About Dr. Mike Deninger

Dr. Mike DeningerBorn into a large working class family in Rochester, New York, Dr. Mike Deninger rose from humble beginnings to the top of his profession as an educator of the deaf. He became an assistant principal when he was 26, a principal at the age of 29, and at the age of 33 he was appointed Dean of Kendall Demonstration Elementary School at Gallaudet University, a world-renowned research and development center on deafness. Within 10 years he was chosen to lead all pre-university level programs at Gallaudet as the Dean of Pre-College Programs.

His name in the field of deafness was associated with innovations in microcomputer technology, K-12 curriculum development, school improvement and cultural conflict in schools and programs serving the deaf. Following his 13 year tenure as a Gallaudet dean, with ever increasing responsibility, “Dr. Mike” became a professor in the university’s Graduate School.

During his 40s, however, he faced several major challenges that caused a personal crisis and sparked a period of intense introspection. During his recovery Dr. Mike got sober, changed careers, came out of the closet and recalled sexual abuse that had been blocked from active memory. The resultant transformation in his personal and professional lives was profound.

In 1997 Dr. Mike completed graduate studies in mental health counseling at Gallaudet and left the university to embark on a new career as a licensed professional counselor in private practice. He went on to establish Phoenix Counseling & Hypnotherapy and spent years studying alternative therapies that he believed held promise for the effective and humane treatment of trauma survivors.

Dr. Mike's work has been featured in The Washington Times.

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  • Over ten years time Dr. Mike honed his skills to the point where he became a specialist in the treatment of individuals suffering from trauma, using the extensive training he had pursued in Ericksonian Hypnotherapy, Eye Movement Integration™ and Neuro Linguistic Programming.

    Dr. Mike is a seasoned veteran of life. He is keenly aware of the renewal that is possible when one frees the mind, relaxes the will, and cultivates the inner spirit. More than that, he understands from the inside out what it's like to recover from life's tragedies. His book, Snakes in My Dreams: A Mental Health Therapist's Odyssey from Hardship to Healer, poignantly conveys the truth he feels compelled to share "before my time is up."


    To purchase a copy of Snakes in My Dreams autographed by Dr. Mike at the sale price of only $16.95 click here.

    Dr. Mike holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Master of Science degree in Special Education from Canisius College. He earned his doctoral degree with distinction in Special Education Administration and a Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling, both from Gallaudet University. As an accomplished American Sign Language interpreter, Dr. Mike was frequently asked to interpret major national and international events where deaf or hard of hearing people were in attendance.

    Dr. Mike is a Licensed Professional Counselor (Virginia) and he holds certification from the National Board for Certified Counselors. He is certified as a clinical hypnotherapist by the National Board for Certified Clinical Hypnotherapists. He holds advanced certifications as a trainer of Eye Movement Integration™, Ericksonian Hypnotherapy, and Neuro Linguistic Programming from the American Hypnosis Training Academy.

    Over the span of his career Dr. Mike has held positions as a teacher, principal, graduate professor, researcher, university administrator, American Sign Language interpreter, licensed professional counselor and master trainer of other therapists. To add to this, he is also an Equity actor who has performed off Broadway in New York and at the Kennedy Center and Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.

    Dr. Mike is a sought after speaker and trainer who has made hundreds of presentations at universities and conferences sponsored by organizations such as the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Convention of American Instructors of the Deaf, World Federation of the Deaf, Conference of Educational Administrators Serving the Deaf, International Congress on Education of the Deaf, International Conference on Male Sexual Victimization, Annual Conference of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, Annual Conference of the American Mental Health Counseling Association, and the Conference of the American Deafness and Rehabilitation Association.

    He is well qualified to address the unique needs of trauma victims and he is eager to share the methods he has developed to help all survivors heal. He looks forward to communicating this knowledge, his skills and his wisdom with you or your audience.

    To contact Dr. Mike about a public speaking engagement or to plan training opportunities for mental health practitioners click here or call 703 567-5258.