Andi Buerger is working to stop human trafficking and wants your help | PoP Bonus

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A photo of Andi Buerger is captured. Andi Buerger is working to stop human trafficking and wants your help Andi Buerger is featured on Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.


What can you do to help put a stop to human trafficking in America? What should you be teaching your kids to keep them safe? How can people practice online safety in an increasingly technologically-based world?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Andi Beurger about human trafficking and what you can do to help.

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Meet Andi Buerger

A photo of Andi Buerger is captured. She is an advocate for Voices Against Trafficking. And is featured on the Practice of the Practice.

Andi is the founder and chair of Voices Against Trafficking(VAT), an international organization that networks with other nonprofits, individuals, businesses, and leaders. creating a powerful collective force in the fight against human trafficking.

Andi is an in-demand speaker and has saved hundreds of innocents through her efforts to stop human trafficking. Her own story of surviving unspeakable childhood abuse and familial trafficking is captured in her book: A Fragile Thread of Hope-One Survivor’s Quest to Rescue.

Andi Buerger is also the Co-Founder of Beulah’s Place, a 501(c)3 nonprofit serving at-risk homeless teens in danger of abuse, trafficking, or other criminally predatory activities. Through Beulah’s Place, Andi and her husband Ed have successfully rescued hundreds of teens.

Currently, Andi advocates for Voices Against Trafficking, an organization dedicated to eradicating human trafficking. Visit Andi Buerger’s website and learn more about Voices Against Trafficking.

Connect with Andi on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

In This Podcast

  • Human trafficking in America
  • What parents should keep in mind
  • Online safety for kids and adults
  • How you can help stop human trafficking
  • Andi’s advice to private practitioners

Human trafficking in America

Human trafficking is coercing someone into labor or sexual activities against their will, at any age and stage. (Andi Buerger)

Human trafficking has been present in human society for thousands of years.

In recent times, it is still highly prevalent, and hundreds of people are abducted each day across the world.

In America, we somehow elevated that heinous and depraved activity into a business function, where we now are globally a $160 billion industry, [and] $99 billion of that is sex industry … if we didn’t have demand, there would be no need to supply, and without supply, there wouldn’t be [profitable]. (Andi Buerger)

Greed and perversion are the tenets that drive human trafficking.

What parents should keep in mind

1 – Have a special code that only your family knows so that your child can signal you, either by hand or words in person or over text message, if they are in danger.

2 – Have conversations with your kids where you make sure that they know they can speak to you about anything that makes them uncomfortable, and that you will be there to protect and support them.

Adults are very impatient because they’re stressed out, they’re working, and they have all these issues going on in their adult life, and sometimes [they] simply don’t listen to [their] kids and teenagers the way that we need to. (Andi Buerger)

3 – Let your kids know that you will not judge them for making poor decisions. They are young and they are learning, and it is far more important for your kids to trust that you will listen to them when they need you, instead of them lying to you because you punish them for a mistake.

Online safety for kids and adults

Pay attention to the games that your children are playing.

Have open conversations about online safety with your kids, and make sure to calmly and openly explain why you have certain rules around online activities.

There is a lot of live interactions with games, so be aware of that when it comes to gaming.

Tell your children why it is important not to give information out and make sure that you do have safety protocols if it’s your computer. Again, as adults, we need to be the examples … you need to know what’s on your computer that a child or teenager could get into. (Andi Buerger)

How you can help stop human trafficking

  • Add your voice and name to the Voices Against Trafficking roster
  • Go to your local law enforcement office and see how you can assist
  • If you see something, say something
  • If you have voted for or financially supported anyone in government or leadership positions, you have the right to ask what they have done to make the community safer
  • Add your name to petitions and forums to add more stringent punishments for assault and trafficking crimes

Andi’s advice to private practitioners

Some people need to keep moving through the work that it takes to recover. Know that there is hope to move through trauma with the help of counseling and support.

Books mentioned in this episode:

Useful Links mentioned in this episode:

Check out these additional resources:

Meet Joe Sanok

A photo of Joe Sanok is displayed. Joe, private practice consultant, offers helpful advice for group practice owners to grow their private practice. His therapist podcast, Practice of the Practice, offers this advice.

Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.

Thanks For Listening!

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Podcast Transcription

This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok, session number bonus. Now the bonus session for you folks.

Well, welcome to the show. If you are new to the Practice of the Practice podcast, we are getting pretty darn close to 700 episodes. We’re just a handful of episodes away from our 700th episode. We are now doing four episodes a week. We’ve had amazing sponsors come on that want to support the show, want to help therapists, want to help you better the world.

So we’re doing four shows a week. As a reminder on Wednesdays, we’re doing the Ask Joe show where you get to submit your questions about private practice, How I think through business, how I exited my practice, sold my practice, how to get a practice started, whatever questions you have. It just brings us back to the fact that this show started teaching you how to start, grow, and scale your private practice. So if you have questions head on over to, and you can just submit your question there. Also if you want me to I’ll say your name and your practice on the show. So again, that’s

All right, just a quick, I don’t want to say warning, but trigger warning that we are going to be covering some heavy topics today around human trafficking, about stories of how people live in the world, Injustices that happen, how you can be a part of change. If you have a history of any sort of violence in your life or different triggers that you want to be aware of, I just want you to know that going into this. We’re not going to go super deep into specific stories, but just want to give you the courtesy of saying, Hey, there might be some triggers within this. Also this could lead to some different types of conversations with your kids. If you’re listening in the car, that’s your choice as a parent, if you want to engage in those conversations as well.

So I am so excited to have Andy Berger on the podcast. Andy is the founder and chair of Voices Against Trafficking, and international organization, which networks with other nonprofits, individuals, businesses, and leaders creating a powerful collective force in the fight against human trafficking. Andy, welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast. I’m so glad you’re here today.
Well, thank you. I’m so pleased to be on this show as well, Joe, thanks so much.
Yes. Well, we found it right away. We have an affinity for tea. So good to have a fellow tea drinker hanging out today. Andy, I know that the backstory for people and how they get into work, especially work that is in some way, hoping to shape, change the world there’s often a personal side to it. I would love to just start with your story of how you got into this work around human trafficking.
Yes, absolutely. That’s very spot on. So from the ages of six months to 17 years old, before there was a term for human trafficking, my birth family, and some extended family members trafficked me. In the early sixties and seventies, they just didn’t have, we didn’t even talk about child abuse back then, so they didn’t have a place to go. There wasn’t a way to get help. There were no hotlines, things that we have today to reach out. By the time I was five years old, the abuse and torture and physical mental, all of that was so bad. That was my first attempt at suicide.

So I went to the curb of my house and I really, I just prayed that there’d be a car coming by fast enough that I could jump in front of because my birth mother made it clear she could take my life anytime she wanted. I just kept waiting and waiting and no car came and yes, a little girl, I’m looking up into this huge blue sky and I’m wondering, gosh who made this? How big is it? How far does it go? Is there something bigger out there than the people that are hurting me and using me?

In my life God intercede in other people, it could be something else but in that moment I felt like I would have a purpose and a hope down the road. I didn’t know how, but there were no cars that came by, that came down that street that whole day. So I went back up to the garage and I just said out loud to no one in particular, “If you keep me alive, I’ll do whatever you call me to do.” Now for everyone listening that wasn’t the last attempt I made because things were bad.

