The Story of Our Trauma Podcast

To experience trauma is to be human.

The Story of Our Trauma is a new podcast hosted by nationally renowned trauma psychologist and Stella co-founder Dr. Shauna Springer.  Join Dr. Springer for a series of insightful and honest conversations with trauma and brain experts, athletes, survivors, CEOs, and everyone in between, as she explores the peaks and valleys of our trauma, and what we know about the paths to recovery.



Episode 1: From a Marine to Inmate to Giving Back

How did Ron Self find himself in a situation that had him pulling the trigger in an attempted hit on a doctor’s life? Listen in to how this U.S. Marine overcame his trauma and went from being an inmate of the country’s most notorious prisons to becoming the founder of Veterans Healing Veterans.


Episode 2:  Unfolding Trauma and its Collective Weight

Who heals the healers? Guy Macpherson, host of the popular “Trauma Therapist  Podcast,” has been answering this question for over a decade. MacPherson sits down with Dr. Springer to discuss the broader definitions of trauma and reflects on his own history of personal trauma.


Episode 3: The Resilience Muscle & Shaping Life with Cancer

Sally Wolf’s life took a sharp turn when she was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Sally talks with Dr. Springer about why she feels that “in some ways, cancer deserves a little thank you note.”


Episode 4: Risk, Reward, and the Journey Through War

Johnny Walker fought desperately as an Iraqi Navy SEAL interpreter to make Iraq a safe, at great personal risk to his family. After his brother was murdered in the street, it was time to find a way out. After many sleepless nights, Navy SEAL Jason Tuschen, worked with other SEALS to get him out.


Episode 5: Abandonment, Misfortune, and a Vanishing Act for Trauma

At what moment do you admit, “yes, I have trauma?” It took decades for Andrew Bennett to identify and acknowledge that he has experienced trauma, despite having multiple severe traumas in his life.


Episode 6: From a Doctor to a Patient and Filling the Void in Between

Dr. Elana Miller was in the final days of a top tier residency when a life-threatening form of cancer consumed her life. During the fight of her life – for her life – she learned how to find purpose again after having their life and career derailed.


Episode 7: Suicide Intervention, the Golden Gate, and the Stellate Ganglion Block

Retired California Highway Patrol Officer Kevin Briggs has been credited with saving over 200 lives during his time patrolling the Golden Gate Bridge. Briggs opens up to Dr. Shauna Springer about his own trauma history – heart surgeries, a cancer diagnosis, a divorce and other challenging life events, and how the SGB treatment unfolded for him.


Episode 8: Persecution, Defection, and the Story of a Refugee

Dr. Katya Burdo, a Clinical Psychologist faced insurmountable persecution throughout her childhood in Russia – and attempted to spontaneously defect from Russia to the United States at the age of 14. Two years later, at 16, Dr. Burdo and her family successfully left Russia, only to face an unrecognizable world full of daily trauma.


Episode 9:  Western Psychology, Psychedelics, and How Trauma Changes Identity

Dr. Shauna Springer welcomes Dr. Katya Burdo back to the series for a fascinating follow up conversation. Listen in as she and Dr. Springer dive even more deeply into her childhood in Russia, how trauma can change our identity, and Dr. Burdo’s experience with psychedelics.


Episode 10: Reliance, Resilience, and Mental Health in an Artist’s World

Paul Gilmartin’s trauma began at a young age, and it wasn’t until adulthood that the former host of TBS’ Dinner and a Movie fully recognized how they shaped his life. Listen in as he and Dr. Springer explore his trauma, his addiction recovery, and how his podcast has been helping artists and others in a battle of their own.


Episode 11: Special Episode in honor of the 23rd Anniversary of Columbine

Twenty-three years ago, two gunmen took the lives of 12 students and a teacher in Littleton, CO – leading to 23 years of collective community grief. In this episode, Dr. Shauna Springer and Columbine High School Principal Frank DeAngelis dive into how this event impacted him and his family and his entire community.


Episode 12: Adoption, Isolation, and a Community of Support

Can adoption be the central trauma of an individual’s life? Listen in as Dr. Springer and Lynelle Long talk about the challenges of intercountry adoption, her experience in a place that wasn’t home, and creating a global network of support for adoptees and their families.


Episode 13: Finding a Family Through Forgiveness

It took 20 years for Tasreen Khamisa to come face to face with Tony Hicks, the man that murdered her brother, Tariq, in a gang-related robbery. Today, they consider one another family and work together to spread awareness of restorative justice with the Tariq Khamisa Foundation. Listen in as Tasreen, Tony, and Dr. Shauna Springer talk about the challenges of forgiveness, their relationship, and moving forward together.


Episode 14: Incarceration, Readjusting, and Helping at Risk Youth

At 17, Jeff Wallace was tried as an adult and sentenced to 11 years in prison. The trauma Jeff faced behind bars, like acts of violence from guards and the incarcerated, and adjusting to life post-incarceration, shaped his life in a way he never thought. Listen in as Jeff and Dr. Shauna Springer talk about the challenges of pre-existing traumas, approaches to life, and how his identity has taken shape.


Episode 15: Compartmentalizing Trauma and Perfectly Hidden Depression

What is perfectly hidden depression, and why is it more important than you think? In this episode, Dr. Shauna Springer is joined by Dr. Margaret Rutherford, the host of the popular Self Work podcast, and a Harvard classmate, Crescent Muhammad; two women who share their extraordinary points of view on trauma from a place of expertise and vulnerability.


Episode 16: Traumatic Changes, Dangerous Walls, and the Healing Power of SGB

How quickly can trauma intercept a seemingly perfect life? For Deborah Liverett, everything changed within a few months. Listen in as Deborah and Dr. Shauna Springer talk about the traumas that stole her sense of safety and her experience with Stellate Ganglion Block, an innovative treatment for trauma symptoms.


More to come soon!