Episode 58: Trauma Accumulated, Misperception of Illness & Finding his way to be Impactful

Guest: Michael Skinner

Michael openly speaks out about physical, emotional, and sexual abuse he endured from childhood. He has suffered through post-traumatic stress disorder, major depressive disorder, among other painful experiences. Michael emphasized that he was leading a regular life, until an encounter he had with a mental health facility, at a time when he underwent a nervous breakdown, he attempted to seek help, as he sought to make sense of the flashbacks. He shares that his story is deeply rooted in stigma and shame he suffered, carrying the label of ‘mentally ill’. He shares his experienced of being invalidated by the healthcare system and being told ‘it’s all in your head’ after struggling with a mild traumatic brain injury. Michael’s story in its entirety is about the cumulative effect of all these events that had taken place in earlier parts of his life and how he had to cope and find his way with each experience. Michael was heavily medicated at times, and at times, uncertain if treatment was in alignment with his diagnoses, in addition to not feeling that the medical and mental health teams were deriving any of their practices from a trauma-informed space. Michael talked about other rejections he faced in later parts of his life, reprimands he felt he withstood once people found out about his mental health background, and how trying it was with many new starts he had to undertake. His key message to the listeners is that: there’s a wealth of resources to look at, to listen to, to read; find your path and keep trying different things, even if you must keep at it; borrow ideas and create your own healing; healing happens on all levels.


Guest Bio: Michael is an award-winning advocate, educator, writer, and critically acclaimed musical artist who addresses the issues of trauma, abuse, and mental health concerns through his work in public speaking, writing and his music. He is the founder of The Surviving Spirit; a monthly newsletter and website sharing resources on trauma, abuse, and mental health. Michael has appeared in various media including being a keynote presenter for the National Press Club, United Nations and The State Department as well as delivering presentations at schools, mental health centres and correctional facilities.

He was part of the ground-breaking episodes of Oprah Winfrey that addressed the issues of males sexually abused as children and has since appeared on many TV, radio and Internet shows and has had a few book chapter contributions. Michael has continued to help people by consulting and training the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, which has been crucial in helping to shape the policy initiatives and directives for the delivery and implementation of trauma informed care and services.


Passionate about:  

The Bristlecone Project – https://1in6.org/get-information/male-survivor-stories/

National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery – https://www.ncmhr.org/


Episode 57: She Simmered in Burnout and Then it Became an Epiphany for Her

Guest: Carla Giglio

In this episode Carla unveils with true vulnerability her experience of burnout that she endured in 2020 simultaneous to the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. She came to realize that even though she was doing all the right things to ensure she was engaging in regular self-care, self-care just wasn’t enough to feel better. Carla described that she wasn’t functional, she couldn’t work, she experienced a great deal of confusion, darkness, and she expressed feeling as though her own identity was crumbling. She took time to share how hard she had worked to get to the place she was at in terms of her career accomplishments and working in a place where she had longed to work at, at the same time, the internal experience took its own toll. Carla got sick, her nervous system was all over the place, she developed shingles, even then she continued to seek answers to understand what she was going through, knowing she was burned out, she just couldn’t find the answers that resonated with her true experience. She experienced repeated triggers at work all within the same week, she took this as no coincidence, and came to heads with her inner child and tapped into shadow work, delving into Jungian methodologies of treatment. She was able to reconnect with deeper parts of herself, ask herself difficult questions, answer them, work through them, and re-position herself. She was able to identify recurring themes from earlier times in her life, unresolved trauma, and a committed to a great deal of boundary setting and re-setting. Her key message to the listeners is that: darkness and hard times is not the end; it might actually be your start; the light will come when you do your work; have the courage to let go of layers so you can re-bloom; and then keep going.


Guest Bio: Carla Giglio is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker; she received her Master of Social Work from Touro College in New York City with a concentration in clinical work with an emphasis on military social work. As an experienced clinical therapist, she works with adults using traditional methods such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), and Solution-Focused therapies.

Carla has focused her personal and professional attention on healing trauma, both post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and complex – post traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD). She now has tapped into using alternative and highly effective modalities like conscious-connected breathwork, meditation, trauma-informed yoga, and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), inner child and shadow work, all which allow her to provide a deeper, spiritual experience of healing and wholeness. Carla is also an ordained Shamanic Minister and an advocate for psychedelic healing.


Passionate about:  

Venous Rising Retreat: https://www.shamanicbreathwork.org/