Mike Deninger hails from a large, working-class family in Rochester New York where he attended parochial school with hundreds of other baby boomers. In high school, he was active in sports, oratory and theater, winning the prestigious New York State Optimist Oratorical Contest as a junior. As a college freshman, he was one of thousands of protestors who marched across Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge with Martin Luther King in support of voting rights. Then, as a senior, while working with children at Buffalo’s St. Mary’s School for the Deaf, he became interested in a career as an educator. With ingenuity and drive, Mike rose to a leadership position in the education of deaf children. After earning a doctoral degree with distinction in special education administration, he was appointed Dean of Pre-College Programs at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, the only liberal arts university for the deaf in the world. With this appointment, Mike had reached the pinnacle of his profession. Despite these accomplishments, however, all was not right with him.
In his 2011 memoir, Snakes in My Dreams: A Mental Health Therapist’s Odyssey from Hardship to Healer*, Mike shared the truth behind his transition from a top position educating deaf children to a career as a therapist, author, and master trainer in mental health. He earned a new graduate degree in counseling, trainer certifications in Ericksonian Hypnotherapy, Eye Movement Integration and Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and established a private counseling practice specializing in trauma. During this transformation, Mike also confronted tobacco and alcohol addictions, came out as a gay man, and recovered from PTSD caused by childhood sexual abuse.
Mike learned “from the inside out” what it’s like to recover from trauma. Moreover, he’s keenly aware of the renewal that’s possible when one frees the mind, relaxes the will, and allows the body’s neurological systems to heal traumatic wounds. In the spirit of “giving back,” Mike now shares his trauma-related skills and knowledge with survivors of all types and the professionals who advise them. With enthusiasm and insight, he continues to counsel those suffering from PTSD and lesser traumas. And utilizing his background in education, Mike offers seminars and consultations in Multichannel Eye Movement Integration (MEMI)—the methodology he developed—to therapists eager to utilize this effective approach.
Over the course of his career, Mike has been an English teacher, a student life director, an American Sign Language interpreter, a school principal, university dean, graduate professor and research scientist. During the second half of his career, he founded Phoenix Counseling & Hypnotherapy in Alexandria Virginia. Within a few years, he had established himself as an expert in the use of eye movement integration therapies and developed (MEMI) as his signature approach. His book Multichannel Eye Movement Integration: The Brain Science Path to Fast and Effective PTSD Treatment was published in 2021.
Live MEMI therapy trainings can be arranged by contacting him at firstname.lastname@example.org or Joachim Lee, our MEMI licensed trainer in the South Asia region at email@example.com. On-demand MEMI training for hearing folks in spoken English can be also be taken online through Arizona Trauma Institute via the following link: Multichannel Eye Movement Integration (MEMI) – A New Model For (teachable.com). The first MEMI course for Deaf and hard of hearing and ASL fluent professionals was presented in ASL at Arizona Trauma Institute in April, 2022. That videotaped training will now become an on-demand video seminar with spoken English voiceover and captions by January, 2023. Look for it! Ceu’s for counselors are provided by ATI and completing of the course qualifies individuals for MEMI certification.
Mike now resides in Tucson, AZ where his trauma work continues through Trauma Counseling & Training of Tucson.