Dr. Joyce Mikal-Flynn received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from University of San Francisco (1976), a Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate from University of California, Davis (1981) and a Masters’ of Science in Nursing at California State University Sacramento (1992), publishing the thesis: A Phenomenological Investigation of Near Death Event Survivors. In 2007 she completed her Doctor of Education with a dissertation entitled: Transforming Life Crisis: Stories of Metahabilitation After Catastrophic Life Events.
A marathon runner and triathlete, Dr. Joyce Mikal-Flynn survived sudden death in 1990 requiring 22 minutes of CPR to return to life. Already a nurse practitioner, she was dismayed at how clinicians dealt with her post trauma care. There was a tendency to focus on negative and deleterious aspects and less on what could be done prompting her doctoral research on enhanced survivorship or posttraumatic growth (PTG). Noting it first in herself and then in other survivors, she created a name to signify this ability: Metahabilitation. Meta – going above and beyond; habilitation: restoration. Metahabilitation recognizes the capacity of the individual to move past basic survival and become enhanced, to grow not in spite of what occurred but as a direct result. Her first book: Turing Tragedy Into Triumph. Metahabilitation; A Contemporary Model of Rehabilitation profiled survivors who accomplished this feat and a detailed a pathway toward PTG. Due to demand for clinical application she developed a Survivor Workbook guiding one toward Metahabilitation or PTG. Later, her sabbatical research focused on how traumatic experiences affect family, friends and communities. This brought forth a second workbook for Family and Friends, guiding them in their struggles, recognizing vicarious trauma and showing these survivors how move toward growth. This research further lead to development of a course at California State University, Sacramento (CSUS): Traumatology. Introduction to Posttraumatic Growth. Cited in many lay publications, her professional publications include articles in Nursing Times (2012), Journal of Nursing Addictions (2015) and Nursing 2016 (pending; Nov. 2016).
An associate professor and nationally and internationally recognized expert on enhanced survivorship and PTG, Dr. Mikal-Flynn continues to research, lecture and apply her contemporary model of rehabilitation. Metahabilitation is a unique system supporting the individual’s innate capacity for resilience and hardiness, guiding one toward a more positive and productive outcome after traumatic and critical events. It is currently is being used in a variety of recovery and rehabilitation settings in Canada and the USA including soldiers and PTSD, individuals dealing with addiction and dependency, cancer nurse navigators, post trauma patients, their families and in private clinical practices.
Topics: Caregiver Support; Post-Traumatic Support; Psychosocial Care Practice; Nursing Practice; Survivor Experiences; and Survivorship Care Plans.