Unbroken: The Trauma Response Is Never Wrong: And Other Things You Need to Know to Take Back Your Life (Paperback)
A profound new approach to healing trauma, grounded in a radical reframing of how we understand this nearly universal experience
For centuries, we’ve been taught that being traumatized means we are somehow broken—and that trauma only happens to people who are too fragile or flawed to deal with hardship. But as a researcher, teacher, and survivor, Dr. MaryCatherine McDonald has learned that the only thing broken is our society’s understanding of trauma. “The body’s trauma response is designed to save our lives—and it does,” she says. “It’s not a sign of weakness, but of our function, strength, and amazing resilience.”
With Unbroken: The Trauma Response Is Never Wrong, Dr. McDonald overturns the misconceptions about trauma with the latest evidence from neuroscience and psychology—and shares tested practices and tools to help you work with your body’s coping mechanisms to accelerate healing. Here, you’ll explore:
• What is trauma? The latest science that undoes the stigmas of shame, blame, and humiliation
• Moral injury—having our basic sense of how the world should work overturned
• The truth about triggers—what they really are and how they can guide the healing journey
• Traumatic patterns—new findings to help break free from recurring habits and toxic dynamics
• Why we can always rewrite our inner narratives, no matter how much time has passed
• Finding a “relational home” for trauma—how we can help each other return to wholeness
Dr. McDonald’s case studies reveal the many ways trauma can manifest and persist in our lives, yet there’s one factor every case has in common: the trauma response itself reveals the path to healing. “Our traumatic experiences reveal that we can be bent, dented, or bruised,” she says, “but we cannot be broken.” For anyone who has gone through trauma or wants to help others who are struggling, here is an empowering resource for finding our way home to our bodies, rebuilding our relationships, and returning to full engagement with life.
About the Author
MaryCatherine McDonald, PhD, is a research professor and life coach who specializes in the psychology and philosophy of trauma. She has been researching, lecturing, and publishing on the neuroscience, psychology, and lived experience of trauma since the beginning of her PhD in 2009. She’s published two academic books and many research papers, and she is the creator of a trauma-based curriculum designed to serve previously incarcerated folks and veterans.
For more, visit alchemycoaching.life.
“Equal parts memoir, client stories, and neuroscience, Unbroken: The Trauma Response Is Never Wrong will radically reframe everything you’ve ever thought about trauma and how to heal from it. No more feelings of shame. Just newfound empowerment.” —Mark Epstein, MD, author of Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart and The Zen of Therapy
“We all experience trauma. And it leaves scars for most of us. We can learn to better handle it using Dr. MaryCatherine McDonald’s fresh, positive, and scientifically rigorous approach. Her toolbox full of practical, down-to-earth advice and methods enables us to lift the burdens of shame, guilt, and fear that we all shoulder when we suffer from trauma. Unbroken is essential to showing us how we can become empowered, moving beyond the trauma in our past.” —Allan Hamilton, MD, author of The Scalpel and the Soul and the forthcoming Cerebral Entanglements
“I call MaryCatherine the Brené Brown of trauma. She normalizes trauma and helps us get rid of shame so that we can accept our stories fully and embrace our humanness—something that we need now in the world more than ever.” —John Kim, aka The Angry Therapist
“Unbroken is a fascinating new book from an emerging philosophical talent.” —Simon Critchley, former New York Times editor of The Stone column