We’ve all heard about the different programs available to treat trauma, but what does going through trauma really mean? Is the real healing process really possible? How heavy is trauma really is, especially in terms of affecting the rest of this traumatized person’s life? In this episode, we’re going to have a candid and open conversation about what it really means to be a trauma survivor with Dr. Michiyo Ambrosius. Before she became a psychologist, transformational leader, coach, mentor, and a trainer of pioneering trauma and healing techniques, she lived under extremely restrictive Japanese culture, parental control, and gender inequality. Listen to her story and learn how you, too, still have hope in healing from your trauma and living a happy life.
01:43 Dr. Michiyo’s background
06:42 Dr. Michiyo’s process for healing trauma
12:15 Building a trauma-informed workplace
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The answer is to build the resilience we need to power us through the challenges we face so that we become “Change Proof.” Prepare to tackle the future with confidence by reading Adam’s latest book Change Proof: Leveraging the Power of Uncertainty to Build Long-Term Resilience.
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Healing From Trauma: An Honest Conversation About Trauma And What It Really Means To Be A Survivor With Dr. Michiyo Ambrosius
[00:00:30] You are going to love this episode. I have with me, Dr. Michiyo. As a young woman, she escaped restrictive Japanese culture, parental control, and gender inequality and came to the US. After gaining some ease with her language difficulty, she obtained a Doctorate in Psychology past the age of 50. Her resilient personality has helped her to overcome numerous challenges.
[00:00:56] Finally, she is enjoying her life to the fullest as a psychologist, transformational leader, coach, and mentor to a variety of people, including Asian and Middle Eastern women, and a trainer of their pioneering trauma healing technique to other healers. Enjoy this episode in my wonderful discussion with Dr. Michiyo Ambrosius.
[00:02:15] In a moment, I’m going to ask you to share a little bit about your process and maybe a little bit about your background first before you describe this important process. It is universally true that every one of us, without any exception, has experienced some trauma in our lives, usually early in childhood. For many people, this trauma that they experience in their lives, often in early childhood, has many effects on their physical, mental, and emotional health throughout their lives.
[00:02:59] Many people don’t understand why it is and what it is, and most importantly, what you can do to resolve those things later on in life. Oftentimes, these traumas can lead to anxiety, depression later in life, and even dementia and other physical challenges. To figure out and understand a bit more about why that is and what, most importantly, you can do about it at this point in your life, no matter what age you are, is vitally important. I want to get from you, an expert in this field, Michiyo, your sense of that. If you’d start with a little bit of your background and then explain to us what your process for healing those traumas is, that would be wonderful.
[00:03:48] My name is Michiyo Ambrosius. I’m originally from Japan. I left Japan because I wanted to live my life to the fullest. In Japanese culture, especially women wish to live the fullest life, have professional accomplishments, and do all work at the time I was growing up. I decided to leave and saved money. One day when I was twenty years old, I went to the US from Japan. Ever since, I have been trying to grow as a person and as a professional person. Finally, I became a psychologist at age 63. I entered a Doctorate program at age 53. It took ten years to get to that point of doing the coursework, dissertation, practicum and licensing.
[00:04:56] I was determined and loved my work. During those practice practicing years, I developed trauma-healing techniques. Through my clients, I found that everyone experiences trauma. Those symptoms appear 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, and 40 years later. Most people don’t equate the symptom that they are experiencing now and the starting point of having had some traumatic experiences. That can include like loss of a pet or hearing parental arguments upstairs. A girl who was listening to that from downstairs at age 3 or 4 showed up as having social anxiety at age 14. People don’t equate and understand why they are experiencing the difficult experiences that they experienced in the way past.
[00:06:03] The name of the trauma healing technique is called, and its tongue-twisting, Neuro-Bilateral Processing. I shortened it by saying NBP. I have started to train people to practice this technique so that I can spread this technique throughout their growth so that people can be healed and live their lives to the fullest. With happiness and a lot of intention and purpose. The technique itself is easy.
[00:06:41] I incorporated breathing, a tapping technique that some people know but tap in a different way, and visualization, including visualizing daytime or nighttime sleeping, contribute to healing your trauma or whatever else that you have experienced. This is my mission and legacy because after having trauma, I experienced infertility. We don’t have any children. I have thought about what I can leave as my legacy. I decided this to be my legacy to leave after I departed. I intend to live my full life. That’s why I have this interview show.
[00:08:50] NBP is your process, something that you’ve created to help people to resolve trauma from the past that is affecting them in some way in the present.
[00:09:03] It’s physically, mentally, and spiritually. Trauma experiences block people from advancing. After the trauma, people usually develop limiting beliefs such as, “I’m not good enough. I’m not adequate enough. I’m not lovable.” I’m not lovable is very traumatic because they keep marrying someone who does not love them. I treated someone who married three times to someone who did not love her. Finally, after the treatment, she kicked out her latest husband. She started to have a much happier life.
[00:09:53] That’s one of those things that, I don’t know what the right word is, maybe it’s ironic, maybe it’s some other way to describe that a person who doesn’t feel lovable doesn’t mean that they don’t have relationships or don’t get married or don’t have children. They just don’t believe they deserve love. Often, what they attract into their lives are people that don’t love them.
[00:10:18] It’s selfish.
[00:10:24] That’s why I wanted to ask you to talk about this because there are many people that are confused about why they have painful experiences, why they continue to attract people that cause them pain or get involved in situations that create pain for themselves. To resolve the confusion around that is important. Awareness, I learned a long time ago, is that the first step on the path to resolution is to have some greater awareness. Even if you don’t necessarily understand or know what to do about it yet, the awareness is almost transformational by itself.
