Change You Choose show

Change You Choose

Summary: Your Life After Trauma is a weekly radio program designed to bring support and information to trauma survivors, plus their caregivers and professionals. Hosted by Michele Rosenthal (a trauma survivor herself and certified professional coach), Your Life After Trauma provides resources, inspiration, hope and specific actions to help anyone learn to formulate a recovery plan, access healing potential and apply personal strengths to post-trauma recovery.

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  • Artist: Michele Rosenthal
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 How to Heal Complex-PTSD with Dr. Christine Courtois | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 33:50

There's PTSD, and then there's complex-PTSD, a branch of posttraumatic stress disorder that stems from the infliction of interpersonal trauma. Whether that's trauma at the hands of a friend or family member or at the deranged impulse of a stranger, how to heal complex-PTSD poses unique challenges. In this interview with internationally recognized C-PTSD expert, Dr. Christine Courtois, we answered these important questions about how to heal complex-PTSD: what is complex-PTSD? what are signs of complex trauma? how do PTSD and C-PTSD differ? what is possible in C-PTSD recovery? Dr. Courtois also shares her thoughts about how childhood trauma impacts the psyche, how C-PTSD develops, the importance of trauma-informed care, creating a healing sense of self, and building a "window of tolerance." Sit back, put your feet up and listen to Dr. Courtois' wisdom.... Christine A. Courtois PhD, ABPP specializes in the treatment of trauma, particularly for adults experiencing the effects of childhood incest and other forms of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. Dr. Courtois has worked with these issues for 30 years and has developed treatment approaches for complex posttraumatic and dissociative conditions for which she has received international recognition.

 Trauma, Cancer and Grief: Helping Children Heal | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 32:24

Trauma, cancer and grief combine into a powerful cocktail of shock, fear and uncertainty. Even for adults dealing with these intense emotions can be challenging. For children, however, the challenge happens at an age too early for them to have developed coping skills and executive thought processes to help ameliorate the blow. Discovering a parent, teacher or friend has been diagnosed with cancer rocks a child's world and introduces him to concepts of mortality, sickness and the potential for loss. At the same time, this is a teachable moment with the opportunity to shape a child's response to disturbing news and how he learns to process information. On today's episode of Changing Direction I chatted with two experts in the field of cancer and helping children heal. Joining me on the show were Maryann Makekau, founder of BecauseHopeMatters, and Jeanine Patten-Coble, founder of Little Pink Houses of Hope. Together we tackled the issues of trauma, cancer and grief, plus helping children heal. We discussed: the connection between trauma and grief how trauma and grief affect children suggestions for helping kids manage grief Makekau and Patten-Coble's terrific initiative for helping children heal From diagnosis through treatment cancer can be traumatic for patients, caregivers, family and friends. Especially for children navigating the fears related to the illness of someone they care about can be extremely grief, fear and pain-inducing. Maryann and Jeanine have ideas to make things easier for adults and children alike. Take a listen.... Maryann Makekau is an author, speaker, and radio co-host with over twenty-five years of mental health expertise. She is also a veteran, spouse of retired military member, and mother of two grown children. She founded Hope Matters to make a difference in hurting lives worldwide – while magnifying hope through her Little Pink Books and Little Patriot Books. Contact Maryann through her website,           Jeanine Patten-Coble was a high school history teacher and professional educational trainer for 15 years before being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009. Her own battle with breast cancer inspired the creation of Little Pink Houses of Hope. Her work, providing breast cancer patients and their families with a week long vacation away form doctor appointments and treatments, has made an amazing impact across the United States. Jeanine was recently honored by SELF magazine as the 2014 Women Doing Good award winner and by Former President George HW Bush as a Point of Light Award Winner. Her joy comes in knowing the way in which the national non- profit serves women in 48 states and Canada. She is inspired by all of the wonderful people that she has met through her service and is thankful that God showed up in her life in such a big and powerful way to put her on this mission. Jeanine has a Bachelor’s degree from Saint Louis University, a Master’s degree from NC A&T University and a degree in Non-Profit Management from Duke University. Jeanine is thrilled to have a wonderful husband, Terry and son, Jake who carried her through her own cancer journey with their strength, support and love. She currently lives in Burlington, North Carolina. Website: email:  

