Survivors empowering survivors: Rachael Maddox

Editor’s Note:

I have been following Rachael’s work for a few years now, and she is diving into an area that many sexual trauma survivors struggle with: how to heal your relationship with sexuality after trauma. Healing our relationships with our bodies can be so challenging, and I am glad that there are people like Rachael doing work to, as she puts it, “help other humans un-shame and reclaim their pleasure, power and purpose.”

Joyelle Brandt

1. Tell us a little bit about who you are, and the work that you do.

At heart, I’m a witch, mystic and sacred ring leader of miraculous experiences, but that’s not something you can really say without being written off in the professional field. So professionally, I’m a trauma resolution educator, coach and guide.

I’ve walked through the alchemical fires of healing my own sexual trauma (with lots of incredible professional support), and I now help other humans un-shame and reclaim their pleasure, power and purpose so they can live vibrant and authentic erotic and creative lives.

People come to me who are ready to live into a new sexual story. One that’s empowered, healed, expressed and alive. One that’s courageous but sensitive, tender but exploratory.

Also, I’m a sex-positive, queer, ethical poly demisexual slut who loves romance and reverence. But again, not something you can talk so easily about in the professional realms, so I simply say I’m an inclusive feminist (also true).

Mostly, I’m here to activate deep, holistic change in our culture of love and sex. To propel humanity from a place of coercion and violation, secrecy and shame, to consent and reverence, transparency and celebration.

I do this by first of all, living the change in my own life, and secondly, by working with people one-on-one, in groups, at workshops and retreats, and by writing books that change lives through story, science and soulful strategy.

2. What is one resource (book, website, Ted Talk, other) you frequently recommend?

I often send people this 20 minute yoga for trauma healing video when they’re in a spiral or need something to help them re-regulate. We can lose access to our sense of embodied connectivity when we’ve had traumatic histories or experiences, but ongoing regulating exercises can help us re-build the bridge to our inherent health and wholeness. And from that place, life looks and feels so so much better.

3. If you could tell a survivor with PTSD one thing, what would it be?

Healing happens. Everything changes. A map helps. Find an awesome trauma specialist and your process will be so much smoother. 

4. What is one self care practice that you use to help keep yourself in balance while working with trauma clients?

Circadian rhythms is my religion. I turn off all my electronics two hours before I go to bed and keep the house lit with candles at night. In the morning, I go outside right away, and either walk or jog for at least a half hour. Honoring these sacred times around sunset and sunrise, and letting myself really sink into a restful evening, gives me the capacity to meet each day with fresh eyes and a full heart. I am resourced and ready to be with the intensity of the world. Sleep. It’s so simple and so powerful.

Rachael Maddox_with_quote

5. What is a quote that sums up how you live your life?

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman

7. What is the most common concerns you hear from survivors when they enter therapy?

Most of my clients worry that they are irrevocably broken. When I tell them they’re most definitely not, their quick follow up response is, “Really? Okay, well how long will it take for me to heal??”

Trauma resolution isn’t a quick fix solution. It’s also not a straight and narrow path. It often requires re-learning fundamental skills like listening to and trusting your body, moving into radical consent with yourself and everyone in your life, knowing you have choice, reclaiming and using your voice. These things take time to cultivate, but once you start, it’s a snowball effect, and a momentum of health builds in every area of your life. You can turn the tide from emergency to stability, from self-doubt to confidence, from shame to joyful expression. You just have to know where to orient and how to shift. Then little by little, you become it.


You can find Rachael at, on Instagram at @rachaelmaddox, or pick up her first book, Secret Bad Girl, right here.


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