I was locked up for three months during summer and I had a lot of different abuse and other things happening. Then when I was 17, that was the last time my birth mother tried to kill me. So my whole childhood was gone and when I finally got a chance to go to college, not too far away, but far enough to start figuring out how I was going to live my life I just figured if I live, I win and if I don’t, they win. It was very primal at that point. So that’s the backstory.
I mean, just thinking about, I mean, I worked in foster care for a number of years and with kids that were trafficked and that just saw horrific things. And it can go in so many different directions for some of those kids. Oftentimes it goes into homelessness, drugs to escape their own just choices that like, they just don’t know any better oftentimes, because they’ve been given such poor role models. How did you, or when did you start seeking out some sort of healing or addressing that trauma or trying to make sure that you could enter into the world to do good work? Because I mean, that’s really hard to do if you have a whole childhood where you’ve dealt with that level of abuse?
Absolutely. No role models, I didn’t have any close friends. We were alienated and disenfranchised from any other family members, which is what predators and abusers do. They keep you moving so nobody gets too close, but went to college. Then I threw myself into work in education because I got affirmation from that. I felt if I could be successful somewhere else, then the world would see. The people that hurt me would see that I was a good person, that I had value. So very, very primal again, but, so when I went to law school, I finished and I didn’t really want to be a lawyer, but I just wanted to have something extra in the workforce. I became successful and I did a lot of interesting things, but really the healing part, the therapy part didn’t start until I married an abusive man.

It was probably within six months of marrying him that I went into therapy. I did two months voluntarily in a residential program for dissociative disorders and learned a lot about reconnecting again, because I worked out of my head. Everything I did, I lived intellectually. I had pretty much kept my emotions off so that no one else could get too close to me and so I couldn’t be hurt. I also didn’t want people to talk to me about my past or my lineage, because how do you tell people, well, the ones that are supposed to love you, you’re supposed to trust are the ones that cause all this damage? My birth mother still, even as an adult, a young adult, she still tried to threaten my life and things like that.

So anyway, fast forward to being in this horrible relationship, getting the therapy, it was great because the therapist I had, she said, “Andy, this is hugely complicated, but we can do this. We can get you through this but if I’m still your therapist after three years, then I’m not doing my work or you are not doing the work. So we just got after it.” That was really good and actually it was three years to the day, by the time all the identities and all that stuff. I was still married at the time to my ex-husband, but I realized I never would’ve married that man I had the tools and skills and been the person that I became after learning how to communicate better, how to ask for my needs, how to grow as an adult because I was intellectually ahead, but very emotionally behind. So that’s where it started. Then between that and my faith, that’s where my healing came from.
How did things transition from doing your own inner work? It sounds like a lot of external validation that was needed. I want to have these ex, these abusers, see that I’m a lawyer, see like all those, when did it transition to, and how did it transition to maybe being more self-motivated or that internal notice of control?
I think during the relationship I had with my ex-husband towards the end, after the therapy, and I realized that boy I made a huge mistake obviously and expected one considering I didn’t have a background in real love or what relationships were. But before the divorce, somehow somewhere, I just decided he can do whatever he wants. I have a life. I was successful in business. I’m going to figure out who Andy is and what I want to be now that this is going to be over.

Then couple years later I met the most amazing human I’d ever known and married him. We’ve been married 22 years. So I knew that I could be successful in our relationship. I just didn’t have the right person the first time. He also had some deviant behavior that of course just exacerbated my own attempts to heal. But I worked on me, I worked on the things that made me better. Even in those days I was still helping kids on and off. Then when I married Ed, it just grew into a desire and a passion to make sure I could help others who were like me.
When did you start to realize that because you said, I didn’t realize it was human trafficking when I was a child. When did you start to get the vocabulary or awareness of this being an issue in society that’s not even brand new? This is something that’s gone on for thousands of years. When did you start to get that vocabulary and understanding this as a more societal issue than just something you went through?
That’s a great question. I think probably in the last 15 years or so it eked out a little bit. I started looking into things. I had a, actually have had nine traumatic brain injuries, but the one that set me on this path was actually in 2008. It was the fourth one and suddenly I couldn’t work. I couldn’t be a corporate trainer. I couldn’t do anything because I lost a year of memory and I had to regroup and I thought, what am I going to do? Then Ed and I were serving dinner at a homeless shelter or a rather a senior center on Thanksgiving Day. These young girls came in with brand newborn babies and they were living out of their cars, Joe. It was horrible. They were just baby teenagers, like 17, maybe, maybe 18.

