After Trauma

Lessons on Overcoming from a First Responder Turned Crisis Counselor

After Trauma

Lessons on Overcoming from a First Responder Turned Crisis Counselor

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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.


"Part memoir and part practical self-help guide, featuring simple but powerful exercises, the book will inspire survivors to connect with their inner strength and resilience in order to reclaim control over their futures."

--Karla Vermeulen, PhD, deputy director, Institute for Disaster Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz

"A riveting page-turner! Rothrock demonstrates the power of owning your own experiences."

--Adrianne Ziyad, trustee at Women in Fire

"After Trauma shines a light on the darkness that trauma leaves behind and guides survivors through the tunnel of recovery in a sensitive, supportive manner. Realizing I was not alone in my nonlinear journey of trauma recovery gave me a sense of peace and a feeling of solidarity with other survivors."

--Kelly Herron, co-founder of RunBuddy and featured in the Runner's World documentary, Not Today

"By centering the light on the survivor experience and recovery, Ali Rothrock teaches us about our incredible capacity to create change, to heal from trauma, and to make our communities safer when we speak up against injustice and share our story."

Kristina Froling, Virginia Tech shooting survivor, and founder of The Koshka Foundation for Safe Schools

"Ali Rothrock provides a poignant and practical approach to dealing with trauma, seeing it as an opportunity for growth. She has found the balance of engagement and insight that reinforces the message that trauma is not the end of a journey but just the beginning."

Sara Jahnke, director and senior scientist at the Center for Fire, Rescue & EMS Health Research, NDRI-USA, Inc.

"After Trauma is a valuable resource for those who live forward with the aftereffects of trauma as well as for those of us who support and join with them on their journey."

--Lisa Zoll, LCSW, founder of Grief Relief

"This book is a charge to men of conscience to find the courage to stand up. To speak up. To say, 'No more.' And a charge to women to believe in ourselves."

jona olsson, fire and EMS chief, Latir Volunteer Fire Dept, Northern New Mexico, and founder of cultural bridges to justice

Product Info

  • Publisher Broadleaf Books
  • Format Hardcover
  • ISBN 9781506480633
  • eBook ISBN 9781506480640
  • Dimensions 5.75 x 8.75
  • Pages 240
  • Publication Date April 12, 2022