Embracing Ourselves After Trauma With Dr. Megan McElheran

In this 46 minute interview with Dr. Megan McElheran of WGM Psychology in Calgary, who is a clinically trained psychologist specializing in the treatment of trauma and PTSD, we discuss the idea of embracing ourselves with compassion both before and after tragedy. No human is immune to trauma in the global community, although we all like to think otherwise. Nowadays, loss is the great equalizer. Rather than attempt to develop coping skills after a tragedy has swept through your life, wouldn’t it make more sense to begin establishing practices of resiliency and normalizing difficult conversations, so you are equipped to handle the inevitable and thrive?

I discovered Dr. McElheran in her amazing TED talk on trauma and resilience. She speaks eloquently about the importance of emotional contact and social re-engagement after traumatic events, as well as our need to accept that we do not have control over everything in life. These concepts are particularly important in navigating the aftermath of suicide loss.

I hope you will find the ideas we discuss worthwhile for your own journey. Some of the topics we cover:

  • Embracing the idea that, depending on the circumstances, anyone is capable of anything.
  • Humans are reactive and responsive to their environment – perhaps it is time to foster a different sense of compassion and understanding to these behaviors
  • The importance of establishing resiliency practices before trauma happens.
  • The importance of realizing there is always help available to process overwhelming pain – church, outreach programs, clinical providers. Share what is happening inside you in any way you can.
  • Using the present moment to ground yourself.
  • Adopting a spirit of curiosity by saying, “I’ve got this pain, what does it feel like? Where is it? Can I describe it in detail?” How talking to yourself increases your tolerance for emotional discomfort.
  • The “Eye Drop” Approach for discovering kindred spirits who will support you.
  • The power of simply Bearing Witness to someone’s pain.
  • The Happiness Myth: Getting and having more does not equate to being happy.
  • The phenomenon of Post-Traumatic Growth: Emotional strength is born from our struggles.
  • Suicide as a reflection of not knowing how to comfortably be with ourselves.
  • Radical Acceptance: being gentle and accepting of oneself.
  • Forsaking the idea that if we are incredibly hard on ourselves, we will become better humans.

You can find more about Dr. McElheran’s work in Psychology Today and on Twitter.

I hope find this edition of The Healing Project Interviews enlightening and helpful to your healing path.

May your journey be blessed and protected always.


Who is Dianna Bonny?

Hi, my name is Dianna Bonny. It’s my mission to candidly share my journey with you. For me, it’s all about the healing: to create a radiant healing energy for others who have befallen a similar fate. Together, we can forge beautiful lives of belonging and connection. Thanks for joining me today! I look forward to hearing from you.


  1 comment for “Embracing Ourselves After Trauma With Dr. Megan McElheran

  1. BB
    September 1, 2017 at 8:42 am

    Thank you for this!!

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