I thoroughly enjoyed this soulful and educational interview with Roberto (Rob) Rodriguez as we discussed his work as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor, his books and curriculum, work in incarceration facilities, his upcoming curriculum: A Young Man’s Guide to Self-Mastery, his own personal story of triumph, and much more.
“Roberto Rodriquez, M.A., has over twelve years of experience in the treatment of substance use disorder. He is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor. He has worked in intensive outpatient settings and residential settings, providing transformative experiences for adolescents, men, couples, and families. Rob currently works with Family Recovery Resource Experts in Saint Paul, MN, where they specialize in trauma-informed intensive family workshops. He is the co-author of Exploring Trauma: A Brief Intervention for Men with Dr. Stephanie Covington. This is the only research- based, brief intervention program related to trauma for men published by Hazelden. His latest project is the 12-session curriculum, A Young Man’s Guide to Self-Mastery, also co-authored with Dr. Covington, to be published Spring, 2020. Rob has been engaged as a national and international consultant and speaker addressing the concerns of families and their helpers.”
David Kenney shares his insights on adopting traumatized children, the impact of ACEs (adverse childhood experiences), healing avenues, trauma recovery, and much more during our in-depth conversation. Thank you, David, for joining me on-air and helping others along their healing journey.
“David J. Kenney is a seasoned speaker having presented to parent and professional groups at colleges, universities and educational in-services on topics such as healing trauma, stress management, anxiety reduction, helping children with attention deficits, behavior as a language, general parenting and achieving success in our schools.
David has been a school psychologist for over twenty-eight years in a diverse group of educational settings, from rich to poor, from one of the highest ranked schools in the state to one with much less success. He has worked in urban, suburban and rural settings. He currently teaches psychology courses at Lansing Community College.
As an undergraduate student, David was invited to the 1985 National Fairweather conference to present a program he developed using creative writing with chronic, schizophrenic patients. This project was spotlighted in the Detroit Free Press on August 30, 1985. In 1986, David graduated, magna cum laude, from the University of Detroit with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and again as a Specialist in School Psychology in 1989. He was liaison to the Michigan State Board of Education from 1995 to 1997 and served as President of the Michigan Association of School Psychologists in 1997-98.
But all achievements pale when compared to raising traumatized children to a healthy maturity. Children wounded by the world have been given little reason to trust it, so there were no guarantees of successful outcomes. Through his committed efforts, Dave and Barb learned strategies to heal harmed children. His expertise and insight has been noted by colleagues, who continue to seek him out for mentoring and training.”
When interviewing a recent podcast guest, the subject of everyday heroes in a child’s life came up. And their powerful impact of helping build resilience in the lives of vulnerable children.
I had 4. My Grandma Kitty. My 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Corken. And my BFF’s parents, Mr. & Mrs. Tonnies.
Today I want to share a story about that teacher. I don’t remember her classroom. Or what she taught me in that classroom. But I do remember her caring about me, asking if I was okay when I would cry in school, holding my hand when we would walk the halls, and inviting me to sit on the front porch of her little white house on Wayside Avenue.
I would walk the 3 blocks, crossing a busy road (in the same crosswalk where I saw a girl get hit by a car and killed a few years later when I was 10 . . . golly, 10 was a rough year!), just to spend time with this gentle soul.
I can’t remember her face. But I remember her heart.
She gave me this ceramic Holly Hobbie heart as a gift. I can’t recall why. My birthday maybe?
It reads “Happiness is having someone to care for”.
She told me to keep my treasures in it. For years it held a hand-written note from her and a key to a small cedar box I kept other notes in. To this day I treasure hand-written notes.
My dad threw something at me in a fit of rage soon after I received my gift. I ducked and it missed me, but shattered my heart. The ceramic one. And in some ways my own.
I cried silently as I glued the pieces back together. Somehow the top piece remained intact. I think it landed on my pillow.
I pulled this out of my memory box today after being reminded of Mrs. Corken during my podcast conversation. So incredibly symbolic of my life.
Jaz told me during our interview that survivors are like Kintsugi bowls . . . their breaks are repaired with gold so the scars make them beautiful. I read upon researching Kintsugi that “your scars and imperfections are your beauty”.
My little ceramic heart, glued back together, yet missing a piece I never found after that violent outburst, represents the beauty of my healing journey. Broken, then mended. Scarred, yet beautiful.