I thought we got to do something about this. So then we figured out a safe house system and we created a shelter called Beulah’s Place. Then during that process learned a lot about what we would call in America, the beginnings of the human trafficking awareness, even though, like you said, it’s been around for thousands of years. America didn’t create it. It’s been around. So at that point I really got into understanding every 40 seconds in America a child is abducted. I mean every 40 seconds by the time this interview is over, that’s a number of kids. That’s a handful of kids that are going to be gone or they’ve been lured into something that looks safe. And it happens in every neighborhood. That’s what I started speaking on. Don’t think it doesn’t happen here because it does.
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So tell us a little bit of the, I mean, we don’t have to go through thousands of years of history, but I mean, just give us some historical context in regards to human trafficking and then would love to dig into what that looks like right now.
Yes, absolutely. Well, even back in the Greco Roman era, I mean the evolution of slavery, which is a chapter actually in our new book that came out for Voices Against Trafficking, it talks about how the root has always been human trafficking, whether it was for sexual issues, for labor. It’s not human smuggling and somebody wants to get to another country, they pay somebody, they get to the other side and they’re dropped off, but they’re not violated basically. But human trafficking is coercing someone into labor or sexual activities against their will at any age and stage. So this has been going on but in America we somehow elevated that heinous activity, that depraved activity into a business function where we now are globally 160 billion industry, 99 of that is sex industry. So 99 billion.

If we didn’t have demand, there would be no need to supply and without supply there wouldn’t be profit, but greed and perversion are the two driving tenets of human trafficking, whether it’s familial trafficking, like I was in with family members who are covered by the bloodline, which makes it really hard for children, especially to escape or report, or it’s basically commercial trafficking. So in America right now, especially with all of the recent issues this past year we have so many kids coming into the country. We have so many kids that are left unattended between the lockdowns and the unlockdowns and all of that confusion. We can’t even get the reporting on what is happening. But I can tell you that just a year and a half ago, kids were being sold at the border for $3,200 and you could do whatever you wanted with them. That’s how savage it is.
I have two daughters, seven and 10, and I’ve heard that stranger danger is a myth, that it’s more likely to be family member. As a dad what, in 2022, at the time of this interview, what should parents know about what’s safety? What’s overkill? Because on one side I live in a relatively safe neighborhood. The kids all play together. The neighbors know each other. I want my kids to be able to explore and be outside and feel safe and secure while also being aware of things. Like when my 10 year old goes to sleepaway camp for the first time this summer we’re going to have multiple conversations about adults that make you keep a secret. That’s not okay being alone with an adult. You can say, my dad doesn’t let me do that. Like the safety conversations. But tell us a little bit more about just what should parents know and think through in regards to trafficking in their kids?
Well, it’s a big question, but here are a couple of things. You are awesome you’re ahead of the curve because most parents won’t take the time to even assess their kids that way. One of the first things we try and educate folks on is have a special word or code that only you and your family know, not even your neighbors, not anyone else so that if your child is in trouble and they happen to have a cell phone or they have access to a way to communicate, they can text that and they’re in trouble. So your kids are very young, going to camp can be a scary thing but on the other hand, if you open up the conversation and say, “Hey Jane or Joe,” I’m sorry just using random names for kids, but, “if anybody does something that makes you feel uncomfortable about your body, your person, your mind, anything like that, you can text or you can call me and I will be there or you can tell me.”

Even if it’s something that they may have inadvertently put themselves in, in a bad position, like poor judgment. I’m sorry, everybody’s guilty of poor judgment sometime, but especially kids because they trust. So you can tell me anything and I will not punish or judge you for it. We’ll just figure out a better way or we’ll figure it out and then we’ll figure out a better way to keep this from happening again. So adults are very impatient, because they’re stressed out, they’re working, they’ve got all these other issues going on in their adult lives. Sometimes we simply don’t listen to our kids and teenagers, the way that we need to.

