The Trauma Therapist | Podcast with Guy Macpherson, PhD | Inspiring interviews with thought-leaders in the field of trauma.
Inspiring interviews with thought-leaders and game-changers in the fields of trauma, mindfulness, addiction and yoga. Join Guy Macpherson, PhD at traumatherapistproject.com as we hear about the journeys of passionate mental health workers who dedicate their lives to helping others heal and thrive.

In 2007, Rachel Mann left her tenured position as a faculty member and administrator at the University of Virginia to start a private practice working in the fast emerging, alternative field of shamanic energy medicine, a form of treatment in part adapted from the indigenous peoples of the Amazon and Andes. She continues to work in Academia as a faculty member at Atlantic University which offers an online MA in Transpersonal Psychology.

Rachel has 2 decades of experience doing anti-racism and anti-violence training and education and was the co-director of The Art of Surviving, a traveling and digital exhibit of art, poetry and personal narratives by survivors of sexual violence sponsored by the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Action Alliance funded by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities in 2002-03.

Direct download: Episode_233_-_Rachel_Mann.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:25am PDT

Today, The Trauma Therapist | Podcast shifts a bit.

Today I’m interviewing world-renowned designer Debbie Millman who shares her story of courage, healing, and hope.

I first heard Debbie on Tim Ferriss’ podcast and was struck by her candor, strength, and vulnerability. She was on Tim’s show to speak about her illustrious design career. However, at a specific point in the interview, the tone definitely changed when Debbie began sharing the story of her childhood. It was at that point that I was drawn in by the courage with which Debbie spoke about her past, her journey, and the hope she’s hung on to all these years.

My hope is that we all can not only learn from her experience but as trauma workers, be inspired by the strength and hope in her words.

Debbie Millman was named “one of the most influential designers working today” by Graphic Design USA, Debbie Millman is also an author, educator, brand strategist and host of the podcast Design Matters.

As the founder and host of Design Matters, the first and longest running podcast about design, Millman has interviewed nearly 300 design luminaries and cultural commentators, including Massimo Vignelli, Milton Glaser, Malcolm Gladwell, Dan Pink, Barbara Kruger, Seth Godin and more. In the 11 years since its inception, the show has garnered over a million downloads per year, a Cooper Hewitt National Design Award and—most recently—iTunes designated it one of the best podcasts of 2015. 

Debbie’s written and visual essays have appeared in publications such as The New York Times, New York Magazine, Print Magazine, Design Observer and Fast Company.

She is the author of two books of illustrated essays: Look Both Ways and Self-Portrait As Your Traitor; the latter of which has been awarded a Gold Mobius, a Print Typography Award, and a medal from the Art Directors Club.

Her artwork has been exhibited at the Boston Biennale, Chicago Design Museum, Anderson University, School of Visual Arts, Long Island University, The Wolfsonion Museum and the Czong Institute for Contemporary Art. 

Debbie is the author of six books, including two collections of interviews that have extended the ethos and editorial vision of Design Matters to the printed page: How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer and Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits. Both books have been published in over 10 languages.

For 20 years, Debbie was the President of the design division at Sterling Brands, where she worked with over 200 of the world’s largest brands, including the redesign of Burger King, merchandising for Star Wars and the positioning and branding of the No More movement. She is also President Emeritus of AIGA, one of five women to hold the position in the organization’s 100-year history and a past board member and treasurer of the New York Chapter.

Currently, Debbie is the Editorial and Creative Director of Print Magazine, the oldest magazine about design in the United States, and a board member of actor and activist Mariska Hargitay’s Joyful Heart Foundation, Legendary Performance Space 122 and the venerable Type Directors Club.

Direct download: Episode_232_-_Debbie_Millman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am PDT

Rachel Grant is the owner and founder of Rachel Grant Coaching and is a Sexual Abuse Recovery Coach. She is also the author of Beyond Surviving: The Final Stage in Recovery from Sexual Abuse.  She works with survivors of childhood sexual abuse who are beyond sick and tired of feeling broken, unfixable, and burdened by the past. She helps them let go of the pain of abuse and finally feel normal.

Her program, Beyond Surviving, has been specifically designed to change the way we think about and heal from abuse. Based on her educational training, study of neuroscience, and lessons learned from her own journey, she has successfully used this program since 2007 to help her clients break free from the past and move on with their lives.

Direct download: Episode_231_-_Rachel_Grant.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:44am PDT

Robyn Mourning, MS, MFTC holds a Masters of Counseling in Marriage, Family, and Child Therapy and is the founder of Revolution Trauma Recovery Services, LLC in Westminster, CO.

She provides holistic and evidenced-based counseling and therapy services to individuals and families experiencing the effects of relationship trauma. Robyn specializes in intimate partner violence/domestic abuse, sexual violation/abuse, emotional abuse/neglect and traumatic family system disruptions.

Robyn works from an attachment and social justice lens which allows her to work with clients at the intersection of cultural barriers and their traumatic experiences.

