Fleury brings message to youth: trauma is ‘not a life sentence’

Childhood trauma is not a life sentence, says Fleury.

Therapist Kim Barthel and former NHL star Theo Fleury spoke to a crowd at the Alberni Athletic Hall on Saturday

Therapist Kim Barthel and former NHL star Theo Fleury spoke to a crowd at the Alberni Athletic Hall on Saturday

Former NHL Calgary Flames’ star Theo Fleury was at the Athletic Hall in Port Alberni this weekend to spread the message that childhood abuse should not be swept under the rug.

Fleury, who suffered sexual abuse by his minor league hockey coach in his teens, co-wrote Conversations with a Rattlesnake with therapist Kim Barthel.

“It is a book about a conversation with two people who have incredible life experience around relationship trauma,” said Fleury.

“It peels the layers of the onion off to get to the core of what makes us do the things that we do.”

The book is unique in that it’s written as a conversation between Fleury and Barthel.

“The book was a lived experience so we wanted to model what we were doing,” said Barthel.

“Kim brings a science perspective, she gives a life experience perspective, she bring 50,000 hours of experience in the subject,” Fleury said.

“I bring vulnerability, I bring honesty, I bring my perspective as a survivor of childhood trauma.”

“It’s a joint mission to increase awareness and possibility for healing from early childhood trauma,” Barthel said.

“None of us are exempt from childhood trauma. It’s a human experience and what people think is so uncommon is what connects us to each other.”

But the main message is that childhood trauma is not a life sentence.

“Healing is possible, that we don’t have to be stuck with our past guiding our future.”

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

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