Relationship Trauma Recovery

Open Yourself to Healthy Relationships

Relationship2015FlyerFrontMont-2-370x283Do you struggle with relationships? With others and with yourself? You don’t have to suffer anymore. On April 1-3 in Santa Barbara, California, a groundbreaking workshop will teach you how to discover your true self and find relationships that work for you. Relationship N’ You is a seminar designed especially for exceptional women who are looking to create positive and healthy relationships—all kinds of relationships—whether you have a current relationship, would like to create one with a new partner, or want to build new connections with a friend, neighbor, coworker, or an employee.
By identifying the blocks to forming healthy relationships, this seminar will help attendees step away from situations that could be based in doubt, fear, lack and insecurity. One way to remove these blocks is by parenting one’s inner child, which has repeatedly sabotaged past relationships. There are many men and women who appear to be adults when, in truth, there is a young child within them still looking to be heard, seen, loved, and given attention – a situation that must be addressed so it can be healed.  Healing the inner child leads to a fully functioning, mature adult ready for a new healthy relationship. This seminar will also shed light on the different types of soul mates so that you can discover what you are truly looking for and if the one you are with is actually the one!
Attendees will leave with powerful processes to clear away the energies of the unconscious that get in the way of having healthy relationships, as well as various tools to help you move forward – including three different benchmarks that are very beneficial when entering into any new relationship. The final result is great progress towards further deepening in your discovery of your true self!
The workshop will feature Dale Haloway, Master Teacher and Transformational Expert. For more information, go to or call Alex Thomson at 805-893-7401.

Anne Beiler | Healing after Tragedy

Anne Beiler

Anne Beiler

Anne Beiler thought if she was good and followed the commandments, God would bless her life, until her 19 month daughter was killed in a farming accident. Tragedy was compounded when she sought guidance from her pastor and he seduced her. Six years later, she shed the cloak of guilt and emotional darkness and began to heal through telling her story. The act of confession brought such relief that she began to see a new truth, “Life is hard, but God is good.”
Like a lot of people who have experienced tragedy, Anne wondered how God could do this to her. Although it took six years, she survived, moved on and became victorious over both her guilt and despair. In 2005, she wrote her story, A Twist of Faith, which tells of her healing and building a worldwide business to support her husband’s counseling mission.

 From Old World Amish to International Entrepreneur

Twist-of-Faith-Book-CoverWith only an 8th grade education, Anne started what became Auntie Anne’s Pretzels when she bought a pretzel stand in a local farmer’s market. Her mission was to support her husband’s desire to offer free counseling to couples, much as they had experienced after the death of their daughter. She had no work or business experience, but used her greater goal and her belief, “We get to give and give to get again” to help her grow her business. She sold her pretzel company, which grew to be the largest mall-based pretzel company in the world with about 1,500 stores.

 Reach Past Your Own Pain to Help Others

Anne says that you have to focus on something other than your own pain to heal. Once she was able to say, I’m not okay, and share that with others, she started to heal. That is why she is focused on her new mission to help and empower women. She calls it 7 Women 7 Stories. From her home in Toledo, Texas, she holds classes to give women an opportunity to sit in a room with seven women. Each woman has one hour to tell her story. Anne says the power of that telling will project them into a whole different lifestyle.
Hear more of her inspiring story and guidance of how her faith changed her life in this conversation. And check out how she is helping others change their lives on her website.

Celebrate Your Anniversaries Both Happy and Sad

Coming out of divorce and being happyAnniversary dates should be recognized and remembered. I first learned about the importance of anniversary dates, of course, when I was married. But not until I began doing crisis response work did I come to understand the importance of anniversaries of tragic events in people’s lives. They are significant for other reasons many of us do not understand.

In the aftermath of any tragic event…911 or the tsunami in Sri Lanka or the Joplin, Missouri, tornado…it is important for the survivors to celebrate the lives of those lost in these tragedies and never forget the event itself. I am often touched by the many roadside markers with crosses, flowers and the names of their loved ones, acknowledging their last moments on this earth.

