Amanda Lindhout


Amanda Lindhout

New York Times Bestselling Author | Expert on Resilience, Survival, and Optimal Mindset

In 2008, Amanda Lindhout travelled to Somalia — a country often called “the most dangerous place on earth”. Abducted by a group of masked men along a dusty road, Amanda was held hostage for 460 days, and survived on her strategy, fortitude, and hope in the face of unimaginable adversity. Her unique experiences lend to important issues such as women’s rights, resilience, politics, and counter-terrorism. Her tale of survival builds suspense and momentum, revealing life-changing insights with actionable takeaways on how to re-frame pain into power.

A bestselling author, Amanda’s multiple-award-winning memoir of her experience in Somalia, A House in the Sky, has been on The Globe and Mail’s “Top Ten Bestsellers” list for a record-breaking three and a half years. The book is now being made into a film by Hollywood production company Annapurna Pictures (Zero Dark Thirty, Her, American Hustle, Joy, Foxcatcher) with Oscar-nominated actress Rooney Mara playing the role of Amanda.

An internationally renowned speaker, Amanda has shared stages with such luminaries as Bill Clinton and Richard Branson. She has visited over 90 countries to share her story, captivating audiences as large as 25,000 people.

She has been featured in Vogue, The New York Times Magazine, Dateline, The Today Show, Morning Joe and Anderson Cooper among other renowned media.

A House in the Sky: An Extraordinary Mindset

Raised by a poor single mom in a small city, Amanda Lindhout escaped the violence of her childhood home by paging through issues of National Geographic magazine and imagining herself in its exotic locales. As a young woman, her wanderlust led her to some of the world’s most beautiful and remote places, and its most imperiled and perilous countries.

Insatiably curious about human potential, Amanda became a journalist based in war ridden Iraq and Afghanistan.

In 2008 she travelled to Somalia to report from “the most dangerous place on earth.” Abducted by a group of masked men along a dusty road, Amanda would spend 460 days as a hostage, moved between a series of abandoned houses in the desert, surviving on strategy, fortitude and hope.

Her story of survival builds suspense and momentum to reveal life changing insights into mind conditioning. Amanda’s physical and mental pain led to a pivotal moment where she understood that despite everything, she still had choice and control over the mindset with which she faced each day. Using conviction, affirmation, gratitude, and positive thinking, Amanda survived the unimaginable. With astonishing clarity and self-reflection, she teaches through her powerful example that the stories we tell ourselves become our experiences, and that changing our narrative can transform our struggles into opportunities for growth.

Amanda outlines how coping strategies like mindfulness, visualization, and self-talk strengthen resilience. She describes what qualities enable not only survival, but also the capacity to thrive in the face of adversity.

A captivating, unforgettable speaker, Amanda facilitates a shift in consciousness, leaving the audience with actionable takeaways to develop new thought habits, deeply inspired to take on challenges with a new perspective, and empowered to transform stories of pain into stories of power.

Strength in Pain, Intentional Living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

In 2008, Amanda Lindhout was kidnapped by a group of extremists while traveling as a freelance journalist in Somalia. She was held captive for more than 15 months, released only after their families paid a ransom.

Amanda’s experiences as a hostage, her astonishing struggle for physical and mental survival, and her life after being freed provide an example of resilience in the face of severe, extended trauma to anyone interested in learning about mental health; professionals, researchers, clinicians, and survivors alike.

In this eloquent and focused keynote, Amanda discusses her experiences in captivity. Amanda outlines the techniques that she employed to survive in the early aftermath of her capture, and how coping strategies like mindfulness, visualization, and self-talk strengthened as her captivity lengthened. She describes what qualities enable not only survival, but also the capacity to thrive in the face of trauma and severe adversity.

During the 460-day kidnapping, Amanda employed critical components of resilience, including optimism, cognitive flexibility, adaptive coping skills, and utilizing a strong personal moral compass.

Following her dramatic release, Amanda experienced the challenges of transitioning home and living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She describes her experiences with mental health professionals and the wide range of therapies that she has had access to since her release.

Amanda’s remarkable example can be used to further explore the ways that a survivor’s active and empowering choice to heal is central to resilience during and after trauma.