COLUMBIA – Cherie Doyen works with women and children who are victims of domestic violence daily. A victim of repeated childhood trauma and abuse herself, she said she wanted to help people heal. She calls herself a PTSD Change Agent.
“I had three sexual abusers as a child by the time I was 15; it’s like I was being passed around,” Doyen said, “I was in therapy for 30 years, 12 prescriptions. There came a point I didn’t want to live anymore.”
After trauma, some women may feel depressed, start drinking or using drugs, or develop PTSD. According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, women are more than twice as likely to develop PTSD than men.
The most common trauma for women is sexual assault or child abuse. About one in three women will experience sexual assault in their lifetime.
“I finally realized the only way I was going to shift that is to go be myself for a while and understand me,” Doyen said.
She went on to study holistic medicine to help herself and others dealing with PTSD. She studied metaphysical therapy from the University of Sedona and learned about medical intuition, emotional intuition, and astral travel to help people heal without prescriptions.
Her therapy helps take people back to the time they were hurt to gather missing pieces. She helps people feel again by identifying pressure points in the body and incorporates yoga, art therapy and meditation in her practice.
“The first thing I do with people is we’ve got to get you in this body so you can start feeling. Most people we get them on the table they can’t feel their legs, feet, fingers and they live like that,” Doyen said.
Doyen is also the founder of Women Rising, a nonprofit helping women moving from transitional situations such as human trafficking, divorce, sexual trauma and childhood trauma.
One survivor of human trafficking, Anne Richardson, has received help from Women Rising.
“I was locked in a truck with no access to anyone else outside of the truck, and when I got free in January the Coalition of Human Trafficking introduced me to Cherie to help me get through the stressors and PTSD,” Richardson said.
Doyen houses victims like Anne while they get back on their feet.
“Cherie called me and said get up here you can sleep on my couch we will get through this. In a week’s time, I have been applying for jobs; I have met some wonderful people,” Richardson said.
She said with Cherie’s techniques she teaches how to handle to stress triggers without pills.
“Since being under Cherie’s roof and having the calmness and support with her and women rising it all is coming together finally,” Richardson said.
“What I’m hoping to accomplish with Women Rising is give people pause to actually spend the time to heal, so when they actually move into life, it is created from conscious choices, not reaction,” Doyen said.
She said her dream is to one day open Women Rising Sanctuary in Columbia to offer safe home for women and children struggling to get on their feet.