You probably wondering where I am heading with all of this. I am dealing with something I had hoped never to face — my own anniversary of a personal tragedy.

How Do I Get Past an Anniversary of a Personal Tragedy

On March 21, 2012, I became a divorced woman. It’s something I never wanted or expected, but yes, that’s the date the court granted my divorce after 42 years of marriage.

Coming out of divorce and being happyI was not sure how I would feel or what I would do, but I knew it meant something. Another rite of passage, a date that was never to be forgotten. I survived. I had made it one year and I was alive and working and was with people I cared about. I had even talked about a party to celebrate the day. I must admit I really did not feel like celebrating but I also knew I should talk about it and remember it. I also wanted to celebrate my moving to another place and time with my new status.

I did celebrate it that night with several other psychologists which meant I was not alone and feeling sorry for myself.  I enjoyed good food and drinks and GREAT free counseling! It was good to take control by reaching out for support, and the result could not have been better.

We ended the evening sitting in front of a nice warm fireplace talking and laughing and even shedding a few tears. One year down and I am stronger and better than a year ago, a week ago and even a moment ago. Sure, I have good and not-good days but the better days are increasing and I am open to new adventures and life experiences.

Finding An Attitude of Gratitude

Do More of What makes you happyMy family and I are finding better ways to be a family. A different family to be sure,  but a family that is determined to love one another and be there to share all those anniversaries and celebrations. I thank God for my family, my friends and my team who helps me each and everyday to get back up and do what I can to do the great work for women’s empowerment that I am blessed to have been given.

One step at a time and one day at a time. Remember and acknowledge all your anniversary dates, both the good and maybe especially the not so wonderful. These dates…all of them…make you who you are and help to shape who you will be.

Many blessings to you.

~Dr. Nancy

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Protect Yourself from Abuse

From Trauma to Triumph, Surviving Domestic AbuseDomestic violence is a widespread problem that occurs among all ages, genders, races, educational backgrounds, and socioeconomic groups.

What is the Extent of a Domestic Abuse Problem?

  1. Nearly 2 million women are battered annually and more likely than men to be murdered as the result of domestic violence.
  2. Approximately 2 million children annually are seriously abused.
  3. Approximately 900,000 parents are beaten or abused by their children each year.
  4. 1 out of every 14 American men report they have been physically assaulted or raped by an intimate partner.

Safety Tips for Domestic Abuse

If you are the victim of intimate partner violence and need immediate, assistance dial 911. Otherwise, contact your local battered women’s shelter, family physician, or the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or (1-800-787-3224 TTY ) for help and advice. The National Domestic Violence Hotline website also provides resources.

If you are or think you may become a perpetrator of domestic violence, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or (1-800-787-3224 TTY). They can provide helpful information and advice.

Warning Signs of Domestic Abuse

Learn the early warning signs for physical violence such as a

  • partner’s extreme jealousy
  • controlling behavior
  • verbal threats
  • history of violent tendencies or abusing others
  • verbal or emotional abuse

Learn more about domestic violence and the warning signs. The more you know, the easier it will be to recognize and help friends who may be victims or perpetrators. Know what services are available for victims and perpetrators and their children in case you or a friend should need help.

What Can I Do in My Community to Help Prevent Domestic Abuse

  • Support increased access to services for victims and perpetrators and their children.
  • Coordinate community initiatives to strengthen safety networks for women who experience violence.
  • Increase public awareness to help decrease and prevent domestic violence.


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Why Become Spiritually Awakened

“How to walk the path of love, not fear.”

Dr. Linda Ferguson, Author, Life Coach, Keynote SpeakerThis was the life lesson that Dr. Linda Ferguson felt people needed to learn after the trauma of 9/11. She was promoting her first book, Path for Greatness: Work As Spiritual Service
and leading workshops on how to integrate our spiritual lives with our work. When her students began to ask her, “How do we show up for our life in a spiritual way?” she realized that she needed to write a second book about how to disconnect from the fear and darkness of trauma and show up from a place of love in everything we do.

