Something Scary Happened the Other Day, and I Wanted to Talk to You (and a PhD Trauma Researcher) About It


The Mel Robbins Podcast with Dr. Mary Catherine McDonald


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A few days ago I was the witness to a very tragic accident, and the experience affected me very deeply.

I reached out to a renowned trauma specialist and the advice she gave me changed my life. 

In this episode, you will hear that incredible advice because she allowed me to record it. 

Dr. MaryCatherine McDonald, PhD, a best-selling author and professor, reveals the 5 essential things you need to know about trauma so you can finally move forward with your life.

Listen and this will help you pick up the remote control for your brain and turn OFF the trauma loop. 

What’s the trauma loop? You may be in it and not know it: if you get triggered and have no idea why (and this expert says we almost never know why), have flashbacks playing in your head over and over again, the trauma loop is at play. 

With the help of our expert, Dr. MaryCatherine, you and I unpack (in real time) the accident I witnessed and how it affected me.

With compassion and clarity, she explains what trauma really is and how to heal from it. You will learn and benefit from her decades of research and clinical experience. And she’ll help you understand what steps you need to take so that your brain does not store an experience as “trauma”.  

Dr. McDonald is one of the few experts that explains trauma and how to heal it in a way that is easy to understand, and her 5 truths will change the way you relate to yourself forever. 

The strategies and science in this episode will help you: 

  • Know what to do in 4-24 hours after the traumatic event occurs 
  • Understand the ‘trauma loop’ so you can identify when you are stuck and how to get out
  • Properly process traumatic events, even if it was deep in the past
  • Spot myths about trauma that even psychologists don’t understand
  • Know what narrative psychology is and why it’s proven to work
  • Uncover and heal from your flashbacks, looped thoughts, and triggers
  • Learn why you and your siblings have different memories of the same events 
  • How to calm your nervous system and be present with your emotions 

This episode could change your life. And it is absolutely one you want to share with anyone who could benefit from Dr. Mary Catherine’s expertise. 

And, I want to be upfront with you: yes, today’s episode is powerful and it’s also a serious topic.  If this isn’t the right time for you to listen, I understand completely. Just bookmark it so you can come back to it later. 

I’m not going anywhere.

Xo, Mel 

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • 01:44: The very scary moment that left me feeling traumatized.
  • 06:19: Full panic hit me at this exact moment.
  • 11:26: What narrative psychology is and why it’s proven to work.
  • 14:10: Understand the ‘trauma loop’ so you can identify when you are stuck. 
  • 17:41: How your brain processes a normal event or memory. 
  • 19:38: How your brain processes a traumatic event.
  • 23:08: Uncover why you have flashbacks, looped thoughts, and triggers.
  • 27:32: How EMDR can integrate traumatic memories properly. 
  • 30:29: Why do you and your siblings have different memories of the same events. 
  • 37:28: Why feeling shame around a trauma response is normal.
  • 41:52: Three ways to calm your nervous system and be present with your emotions. 
  • 44:26: The biggest myth about triggers that even psychologists get wrong.

Resources and go deeper:

  • For Closed Captions: Watch on YouTube and turn on “CC.” For instructions to turn on closed captions, click here.

Dr. MaryCatherine McDonald:

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