top of page

Recognizing and Overcoming PTSD & Trauma


In this episode of The Optimistic American, host Paul Johnson sits down with Dr. Emily Bashah to discuss trauma and its effects on individuals. They cover a wide range of topics related to trauma, from its different stages to effective practices for working on trauma.The conversation starts with Emily defining trauma from a clinical perspective. They agree that you cannot treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) if the person is still in a traumatic environment. Emily describes the physical changes in a person's brain after experiencing a traumatic event. According to her, a person's brain that was rewired by trauma can be rewired again through healing and therapeutic experiences.

Paul emphasizes that no two traumas are the same, and trauma often comes down to its impact on the individual. It is possible for people to hang on to their trauma, especially if it's meshed into their identity. They also discuss the effects of failure on a person's self-worth. Paul goes through the three basic elements of motivation: you have to challenge yourself, you need someone who will encourage you, and you must see growth and be able to measure it. They also talk about ways to help someone who grew up in a traumatic environment. Talking to people about their trauma starts with trust, and you cannot build trust without giving people the truth.

Emily describes the power of changing your story in trauma healing, emphasizing that you are the story you tell yourself, and you are either a victim or a victor of life. They go through the seven ideals of healing trauma and discuss the importance of forgiveness as a response to trauma. Paul and Emily share opposing thoughts on this matter.

Overall, the conversation provides insights into the complex nature of trauma and its impact on individuals. They highlight the importance of trust, honesty, and changing your story as tools for healing. They also emphasize that not all trauma needs to be fixed, and individuals can lead happy and fulfilling lives without needing therapy.

Here are some key points:

  • Trauma can have different stages, and its effects on individuals can vary.

  • It is important to build trust to help individuals who have experienced trauma, and talking about trauma starts with giving people the truth.

  • Physical changes occur in the brain after experiencing a traumatic event, but the brain can be rewired through healing and therapeutic experiences.

  • Not all trauma needs to be fixed, and individuals can lead happy and fulfilling lives without needing therapy.

  • Changing your story and seeing yourself as a victor instead of a victim can be a powerful tool in trauma healing.

How does this fit in the Hierarchy of Agency?

Believe in YOU, Believe in US, and act with BELIEF! Paul and Emily’s conversation highlights the importance of empathy, trust, and self-worth, which align with the Hierarchy of Agency through fostering positive relationships, creating a sense of belonging, and promoting personal growth and development. Additionally, their discussion on healing and rewiring the brain after trauma aligns with the Hierarchy of promoting well-being and providing resources for individuals to achieve their full potential.

Learn more about the Hierarchy of Agency here!


Don't forget to watch the full episode here!


bottom of page