidence and imagination gives me a sense of joy as powerful as letting me loose on a dance floor.