 Feeling Fragile in PTSD and Trauma Recovery | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 8:24

Dr. Doreen Dupont is a physician who spends a lot of time on social media -- which is where I met her and we struck up a conversation about how to handle those feelings of self-fragility after trauma. Dr. Dupont knows about this first-hand: In 2007 Dr. Dupont injured her back and had to retire from practicing medicine. Although she still retains her medical license she's had to reconceptualize her life after trauma. In our conversation she shares freely about her perspective, plus what she's learned about: defining post-trauma limitations accepting who you are finding the way to manage in your "new normal" being assertive -- even when you don't feel empowered! Take a listen here as we two survivors hash out a plan for feeling fragile in PTSD and trauma recovery -- and learning to move forward anyway... Dr. Doreen Dupont describes herself this way.... I injured my back in 2007 and became disabled and stopped working as a physician, although I have retained an active license as a physician. While I was working, for a long time I had a medical talk radio show. I stopped doing it after i became ill and retired. In 2012 I became a member of the Foreign Press Association of London so I could cover the Royal Wedding of William and Kate and I keep that accreditation. For over two years now I have been doing radio shows again, I call my radio I am very active on social media.  I broadcast on WWPR1490 Tampa Bay weekly. I recently did an interview with Ben Vereen on homelessness and had that interview verified by CNN, so it is now officially their report. My radio podcasts can be found at:

 PTSD Healing Techniques: A New Model | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 45:06

During my recovery I used a slew of PTSD healing techniques that included traditional, alternative and artistic components. I found that the more I diverged from the "shoulds" of a theoretical approach to healing -- the more I customized my process for me -- the better my results became. In your healing you, too, might notice that following the 'rules' of recovery makes you feel stifled while letting your intuition guide you brings you to a place of more empowerment in healing, more focus and comfort, and a much more gentle PTSD healing technique overall. If you're feeling stuck or looking for a way to revamp your PTSD recovery program then this interview is for you. One of my favorite practitioners of all time is Courtney Armstrong. I interviewed her a few years ago about transforming traumatic grief and had the real pleasure of interviewing her again recently about her new book (which I loved!), The Therapeutic "Aha!" 10 Strategies for Getting Your Clients Unstuck. Whether you're a clinician, survivor or caregiver you will learn an enormous amount from our conversation and walk away with ideas about how to develop a more effective way to turn PTSD healing techniques into a successful PTSD recovery program. In our conversation we covered: the limits of talk therapy why events continue to haunt us long after they occur how to use your voice in therapy Plus a slew of other tangential topics that left me wishing we had hours, not just minutes, to pick Courtney's brain. She's so human in every moment and applies her humanness to her approach to PTSD healing techniques. It works. After spending time with Courtney's voice and ideas anyone would have the feeling of what's possible in PTSD recovery, plus new ways to make it happen.

 Combat PTSD and the Family: Healing in Relationships | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 29:41

Combat PTSD and the family unit are a tough combination. How do survivors and their caregivers manage symptoms and the uncertainty of life with PTSD? How to keep a relationship functional and even loving can be challenging when posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms start to emerge. Actually, whether you come from a military or civilian background the human elements of this balancing act are the same. In today's episode of Changing Direction veteran Tony Seahorn and his wife Dr. Janet Seahorn join me to discuss: the presentation of PTSD symptoms the PTSD mindset the caregiver perspective clues your loved one might be struggling with PTSD how healing begins what helps a partnership stay intact Fave quote: "PTSD is not a disorder but a reordering of your brain." About my guests: Dr. Janet J. Seahorn is a professor at Colorado State University. She specializes in neuro-science research and lectures on the development of the human mind. Tony retired early as a Corporate Director to concentrate on PTSD treatment with the VA in hopes of improving his quality of life. He has learned that the scars of combat often run deep and the process of healing may last a lifetime. Hope is eternal. Tony & Janet have two grown sons along with two very demanding Labrador Retrievers. Tony continues to heal from the physical and emotional wounds of war. He volunteers with the VA and veteran groups to share his story and to help others who are struggling with the scars of battle. Discussions center on the healing of Mind, Body and Spirit.  

