Michelle Roberts

I operate the St. Louis-based Relational Trauma Recovery Center, where I practice EMDR, somatic approaches, DBT and other evidence-based therapies designed to take advantage of neuroplasticity – the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections in order to adapt and adjust to new situations, experiences, and environments.


Clients have mentioned that I am nonjudgmental, warm, and supportive. The technical term for mutual empathy is limbic resonance. When we experience limbic resonance, we feel emotionally attuned with another person. We feel seen, known, heard, and understood. I believe this exchange is the foundation for all trusting relationships, including good therapy.


Trauma Therapist.
Researcher. Writer. Advocate.

Michelle is a doctoral candidate in clinical mental health counseling at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where she also received a master’s degree in education in counseling. She is nationally certified psychotherapist and a trait empathy researcher whose work has been presented multiple times at the American Psychological Association.


Before becoming a psychotherapist, Michelle was an investigative journalist who covered mental health and other social justice issues. She is best known for her reporting on Oregon’s 130-year-old psychiatric hospital, the same facility where the movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was filmed. Her stories exposed abuse, inhumane practices and decrepit facilities for its 800 patients and ultimately led to the facility’s closure. These stories informed and inspired her newspaper’s 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing.


Michelle was one of four principal reporters who won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News. Her work has also been recognized by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the National Mental Health Association, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness.


She continues to advocate on behalf of people with mental health issues. She has served as a member of the board of the REACH Institute in New York, N.Y., dedicated to improving the mental health of the 14 million American youth with emotional and behavioral challenges. Led by national leaders in child psychiatry, psychology and pediatrics, REACH arms thousands of individuals and institutions with the best, evidence-based therapies to improve the mental health of children and adolescents. Michelle also served as a Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellow at the Carter Center in Atlanta, and has remained involved in the center's mental health and social justice initiatives for the past 15 years. 





Ph.D. Candidate, University of Missouri-St. Louis - Clinical Mental Health Counseling​​​ MEd, University of Missouri-St. Louis - Clinical Mental Health Counseling​​​ MSJ, Northwestern University - Journalism BA, Arizona State University - Journalism

Licensure and Certifications

Licensed Professional Counselor — Missouri National Certified Counselor

Professional Trainings and Affiliations

Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing — Working towards certification by EMDRIA Somatic Experiencing — Level 1 Trauma Recovery and Empowerment Model Trained Clinician Trauma-Informed Care Trained Clinician EMDR Treatment of Addictive and Compulsive Behaviors Dialectical Behavior Therapy — Enrolled in the 2018 STL-DBT Academy; working toward certification by the DBT-Linehan Board of Certification American Psychological Association Member; Trauma
Psychology and Counseling Psychology Division Member American Counseling Association, Member Anthropedia Institute training in medicine, nutrition, psychiatry, psychology, and public health to assist clients with a sustainable approach to well-being.​

Teaching Experience and Lecture Topics

Counseling Women Toward Empowerment Psychopathology and Diagnosis Narcissistic and Psychopathic Abuse Clinician Workshops Health Literacy and Mental Health Trauma-Informed Care

Research Interests

Trait Empathy Super Empathizers Empathy mismatch in relationships Low empathy disorders and psychopathy Post-traumatic growth Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome Relational Trauma Attachment Trauma

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© 2018 by Michelle D. Roberts, Relational Trauma Recovery Center.