Episode 64:

PSD: The Trauma All Women Share

apple listen badge.png

Research in epigenetics shows that traumatic experiences can be genetically transmitted. This means that we all carry trauma in our systems that we don’t even realize we have because we inherited from our ancestors rather than experiencing it ourselves. In this episode, Dr. Valerie Rein, psychologist and women’s mental health expert, talks with us about the “special” kind of ancestral trauma that all women share, Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD).

We go deep into understanding PSD in our conversations: how Dr. Valerie discovered it, why it’s important to understand, how it impacts women, and how we can start healing from it. We also talk about the importance of understanding all the types of trauma that a person can experience and how trauma tools are beneficial to have in your toolkit. Dr. Valerie leaves us with an intriguing challenge -- shift your thinking from “How Much Can I Tolerate?” to “How Good Can It Get?”

In the “You Want Me To Do What??” section, Nicole and Shanna talk about their experience attending The Thriving Experience virtual retreat hosted by Dr. Valerie Rein. Nicole shares about her love for mind-body tools as she’s had past training in it through other trauma work that she has done. She also discusses how she loved the support from the group of 100+ attendees to the virtual retreat and the collective healing that comes from realizing that you’re not alone in dealing with trauma. Shanna explains how she initially struggled with the mind-body tools used throughout the retreat. As she explains, she already has a strong connection to the body, but her willingness to try the tools eventually allowed her to appreciate how they could, in fact, bring her into a deeper mind-body connection.

Episode Recap:

Interview with Dr. Valerie Rein - 2:25

"You Want Me To Do What??" section - 52:05


  • Trauma: any experience that made you feel unsafe (physically or emotionally) in the fullest authentic expression that led you to creating adaptations to keep you safe

  • Trauma adaptations often include disconnecting from our bodies. For example:

    • Sex: may find it difficult to orgasm or be fully connected to the physical pleasure

    • Sleep: may find it hard to fall asleep, stay asleep or wake up refreshed

    • Emotions: may not allow space to feel ALL your emotions (anger, joy, sadness, etc.)

    • Numbing emotions through food, drink, streaming shows, social media scrolling, online shopping, etc.

  • Trauma tools are the same regardless of the type of trauma you’ve experienced

  • You don’t need to know the “story” behind the trauma adaptations you experience in order to shift them

  • Epigenetics study referenced by Dr. Valerie

  • Re-Power Tool: speaks to the nervous system in the language it understands (which isn’t thinking)

    • Getting in touch with all your senses

    • Feet on the ground, feel your breath, look around to take in everything in your physical surroundings, skin to skin touch (touching your arms, cheeks, hands, etc.)

  • Other trauma healing tools can be found in Dr. Valerie’s book, Patriarchy Stress Disorder, and online at https://www.drvalerie.com/book

  • Collective healing is the most successful for collective trauma like Patriarchy Stress Disorder

  • Top Tips for Healing Trauma:

    • Know that if you are human, you have trauma. And there is nothing wrong with you.

    • Safety is needed to heal trauma

      • Internal (in your nervous system)

      • External (supportive community)

    • Work with a qualified, trained professional to support your trauma healing


Where to find Dr. Valerie Rein: