Conversations with a Rattlesnake


Following the release of his mind-blowing first book, Playing with Fire, Theo Fleury joins forces with world-renowned therapist, Kim Barthel in a new book: Conversations with a Rattlesnake, coming out November 2014. The book is a raw and honest conversation, loaded with personal insights and cutting-edge information regarding healing from trauma and abuse.

Fleury calls Barthel the "Wayne Gretzky of therapy", and within their emotionally-safe relationship, he bares his soul so that others can learn from his mistakes, triumphs and new learning. Fleury's story will inspire not only those overcoming their own trauma, but friends, parents, teachers, coaches, therapists, and health practitioners-anyone who is in the critical position of supporting someone who needs to share their own story.

Co-author Kim Barthel, provides an in-depth explanation of early childhood attachment and addiction that tie into the reasoning behind our behaviours, and the science of how our brains work. Barthel explains how understanding groundbreaking scientific and psychological research can eliminate the unnecessary and damaging shame that so often accompanies abuse and trauma. Her dialogue with Fleury illuminates self-awareness, mindfulness and the power of relationships.

Fleury's life experiences and Barthel's informed interpretation combine to provide a unique look at the healing process that is easy to read, entertaining and transformational.


Book Reviews

I just finished 'Conversations with a Rattlesnake'. I am an avid reader and have been for over 40 years. I have read literally thousands of books of all kinds. This is, BY FAR, the most life-changing read of my entire life! I want to buy a copy for every single person I love. I don't think you have to have gone through what Theo (and Kim) and all the other millions on the planet have gone through (and are going through every second of every day) to fully appreciate the absolutely incredible gift that has been given to the world through this conversation. I have to say thank you so, so very much for what you have bestowed on me personally.

I would never in my wildest imagination have thought that a book could have such a profound, and positive, impact on my life, much less teach me so much about my own self I was completely and utterly unaware of. Literally overnight I am going to become a better man, brother, son, father and overall human being than I ever knew was possible.

- Cory Racine

This book isn't simply a "good book." It's not just entertaining or helpful. It IS all of those things, but much more. This book is a gift...a groundbreaker and a game-changer. There is nothing fluffy about it, it's about a journey of digging deep, sitting in your sh*#, and healing because of one's willingness to engage with themselves on that level. It's about healing from trauma, meaningful engagement in relationships, and increasing consciousness. It's about knowing that you're not alone, that you're worthy of love, that you can find support, and that you CAN heal.

"Conversations with a Rattlesnake" offers a multi-faceted take on human relations, trauma, and our epidemic of poor self-worth. Kim and Theo explore the most effective ways to garner support, the science behind much of our relational experience, deep discussion around our relationship with ourselves (huge!), and even simple tactical ways to relax, relieve emotional tension, and truly connect with others. A rich toolbox is offered in one well-written "conversation!"

The manner in which it's written, as a "conversation," helps the reader to stay engaged with a difficult topic. To feel like they are actually in the room with the authors, sharing insights with some really smart, courageous, heart-based peeps. By the end of the book, I was completely in love with both of the writers and their ability and willingness to be vulnerable and open in a public forum. With awe and gratitude, I wholeheartedly recommend this book...for everyone. If you are a parent, teacher, counselor, friend, spouse, partner, family member, work with humans, live with humans, have been abused, or have abused others...well then, this book is for you. Thank you to the authors for this incredible gift, at a time when it is sorely needed. Let the healing revolution begin.

- Laurie Warren  

Conversations with a Rattlesnake has truly made a difference in my life. I truly thank both Kim and Theo for the raw truth, the open vulnerability, and what I see as a saving grace.

- Andrea 

I am really enjoying CWAR. This book gives lots of good ideas for treatment and personally, this book has been very validating. As an MFT (Marriage and Family Therapist) intern and newbie to practice, I sometimes receive conflicting information that doesn't correspond to what I have put effort into learning because it doesn't apply human development to the context of interpersonal experience. So, your book has come at a good time for me. I am drinking it in. With so much current focus on outcome and evidenced based treatment, the importance of the relationship with the therapist and safety in that relationship is often overlooked. Men, in general are often overlooked!But these relationships are integral to healing and of course men need support as well. On many levels, Conversations With a Rattlesnake gives good reminders to apply what is known and remember what is important. Thank you Kim and Theo!

- Jane King, Marriage and Family Therapist with the US Navy

This book is an absolute must for any survivors of abuse or any professional who works with survivors of abuse! The safe relationship between Theo and Kim provides a great building block.

- Erin (on Chapters/Indigo)

For every hour it took me to read/re-read CWAR, I should have been paying Theo and Kim $150. Did more for me than $150/hour therapists.

- Rachel Lewis (on Twitter, @tripledekephoto)


Professional Testimonials 

I've been a teacher for 15 years. Throughout my career I have been exposed to countless speakers, classroom strategy presentations, new educational theories, and best-practice initiatives. And though many parts of these are useful, it often feels as a teacher that each new direction leads you further away from the simple truth. That education is a human endeavour. Reading 'Conversations with a Rattlesnake' awakened me to re-follow my own personal educational philosophy that human relationships are the best basis of self-improvement. My teaching has again been grounded in the individual because of 'Conversations with a Rattlesnake'. This generation of kids, more than ever, need authentic discussions and honest relationships to help guide them through a society where their realities are often hidden or ignored. The "a-ha" moments we share as a class or in one-on-one discussions are moments of real, and today's students crave real. 'Conversations with a Rattlesnake' has become my teaching guide.

- Dion Petz

I work as a nurse with an addiction program in a small town in Nova Scotia. Read [this] book in the spring and often lend it to clients. It always gets returned, sometimes with notes written on the cover from clients, families and friends. It gives hope and opens some doors that were locked up.

- Marion Banks

I am a mental health therapist who heard Theo and Kim speak in Standoff and Lethbridge. I read [Conversations with a Rattlesnake] and am gratified that their work has provided me with a way to help heal other male victims of sexual abuse. I find them to be most responsive to his story which deeply resonates with their own experience on every level. I feel privileged to be more aware and be an effective part of healing the spirit of these men.     

- Carol Fosty



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