My guest this week is psychiatrist Dr. James Gordon, author of a book called The Transformation: Discovering Wholeness and Healing After Trauma. I can almost guarantee that Dr. Gordon will change how you think about trauma and how we recover from it. It changed my understanding of how we approach trauma treatment, even though I’ve specialized in this area for over a decade.
Dr. Gordon shared his hope that all of us can recover from trauma, and offered a wide range of practices to support our healing. I think you’ll get a lot out of our discussion. Topics we explored included:
- The unavoidability of trauma
- Different definitions of trauma
- The limitations of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a diagnosis
- The value in broadening our understanding of what trauma includes
- The universal reactions to trauma and overwhelming stress (click on the link for my free guide 10 Ways to Manage Stress and Anxiety Every Day)
- The healing from trauma that is available
- Trauma as a potential path toward wholeness, including posttraumatic growth (see this related post: 7 Ways Survivors Can Grow After Trauma)
- The spiritual dimension of healing from trauma
- The power of breathing practices
- The many benefits of meditation practice
- Meditations that make use of the body, like Shaking and Dancing (see this article that describes the practice)
- How trauma survivors can get started on a program of healing
- The practice of Wise Guide imagery
- How to listen to the wisdom of our bodies
- Reclaiming the simple pleasures of being in the body
- The damage that trauma does to our digestive systems
- The role that gut health and nutrition play in well-being and in healing from trauma
- Finding hope for recovery from trauma
- The importance of realizing we can make a difference in how we feel
You can try the Soft Belly breathing technique that Dr. Gordon described here: Soft Belly.
Here is the link to Dr. Gordon’s excellent book, filled with helpful and creative practices (affiliate link): The Transformation.
He was formerly a researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health, and Chair of the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy, as well as a clinical professor of Psychiatry and Family Medicine at Georgetown Medical School.
Dr. Gordon has authored or edited ten previous books, including Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven-stage Journey Out of Depression. He has written often for numerous popular publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and The Guardian, as well as in professional journals.
He has served as an expert for such outlets as 60 Minutes, the Today show, Good Morning America, CBS Sunday Morning, Nightline, CNN, MSNBC, NPR and many others.