[00:11:11] To treat the pain of trauma experiences, many people are treated with substance use and end up with substance use programs like an addiction that causes depression and anxiety also. Their will to advance can be blocked because of the trauma experiences. If you believe that you are not good enough, you don’t attempt. If you feel you are not adequate enough, you don’t advance.If you believe that you're not good enough, you don't attempt. If you feel you are not adequate enough, you don't advance. Click To Tweet
[00:11:45] I know personally that the work that I do and that our company does in the world now is focused on resilience. I wrote a book called Change Proof: Leveraging the Power of Uncertainty to Build Long-Term Resilience. The book is divided up into the mental, the emotional, the physical, and of course, the spiritual. It focuses on how it is that we develop greater resilience for ourselves as well as for our families and also in the workplace.
[00:12:15] I’m a workplace expert. I am a resilience speaker and deliver keynote talks on the topic of resilience. In the workplace, in particular, it’s important we understand what you have been sharing because you bring all of your trauma wherever you are. You bring it with you wherever you go. To think somehow that a person might be dealing with this trauma or unaware even of what the effects of the trauma are only in their private lives is quite foolish, even because we are holistic beings.
[00:12:53] Trauma goes to work with you. In part, what we have been talking about in organizations is how that trauma is to be dealt with at work. This means that it’s not like you leave that at the door, whether it’s the physical door now or the figurative door, because many people are working from home and working virtually or in hybrid work situations. The trauma-informed workplace is important nowadays. Your work has such a valuable place, not only in people’s “personal lives” but also in their business lives.
[00:13:31] Organizations want to deliver their value to the world. They have a mission and a purpose. They want to execute that and do it flawlessly and profitably. When they don’t understand that the people who are working within the organizations have these issues that have yet to be resolved, it’s no wonder that people are feeling anxious. It’s no wonder that people are resigning. It’s no wonder that there’s so much workplace illness and time off that’s taken because of accidents and things that occur in the workplace. We don’t always look at where the real causes are or the cause of the causes even. You provide answers to that. Thank you.
[00:14:14] We were even capable and ambitious individuals. Their personal life is suffering. You may already know that I have a lawyer friend. He worked for a law firm before after he made a pivot. He mentioned that every one of the people who are successful at work they have been married and divorced 2 or 3 times. Their personal lives suffer. If your personal life is not satisfactory, you don’t have happiness and joy in life, no matter how you become successful.
[00:15:03] I personally think that it gets in the way of greater success. It may well be that you have successful people who’ve had pretty difficult personal lives and circumstances, many marriages, and maybe even bouts with substance abuse and things but somehow, they are still successful or are able to achieve what level of success or achievement could they have if their personal lives were not such a mess.What level of success or achievement could we have had if our personal lives were not such a mess? Click To Tweet
[0015:34] It’s a rhetorical question because I don’t think we can ever answer it or know it. That’s my assumption that if we weren’t living chaotically in our personal lives, we didn’t have to go through 2 or 3 divorces before you either found the right person or were living alone, or whatever it might be. Think how much energy you would have, how many more people you could serve, and more solutions you could create if you weren’t often distracted by these things.
[00:16:05] I’m ruminating out loud with you. The work that you are doing and helping people to resolve traumas that happened many years ago, maybe even decades ago, is vitally important. I want to thank you so much for making time to discuss this with me and share a little bit about your process. This was fortuitous that we could get together. I want to thank you for taking the time to talk with us.
[00:16:56] Thank you very much for having this opportunity.
[00:17:01] As promised, that conversation with Dr. Michiyo Ambrosius was amazing. Amazing that a woman with so much that she needed to overcome, including language barriers and cultural barriers, and just about every barrier you can think of. Nonetheless, through resilience, perseverance, and intelligence, she overcame them. Now she is helping many other people, men and women, do the same through her unique trauma-healing technique, which is a game changer for anybody who is lucky enough to find her and work with her.
[00:17:38] I found this conversation to be personally gratifying and inspiring. The truth is that we all experience trauma in many of us early in life and at later points in time. Those adverse traumatic experiences change us in many ways and can permanently affect our lives negatively if we don’t first understand them, recognize them, have an awareness of them, and understand what they are, where they’ve come from, and how they impact us.
[00:18:08] Ultimately, with that understanding, be able to change many things in how we relate to those experiences. What’s great about Dr. Michiyo’s work is that she helps people to do just that, to recognize, understand, and make those changes through a tool that she’s developed in her life for herself and as a result of her training and attainment of a PhD in that particular area.
[00:18:33] I learned a lot. I loved the candor and transparency of this amazing woman. I know it’s an episode that many of you will probably share with others and sink your teeth into because we are all the same in this respect. We are all traumatized on some small or not-so-small level that ultimately is our path. Not to hide from those things, bury them or oppress the but rather to open up to them, embrace them, and transcend them. I loved this episode. I know you will as well.
- Dr. Michiyo Ambrosius
- Change Proof: Leveraging the Power of Uncertainty to Build Long-Term Resilience
About Dr. Michiyo Ambrosius
Dr. Michiyo as a young woman escaped restrictive Japanese culture, parental control, and gender inequality and came to the U.S. After gaining some ease in her language difficulties, she obtained a doctorate in psychology. Her resilient personality has helped her to overcome numerous challenges. Finally she is enjoying her life to the fullest as a psychologist, transformational leader, coach, mentor to a variety of people including Asian, middle eastern women & a trainer of her pioneering trauma healing technique to other healers.