Cover art for podcast Transforming Trauma

Transforming Trauma

116 EpisodesProduced by The NARM Training InstituteWebsite

Transforming Trauma is a podcast about individuals and communities thriving after Complex Trauma. In a modern world beset by trauma and a legacy of suffering, conflict and disconnection, healing trauma can serve as a vehicle for personal and social transformation. Listeners will be introduced to th… read more


Bringing Complex Trauma Healing Into the Fraternity of First Responders With Gina Essex

“Complex trauma shows up in so many different ways that are covert and overt. And, the more we can recognize it, the more we're able to approach it in a way that moves towards healing and not isolation.” ~Gina Essex, MA, LPC-S

Our host Sarah is joined by Gina Essex, a psychotherapist, NARM Therapist and Senior Training Assistant, who began working with the NeuroAffective Relational Model® (NARM®) in 2013.

Gina has a passion for making this trauma healing work accessible to everyone, as she says: “It’s so important for everyone to know that the effects of trauma can be healed over time.” Over the past few years Gina has been focused on introducing NARM to first responders in her community.

Gina works with firefighters, paramedics, law enforcement, and military— populations that tend to present unique challenges for traditional therapists.

“These people run toward danger. They run toward life threat. They’re trained to go against their normal human instinct: to get away from danger.” Gina describes how she thinks of running toward danger as the flip side of what these first responders are dealing with internally. She suggests that in order to run toward danger, they have to run away from themselves. 

In addition to the tolerance for high-risk experiences required in these professions, there’s an element of fraternity that frames any evidence of vulnerability as a potential liability. The constant desensitization to high-risk experiences can prevent these deeply-caring professionals from accessing and expressing their real feelings.

“There are stigmas within these communities, ‘Don’t show your emotion. Don’t cry. You'll look weak, or you'll be weak and people don't want to work with you, or you won't have our back, or you'll be shunned if you’re weak.’”

As for her own journey, Gina says that NARM training has opened her up to areas where she had, in the past, focused too much attention on the doing. She’s learning to trust the process more, including her clients’ capacity to be their own healers.  “It’s a very sacred space and not to be overlooked.”

Hear how the work Gina does with the first responders address these stigmas head-on, and how she has witnessed the power of NARM in her private practice to transform people shackled to complex trauma into fully engaged participants of life. 


(616) 930-0214

View Gina's Listing Here


NARM Training Institute



The NARM Training Institute provides tools for transforming complex trauma through: in-person and online trainings for mental health care professionals; in-person and online workshops on complex trauma and how it interplays with areas like addiction, parenting, and cultural trauma; an online self-paced learning program, the NARM Inner Circle; and other trauma-informed learning resources.  

For the full show notes including references, podcast episodes mentioned, and a quick glossary of terms, visit us at


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Sign up for a free preview of The NARM Inner Circle Online Membership Program:

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