After Trauma: Lessons on Overcoming from a First Responder Turned Crisis Counselor

From a young age, Ali Rothrock fell head over heels in love with firefighting. But when she entered the fire service, she was ostracized by those who weren’t willing to accept a girl into their ranks. Constant microaggressions, overt sexism, and instances of sexual violence wore her down until she no longer believed she could safely exist in the world. The trauma of her experiences eventually resulted in a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder, and that diagnosis was a first step toward healing.

In the years since, Ali has worked as a domestic violence and sexual assault counselor, an advocate for abused children, an inspirational speaker, and a crisis counselor for first responders. On her journey of recovery, she has collected other people’s stories of resilience. After Trauma explores the fallout from trauma, the ripples those experiences have on our lives, and finally, a path toward healing.

After Trauma is a story of adversity, grit, defiance, choice, and hope. Each chapter offers a lesson to help readers overcome their own trauma, including concrete and actionable advice on how to re-story a life after adversity. We all have the ability to re-define ourselves, to feel hope about what lies ahead, and to choose our own way forward.