She provides therapeutic parent coaching for adult survivors of abuse and neglect and for parents whose children are healing from trauma. Robyn also provides trauma recovery coaching packages for recovery preparation, recovery mindset and thriving after the recovery stage of healing. Through the Creating Safe Communities Initiative, Robyn collaborates with community members and leaders to further enrich the recovery experiences of abuse/neglect survivors."


Carl Waggett has been a full-time firefighter for the past 14 years, and Acting Captain for 4 of them.  After a fellow-firefighter and close friend of Carl’s ended his own life, Carl removed himself from the front line trucks only to be diagnosed with PTSD a short time afterwards. Carl says he’s learning that there are many sides to this very intelligent disorder, and would simply like to share his experiences in the hope that others understand that PTSD is more of a winnable battle then you think.

Carl started his podcast, PTSD Bunker Gear For Your Brain, after his experiences with PTSD and to help other first responders.

Direct download: Episode_229_-_PTSD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:13am PDT

Aikido and trauma resolution?

Part of my own education in my graduate psychology program involved learning Aikido. Psychology and Aikido are a perfect fit. When I learned of this week’s guest, Jeff Dowdy, and the work he was doing within the trauma field, I jumped at the chance to have him on the podcast. Aikido is a non-violent martial art. If you’re not too familiar with it, you can read more about it here.

Over the last twenty years, Jeff Dowdy gratefully has had opportunities to direct programs utilizing art and Aikido to support the excellence of youth and adults in under-resourced and in at-risk communities. Jeff has led community arts projects, taught art in the classroom, and has recently founded Sarete, a nonprofit that utilizes the martial art of Aikido as a resource for reducing the burdens of conflict and trauma.

For Jeff, Aikido was a discovery that the body isn’t just along for the ride, it is a driving force that determines our experience. Sarete stems from the realization that the body becomes a resource for experiencing conflict in a way that leads toward resolution and healing.

Direct download: Episode_228_-_Aikido.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am PDT

Lisa Mitchell LMFT, ATR, LPC is the author Creativity as Co-Therapist: The Practitioner’s Guide to the Art of Psychotherapy (Routledge 2016). An art therapist, she has specialized in helping teens and adults use art and creative expression to overcome anxiety, depression, and trauma for 20+ years.

Lisa’s online and in-person workshops are popular for the in-depth, hands-on creative experiences she facilitates to help therapists find unique ways of approaching the therapeutic process as a creative one.

Lisa is also the organizer and host of Create Fest, an annual online creativity festival that provides inspiration and education for therapists to "Get out the box and into their right mind".

Lisa partners with her own creativity through writing, knitting, and painting. Her blog features reflections on all creative endeavors (including therapy) at www.innercanvas.com.

Direct download: Episode_227_-_Lisa_Mitchell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am PDT

Today an in between-isode and a video.

Click here to watch the video.

Things are happening around here at The Trauma Therapist Project and The Trauma Therapist | Podcast and I wanted to share a bit of it with you.

I hope you enjoy it.

Direct download: Episode_226_-_Being_Human.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:31am PDT

Pat Ogden, PhD, is a pioneer in somatic psychology and both Founder and Education Director of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute®, an internationally recognized school specializing in somatic–cognitive approaches for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder and attachment disturbances. She is co-founder of the Hakomi Institute, a clinician, consultant, international lecturer and trainer, and first author of Trauma and the Body: A Sensorimotor Approach to Psychotherapy. Her most recent book, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Trauma and Attachment (2015) is a practical guide to integrate Sensorimotor Psychotherapy® into the treatment of trauma and attachment issues. Dr. Ogden is currently developing Sensorimotor Psychotherapy® for children, adolescents, and families with colleagues.

Direct download: Episode_225._Theres_No_One_Answer._Pat_Ogden.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:32am PDT

Today on the podcast we talk about the the youth and adolescents who have run away.

  • Why kids runaway.
  • What parents can do.
  • How kids can get help.

And the incredible job that the National Runaway Safeline is doing to help.

Maureen Blaha is the executive director of the National Runaway Safeline (NRS), the federally-designated national communication system for runaway and homeless youth. Under her leadership, the visibility of NRS and awareness of its 1-800-RUNAWAY hotline has grown, while support has steadily increased in both personnel and finances.

Maureen has instituted several key accomplishments during tenure including: a program focused on runaway prevention called Let’s Talk: Runaway Prevention Curriculum, as well as National Runaway Prevention Month, an annual campaign to increase awareness of the issues facing runaway youth and to educate youth, families and the public about resources available to prevent youth from running away. 

Maureen has been a featured speaker of the Special Victims Assistance Unit for the FBI (2005 and 2010), was invited to speak to UK parliament to help launch The Children's Society of England's National Safe and Sound Campaign (2005), and represented the runaway population at the groundbreaking White House Conference on Missing, Exploited and Runaway Children (2002).

Direct download: Episode_224_-_Maureen_Blaha.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:21am PDT