For those with teenagers, I also offer the same thing, but hey, if your kids are starting to socialize and go places and you’re not around, let them know, you’re not trying to police them. You just want them to be safe. That is your most important thing for them. Again, if there’s a bad judgment, we’ll deal with that but otherwise we want them to know, you can tell me anything no matter what it’s and not get in trouble.
From a statistics standpoint and you can tell me if this isn’t an expertise you have, when we look at how people are abducted and trafficked and are there leading causes, like here’s the top three things that like, if you pay attention to these, your kids will be more safe than if you don’t. What sorts of things are you teaching parents or educators about the situations that these types of people are engaging with kids in?
That’s a big question. I don’t have a specific expertise, but I can tell you from the kids that my husband and I have rescued and we’ve assisted over the past 13 years are like 300 and we’ve housed 50 of them. So based on their experiences and what we now a lot of times the groomers are very, very stealth. They’ll gain trust of a child or a teenager in some way, find a vulnerable issue or a vulnerable need, they’ll fill that need and then they’ll gain the confidence, the relationship. Then they start asking for certain things to be done or they’ll start isolating or telling that child or that product basically, which is what the human beings are at that point that they need to not do this or not call or not associate with, they’ll isolate.

Then if they don’t actually take them somewhere, for example, one of the girls we rescued her father was the primary sexual predator. The mother was an alcoholic. They divorced. The mother found a boyfriend and was more interested in the boyfriend than her daughter. So the daughter was left alone from ages 12 to 16 with frozen food in the freezer for six days a week. So 12 year old to 16 year old, still went to high school on and off, eventually got introduced to drugs and eventually a woman who was 30 and this girl was 17 spotted the vulnerability. This girl needed a friend. She needed somebody that actually cared about her.

So she created the relationship. Within a short period of time, invites her to a motel room where a couple of her friends are visiting for the weekend and then the girl was trapped. So fortunately she was able to get out of that. We rescued her as well and she’s doing great now, but she said, I was told I would be the one that would go to jail and that if I told anybody they could always get me. So that’s part, that’s just one scenario.
Sure, sure. In regards to online safety and kids and adults what are things that you recommend in that area?
Absolutely. We have to be more involved in watching what our kids do online, look at their history, give them parameters, do parental controls, all of the basic stuff, but also in the gaming. One of the things that we focused on in our handbook was just because you watch a game for five minutes to make sure it’s safe for your kids, you have to go through the entire game because we have found that in the middle, a lot of times are hidden things like you’re entering a room where anything sexual can be done. You can do anything you want because you’re in our game.

So we really advise adults to pay attention to the games that your kids are playing and how they react and respond. Maybe one child who’s doing one game isn’t going to be phased by the information, but another child could be severely traumatized depending on what they see and what happens in that game room. So again, it’s all about protection and monitoring and putting effort into protecting our children.
And I think it seems like at least a little bit that I don’t game, but from what I read about games is that there’s so much live interaction now with many of the games and being able to sure, there’s a framework for a game, but then there’s the human side of it too, of humans being able to interact with each other. So even with my girls, they aren’t allowed to play any of the live modes. They can only play their own solo version of the games. So any other online things that are top of mind in regards to just safety and thinking about trafficking?
Well, in another case that we had, the mother had her computer locked down and she’d had to work. So her 11 year old daughter, this was during one of the lockdown periods, decided she tried to hack, she figured out a password got in and started chatting with what she thought was a boy. So she’s 11 and the gentleman on the other end was not a teenager. Let’s just say he was definitely older and he chatted up, got personal information out of her about her school and, “Oh, I just love long hair. Do you have long hair?” So she ended up describing herself, where she went to school, what area she was in. So one of the safeguards is tell your children why it’s important not to give information out and make sure that you do have safety protocols if it’s your computer.

Again, as adults, we need to be the example. So if you have a social life that involves bringing partners over, then you have to be aware that that’s a potential threat, and you need to know who you’re bringing into the house. But also you need to know what’s on your computer that a child or a teenager can get into, because I don’t know about you, but they’re way smarter than I am even six decades into life. Now, the kids we’ve had over the years, I’m like, man, they are just really super smart. They’re creative. So yes, again, definitely all those protocols that seem common sense, but are we doing them? It’s like the laws right now with human trafficking.