I am ever so grateful for the opportunity to sit down with Ingrid Cockhren, ACEs Connection Midwest Regional Community Facilitator, and Sue Fort White, Executive Director of Our Kids, Inc. Thank you, Ingrid and Sue, for the incredible work you are both doing to help create a more trauma-informed world and helping those who are on the healing journey.
Sue Fort White, Ed.D.
Our Kids Executive Director
For more than 30 years, Sue Fort White has mobilized resources for underserved populations, including victims of domestic violence, teens and families in crisis, children in foster care and families affected by child sexual abuse. Sue’s work at Our Kids starting in 2006 was a natural progression of her deep commitment to social justice and her desire to connect children and families with the services they need.
Sue is an experienced nonprofit and community leader with specialized skills in:
ACEs Connection Midwest Regional Community Facilitator
As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, Ingrid Cockhren knows first-hand how impactful trauma and toxic stress can be on children, families and communities. Subsequently, she has dedicated her professional life to investigating and educating the public about the link between early trauma, early adversity, Adverse Childhood experiences (ACEs) and possible negative outcomes across the lifespan.
Mrs. Cockhren graduated from Tennessee State University with a B.S. in Psychology and from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College with a M.Ed. in Child Studies specializing in early interventions for children from minority and low-income families. Her research areas are African American parenting styles, Adverse Childhood Experiences, historical trauma and intergenerational transmission, brain development, developmental psychology and epigenetics. She is currently an adjunct professor specializing in developmental psychology at Tennessee State University and the TN & Midwest Regional Community Facilitator for ACEs Connection.
Mrs. Cockhren is also a member of leadership with ACE Nashville, a collective impact in Nashville, TN dedicated to the mitigation of ACEs in the Greater Nashville area. She is currently Chair of ACE Nashville’s Parent & Community Education Committee and serves as an advisor on both Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research’s Community Engaged Research Core Advisory Council and the Lloyd. C. Elam Mental Health Center’s Advisory Board. In addition, she is the creator and moderator of The State of the Black Woman-Nashville. Ingrid’s experience and affiliations also include Metro Nashville’s Public Schools, Tennessee’s Dept. of Children’s Services, Tennessee’s Office of Child Safety, Meharry, Vanderbilt University’s Peabody Research Institute & Special Education Dept. and Youth Villages, Inc.
Ingrid Cockhren is a Clarksville, TN native who currently resides in Nashville, TN with husband Jurnell Cockhren, founder of Civic Hacker, a software development consulting agency. Ingrid loves painting, cooking and spending time with daughter Yves.
I thoroughly enjoyed this beautiful conversation with Suzie Gruber regarding the utilization of NARM (Neuroaffective Relational Model) and Somatic Experiencing, both non-intrusive approaches to healing traumatic events and ACEs (adverse childhood experiences), her personal history with these approaches on both personal and professional levels, along with some joyous laughter throughout.
Bio: Suzie Gruber, M.A., SEP., holds advanced degrees in chemistry & psychology. She spent 15 years in biotechnology before returning to her first love: inspiring people to transform their lives. A Somatic Experiencing and a Neuroaffective Relational Model (NARM) Practitioner in private practice in Ashland, OR Suzie also leads seminars that teach people about complex trauma and the imprints it leaves behind. Additionally, Suzie is the Research Director for the NARM Training Institute and assists NARM practitioner trainings.
From Suzie’s website:
“My deepest passion lies in helping you improve your life today. You have an innate drive towards connection, aliveness, and success, a primal urge that gives you the strength and courage to change, regardless of what you face along the way. I’m here to help you do that.
I came to this place in a kind of circuitous way. After earning undergraduate and graduate degree in Chemistry (Harvey Mudd College and then Princeton University), I spent 15 years in the biotechnology industry working in Operations for start-up companies. Although I was quite successful in my career and I enjoyed the never ending, high energy challenges of start-ups, my first career never quite fit the deeper me. I had to honor my own primal urge to do what I love, help you come alive.
When I learned about peak oil, environmental issues, and the instabilities in our economic system, I knew I had to listen to my own deeper voice. I decided to completely rebuild my professional life from the ground up, first getting a Master’s Degree in Psychology and then becoming a Somatic Experiencing® (SE) practitioner and most recently training in the Neuroaffective Relational ModelTM. I offer a combination of these two modalities because they changed my life. I moved away from feeling crisis-driven on a daily basis, to instead experiencing each day with greater aliveness and success and enjoying more satisfying relationships.”