 PTSD and Resilience: When Drugs Aren’t Enough | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

A show about people who are creating change they choose; why and how they do it. If your life has gotten to a point where things feel stuck, stalled or just plain wrong it’s time to think about CHANGING DIRECTION. On this bi-weekly program we cover a wide spectrum of topics designed to help you turn yourself around and get headed in the right direction. With guests from backgrounds that include self-help, mental health, trauma, motivation and inspiration, I’ll interview experts and everyday people about what it takes to change direction and how you can get the job done.

 EMS and PTSD: Reducing the Stimga | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

A show about people who are creating change they choose; why and how they do it. If your life has gotten to a point where things feel stuck, stalled or just plain wrong it’s time to think about CHANGING DIRECTION. On this bi-weekly program we cover a wide spectrum of topics designed to help you turn yourself around and get headed in the right direction. With guests from backgrounds that include self-help, mental health, trauma, motivation and inspiration, I’ll interview experts and everyday people about what it takes to change direction and how you can get the job done.

 PTSD Recovery: Do We Get Over It or On With It? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 9:13

I had lunch with an entrepreneur friend today who's grieving the loss of a business that went belly up at the end of last year. Sitting together in an outdoor cafe across the street from the beach he paused, sandwich halfway to his mouth and said, "I just don't think I'll ever get over this." I remember feeling that way about my trauma. When something bad happens to us -- and then we struggle to come to terms and carry on -- the question of getting over it or just getting on with it becomes very real. In the face of post-trauma and PTSD symptoms this is doubly so. Recently, I sat down for a chat with one of my favorite clinical colleagues, Suzanne Phillips, about exactly this topic. You can listen to her ideas in this You Can Do This! Quick Clip, a new feature and format of Changing Direction radio: 5-minute interviews that deliver maximum information in minimum amount of time. Phillips and I discussed: The answer to the question, "Do we get over it or just get on with it?" 3 significant elements that help us move forward A redefinition of "recovery" 2 tools for staying on track Want to hear more from Dr. Phillips? Listen to the other interviews we've done on Changing Direction: How to Find Your Voice After Trauma Couples Healing Together Suzanne B. Phillips Psy.D., ABPP,CGP,FAGPA is a licensed Psychologist, Psychoanalyst, Diplomate in Group Psychology, Certified Group Therapist, Fellow and Board Member and Co-chair of Community Outreach for the American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA). She is Adjunct Full Professor of Clinical Psychology in the psychology doctoral program at LIU Post, N.Y. and has provided services and training nationally and internationally on trauma and disaster. In February 2008, as Community Outreach Chair of AGPA, she gave testimony before Congress for the needs of military and their families. Dr. Phillips is the co-author of three books, and over 40 articles and chapters. Most recently she co-authored, Healing Together: A Couple’s Guide to Coping with Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress. She is a weekly blogger for Psych Central and hosts her own weekly radio show and podcast “Psych Up” on CoSozo Radio and live at WMIQ 1450 AM in Michigan. She has appeared on national TV – Fox 5 Good Day New York and Good Day Street Talk. She has a private practice in Northport, N.Y. 11768.

 PTSD and Grief: Mourning to Heal Trauma | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 36:31

PTSD, grief, mourning, healing and trauma all go together in the mix that is the pallette of colors in recovery from posttraumatic stress. I know in my own recovery grief was ever-present. Maybe you, like me, have experienced the feeling of the sudden urge to cry, an ache that follows you everywhere and the heavy feeling that settles over you and won't go away. During my healing process I had to grieve the loss of who I had been (a child I'd never been completely aware of), the loss of who I could have been, and the loss of over 25 years that were shrouded in PTSD darkness. It took a long time for those wounds to heal. I didn't have a real understanding of grief back then, nor did I know how important it was to mourn -- or even how to do that. How much do you know about grieving and mourning -- the difference between them and how to use them in recovery? In this episode of Changing Direction radio I spoke with Dr. Alan Wolfelt, an expert in grief and mourning. In our conversation we covered:  Why hope is essential in healing (plus how to borrow hope when you don't have it) The difference between grief and mourning, plus the role each plays in healing What it means to mourn, and how to do it well The benefits of transforming grief to mourning Fave quote: Reconciling [grief] isn't about closing but opening. MEET OUR EXPERT: Dr. Alan Wolfelt is the Founder/Director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition is the author of many books on healing grief, including Reframing PTSD as Trauma Grief.

