My dear friend, Dr. James Gordon, is a Harvard-trained psychiatrist and a world-renowned expert in using mind body medicine to heal depression, anxiety, and psychological trauma. The Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Mind Body Medicine in Washington, DC, he's a clinical professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Family Medicine at Georgetown Medical School and served as chairman of the White House Commission on Complimentary and Alternative Medicine.
Dr. Gordon has created groundbreaking programs of comprehensive mind body healing for physicians, medical students and other health professionals, for people with cancer, depression and other chronic illnesses, and for traumatized children and families in Bosnia, Kosovo, Israel, Gaza, Haiti, Syrian refugees in Jordan, in post-911 New York City, post-Katrina southern Louisiana and post-Maria Puerto Rico, with Native Americans on Pine Ridge reservation, and for veterans and active duty military. A whirlwind of energy and inspiration, Jim's been on a mission for decades to create communities of hope and healing, bringing together a variety of techniques drawn from the world’s healing traditions as well as modern medicine to help whole populations learn to recover from trauma and heal themselves.
He's also the author of a new book, Transforming Trauma: Discovering Wholeness and Healing After Trauma. which offers the first comprehensive evidence- based program for reversing the biological and psychological damage trauma causes and for discovering and growing through its challenges to become who we're meant to be.
In this episode Dr. Gordon and I talk about the particular issues of trauma and fear facing women in the US at this moment in our cultural story including the impact of sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and microaggressions against women, on our health. We also talk about his work in Parkland, Florida and how we can address the concerns and fears of parents regarding school shootings and safety.
- The psychological and physical impact of childhood abuse and mistreatment, and how it can translate into vulnerability to chronic physical pain
- The role of trauma on the adrenal stress axis and how this can affect our health
- How our natural desire to self-sooth to calm a hyperactive stress response due to trauma can lead to a vicious cycle of other self-harming habits
- Mindfulness as the first step to changing self-harming habits
- The importance of cultivating self-compassion
- How to use the' shaking and moving' technique to get more embodied and move trauma from ‘stuck places’ in the body
- The limits of modern psychiatry in healing from trauma
- Helping our kids cope with the threat of school violence
- Creating wholeness at home using mindfulness and self-care practices
- Cultivating inner peace as parents as a path to helping our children find inner peace
- Art therapy as a tool to transform past trauma, including birth trauma