Raised in a cult, Petra’s story is one of courage in the face of adversity. She believes if we utilize empathy and generate human connection at work, we can create mentally healthy workplaces and enhance productivity.
Petra was born into the infamous Children of God cult where she was raised with the pressure of saving the world, with no formal education to speak of or resources on how to make it in the outside world. At 22 she moved to the UK pregnant, isolated from her family and support groups she tried as best she could to just be normal and fit into life on the outside. At 25, with 2 children and a boyfriend who went out to work, she experienced chronic isolation, depression and sank into alcohol dependence leading to suicidal ideation and destructive behaviors.
Petra decided she could either end everything now, or she could give herself a deadline to figure out if there was a way to be happy and fulfilled in life. She gave herself a secret deadline of one year to figure it out. She utilized this time to observe people, read and begin her education as a psychotherapist. She experimented on her own life in every form imaginable from exercise, learning, meditation, joining support groups, asking people questions, attending events and practicing everything she learned on herself.
In 2012 she completed her MSc in Psychodynamics of Human Development. Petra now advises employers on how the world of work is changing and is able to call on the experience of organizations who are ahead of the curve in mental health innovation, retain staff, avoid long term absences, create safer places to work and are ultimately more productive environments.