Aug. 7, 2022

E385: How to COPE Emotional Healing after trauma | Trauma Healing Podcast

Join our FREE COMMUNITY as a member of the Unbroken Nation:   In this episode we are joined by Tatiana Vilarea, Tom Dozier, Virginia Dixon and Dr Ken Adolph.
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Join our FREE COMMUNITY as a member of the Unbroken Nation: 

In this episode we are joined by Tatiana Vilarea, Tom Dozier, Virginia Dixon and Dr Ken Adolph. We talk about how you can measure cognitive behavioral therapy and how impactful those are, and I think there's so much more of a relationship between mind, body, and spirit. All these things need symbiosis to start creating effective change in your life.

This is the episode that you are not going to want to miss. 


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Michael: One of the things I'm curious about so as you're this and you're working with people and you're trying to help them go through this shift and changing and understanding it's not simply just mindset but it's all these other parameters like what does that look like? How do you dive into, I guess the way that it would phrase it as you know how do you get dive into the body memory first? What is the approach? Where do you step into emotional healing versus the mind where does conscientious just work come to play in all of this?

Tatiana: Well I always combine I do believe that first step is the self awareness, so I always combine it with coaching. My goal is to teach in person to be an expert in who they are, not to just have a quantum diagnosis session let's say we try an absolutely blown with the results from those sessions, from a personal life on my clients these are my favorite type of sessions. But if we have a spontaneous change in remission can the client replicate it the answer is no, because they don't know what happened. So, I always teach the clients to know what drives their life. I work with a concept that I developed so which I call life scenarios these are those scenarios that we unconsciously play out most of them are transitionally created and we absorb them all without any analytical filtering because it happened in trial, we did not have analytical filtering so it goes right in and it they become all like scripts, right? And I have eight of them that I work with for entrepreneurs in about fourteen, fifteen of them overall.

So, this is a conscious thing and then I combine it with a body memory and so the tools are very diverse I've collected them for a few years now. No session is the same but overall I believe that if we listen to the body and if we we really trace some track patterns and what happens to the body for example when we are as an entrepreneur on a sales call that was terrified of sales and I thought I hated sales it was not the case but that's what I thought and this is what most people think, right? The trauma about money and all that state upon safety makes us have either even a version to money or we judge and we think consciously, oh, we want become millionaires but then we have so many unconscious blocks and the body is terrified, that's why a lot of people think that they have fear failure but they have fear of success. They literally terrified in their bodies in their neurological system of that wealth and success and being known and being seen.

So backs to the tools, the body shows everything because the body holds an emotional charge and if I use the language that both the body of the subconscious mind can understand then well it gets released. And for example when a client had problem with sales calls for with this ability avoiding publishing a book, procrastination all of that or avoiding reaching out so they will have a client to them. But they will drag and delay it that's self sabotage because they know well if they respond they will start getting client, they will start being visible and it's dangerous for the body and unless we release the perceived danger that lives in our bodies memory, cellular memory and neurological memory and your chemical memory well we're trying to will power through.

Michael: How do you help somebody identify that and more so when they're with you and they're going through this process and you're bringing attention to this for them, how do you help them navigate it?

Tatiana: Great questions, thank you so much. Do you mind if I use an example of a particular client? So for example working with a woman who is an entrepreneur very driven, she has the purpose, she knows it, she thinks about it every waking moment of her life, she has tried all the mindset based modalities in other words she invested heavily she understands that she needs to invest in herself to get results in terms of she needs that someone dragging her through the blind spots, right? So she's tried all the mindset work and the business strategy and that's what a lot of entrepreneurs do. We have heavily invest in those strategy and marketing tools instead of going to the route first and then all the strategy and implementation becomes easy because otherwise if the root is not resolved we will be learning strategies and know all about it in theory but we'll be resisting, right? So that was the case for her and she thought she had an issue with that mindset and when we started working together, not from the first session because there are certain layers that have to be removed before that because healing is a structured process we cannot get the skip steps or the psyche would not even allow us to get to that road cause to that bottom to the real issue of the problem. So, that's why I work on a four month basis, right? Both with the coaching and the chemotherapy combined. So what we discover is that when she was young she had a really traumatic episode with her family. When they were quite well off, financial situation changed drastically they lost money that was criminal activity involved they not only they lost everything, turns out she was scared for her life and her family's life; in her body, money and having wealth being visible for that wealth forever became associated. Yes of course in rate, yes of course in the mind, but as a child she spent sleepless nights being afraid that somebody's gonna break into the house where they live and kill them all or take their family away, no matter how much she tried to work with that conscious level and read the self help box and know what million your mindset is, she wasn't hitting past that ceiling, she had the enough feeling. She always had enough but she could not break through to more because that means that in our body it's equal to danger or death even or loss. When we address that everything changed and then she started using all that strategy and all the marketing that she invested in she knew what she was supposed to do, so now she combined it all and she would you know went off to create the success that she thought she wanted but she was blocking all along.



