For Shelly Winemiller, the trigger was returning as an adult to the central Wisconsin parish where she had been sexually abused by a priest as a child and teenager.
After suffering from depression and panic attacks for years, she suffered a breakdown during that trip that helped Winemiller push through and seek professional help. Music and music therapy had been her calling in college, as a young adult and to this day. But as Winemiller's own therapy progressed, she found a new calling: becoming a therapist herself.
Winemiller, who now lives and practices in Rochester, is a marriage and family therapist and counsels other victims of sexual abuse, including people who were abused by priests. For all the pain and anger abuse causes victims, their familes, and friends, Winemiller says she works with people to reclaim their lives — to "thrive, not just survive."
To do that, Winemiller believes, victims need to share their stories with others. She joins The Daily Circuit to discuss her perspective — as both an abuse victim and a therapist — on how people can address the abuse.