The Brain-Body Trauma Recovery Connection

Well, the phone lines were ablaze during this episode of YOUR LIFE AFTER TRAUMA! Robert Scaer is one of my personal trauma gurus (you’ll hear why in the podcast) so it was more than a pleasure to introduce you to him.

In this episode Bob and I discussed:

  • What it is and why you need it
  • The freeze response + how to discharge it
  • Strategies for using the body in trauma recovery
  • How your ‘unconscious’ brain runs the show

Plus, he answered questions from live callers, and some that were posted on our fan page, including:

  • Do any foods help the brain physically heal from PTSD?
  • Why does trauma affect some people more than others?

Favorite quotes: “Trauma is a conditioned response.” And also, Bob’s ideas for how to deal with ongoing trauma.



Robert Scaer, M.D. received his B.A. in Psychology, and his M.D. degree at the University of Rochester. He is Board Certified in Neurology, and has been in practice for 36 years, twenty of those as Medical Director of Rehabilitation Services at the Mapleton Center in Boulder, CO. His primary areas of interest and expertise have been in the fields of traumatic brain injury and chronic pain, and more recently in the study of traumatic stress and its role in physical and emotional symptoms, and in diseases.

He has lectured extensively on these topics, and has published several articles on posttraumatic stress disorder, dissociation, the whiplash syndrome and other somatic syndromes of traumatic stress. He has published three books, the first The Body Bears the Burden: Trauma, Dissociation and Disease, presenting a new theory of dissociation and its role in many diseases. A second edition of this book was released in October, 2007. A second book, The Trauma Spectrum: Hidden Wounds and Human Resiliency, addresses the broad and relatively unappreciated spectrum of cultural and societal trauma that shapes every aspect of our lives. A third book, Eight Keys to Brain/Body Balance, released in September, 2012, is a lay person’s guide to the workings of the brain, related to how the brain changes in stress and trauma, and may be healed. He is currently retired from clinical medical practice, and continues to pursue a career in writing and lecturing in the field of traumatology.



  1. Hi Michelle and thankyou and Bob so much for this discussion. First..a life of joy and purpose post pts? Oh yeah! You answered a question today I hadn’t been able to formulate clearly in my own mind. About those memories formed in the earliest stages of life will always be with me and that at times they will speak again and that’s ok and part of the process. Thankyou!

    • Barb, isn’t it fun to get an answer you might have only felt yourself asking?? I love those epiphanies. So glad the show resonated with you. I feel we could have stayed on for another and still only have covered the foundation. Great to know you’re listening. :)

  2. I’m feeling more in control thanks to your website. Although my family doesn’t support me. Ignorance is a huge problem in the world. Using Cbt has helped. However, i still haven’t recovered my memories b4 the trauma. Yet I remember completely my accident up until being put under in the er. I still live a mile from my accident site. Suggestions on retrieving my memories would be appreciated. Ty

    • @James, I’m so glad the site and its content make a difference for you! You’re so right: ignorance (and denial) is a huge problem in the world; that’s why we survivors all have to stick together.

      I’m not a neurologist, so I can’t offer comments about retrieving your memories in relation to how your brain function has been affected by the accident. (Last year I was in the ICU with sepsis and came out lacking chunks of my memory; it took several months for it all to come back.)

      However, if there are zero neurological reasons for your lack of memory and it is purely a psychological defense mechanism, then I would suggest hypnosis with a highly trained, trusted and respected hypnotherapist for that kind of work.



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