Michael: What kind of activity is happening in the brain when this is transpiring? Because to me, I've always thought about this idea of mindset and controlling your thoughts and understanding now that it is conditioning. You know, I think I can look at that and go, Oh, well, of course that makes sense why when somebody does that thing I have that response. But what is actually happening in the brain that drives that response?

Tom: So, we know that the brain stays on the autonomic nervous system, which I call the lizard brain, is the heart and soul of any pavlovian conditioning, right? That's the part of the brain, that hears the sound, notices the sound, looks at the situation and the context, it depends on not just the sound but where you are and who's doing it and it has to go up to the hot brain to the cerebrum and say, where am I? What's happening? What's expected? Goes down into the mortar motor cortex and rumbles around and then it zaps the muscles. Now, that's the physical reflex that people do not notice. So Michael, when you were a teenager, a kid, and your brothers were chewing and brushing their teeth and making you so upset, did you notice that you were getting zapped or did you probably just noticed you were getting upset?

Michael: Yeah, it always felt like instantaneous.

Tom: Upset, right?

Michael: Like, yeah, just like a trigger.

Tom: Okay. So what happens is from the time, a trigger stimulus starts from the time you start hearing that crunch sound to the muscles firing wherever they are and it's unique to every person is about 200 milliseconds and then that's fed up into deep in the brain there in the cerebrum, there is anterior insula, and that's the anterior insular cortex (AIC) is a center for communication. So it gets all the external sensation and the internal sensations of touch, taste, smell, sight, hearing, muscle tension, body temperature, oxygen level, pain, whatever. So it gets all the inside in internal and external and that relays out to some spots behind your eyebrows so then for medial prefrontal cortex, which is an emotional reflex learning center, that takes something that's neutral and turns it into eat like a smell of Grandma's house, hey, I'm at Grandma's house or misophonia that crunch sounded like oh, that's horrible and so that little spot relays back to the anterior insula, which is by the way, right next to the limbic system, to the amygdala and the hippocampus and it just drives down, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, into the amygdala and hippocampus and it's just an explosion of emotion.

So probably by three-tenths of a second from the time you first, hear that trigger, your emotions are just flying but their emotional reflexes and it's made that way to help you react quickly. This little structure behind your eyebrows again it takes something that's neutral, a person's face and it becomes hey, there's my girlfriend or the other day, I was my wife for me, hey, there's my wife and it's creates a positive emotional reflex. So, these things help us adapt to the world around us, help us respond quickly, and it's great, it's really good stuff.

Michael: What comes to mind is are these then individual experiences are we predisposition to be biased in any way to certain stimulus? I guess the thing I'm trying to wrap my head around in this moment, is what exactly determines whether or not an individual, have a reaction versus another one? Because I know people listening right now, are probably in this thing where like chewing food, that never bothers me, but if you click your pen, I'm going to throw you out the window, right? Is there a cognitive bias in here? Like, how did the individual experiences play out in this?

