Breaking Through Barriers of Communication – Q & A with Vincentia Schroeter, Ph.D.

Vincentia Schroeter, Ph.D.

Author of

‘Communication Breakthrough: 

How Using Brain Science and Listening to Body Cues Can Transform Your Relationships’

Psychotherapist, professor, artist and international speaker, Vincentia Schroeter, Ph.D. is thrilled to announce her new book, Communication Breakthrough: How Using Brain Science and Listening to Body Cues Can Transform Your Relationships (Wolfheart Press). Communication Breakthrough will boost your ability to be seen and heard by offering innovative tools for better listening and handy skills for more effective expression.

Best known for her ability to present complex ideas in a clear and entertaining way, Dr. Schroeter has published in the areas of integrating somatic psychotherapy with other modalities, such as self-psychology, affect (mood) regulation and interpersonal neurobiology. Communication Breakthrough shows how the brain reacts under stress and provides powerful body techniques to easily shift moods for successful communication.

QUOTE from Dr. Schroeter:

“As the 4th of 12 children, I was intrigued by all our different personalities. By age 16, I knew I wanted to be a counselor. Coming from a working class family, I put myself through college and graduate school in order to pursue my dreams.

I had a forty-two year career as a clinical psychotherapist, focusing on body-mind psychology.  I have noticed a common theme in my professional as well as personal life, which is how people suffer when they do not know how to communicate well. My current passion is to help people communicate better. My recent studies in neuroscience (mind) along with my long-term work in somatic psychotherapy (body) allow me to provide original and effective communication tools.”       

– Vincentia Schroeter

Q & A

Vincentia Schroeter, Ph.D. & SJF Communications

SJF: Tell us about the book Communication Breakthrough – how you came up with the theme, how long it took to write it? Why did you write it? Where did you write it?

VS: I was teaching doctor-patient communication at PCOM (Pacific College of Oriental Medicine), when I decided that a book for the public on improving communication, both better listening and better expression, would be valuable. In my clinical practice as a psychotherapist I witnessed marriages end and families suffer partially because people did not know how to best communicate their needs and wants to each other.

I came up with the theme of combining neuroscience with somatic awareness as a lens to view communication. While there are many communication books, no one has combined these two up-to-date methods that can inform best practices. Since I am schooled in both models, I explain them in clear and accessible ways for the average person to apply in improving expression and listening.

I wrote the book over five years, often in the quiet of the library, as I find the focused stillness conducive to my concentration. I did all the sketches for my book, often in the library also.

SJF: What experiences and/or people (parents, role models etc.) in your life influenced you the most and why?

VS: My parents were both strong, faith-filled, and family-oriented stalwarts of getting along with others. They raised a big family and we were expected to help each other and enjoy our connections as siblings.  We worked together in the family business and also played sports together. I think that influenced my interest in exploring how people get along with each other.

SJF: What have been your three most memorable experiences (positive or negative)?

VS: Finding the right person to marry, suffering two ectopic pregnancies, and rising from that tragedy by adopting the most beautiful child in the world.

SJF: Which job have you enjoyed the most and why (and the least and why)?

VS: I have thoroughly enjoyed my career as a psychotherapist, especially in private practice for over  forty years. I like exploring with people what their defenses are, what their dreams are, and providing a compassionate ear and assortment of tools to help them reach those dreams.

The job I enjoyed the least was peeling skins off of steamed tomatoes in stultifying heat as they came down a conveyer belt in a cannery. It was the summer of 1968. Our family business had just burned down. My parents and we older siblings had to work in the local cannery to put food on the table. So I did not complain. But the monotony would make my mind wander, I would get  dreamy, stare off into space and then I would get yelled at. I couldn’t wait for that summer to end so I could go away to college. Which I did.

SJF: Accomplishments/Recognitions?

VS: Professional: I received a Masters in Psychology and my license to practice at age 25. I went back to graduate school, doing research on infant-mother bonding and received a PhD at age 49. I was the Coordinating Trainer for SCIBA, a post graduate training program in Bioenergetic Analysis for many years, as well as teaching and giving workshops and keynotes on subjects related to somatic psychotherapy internationally. I have published many papers on somatic psychotherapy and some of my art and poetry have also been published. I was chief editor of the IIBA professional journal for ten years.

SJF: What are your top 3 values in life?

VS: Balanced Living, Mental Health, Spiritual Growth

SJF: If you had to do it over again…

VS: I do not like this question as it seems to invite comparisons of who I am to who I could have been. It would invite a rejection of any younger version of myself. I have learned from my mistakes, which just makes me a person richer for having swum in those waters. I can search my memory banks when someone feels shame or guilt, to see times when I may have been shackled by the bonds of shame or guilt. It helps me understand and identify with others who are suffering. But I refuse to carry shame or guilt around on a regular basis. They weigh too much. I am happy with my past and present.

SJF: What are you most proud of?

VS: Snagging a loving husband who is my best friend, raising a daughter who is a wonderful person to be around, loving two darling grandsons who own my heart and my close bond with my eleven siblings.

Vincentia Schroeter, Ph.D. and 3 of her 11 siblings!

SJF: Any difficult decisions?

VS: Nothing comes to mind. Once I make up my mind, I just do things, even if (for example having to confront someone when there is a conflict) I know it may cause suffering for me, for them or for both of us.

SJF: What’s the most difficult thing about writing?

VS: Just making the time and committing to getting going. Then maybe over obsessing on edits. I am very slow but like to be thorough on proofreading, so it takes me forever to proof other people’s work as well as my own. I go over it a million times like an ant exploring one blade of grass for a long, long time. That can be time consuming but I can’t seem to go any faster, so I have to just accept the tediousness of it.

SJF: What do you envision for the book, Communication Breakthrough?

VS: Global Dominance. Just kidding. I want it to be lifted by a strong wind and carried across the miles into homes, offices and classrooms and picked up by folks who are lonely or angry or scared or sad and need a little nudge to improve their relationships with others. They read, learn and start practicing tools for better listening and tools for clearer expression, and viola, they feel happier. (Interpersonal happiness is more satisfying than global dominance anyway).

SJF: Any fears? Doubts?

VS: Do I ever feel fear? Yes. Do I have doubts? Sometimes. I may feel anxious before a big presentation and tend to bind my anxiety by being over-prepared. But that is better than being under-prepared, so in these cases, fear is my friend as it can help me be alert to being as ready as possible. Then I usually do some centering, some self-acceptance mantra, breathe and feel the excitement right before going out on that stage!

Thanks very much, Dr. Schroeter!

More info at


Watch this video of Dr. Schroeter’s recent

‘Communication Breakthrough’ Book Signing

Barnes & Noble, La Mesa – 9.29.2018


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