Michele Rosenthal is not just a coach, speaker, author, and friend of Rewire Me—she is a survivor. Having struggled with undiagnosed PTSD for over twenty-five years, Michele knows exactly what it’s like to go through the identity crisis that accompanies a traumatic experience. At age thirteen, she was given a routine antibiotic for an infection, but an undiscovered allergy to medication left her a full-body burn victim overnight. She lost 100% of her epidermis, and even more devastatingly, she lost her identity. Now fully recovered, Michele has dedicated her work to helping others lead successful, happy lives after trauma.
Her newest book, Your Life After Trauma: Powerful Practices to Reclaim Your Identity, focuses on how to deal with the loss of sense of self that trauma induces. Being a trauma survivor herself, Michele noticed that typical trauma treatment tends to overlook the identity crisis, which she believes is at the center of the post-trauma experience. Instead of sending readers to look outward for help, Michele encourages us to look inward, and realize that true healing comes from answering the question, “Who am I now?” This daunting process is made accessible for the reader through vignettes, self-assessments, easy-to-grasp concepts and step-by-step exercises.
One such exercise—changing your core beliefs—is helpful even for people who haven’t experienced trauma. Identifying these core beliefs is the first step to changing your thoughts and emotions. This kind of self-reflection can benefit anyone who wants to change their way of thinking.
Michele’s steps for changing your core beliefs are:
- Notice your behaviors and follow your emotions
- Question your beliefs
Michele says, “Whenever you have a feeling or behavior you don’t like, ask yourself either (1) ‘What thought created that emotion?’ or (2) ‘What thought made me take that action? Then, think about how much you believe the thought behind the feeling or action you want to change, rating it on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the strongest belief). If your belief falls in the 8 to 10 range, then it qualifies as a core belief.”
Ask the following questions of each belief individually:
- How do I know this is true?
- How possible is it that the opposite is true?
- What belief would I prefer to hold?
- What evidence is there that this new belief is true?
- If I hold this new truth, what action does that invite me to take?
Michele knows how to get the reader in the right mindset for positive growth and change. Exercises like this one are key to the process. As Dr. Bernie Siegel, author of The Art of Healing and A Book of Miracles said of the book, “Michele Rosenthal has lived the experience and her book Your Life After Trauma is an excellent resource for those trying to heal and find their authenticity. She shows readers how to eliminate what is destroying them to save their lives…. Michele’s wisdom can make it happen for you.”
I agree with Dr. Siegel; I’m a strong believer that Michele’s wisdom can make it happen for you!