 Where Does PTSD Come From? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

A show about people who are creating change they choose; why and how they do it. If your life has gotten to a point where things feel stuck, stalled or just plain wrong it’s time to think about CHANGING DIRECTION. On this bi-weekly program we cover a wide spectrum of topics designed to help you turn yourself around and get headed in the right direction. With guests from backgrounds that include self-help, mental health, trauma, motivation and inspiration, I’ll interview experts and everyday people about what it takes to change direction and how you can get the job done.

 PTSD and Eating Disorders: A Natural Coping Mechanism | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 29:07

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and eating disorders don't usually share the headline of any conversation -- but they should considering the fact that 66% of eating disorder patients have a trauma history. Plus, PTSD is a strong predictor (that means it increases your likelihood) of experiencing eating disorder behavior. Indeed, I myself struggled for over twenty years with anorexia. It began as a simple bid to feel safe in and control my body. With time, however, I realized I couldn't stop: to me, anorexia felt like an addiction to food restriction. Today, in honor of National Eating Disorder Awareness week I spoke with two guests from the National Eating Disorder Association about the link between PTSD and eating disorders. In our conversation we covered: A definition of the three most common eating disorders What symptoms you might experience How to overcome fear, shame and embarrassment in reaching out for help. The value of peer to peer support. What first step to take if you think you may have an eating disorder Plus, we touched on secrecy, avoidance, isolation and withdrawal -- all parts of both the PTSD and eating disorder experience. Lauren Lohse has been an integral part of NEDA’s Programs Department since joining the team in February 2014.  As the Navigator Program Manager, Lauren trains, manages, and oversees volunteers around the nation to help NEDA deliver information, referrals, and individualized support services to individuals and families affected by eating disorders.  Lauren attended the University of Kansas, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, with a minor in Business. During this time, she also gained extensive experience in the mental health field by working in a treatment center for women and children recovering from alcohol and substance abuse.  She then continued her studies in The Netherlands, where she received a Master of Science degree in Clinical and Health Psychology from Leiden University and conducted focused research on patients with celiac disease as part of collaboration between Leiden’s Institute of Psychology and the Leiden University Medical Center, investigating the relationship between physical health, nutrition, and mood.  Lauren is passionate about her work with NEDA and enjoys helping Navigators continue to spread hope for recovery and provide truly life-changing support and guidance to individuals when they need it most. In her free time, Lauren enjoys playing tennis, traveling, cycling, and volunteering as a member of various alumni groups and community organizations. Lauren Smolar has been with NEDA since 2011. Prior to joining the NEDA staff, Lauren volunteered on the NEDA Helpline as a trained phone  operator. Her responsibilities as Helpline Manager include overseeing daily training and supervision of volunteers, the volunteer program, NEDA Forums, and the communication between co-collaborating programs involved with the Helpline. Lauren also oversees the tracking of data and feedback collected through Helpline. Lauren has been part of expanding Helpline hours, as well as offering online chat and moderated recovery forums. She is currently working on strengthening NEDA’s remote volunteer capabilities so that individuals all over the country have the ability to get involved. Lauren completed her undergraduate degree from Queens College, finishing with a Bachelor’s degree in Family & Consumer Studies as well as training in Psychology, Sociology, Counseling and Student Services disciplines. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Program Evaluation and Policy Analysis. She is passionate about increasing access to care and helping individuals and families affected by eating disorders to find the support they are looking forward to move forward with recovery.