We have laws on the books that are stringent, but they’re not being enforced. So the law doesn’t do any good if we don’t enforce it. Our protocol with our children doesn’t do any good if we’re not consistent about it. If we do leave our kids, let’s say you have another adult member of your family, let’s say you’re going out or you need your two girls to be watched do you know who they are or who they associate with? For the older kids, if your 12, 13, 15 year old is going somewhere, it’s not enough to know who the parents are. Do you know what their children are like? What about the brother? What about the sister? You have to know who your kids are really with, because I can give story after story of, well the parents are perfectly safe, but we just figured that when the boys were home, that they were just home to socialize with themselves even though there were three young girls in the house and that did not end up well.
Now I would love to shift to talk more about advocacy. So primarily therapists listening that hear things about trafficking and say, I want to do something I want to push back, how can people that want to make some sort of difference in regards to human trafficking, what can they do?
Sure, absolutely. There are a number of ways. So with Voices Against Trafficking, let me explain that we are like a hub. So every member that we have across the nation and globally is its own non-profit or business or therapist or entity. We don’t take that away. We are just a collective membership because we have more power and more leverage with legislation and other things when we have more members. We’re trying to get a million names on our roster by the end of summer, 2023, so that we can get more members of Congress and other influential places on board with us.

But as far as advocacy we believe in advocacy, through awareness, education, prevention, and then hopefully inspiring action. A couple ways we do that is we provide for free through Facebook and YouTube, a quarterly forum. We bring speakers from the US, all over the US, all over the world for five, 10 minutes, each message for an hour and a half. We give the general public information from different aspects of the “human trafficking industry.” We have counterparts in Mexico and they share what they’re doing and what works. So we share ideas, we share solutions, we educate.

We had a brilliant speaker on the dance industry and how that’s being infiltrated. So we try and do that much. Then this year we brought, or rather last year, I can’t believe we’re already in 2022, so just a couple months ago, we published our first called Voices Against Trafficking, The Strength of Many Voices Speaking as One. We have 20 chapters all from different perspectives. So for instance, I wrote a chapter on PTSD. There are a few other chapters written by survivor leaders. We have memories of the media who wrote from the media perspective about coverage, lack of coverage, what their role is, things like that, the evolution of slavery chapter.

We also have how the travel industry can help with this human trafficking issue. Voices was just involved in the reporting of a older man with a newborn baby that was traveling on an airline where one of our members was on and we were able to get photos and information to Homeland security. They were able to start a case and start tracking this person with this child. So we intercede, but we also advocate through various means. The book, what we felt like was if we had a handbook of sorts, not here’s the facts, but here’s the truth and here are the stories, and here are the perspectives that make this real.

We have a Homeland Security Chapter in their, Texas border, all of that stuff, all these different areas. Every year, we want to bring this book out so there are fresh voices, fresh information, so that people can keep themselves educated. And kudos to the mental health profession, because we are definitely underfunded. Even in Oregon where I live, we don’t really have a way to help with psychosexual issues. We don’t have a lot of people that are skilled in that, at least not through for the kids that we rescued. But for me personally, my opinion is that any sexual violation, whether it’s human trafficking, assault, when you violate someone that way, that is the most intimate of their entire being. That requires more than just the average bear therapy sometimes. And we need more of it.
From a legislative standpoint and political and advocacy in that area, what can people do?
Okay. I got a little bit sideways, but right now they can add their voice. Whether it’s to the roster, they can go to the local law enforcement, find out what can I report? What do you want us to say? Most importantly, if you see something, say something. Usually our gut instincts are pretty accurate. We don’t want to go arresting everybody out there, but if you see something, say something. The other thing, too, is if you have voted for anyone or you have supported financially, whether it’s a city council member, the mayor, a governor, anybody, you have the right to ask them, what have you done, or what are you doing to make our community safer, to have stringent maximum penalties for predators, whether it’s sexual assault or traffickers or pedophiles? How are you making it safe for my kids and my grandkids?

