Petra Velzeboer

Fee Band

  • Conference Speakers£5k to £10k
  • Science, Health & Medicine, Psychology, Overcoming Adversity

Petra is the CEO of mental health consultancy PVL. She was born and raised in the infamous Children of God cult, conditioned to believe that she was being groomed to save the world. Having escaped that world, she now talks to audiences about her ultimate rock bottom, her battle with mental illness including addiction and depression, and her subsequent transformation leading to her founding a flourishing mental health business.


Petra Velzeboer is a dynamic, entertaining, and practical speaker, psychotherapist, author, and CEO of mental health consultancy PVL. She brings her expertise on subjects that impact employees, managers, and C-suite leadership with the aim of evolving workplaces and cultures for the new world of work.

Petra speaks about the future of work and the narratives around AI. She also focuses on mental health and resilience in a world of change, positive psychology, elite performance, and creating dynamic teams, creating a future of work that is good for health, and sustainable for long term success.

She sees the challenges that exist including rising statistics of burnout, anxiety, depression, addiction, and suicide. These are only part of the issues facing the workplace as they tackle an economic downturn, long term absence, and employee health as they experiment with a hybrid office, struggling to enhance belonging and connection.

Petra offers practical suggestions to these challenges to help people lead by example in modelling healthy behaviours, showing vulnerability, and offering inspiration and motivation to people to enable them to thrive.

She is the author of Begin with You, a practical insight into thriving in adversity and challenging toxicity, groupthink and culty behaviours in a world that is desperate for change.

Petra’s inspiration and motivation come from her unique and compelling story which she tells with vulnerability, and authenticity. Born and raised in a notorious cult she knows first-hand what a toxic culture feels like and what it takes to build resilience and take responsibility for good mental health. When Petra finally left the cult, she spiralled into addiction, depression and anxiety leaving her a desperate suicidal mother of two young children. Hitting several crash points, she finally decided to let go of her victim mindset and begin to build a life that was worth living.

Petra translates her story into solutions for teams including challenging the masks we wear, promoting bravery, and building elite teams that can navigate any challenge together. She is known for comparing cults to corporates and adapting her message to suit audiences of employees, senior leadership teams and HR or Diversity and Inclusion teams.

As well as keynotes and team talks, Petra also works with organisations to go deeper through workshops, masterclasses, and hosting panel events as well as offering advice on effective and inclusive wellbeing strategies that enhance diversity of thought, gender issues and leadership styles. She adapts her story and expertise to include neuroscience, and positive psychology to inspire audiences to achieve greatness.


JLA Speakers Breakfast: Petra Velzeboer

Petra Velzeboer: The Future of Work

Petra Velzeboer: Three Ways to Live the Life You Want - TEDxOxford

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Book written by Petra Velzeboer


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