If you think that meditation and mindfulness are trendy wellness fads not worth pursuing, psychotherapist Neathery Thurmond might just change your mind. And don’t worry – I also questioned the usefulness of these tools before we recorded this episode!
Neathery and I talked about the effects of stress and trauma in the body, how meditation helps us integrate our brains, and the many different forms mindfulness can take in our lives. If you feel chronically overstressed and/or have a trauma history, meditation and mindfulness could be game-changers for you.
- How Neathery knew from a young age that she wanted to be a helping professional, which led her to social work and being a therapist.
- Defining stress, both negative and positive.
- The many health consequences of stress in the body.
- How ongoing oppression creates traumatic stress.
- The high number of individuals that have experienced some kind of trauma in their lives.
- The necessity of trauma-informed care.
- Known trauma responses, including fight, flight, faint, freeze, and fawn.
- The importance of an integrated brain.
- Mindfulness and meditation’s effect on the brain and in other areas of our lives.
- The importance of learning to be in the present, non-judgmentally.
- How meditation can help us flow with our feelings.
- Neathery’s tips for how to get started with meditation if you’re new to it.
- Rest as another tool for dealing with stress in all of its many forms.
- How Neathery defines health and wellness for herself at this moment in her life, including really scaling back and tending to her needs after the loss of her brother earlier this year.
Mentioned in this Episode:
- Hans Selye and his coining of the word “stress”
- The “2003 study” on trauma that Neathery references is actually this 2005 study
- Pat Ogden, founder of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute
- Trauma-Informed Care
- Stephen Porges and the polyvagal theory
- Sam Dylan Finch’s original Twitter thread on fawning and his follow-up thread
- Dr. Dan Siegel’s hand model of the brain
- Jon Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness
- Tiffany Roe
- The Insight Timer app
- Burnout by Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski
- HAES principles from the Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH)
- bell hooks
- Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness by David A. Treleaven
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Featured on this Episode:
Neathery Thurmond (she/her/hers) is a clinical social worker, certified group psychotherapist, board-approved supervisor, and owner of a group private practice in Austin, TX. With strong roots in Health at Every Size and social justice, she specializes in eating disorders, body image, LGBTQ+, trauma, and substance use. She strongly believes in the healing power of relationships and takes a relational and attachment-based approach to her work. When not working, Neathery enjoys yoga and meditation, being outdoors, listening to live music, checking out the best coffee shops in town, starting and never finishing books, and showing pictures of her dogs to strangers. You can find Neathery on her website and Instagram.
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