Tom: So there's a difference between a sound that you hear and a misophonia trigger, because that's really a multi-sensory experience, you hear the trigger and then you're getting jabbed and your body somewhere. So it's a little bit like fingernails on a chalkboard which is genetic not learned, but people hear that screech and it go stop that, I can't stand that sound what they should be saying is, oh stop that I don't like shivering because the screech makes most people shiver and then they say I don't like that sound. So with misophonia everybody who has misophonia has uniquely learned that their trigger responses. So for example, my wife developed a trigger to the chicken squawking because she was concerned that the neighbors would be bothered and that she wants to bother the neighbors. And so she would hear the chicken squawking not just squawking, but when they're all squawking at the same time, just right out of her right in front of her desk, she faces her chicken area and she would have that thought, oh, no. I hope the neighbors were not bothered and she would hold her breath. So, after a while, when the chicken, the lizard brain saw that pattern and says, oh Pam, I can do that for you and now she hears the chicken squawk, and her chest muscles, go and lock and she stopped breathing and then she has this very negative emotional response.

Now, the negative emotions are probably ingrained as mammals that, it's called pain induced aggression. If somebody comes up and pops you in the back of the head, you’re immediately having this negative response. And so any kind of aversive negative stimulus causes an irritation and anger or an aggression response. So that part the fact that it all develops to anger is very common because we're mammals, and it's our part of our defending our self, but the individual sounds just depends on the person. So my wife developed it to the chicken squawking.

Another man that I worked with as a teenager, he had anxiety, he had shared a room with his brother who had allergies, so he could hear him breathing and he's laying there trying to go to sleep and after 20 or 30 minutes, he goes, oh, this is horrible and he goes to the couch, but after that one night, every time he heard his brother breathe for the next 30 years, it triggered him.



Michael: One of the things I think is important and not necessarily just whether or not, it's in therapy or prescription drugs or anything but life in general is like trying to understand your core values when it comes to healing because I think killing is all these three elements that you talked about. How does one understand, what it is that they know and what they're trying to understand who they are and their core values?

Virginia: It's a great question. There are three stories that I believe we're always trying to negotiate and this is what I've observed from working with patients specifically cancer patients. There are three stories, were always trying to negotiate and that's a story that of design, right? Laws of nature, things that are self-evident and speak to our natural affections, there's this story that says something inside of me wants to live, right? And we have an anatomy that bear was witness of that and then there's a story that we tell ourselves from our experiences in our soul, our mind, our heart, our will, our conscience, our feelings there's that narrative, we're always trying to negotiate and then there's a story that we carry in our DNA.

Our stories, don't begin at home, they begin in the home of the home, of our parents, parents, parents. So three, for generations deep there is a work of recall healing and Dr. Hammer from German new medicine expounded upon by. Dr. Gilbert Renauld recalls healing, which really speaks in powerful ways to that. So there's a story of our very constitution, substantiated, and well, explained by laws of nature, things that are self-evident again and speak to our natural affection.

There's a story, we tell ourselves from our experiences and the ideas and the thoughts that we got from our families of origin in our experiences, by the way, starting from conception, right? And in the womb, and our first formative years of life and throughout and then the stories of our anatomies and I think reconciling those three stories is where we find incredible freedom.

For example, with you, Michael something in you knew intuitively that I don't know, this isn't right. So you used all kinds of means and methods, right? And resources to silence that, to mitigate that, to reconcile that and they weren't productive. So, at some point, you decided you know what? This is not for me, so I'm going to just bring it into it all and somehow as providence would have it. You know, you weren't successful in that attempt, call it whatever you want, divine intervention, chance, accident, I think it because looks what you're doing now. I think it was divine intervention personally, but then you have the reality of the heritage that you bring to bear, and that legitimate experiences that are in your issues; the issues are always in the tissue, right? And that is very real and the disparity between this hunger of your soul, this thing of what's happening in my life, right? That you're negotiating through these experiences, you have and the trauma that you're bringing in from these generational patterns, right?

The disparity between those things is where we find the anatomy of disease and addictions and all these things. So, what happened, at some point, you reached the bottom and I love how you address that and you talk about reaching rock bottom, that rock bottom is really a beautiful and wonderful and great place to be and we were talking about this a little bit ago because there's nowhere else to go but up if you can just accept that hey, this is rock bottom for me whatever that is for you individual or if listening audience if you can recognize, hey, there's only one other place I can go from here and that's up, right? Because I can't get any lower than this, we all have different margins, right? But then you begin to decide, you begin to choose, you begin to dig, you begin to learn, you begin to turn every stone, you begin to reach out, like you were talking about earlier, looking for mentors, looking for information. We have the web now, we have the internet, we have YouTube, we have amazing resources at our disposal, we have amazing counseling, amazing podcast to listen to, so there is no excuse, why we have to give in to the disparity of whatever situation we find ourselves in. Nobody takes our life from us, we give it away.

