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Paul Conti, MD | Understanding Trauma & How to Heal From It

If you google the word “Trauma” you’ll find the top search results arrive in some form of the question “What is trauma?” This then begs the next question: what are we really talking about when we’re talking about trauma? In today’s episode, Dr. Paul Conti and I unpack what trauma is, what it means to have experienced trauma, and what makes trauma so hard to resolve. What I found so fascinating in this conversation was the idea that there are 4 types of trauma we can experience and how, if we can create safe spaces to talk about our trauma and support one another, we can more readily recognize who we were before the trauma occurred and who we want to be after. 


A graduate of Stanford University School of Medicine, Paul completed his psychiatry training at Stanford and Harvard. Now living in Portland, OR and founding his own clinic, he serves patients and clients throughout the United States and internationally, including the executive leadership of large corporations. He is the author of TRAUMA: The Invisible Epidemic: How Trauma Works and How We Can Heal From It. 


Thing is, Paul talks about trauma - not just as an academic pursuit but from a personal perspective and experience - having lost his brother to suicide when Paul was just 25 years old. As a result of his training and experience, Paul urges us to remember that we are all in this together and shared humanity is more important now than ever for our healing to begin - and around the 53-minute mark, Paul gives us two prescriptions to take action on - 1 as societal prescription and the other for us individually. 


Quick note before diving in. As noted above, trauma & suicide are discussed in this conversation, with the lens of care and compassion, still we understand these topics are sensitive and may be triggering to some, so please take care when choosing to listen and honor your own personal sensitivities and needs.


You can find Paul at: Website


If you LOVED this episode you’ll also love the conversations we had with Bessel van der Kolk about his embodied approach to integrating trauma.


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