Present-Centered Therapy is a non-trauma focused treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This therapy modality is called “present centered” as the goal is to focus on the client’s current/present life while recognizing the connection between PTSD symptoms and current struggles. All the while doing this without focusing on past traumatic events.
There are a host of therapy options when it comes to treating PTSD and C-PTSD symptoms and they reside under different treatment umbrellas: medication treatment, trauma-focused therapy, and non-trauma focused therapy.
I have utilized all three! When I was first experiencing severe panic attacks (but, not yet given a C-PTSD diagnosis), I was prescribed anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications. I eventually requested to be weaned off of all medications and challenged myself to learn coping strategies while continuing “talk therapy”. I began psychotherapy with a licensed practitioner in 2013 and we started the process of shining a light on my trauma history. This counselor suggested EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) as an alternative and I moved into that therapy practice. It was there that I started the deep-dive back into my trauma history, reliving traumatic events throughout my sessions. I participated in ninety-eight EMDR and brainspotting sessions which spanned a four-year period.
The goal for YOU (or anyone in your life seeking therapeutic support), is to find what works best for you and your needs. You know YOU best. The key is to research your therapy options, then research therapists who specialize in the treatment you have chosen for yourself. Continue your self-care journey by reading the latest research on brain plasticity (the brain’s ability to change) and evolving therapies.
I was honored to have Dr. Greg Williams join me for a powerful conversation about his upcoming book release “Shattered by the Darkness: Putting the Pieces Back Together After Child Abuse”, his mission, personal story of triumph, and more!
Per Greg’s website: “Dr. Gregory Williams has written a new book that chronicles his lifelong journey of child abuse and its aftermath. It has taken Dr. Gregory more than 30 years to begin unveiling the horrors of what happened to him throughout his entire childhood. His book recounts the sexual exploitation he endured at the hands of his own father for 12 years.” https://shatteredbythedarkness.com/
Be sure to check out these articles, highlighting Greg’s story, posted in the ACEs Connection community:
I enjoyed this beautiful conversation with Jessie Graham on her work with clients, teachers, and students utilizing her co-creating change philosophies and techniques.
Jessie shared the following with me (and made my heart smile with her words!):
“Wow Teri,You are really good at what you do! I felt so comfortable on the interview. I am grateful for this opportunity and for meeting you! My purpose is being supported through your podcast!” Find out more about the amazing work Jessie is doing at:
I was excited to have Mary Giuliani join me for an inspirational conversation.
For the past 25 years, Master Life Coach, Transformational Talk Show Host, Speaker, and Singer & Songwriter, Mary Giuliani has dedicated her personal and professional life to inspiring and empowering her audience to listen to their hearts and be true to themselves so they can create lives they truly love.
Mary, like many people, had a difficult childhood due to being raised in a dysfunctional family that was fueled alcohol abuse, anger and chronic tension between her parents. She coped by soothing herself with food. She went on to struggle with food, weight and hating her body for over 40 years reaching a top weight of 310lbs. Fortunately after many decades of personal growth, she finally discovered the root cause of her problem…childhood trauma. Due to her dedication to healing on a psychological, physical, brain and relational level, Mary has been able to maintain a 160lb weight loss for the past 16 years.
She now shares her healing and transformational journey through coaching women who have also had a difficult childhood and who are currently struggling with food, weight and body issues, that in order to heal, they must address the root cause that is driving their need to use food, childhood trauma.
Mary also shares her story of healing, recovery and transformation through her talk show, Mary Giuliani LIVE, through public speaking and through her original songs.
To work with Mary as a coach, book her as a speaker at your next event, watch her transformational talk show, or listen to her original songs visit her website: www.MaryGiuliani.net.
* changing minds
* working with teachers to help liberate children’s true selves
* his work with adults recovering from abusive relationships
* 7 mindsets demonstrated by the happiest and most successful people on earth
As shared by Bob:
“Bob Lancer has been a parent educator and coach, as well as a professional development trainer for teachers, for over 3 decades. His work includes helping individuals recognize and recover from trauma patterns received in early childhood that keep them locked into self-defeating reaction patterns and intense emotional suffering. He works in association with 7Mindsets (see www.7mindsets.com), a leading edge company that delivers the only Mindsets based Social Emotional Learning programs in schools. For more information about Bob’s work, and to schedule a complimentary coaching session with him, visit www.boblancer.com.”
You can reach out to Bob at his schoolsupportmotivation.com website – be sure to mention this podcast for a free PDF of his upcoming book: “The 7 Mindsets of Extraordinary Parenting.”