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Petra Velzeboer

Petra Velzeboer is a renowned mental health advocate. Born and raised in the infamous Children of God cult, she is a symbol of hope for survivors and those who seek to thrive despite the obstacles they’ve had to overcome. Now a qualified psychotherapist, Petra is also the CEO and founder of PVL mental health consultancy and a sought-after global keynote and TedX speaker.

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About Petra Velzeboer

Petra Velzeboer believes in creating supportive, preemptive, and sustainable cultures in organisations and communities that improve mental health for everyone rather than being sought simply as a last resort for those already in crisis. She sees her journey to managing her own wellness as her greatest asset in supporting her clients. Petra offers keynotes, high impact webinars, and thought leadership an d panel events where she shares her knowledge and experience to drive impact.

Biography

Petra Velzeboer was exposed in her upbringing to high-level trauma, instability, and anxiety. She ultimately began living what she describes as a “double life.” With one foot in the cult and the other secretly out, she began dabbling in a rebellious lifestyle that challenged the norms not only of the sect she lived in but regular society too. Finally, pregnant and in a relationship with someone outside of the cult, Petra escaped to begin a new life abroad.

A young mother living in London and confronted with years of unresolved trauma, she battled mental illness, including addiction and depression. She reached her ultimate rock bottom when she contemplated taking her own life. At this junction, Petra challenged herself to a year of intentional living and began her journey of self-improvement and mental health accountability.

Petra believes that we all have mental health just like we all have physical health- it moves up and down depending on what we’re going through and how we manage and cope with things. With an MSc and a certificate from the school of hard knocks, her approach is progressive and is about more than treating symptoms of mental illness.

Through her consultancy, PVL, Petra and her team work to fulfil a vision of a world where every organisation can be the rising tide that lifts and sustains mental health for every employee, their families, and their communities. Her mission is to partner with organisations to create strong and sustainable cultures that improve mental health at work and beyond.

Conditioned to believe that the world was going to end and it was her job to save it, Petra’s story is far from conventional – but, neither is it a salacious tabloid piece! Instead, Petra can relate to her audience on a level that few therapists achieve. She understands that the human journey, albeit fraught at times, is deeply nuanced. She knows not only the theory of trauma, anxiety, depression, and addiction; but also the mechanics. Petra Is the epitome of relatable success. That is to say; success is not linear. Particularly concerning mental health. It is her sustainable approach to preemptive self-care that sets her apart.

Speech Topics
  • The Future of Work
  • Wellbeing and Mental Health – A Strategic Approach
  • Burnout prevention
  • Practical advice for supporting people to invest in themselves
  • Culture – How cults are like corporates and how to create environments for people to Thrive.
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