DiscoverThe Zen (ish) MommyResponding to Trauma with Dr. Paula Madrid
Responding to Trauma with Dr. Paula Madrid

Responding to Trauma with Dr. Paula Madrid

Update: 2022-02-22


Trauma is described as an emotional response to a terrible event. Today’s guest, Dr. Paula Madrid, is a forensic and clinical psychologist, and an expert in the field of trauma. She shares how witnessing trauma growing up in Columbia has given her greater empathy and resilience, before giving us her definition of trauma, and explains how significant behavioral changes through therapy can lead to changes in brain functioning. We discuss the differences between processing trauma from a disaster versus an abuse, and why interpersonal trauma comes with unique challenges. Dr. Madrid weighs in on the complex case of the American gymnast’s assault case and touches on how everyday traumatic situations can lead to PTSD without there being a specific traumatic event. She walks us through the three steps of trauma treatment, and introduces us to the concept of post-traumatic growth. We hope you join us to hear a wealth of wisdom from this expert in the field today. 

Key Points From This Episode:

  • An introduction to today’s guest, forensic and clinical psychologist, Dr. Paula Madrid.
  • How witnessing trauma growing up has given her greater empathy and resilience.
  • Her memories of growing up in Columbia and being near difficult situations.
  • Dr. Madrid gives us her definition for trauma.
  • Why it is important to be mindful and respectful of the differences between our experiences.
  • How trauma impacts all aspects of the body including sleep, respiration, and dermatology.
  • The significant changes that people make as a result of therapy and how that can create changes in the brain chemistry.
  • Self-esteem and the impact that trauma can have on this.
  • The everyday traumatic situations that can lead to PTSD without a specific traumatic event.
  • How there are differences between trauma following abuse versus disasters.
  • Why interpersonal trauma is an extremely difficult to process situation and comes with guilt.
  • Dr. Madrid weighs in on the complex case of the American gymnast’s assault case.
  • How perpetrators create isolation and shame that leaves people feeling alone.
  • The impact of chronic abuse that makes a person feel helplessness.
  • Why PTSD and trauma can not be diagnosed without avoidance.
  • The constant struggle between the need to feel safe and the memories.
  • Risk and resiliency factors that predict who is and isn’t going to do well in recovery.
  • What she learned working at a clinic with people who experienced trauma. 
  • Stage one of treatment: stability, safety, and coping.
  • Stage two: traumatic processing.
  • Stage three: integrating your trauma by talking, sharing, and teaching people about it.
  • The post-traumatic growth that occurs in most people.
  • How avoidance is so common in therapy situations.
  • Why many people stay in areas and situations where they experienced trauma: opportunity, belonging, denial. 
  • How there is always denial in trauma and what the brain does to resolve cognitive dissonance.
  • The best starting point for dealing with trauma: ask your primary care physician for a recommendation.

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Dr. Paula Madrid
Dr. Paula Madrid on LinkedIn

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Responding to Trauma with Dr. Paula Madrid

Responding to Trauma with Dr. Paula Madrid

Jessica Gershman