Michael: Yeah. I have this thought just this question just popped into mind. What do you think is the biggest misnomer or misconception that people have about their own Mental Health?

Virginia: That it's inherited, that there's no way out without medication, that they're the victims of circumstances. I think the most tragic bit of information that people believe is the lies of why they find themselves in the situations they find themselves in. I think people don't realize how powerful they are. I think people do not understand that thoughts have power and words, have authority. It's one thing to have thoughts that are limited, but it's another thing to begin to speak them into being. Words have power, thoughts have power, words have authority. We have to be very careful about the things we speak, we're better off asking questions, seeking information to get us out of situations that we find ourselves in. Then we are to get together with a friend over a beer or glass of wine and continue to complain or we have very sophisticated ways of complaining, right? Fancy and sophisticated ways of complaining but it's tragic because those would seem like nominal conversations or relatively insignificant, just shooting the breeze with somebody, they have devastating consequences in your entire constitution and in your life.



 Michael: As we kind of head into this, I think 2 things are going to be really important to have as a precursor of this conversation. Ken, 1.) Talk to me about the thing in which ketamine made you curious, and 2.) then to what is ketamine?

Dr.Ken: Okay, first, I'll tell you what's ketamine and then I'll answer how I became interested in it. 

Ketamine is actually an anesthetic and is recognized as one of the broadly used anesthetics. It's even used in veterinary medicine around the world and so it's very important to keep it where it is and utilize it in a safe manner. So it was developed because, in World War II, our veterans on the battlefield were dying of morphine overdose. It was a standard dose injection, meaning intramuscular ejection, through the pants and with someone who is of course gravely injured on the battlefield and that was causing respiratory depression. So the same thing that we're seeing now, with deaths with the opioid epidemic that we have in this country, we see deaths related to respiratory depression. 

Ketamine was developed so that we did have a safer drug on the battlefield. And so it was called the Buddy Drug. Ketamine increases heart rate, increases blood pressure and it does not decrease respiratory depression, respiratory drive, and so very safe drug because it's an analgesic and does hit the opioid receptor which so does morphine, but it hits a lot of other receptors. So initially it was developed as an anesthetic and it is in its own class - again, it was described as a dissociate. So what I mean is it basically allows your brain to drift off into the unconscious because you no longer have the sensation or the body sensory in place that's coming to your brain. So you can literally perform, you know, small surgical procedures even in the field. Setting an arm that's broken, a shoulder that's dislocated. It's a lot and like I said, a very safe drug used in ERS in Pediatric. 

You could imagine in veterinary medicine. You wouldn't want to have to control the airway of a giraffe or a horse so that you want to keep them breathing. Most of the time when you see that shot, that's a dart that goes into a tiger, that's ketamine. It will sedate them safely and allow them to continue breathing. So that's kind of ketamine in a nutshell

The connection for me is, of course, I'm familiar with it in the use of it. It's so safe and being that it doesn't decrease heart rate or decreased blood pressure in the cardiac operating room. We need drugs that are cardiac safe and that is a cardiac safe drug because of those things. And so if I have someone who's very ill from a heart standpoint, where their heart isn't pumping or squeezing adequately I can provide an anesthetic upfront that will allow them to be anesthetized safely.

Michael: Can you talk about the differentiation between ketamine in this medical practice versus what I'm used to growing up on the streets being Special K? 

Dr. Ken:  In the operating room we’re mainly using it for an anesthetic, and it’s really mean. When you need an anesthetic, you need analgesia, you need amnesia or amnestic where you don't remember things. You also needed in a dose where it's going to be again safe. Just like many of the drugs, fentanyl is a drug that's used in the operating room. It does make its way to the street and it's used illicitly but you know, it also can be brought back into looking at it as a therapeutic way of being able to help patients in other ways. 