“9/11 Knocked Us Off Our Pedestals.”

Dr. Nancy compares 9/11 to the Titanic. We believed that we were safe and nothing could harm us. We tend to live in a myopic box until something disrupts our outward calm. Then we reach out to a higher power. Linda says that we need to reach out every day and express gratitude for little things, the earth that nourishes the food we eat, the rain that gives us the water for our shower. This daily practice of appreciating the little things that work well and showing love in small ways to everyone we meet is the key message in this conversation and Linda’s newest book, Staying Grounded in Shifting Sand: Awakening Soul Consciousness for the New Millennium.

“I create conscious loving relationships with everyone in my life.”

Linda created this statement when dealing with rebound relationships after her divorce. She says that the secret to being spiritually awakened is knowing that you can choose how to live your life. While this sounds simple, the practice requires commitment and persistence. She and Dr. Nancy discuss how to create the kind of day you want: Do you want to be a victim and be grumpy or do you want to make the best of it? When we choose the path of love, we empower and transform our lives.

Check out Linda’s website for more information about videos, meditations and to sign up for her transformational series.

Love Never Dies Foundation Seeks End to Domestic Violence

[WomenSpeak has long focused on empowering women, and freeing women from abuse is close to Dr. Nancy’s heart. Please read and take seriously the lessons in this heart wrenching article. Your caring and involvement could be the magic touch needed to help another woman move from trauma to triumph.] 

by Kathryn Wiechert
July, 2010 for WomenSpeak

I recently became acquainted with the term domestic violence and suicide survivor, a horrific emotional trauma no mother should ever have to endure. It’s said that time heals all wounds. This may be true in love, but this is a unique monster.

Tiffany was born February 24, 1985, with eyes and a smile that would light up a room and intoxicate you, a young women who was full of joy and exuberance. On March 30, 2010 at 6:15 p.m., she committed suicide when she could no longer take the abuse.

How Can We Stop Domestic Violence?

End Domestic ViolenceI ask myself and try to understand at what stage this horrific injustice could have been stopped. How could we have helped her? How could we have saved her?

She was on the honor roll, played the piano and softball. She joined the Army National Guard in 2008, graduated as a Specialist Combat Medic in the top of her class. She then attended Ozark Technical Community College full-time, to become an Occupational Therapist, worked part-time and cared for three children, ages 7, 6, & 4.

In seven years of marriage she kept a lot of suffering to herself. Relationships almost never start out abusive, the love and intimacy precede the abuse, which can make it difficult to break away. Abusers effectively weave together intimacy and abuse to control their partners. When we did hear of something happening, it wasn’t until many months after and then she would follow it with, “We are doing well.” The abuser’s tactics are devised and carried out precisely to control her.

Being away from him in the military helped her realize the relationship was bad. She filed for divorce in November 2009 and moved into an apartment in December. We did not realize the severity of the episodes of abuse that continued, leading up to her death. The reality for women victimized by domestic violence is that the risk of danger is greater when they leave their abusive relationships.

I spoke with Tiffany earlier that day, she was running errands and I was to stop by around 6:00 or 6:30 pm. When I pulled up to her apartment complex I met the police and fire department surrounding the apartment, crime scene tape larger than life around the front. My world went to slow motion and I was watching frame by frame. No one spoke to me, but I knew in my heart that it was her. I hit the ground when the officers told me she had died at 6:15. I was in shock; this could not be true; she could not have taken her own life. Although he did not pull the trigger, I believe he drove her to it.

Because their divorce was not final, he has custody of my three grandchildren and is receiving all of her military benefits. On the outside, we know domestic violence is there, but we do not want to talk about it. Families need to understand the red flags when they see them. For example, in Tiffany’s seven years of marriage, she asked us to pack her and her children up and move them out at least 15 times. But all it took was one phone call from him, with his apology and gifts, and she would go right back. We wondered how he was able to change her rage back into love overnight.

Manipulation is a Common Abusive Pattern

We learned this manipulation was a common abusive pattern. In just a few weeks the abuse and control would begin again. Another red flag was that he always blamed others as the cause of their problems, and she ended up isolated from her family and friends. It’s easier to control someone who feels alone. Teenage girls are at risk as long as our society gives them messages like “Johnny hits you because he likes you.” Because abusers are skilled and often charming manipulators, women fall in love, make excuses for bad behavior, and blame themselves.

The goal for our foundation, Love Never Dies, based in Ozark, Missouri, is to increase public awareness for the Prevention of Domestic Violence. We plan to help fill gaps in exiting services and I have begun to work with the Christian County Domestic Violence Task Force and other area resources for victims.

There is media publicity everywhere for cancer, and heart attacks, even the prevention of animal abuse. We need your support to bring the tragic secret of domestic violence into the open in order to help women in crisis.

Thank you and God bless,
Kathryn Wiechert

In Loving Memory of Tiffany Marie “Love Never Dies”

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Empowerment Videos

Stories From Women How I Learned to Love Myself Stories

WOW! We received such wonderful and inspiring stories from our Facebook contest “How I Learned To Love Myself.” Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with WomenSpeak.

Our judges selected the first five below to each receive a $100 VISA Gift Card. We know that EVERY single one is a winner, so we have included them all here for your enjoyment.

Smart amazing women learn to love themselves. Read how below…

Congratulations to Our Winners

Abbe Ehlers – $100 Gift Card Winner

Once, in an earlier time, my then-husband said to me “you smile too much, you laugh too much, you obviously don’t get how serious life is.” In essence he was trying to put a lid on my joy. And I thought, “I must be very shallow and missing something here.” So I read serious books and tried to look through critical eyes and after a while I learned “I am one of the lucky ones, I was born cheerful, I can spread joy, it takes courage to be happy.” That is how I learned to love my joyful self.


Jennifer Rigano Denbo – $100 Gift Card Winner

I am 32 years old and found a lump on my breast during a self-exam in December. This was only months after a routine doctor’s office breast exam showed nothing. I’m learning to love myself again after having a double mastectomy last month. Things I once took for granted are more cherished and things that were so important (like my hair style), become frivolous. Learning to love yourself is a lifelong process, but can be achieved with an inner strength and determination. You can follow my journey here: .


Terri Reed – $100 Gift Card Winner

How I learned to love myself:  I learned to love myself by loving the people around me:  my grandmother for the little bits of wisdom she shared with me every day.  My mother for the strength of character she demonstrated while raising six kids as a single parent.  My brothers and sisters for the unconditional loyalty they’ve shown to me through the years.  My friends for the unconditional acceptance they willingly offer whenever I show up on their doorsteps  Each of them has given me a piece of their own hearts to cherish: how can I not love that?


Yelena Bosovic – $100 Gift Card Winner

I learned to love myself when I gave myself permission to be me. Growing up as a first-generation immigrant, I stood out from my peers: I spoke funny, had different traditions and a combination of acne and frizzy hair to top things off. It took years of mimicking my classmates in hopes of being accepted, before I realized that my flaws and characteristics make me who I am.  I don’t have to be the smartest, the most beautiful or the thinnest to be happy, I just have to be me. I am enough.


Suzanne Janick – $100 Gift Card Winner

I started to love myself the day I decided I was worth saving and began to plan leaving my abusive marriage of 22 years. Pretending to be the perfect family while behind closed doors I lived in fear of triggering his rage. With the help of a couple who had seen his anger, neighbors who had heard his abuse, my family who had prayed I would leave him and family services, my six children and I moved out. Going back to college, graduating, cultivating new friendships and interests have been ways I have learned to love me again.


Honorable Mentions

Even though the powerful stories below did not win the Gift Certificates,  they all touched our hearts and inspired us. We thank you for submitting them. Read and enjoy!

Penny Suddock

After a 17-year marriage to an emotional and mentally abusive man I got divorced and took my two kids and moved away. I decided to go to college and get a degree in computers. After three years, a stroke, and our house burning down, I finally graduated from Labette Community College with an Associate’s Degree as a Executive Administrative Assistant. It made me realize I was still a good and loving person after everything my ex had done to me. I became a stronger woman and someone I was proud of and I loved myself for being able to climb higher than I ever thought I could.