 Leticia Yuzefpolsky: Trauma, Hope and Healing | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 30:52

Leticia Yuzefpolsky has faced a devastating trauma abyss: On Christmas Eve 2008 her parents, siblings and other family members were murdered right before her eyes. In her own words she says she knew, I have a choice here to allow this to take me down.... or be that strong example.... and gather my thoughts and feelings for what to do next. A survivor success story of the finest degree, Leticia's open honesty about healing and moving forward offers anyone a glimpse into how-to actions that bring a sense of groundedness, focus, purpose and action. In our conversation Leticia and I covered: How trauma changed her; the difference before and after Answering the question, "Who am I now?" Tapping into a sense of knowing How to face fear and what to do about it Leticia Yuzefpolsky exemplifies how hope and faith can transcend even the worst tragedies. On Christmas Eve 2008 she lost her parents, 4 siblings, and several other family members to a mass homicide.  As she has traveled a road of recovery from unimaginable loss and trauma, many people have found inspiration in her unquenchable spirit. Even before the tragedy, Leticia wanted to help people. Now, she is determined to use her personal tragedy to encourage others. Her positive spirit and manner of connecting with people encourages them to move forward through their own life struggles. She is currently working on a book about her own healing and journey of hope. To learn more about Leticia and her personal story go to  

 Savvy Central Radio: New Interview with Michele Rosenthal | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

I had such a good time chatting with Savvy Central Radio host, Christina Nitschmann, last week about trauma, PTSD and, my fave topic, how do we heal? After the show one listener raved, Michele is THE expert on PTSD - she delivers information, encouragement, and puts things into perspective. She is approachable, kind and knowledgeable. Not to mention, she gives concrete working solutions and exercises to help move us forward. I sure don't know everything, but I do try to be a useful source for creative, outside-the-box approaches to healing. In our brief conversation Christina and I covered: 1) My brief overview of my personal PTSD trauma and history and how I came to write my new book, Your Life After Trauma. 2) What exactly is Post traumatic Stress disorder, and how do you know if you might be affected by it? 3) What are some of the greatest myths about PTSD in our culture? 4) Why does trauma often leave a person feeling uncertain of who they are, today (the person after the trauma)? 5) Sometimes there is a disconnect, between the person you are today and the one you were before, as if the person after the trauma is less whole than you were before the traumatic event, why is this? 6) What are some ways you can start building a post-trauma identity so that you feel whole again? If the answers to these questions interests you take a listen:

 Dr. Eric Maisel: Putting Purpose Into Your PTSD Recovery | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 30:08

One of the most important things in healing from trauma and PTSD is reclaiming your sense of self. That is, creating The New You even when you don't know what that means. An easy way to get yourself focused is to use the purpose process; defining what's meaningful to you and working your connection to that into a daily practice. Today I interviewed Dr. Eric Maisel, an expert in this space. We talked about his new book, Life Purpose Boot Camp: The 8-Week Breakthrough Plan for Creating A Meaningful Life. In our conversation we covered: defining "life purpose" (it's not what you think!) the role of meaning how life purpose supports the recovery process how to forgive yourself whenever you need to how life purpose changes as you change My fave quote: Recovery becomes one our life purposes. Listen to your discussion here: Dr. Eric Maisel is the author of over 40 books ranging from creativity to writing to meaning, purpose and natural psychology. For more information visit:  

 Healing Traumatic Brain Injury: A Survivor’s Story | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Just before her first wedding anniversary and just after a Yankee game in July 2008 Angela Leigh Tucker's life changed forever: a jackknifed tractor-trailer hit the car in which Angela and her husband were driving. Angela survived but with a traumatic brain injury that would change her life forever. How she found strength, resilience and the courage to rebuild her life after trauma was the subject of today's episode of Changing Direction radio. During our interview Angela and I discussed: how to balance grieving and healing how to access and develop courage the role of purpose in recovery using spirituality to access resilience how to answer the question, "What am I going to do now?" how to bridge the gap between who you were before trauma and who you are afterward We also had a surprise guest join us: Bill Ramsey, Angela's co-author for her book, Me Now -- Who Next?. Together they spoke about the power and challenges of telling a trauma story. My fave quote by Angela: The greatest gift of the crash is the present moment. Angela Leigh Tucker survived a car crash in July 2008 that killed her husband.  She sustained a traumatic brain injury, and has been growing, healing, and learning ever since.  Angela coauthored a book about her healing journey called Me Now---Who Next?  She is an advocate for brain injury awareness and is currently the chairwoman for the NYC chapter of the Brain Injury Association of NY State (BIANYS.)  For more from Angela, go to


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