We have to hold people accountable. If they can’t give you an answer or something satisfactory other than generic, “Well, we’re talking about it,” then pull your vote, pull your money, pull your support and move on and find people that will work and fight for your children. That’s what I say. No matter what side of the aisle you’re on it doesn’t matter because this is a human issue. This is 21st century slavery we’re talking about and it’s more than we’ve ever had in the entire history. Like you said, our country or the world we are at a higher rate of enslaving people for activities they do not choose to be part of. So that’s part of it, finding out what you can report, using your vote or your money to influence organizations like ours.

You can go to We have helplines, hotlines, we have a list of probably 40 tips for parents, how to prevent child abuse. Also if there’s somebody who’s on the edge, all the stress, all the financial issues that are going on just life in general and if you find yourself feeling maxed out or attempted to snap at your kids or to hurt them, call one of those numbers. We want to help you too. If you know the victims, yes, most important but also if you’re on that line, we want to help you not make those choices that could hurt other people.
Andy, the last question I always ask is if every private practitioner in the world were listening right now, what would you want them to know?
Well, I want them to know one, first I am very grateful because without that counseling, I don’t think I would be as far as I am today. So thank you for that. Two, I think that my counselor had it spot on. Some people they just need to keep moving through the work and keep that going so that they they can be productive, but for everyone else out there, I think that knowing there is help, if someone like me could get through it and with the help of counseling, with the help of faith, with the help of support systems, be able to go and help others who were like me or even different, have different issues that there is help.

Don’t get discouraged if something doesn’t work out or you have a patient or a client who maybe just can’t make it. I don’t know really, Joe, what makes the difference in a human being? I know I just had a severe natural redheaded will to live and to make sure my life wasn’t wasted, that all that garbage didn’t win over my life. So I definitely believe in empowerment and I think that we need more mental health professionals that can get, have the resources to do the jobs they need to do. So I don’t know if that’s helpful or not, but —
That’s perfect. Andy, if people want to add their voice, if they want to add their business, if they’re part of a nonprofit, if they want to help other people, where would you want them to go?
Go to We have three tabs. Add your voice cost you nothing. We just need to have a written document that you said, yes, I want to add my voice. It’s not going to be sole published. The other thing is if people want to join, we have a $50 lifetime membership that helps us with those forums and pay for production and books. We’re actually trying to get a book into every university. So we’re raising money for that,. We ae a nonprofit. Then also a donate button so that if somebody does want to help us get books out to the places that need it so that someone who doesn’t know about trafficking, they’ll get the information in the book. If they know about trafficking or they’re a therapist or a professional, they can get more information. So for all of that. Then also if someone wants to purchase the book as well.
Oh, that’s so great. I’m also thinking some of the folks listening might be professors and social work programs or counseling programs. Reach out to Andy to zoom in for a class or something like that to raise awareness.
Absolutely. I’d be thrilled.
Andy Buerger from Voices Against Trafficking, thank you so much for being on the Practice of the Practice podcast.
Thank you. I appreciate it.
You know, the work we do, sure there’s the business side. There’s the SEO, the website, the design, the logo, all of that, but there’s also, we got to leave the world better than we found it. if there’s things that are broken in the world, we want to try to fix that as best as we can. Sure, we’re busy being parents and running our businesses, but also to be aware of the injustices in the world and of the things that are happening in our position of privilege and the duty to use that privilege to better the world. That’s something that I’m passionate about as well as I know so many of you are as well.

So hopefully you can help join the fight in regards to stopping trafficking and find other ways in your own community to make change, to talk to your local elected officials, to ask those questions of what they’re doing around the issues you care about. It’s so inspiring to have people like Andy on today’s podcast. I hope that you go out and you take some action. I often say that we can’t just consume podcasts and just sit around and consume, consume, consume. That only does so much. It’s just like when you eat, sure you can eat healthy, but if you never move your body, you’re not going to get the muscle or the tone or whatever it is that you want. You can’t just sit around. So go take some action. Go do some things that better the world and make the world better than you found it.

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Thank you so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Have an amazing day. I’ll talk to you soon.
Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy for that intro music. This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is given with understanding that neither the host, the producers, the publishers or guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.