Back in the 90s, they began to recognize - again in the military, that in the Burn Unit, soldiers who were having debridements when they're burned- they have to go through multiple different operations, essentially where they're having this excess burn skin taken from their body. There were a group of patients that were receiving a drug called propofol. You may be familiar with that with Michael Jackson. There's another set of patients who were being anesthetized with ketamine and they would come out of these experiences reliving some of their traumas on the battlefield and being able to process them. That began the thought that “Wow, these guys are having less, you know, PTSD long-term. Maybe there's something that we can look at here.” And so began a process where we started to utilize many different modes. I mean, you know I won't go into detail about the studies but, essentially utilizing ketamine as a dissociative you use that term dissociation. This is a dissociative drug meaning that it allows you to escape the input of your body so that you're just basically free to roam your unconscious. 

Tatiana VilareaProfile Photo

Tatiana Vilarea

hypnotherapy specialist, intuitive, coach

Tatiana is a trauma-integrative hypnotherapist, intuitive and coach who helps purpose-driven entrepreneurs release their emotional wounds and trauma, so they can overcome deep-seated inner blocks and get to the emotional and mental freedom they need in order to achieve their personal and professional goals.

She created a modality that releases stored emotions from the body`s neurological pathways and cellular memory, combining it with subconscious and energy work. Shifting the mind-first paradigm of therapeutic approaches to a body and emotions centered one.

Thomas (Tom) DozierProfile Photo

Thomas (Tom) Dozier


Tom Dozier, MS, BCBA, is a behaviorist who has researched and provided treatment for misophonia as a reflex behavior condition since 2012 and is a pioneer in misophonia research. He is author of Understanding and Overcoming Misophonia, A Conditioned Aversive Reflex Disorder and 8 journal articles. His research indicates misophonia includes both physical and emotional reflexes and explains how misophonia develops and often progresses with time. With this understanding of misophonia, Tom developed Relaxation and Counterconditioning Therapy as a behavioral treatment for misophonia. He has provided this treatment to hundreds of individuals in-person and by telehealth. Tom founded the non-profit Misophonia Institute in 2016 to promote misophonia awareness, research, and professional training, and he serves as president.

Virginia DixonProfile Photo

Virginia Dixon

Author / CEO / Discipleship Counselor/ Educator / Mom

The R.E.S.T.™ with Virginia Dixon Podcast features numerous resources, authentic client stories and experts in various disciplines to provide each listener practical tools for their own journey to freedom and healing. Confusion often leads to chaos and dis-ease, causing imbalances that lead to illness infecting the body, soul and spirit. Therefore, learning how to reason and reconcile unresolved emotional conflicts within yourself and others is imperative to find R.E.S.T.™ (Relational, Emotional and Spiritual Truth) and establish clarity, order and ease. Years of working in the field of neuroscience technology as well as collaborating with medical practitioners while serving as the Director of Inner Healing at both the Center for New Medicine and Cancer Center for Healing, strengthened Virginia's commitment to help those she serves find increasing measures of freedom, reconciliation and transformation.

Dr. Ken AdolphProfile Photo

Dr. Ken Adolph

Medical Director

Dr. Ken Adolph is a Board Certified Cardiac Anesthesiologist and medical director of Illumma, as well as a member of the American Society of Ketamine Physicians.

Dr. Adolph was born and raised in New Orleans and received a Bachelor of Science and MD from Louisiana State University. Ken completed his residency and cardiac fellowship in Anesthesia at the renowned Emory University in Atlanta. In 1998, Dr. Adolph moved to Austin, Texas to open the, now nationally recognized, Heart Hospital of Austin where he has spent over two decades caring for patients and building a practice with CV Anesthesiology, PA. Health and wellness have always been paramount to Ken in his personal and professional life with a strong interest in mental health and the effects of trauma on the human experience.

Through his own struggles with anxiety, he understands what a significant impact mindset can have on one’s interpretation of the world. Using his unique training and his empathetic and compassionate mindset, Dr. Adolph is committed to improving the lives of patients. During his free time, he’s on his mountain bike, catching fish on the Texas coast or touring the country with his two boys and his girlfriend in their Airstream.

Michael UnbrokenProfile Photo

Michael Unbroken


Michael is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma.