Michelle Dixon, Ph.D. is a trauma specialist and mindfulness teacher.
My mission is to help people cultivate the strength, insight, skills and self-love to become their own very best allies on their journey to heal from past or present heartbreak, trauma, grief or crisis.
I am the self-proclaimed queen of ‘practical’ - offering you a toolkit that mixes spirituality with science in a formulation that best suits you, ready to offer deep insight mixed with do-it-yourself self-healing strategies that you can have for life.
I thought I'd take the time to tell you about my journey, and how I came to be so committed to this line of work!
(Because who wants to be committed to helping people heal trauma, right? Many clients have asked me that question!)
It all really began when I was a young child and my parents divorced, after which my father left the family. I was about 3 when he fully left, and one of my saddest memories is helping him pack up his boxes.
After that, I saw him only a couple of times a year, and hardly heard from him in between. I developed a longing for male love and attention, wound tight in a feeling of rejection, and wrapped even more tightly around a feeling that I was not worth staying for.
I carried this pain stoically for many years, never really acknowledging how hard it was to grow up without him, nor how it affected my adult relationships.
In my teen years, through friends and extended family, I witnessed firsthand the damage of developmental trauma, and knew those who suffered addiction, multiple personality disorder, and who were recovering from all kinds of abuse. I found myself cast often in the role of ‘the shoulder to cry on’ and discovered, early on, that I had an unusual capacity to remain level-headed in the most extreme emotional settings.
Next, still unaware of my own trauma, and long before my first breakdown, I became fascinated by the cultural cost of trauma. As a young doctoral student, I lived for several months in a settlement camp in Crimea, Ukraine studying the non-violent political system of a Muslim, Turkic people whose entire population had been deported by Stalin during WWII.
There I witnessed intergenerational poverty, disease and trauma alongside community building, family networks, and government-led persecution of the people I lived with.
These gentle people, the Crimean Tatars, now repatriated to their ancestral home, were daily discriminated against as a migrant minority, targeted with violence, and sick with blood diseases due to a toxic environment - yet I also found thriving family cultures and much love.
As a result of that time, I developed a thirst to understand how we can help ourselves even when the structures of our society fail us. It seemed unfathomable to me the kinds of daily suffering people could endure, and my heart gradually grew weary of academia. I wanted to directly work with people.
My wish came true, because I then became a mother. I stayed at home with my 3 children, committed to giving them the love and presence I knew they needed. I did not know what direction my life would take when I returned to work. (They are now all in high school ...one is finishing high school as we speak!)
The marriage breakdown I went through in my late 30s triggered an unexamined resurgence of childhood trauma. The legacy of an absent father came home to roost, and I tolerated abusive relationships in my desperate bid to reenact my first wound, and ‘be loved.’
It was a time in my life when I couldn’t imagine living without daily panics, anxiety, depression, and struggle - and in part, the answer was to help myself through my practitioner training. As a single mother living in poverty, everyday life was an unimaginable struggle, but I persisted with my training and continued to practice meditation and mindfulness even through the worst of it.
I got my start in Shamanic or Tantric De-armouring, learning how the body held onto trauma both physically and energetically, and how releasing it through touch could not only help release long-held patterns, but could also trigger the client into bliss states on the table.
I desired to understand more about the body, and studied myofascial massage and craniosacral therapy for a short while before stumbling into biodynamic cranial touch with Giorgia Milne.
I have never turned back from this path of stillness, where the body can enter into Wholeness and flow, and through which the past, and all its traumas, can become ‘a story of another life.’
Yet, there was another piece remaining that required my attention, and that was the mind connection. I wanted to understand how to changethe neural pathways that led to negative thinking, chronic worry, low self-esteem and more. So I also became qualified in hypnotherapy, coaching and neurolinguistic programming.
6 Core Practices for Peace
All this time, I practiced a form of mindfulness that came from decades of studying the contemplative traditions, and it was in the midst of my training that I began to develop my own mindfulness program of 6 core practices. These practices not only shifted my perspective considerably; they helped my clients time after time.
Bringing it All Together
Only after I had spent years studying bodywork and mind-change modalities, and after I recovered from an addictive need to be in abusive dynamics, did it all come together at last.
[Not to mention, my loving, healthy relationship, blended family, and peace in myself!]
My approach (the three Rs: release, rewire, realign) grew out of what worked for me and for my clients, and this approach continues to benefit my clients and participants today.
Now, I’m one of the few experts in trauma recovery and mindfulness who works with the body (somatic approach) as well as the mind and soul in order to facilitate a happy, healthy and fulfilling relationship with yourself and others.
Why my unique approach?
What really makes me and my approach different is this: I have gone into the darkest places in my own life, tried and tested all my processes with myself and clients recovering from trauma, turned them into a methodology, and continue to use them successfully with myself and thousands of others.
There is more ...
Whether you suffer from trauma, relationship ending or abuse, intimacy problems, stress or breakdown, there is more to recovery than just relieving symptoms – I don’t just say it, I have LIVED it, and continue to witness it unfolding in my work.
There is an opportunity to go beyond healing, into greater self-awareness and deeper peace and connection – and my signature methodology can help you get there.
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