Cheryl White

Early in my life, choices were made, lives were destroyed, and the young woman I had grown into was left with doubts and confusion, doubts about marriage and confusion about being loved. My father’s choice to leave a 27-year marriage and start over, without his family, shaped my life and my choices for years. I made poor choices and never felt truly loved. I rushed in and out of marriages twice. I am now an adult woman who loves herself completely. I no longer long for my earthly father’s acceptance. I ACCEPT me and more importantly, God accepts me.


Kristy Nelson

I have a confession: I hated being pregnant. I hated how I looked. And to top it off, all the extra attention and comments paid to my growing stomach. I dreaded labor so much that I skipped those chapters in all of the pregnancy books. But of course, that time came. After 16 hours of labor, my bundle of joy arrived. While physically exhausted, I was amazed at what my body had gone through over the last 16 hours and the last nine months. And I realized that I loved my body (cellulite and all) because it had strength and purpose.


Denise Johnson

I learned to love myself when I realized the only person I needed to please in this world was ME. This revelation led to leaving a prestigious consulting firm, downsizing my current lifestyle, and setting clear boundaries on what I would not tolerate in my life. I’m not sure if this change in attitude facilitated a late-in-life pregnancy, but I know I never would have been ready to be a mother living my past life. Now, I wake up knowing I am who I was created to be and I’m only getting better, stronger and more confident each day. (


Karen Parry

I think I started loving myself when I started taking Yoga classes. Today, our teacher Molly, told us to breathe in health and strength as we filled our lungs. I know that I am stronger and more flexible than before Yoga. I like to practice the ancient stretches, and as each class ends, Molly gently tells us to “take another moment to be grateful for this time that you have set aside for yourself.” When I practice Yoga, I am “loving” myself in an active way – sending love and life and strength to all parts of my body – which is, indeed, ME! I don’t remember ever doing that before. Thank you, Molly!


Roza Andrukhovych

I was an overweight child, and I hated myself for that. I couldn’t understand why I didn’t look like my friends. My heart felt broken, and I kept my pain inside. Tears rolled down my face when I looked through a magazine, or into a mirror. I remember praying every night, and asking God to make me beautiful. As I became a teenager the weight came off on its own. However, losing weight was not what made me love myself. It was an internal understanding that I am unique, and that true beauty is found in the heart.


Christy Wilkins

After my sons were born, I stopped exercising and started experiencing muscle cramps, arthritis, insomnia, foggy thinking, heart palpitations, crying spells, bouts of constipation/diarrhea. Five years ago while skiing I was hit by a snowboarder. I started experiencing tingling numbness, barely sleeping, having increased diarrhea. My doctor diagnosed depression. I was bone thin. I began to love myself after firing my doctor and spending $17,000. I had a simple blood test for food intolerances. December 15, 2012 began my new life. I am back to exercising, being creative and loving life without pain. In May, 1/2 Marathon here I come!


How to Survive A Crisis

Author, Ski Patroller, Paramedic

Kim Kircher

Have you had to face losing your most cherished loved one? Kim Kircher lived with the threat of losing her husband, first through cancer treatment, then for another 150 days while waiting for a liver donation. She used her training as a paramedic on the ski patrol team at Crystal Mountain in Washington as the means to manage her own crisis. Her book, The Next Fifteen Minutes: Strength from the Top of the Mountain, not only tells her story, but also serves as a guidebook for others about how to manage a crisis in 15 minute increments, the true deadline ski patrollers use for saving a life on the mountain.
Kim highlights her story in this conversation and she and Dr. Nancy share experiences about crisis management. Kim, who is a Type 1 Diabetic, talks about the importance of keeping yourself healthy, getting help with care giving and the importance of organ donation.
Practical advice about how Kim focused the concept of living in the moment into 15 minute increments to help herself and her husband survive their life-threatening crisis.

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