Katherine Standefer – Nature’s Healing Touch: How it Helps Overcome Assault Trauma

Katherine Standefer, author of Lightning Flowers, My Journey to Uncover the Cost of Saving a Life and Skin Hunger: A Sexual Reckoning. Standefer has published work in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The High Country News, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Rumpus, New England Review, The Iowa Review, Kenyon Review Online, The Colorado Review, Cutbank, and many other literary journals, as well as the anthologies Beautiful Flesh: A Body of Essays (ed. Stephanie G’Schwind) and How We Speak to One Another: An Essay Daily Reader (ed. Ander Monson and Craig Reinbold).


We discussed Katherine’s growing up years in a traditional “white bread” community and abstinence culture upbringing heart arrhythmia, healthcare discrimination and move from Wyoming to Colorado after she discovered her condition to seek care. We talked about her switch from poetry to non-fiction and trauma from her heart condition as well as the various ways she has healed. Katherine overcame a sexual assault at twenty-two and we spoke about how Wyoming, writing through her “non-fiction impulse,” and how going to other countries to see where the parts of her cardiac difibulator came from helped her heal her medical trauma . We chatted about the follow-up book she is currently working on where she explores her sex assault, purity culture and her employment at an abortion healthcare center. Katherine is a trauma writing doula who helps people write through their trauma in an embodied way.

Topics Discussed

Medical trauma

Affordable care act

New Mexico


Medical debt

Abortion care

Embodied trauma recovery 

Somatic healing

Writing through trauma

Fight or flight response


Qui Gong



Katherine socials

Twitter @girlmakesfire

Instagram @girlmakesfire

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/KatherineEStandefer

Lightning Flowers:


Arizona Trauma Institute