#25 Overcoming Trauma Through Creativity with Amy Oestreicher

TRIGGER WARNING: Sensitive topics discussed in this episode.

Access the transcript here.

“Creativity is not just for artists. It’s a mindset, it’s a way to see the world differently. Everything we are feeling is just energy and creativity is just the ability to take that energy and transform it into something else.”

– Amy Oestreicher

Amy had always wanted to study musical theatre and end up at Broadway one day; creativity is a power that she has always harnessed. So when things began to go horribly wrong, through sexual abuse at the age of 15 by her voice coach and her stomach exploding and resulting in her entering a coma, Amy began questioning whether she could ever attain her acting dream.

Despite having 30 surgeries, being unable to eat or drink ANYTHING for six years and surviving on a “makeshift digestive system”, Amy transformed what seemed to be impossible into her current profession. Amy now runs her own one-woman theatre shows, given three Ted Talks and written two books (second releasing this November) on her experiences and how they have helped her blossom into something she wouldn’t have imagined prior the coma.

Amy is the true definition of “never giving up” and as a PTSD specialist and artist, she encourages and helps trauma survivors to come face-to-face with their experiences and to realise that experiences don’t defy a person, it’s the way in which the pain is allowed to change a person for the good that truly matters.

Read the transcript HERE.

Episode Structure:

  • Amy’s trauma back story and challenges relating to mental and physical health
  • Explanation of Amy’s “detourist” analogy and the importance of identifying and coming about detours in life
  • Insight into My Beautiful Detour book – from the writing process to what readers should expect
  • Realities of transforming pain into hope and encouraging others to do the same
  • Discussion of Amy’s creative arts journey despite her medical procedures and how it inspired her to use it as trauma therapy for herself and her clients
  • Using own trauma to connect with survivors having different trauma experiences
  • Stigma around male trauma experience accounts and the need for community support for survivors
  • Ending note: vital to live in the moment and not think of the “bigger picture” to truly move out of trauma



NOTE: With every purchase of Amy’s books, you can book a Zoom book club discussion with Amy.

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