You work with people who have gone through trauma. How do you define trauma and how does one know if they’ve been through a traumatic experience?
When we think about trauma in our lives, we often refer to an event: a burglary, the unexpected death of a parent, an accident that left us injured. But Peter Levine, Ph.D., the founder of Somatic Experiencing, has a different perspective. He maintains that trauma is not an event, but the energy that gets locked in your body around real or perceived threat.
Martina had already shifted from being a divorce attorney to a mediator when a writing class would open up a new passion. Her book, I'm Still Here, is a braided memoir, part cancer-odyssey (including a terminal diagnosis in which she failed to die), and her life story of being married to a man, coming out, finding her life partner, Tanya, and becoming a two-mom family in the 1980s when there were very few lesbians with children. It's a story of hope, perseverance, and being who you truly are.
After 19 years in academic medicine and 20 years of marriage, Eva, a psychiatrist, underwent a divorce and major professional changes. She emerged from the transformation with a mission to help others on a broader scale and co-founded a non-profit and wrote a book to inspire all of us to be kinder to ourselves and others.
You are an award-winning actress, writer, and producer, who has been a longtime women-in-film activist. What issues have you seen and experienced as a woman in Hollywood?
Ha! Well, it took me an entire book to begin to adequately answer that question. The short version, however, is that Hollywood has systematically excluded women and women’s voices from cinema for the better part of a century. Consider this: if you have watched primarily mainstream US movies in your lifetime, 95% of all the films you have ever seen were directed by men (overwhelmingly white men); 80-90% of all of the leading characters you have ever seen on screen were men (overwhelmingly white men); and 55% of the time you have seen a woman on screen, she was naked or scantily clad.
Today we revisit three women I've featured previously on Next Act for Women: Marla, who has pivoted from running a nonprofit to coaching for weight loss; Margaret, who published her first book about depression; Densie, who has published a second novel and just signed a contract for her third.