Not all of our readers are familiar with the valuable contributions of Michael Orban, a Vietnam veteran, who provides authentic, meaningful education on PTSD. I was recently asked to write about my experience with Mike and his devotion to helping veterans heal from PTSD. I was happy to do so. While my written response begins after the click-though, you can also click directly to Michael Orban’s PTSD website for additional information.
I have been acquainted with Michael Orban since 2007. To put it bluntly, he helped me to survive my own PTSD. His continual commitment to helping people understand and heal from PTSD is without peer.
Over the last six years Michael has made himself available to veterans, families, students, and professional educators, ranging from university classes in ethics to educating medical students about the many dimensions of PTSD. Indeed, he has presented material on PTSD, and the healing one can experience, to my own undergraduate classes. He is a natural teacher who easily navigates the cultural waters of today’s youth without abandoning his own shores. Many of my students told me they not only learned about Combat PTSD from his presentations but also how to better manage some of the challenges in their own non-military lives.
Michael Orban is also an accomplished writer. His book, “Souled Out:A Memoir of War and Inner Peace,” educates the reader on a turbulent portion of recent American history and also how the wounded soul can heal. The book has been successfully employed as a stand-alone university text and also as a text for discussion and personal reflection. The Second Edition of “Souled Out” includes a page of visual models that stimulate discussion and promote a better understanding of PTSD. Additionally, beyond the memoir and the two visual models, Michael includes valuable material by Dr. Patti Levin on practical tips on how to survive and then thrive even if we have PTSD. Some of this advice overlaps with my own practice as a spiritual director and in my own personal journey of surviving PTSD. Indeed, meeting Michael in 2007 was one of the crucial moments which later enabled (emboldened?) me to start the www.PTSDspirituality.com website.
Overall: I am grateful Michael Orban has combined his expertise on Combat PTSD with his boundless enthusiasm to educate and assist others. While his focus is primarily on Combat PTSD, all of what he understands and presents is suitable for anyone who has been afflicted by trauma. This includes trauma regardless of its source: from combat or non-combat military experiences and also the nastier traumas of civilian life.
I recommend Michael Orban to any group or individuals who seek a dynamic, well-informed speaker concerning PTSD in general and Combat PTSD in particular. His book, “Souled Out,” provides an authentic presentation of the turmoil PTSD can cause to individuals and families without slipping into a morose despair. Both his life work and his book are realistic and offer hope and healing for those committed to saving the lives of those who struggle with the soul wound of PTSD. Michael Orban’s commitment to PTSD education and healing helps to preserve life.
Semper Pax, Dr. Z