Innate Resources For Healing Trauma – Patrick Harraghy

Sleeplessness, anxiety, unhealthy eating habits—we often regard these as just part of the “modern life”. But these can have more far-reaching effects on our well-being. And many times, people don’t realize that these often disregarded factors can be traced from an unaddressed trauma. 

The discourse around this becomes extra important as the world navigates a 180-degree shift in our lives as individuals and societies to cope with a pandemic. People explore a newly evolving world of work, mostly, with uncertainty and a small support system. 

But this episode’s guest, Patrick Harraghy, a therapist specializing in trauma, is out to take listeners through it with his five resources to stabilize our lives, whether traumatized or not. 

For Patrick, these five key resources—exercise, food, engagement, relaxation, and sleep—may seem simple and have always been a part of the health and wellbeing narrative. Yet people continue to take for granted many of them, especially sleep. 

A lot of healing happens during sleep—both for physical and mental healing. But trauma—whether developmental or shock trauma—often messes up one’s ability to get a good night’s sleep. And hence, the lack of it affects the body’s ability to recover and heal. And so it is important to know and practice some techniques to get a good night’s sleep. 

Practicing sleep hygiene would usually involve small habits such as not having caffeine in the evening, not eating late, not taking alcohol, trying to go to bed at the same time and getting up at the same time (so activate the internal clock), and preparing for sleep like a baby like going for a bath and doing something but not watching TV, etc. 

In Ayurveda, this has been discussed in Samhita—how you run your day, creating an evening routine, and creating the atmosphere for sleep. 

But dealing with trauma is a long-haul flight. It can be activated later in our lives. The body tends to protect us from that trauma, shifting us to avoidance mode for so long, but then something might come and trigger it. A lot of people become self-reliant because of trauma and develop difficulty in reaching out. Hence, creating a safe space and opening up the self to external support is key to addressing the trauma for good. And of course, practicing these five resources works wonders! 

To Patrick, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with seeking help. Life is not a rehearsal and so life should be lived in its full potential. There’s a good life out there to be lived. 

Links mention in the podcast   

Reawaken your body

Podcast Highlights 

  • A lot of healing happens during sleep. – Patrick Harraghy 
  • Self-care is very important, so I can be more available for the clients. – Patrick Harraghy 
  • With covid, a different kind of stress builds up within the home, especially with people working from home. Get out for a walk, even for just 10 minutes. It’s important to get out of the environment and respect boundaries. – Patrick Harraghy 
  • Don’t freak out; reach out. We all struggle. But life is there to be fair. We’re all just human beings. – Alexandra Kreis 
  • Seek help. Life is not a rehearsal. And so life should be lived in its full potential. There’s a good life out there to be lived. – Patrick Harraghy 


Patrick Harraghy

Guest Bio 

Patrick Harraghy is a psychotherapist at Centre Professional Therapy, specializing in trauma. His practice deals with trauma caused by traffic accidents, industrial accidents, shootings, sexual abuse, bullying, etc. Patrick is currently in Ireland and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Irish Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy(IACP). Patrick met Alexandra in yoga with a common interest: to help people in their journeys for a more stable, well-lived life. 


Jon Thorisson – Healing the Mind through Recreational Substances

In today’s episode, Alexandra and her guest, Jon Thorisson, take us on a critical conversation on two topics that many people evade or find uncomfortable: death and recreational drugs. Jon, who tried ayahuasca out of curiosity to later find out that he will have to confront the possibility of dying at an unexpected time, is giving this often perceived as a ‘dark’ topic’ a shed of the bright light of life, hope, and happy living. 

Alexandra met and became friends with Jon when he moved to Berlin from Iceland in search of reinventing himself and how to move on with his life after finding out he has lung cancer. He was 60+ and does not have good prospects of recovery during the time of his diagnosis. His tumor was removed and was introduced to psychedelics for his recovery. This led him to a healing path less taken. 

Jon’s willingness to go through healing the mind through substances was mind-blowing for Alexandra. And Jon, who openly speaks about it, takes that sharing about his healing journey as an opportunity to help people in similar situations. 

Recreational substances open people to new experiences and things. This is where the therapeutic benefit of healing through substances comes in—it massages us through revisiting old trauma and memories and looking at it from a different perspective. It rids people of the baggage that impedes the healing of both the body and mind. 

But before his diagnosis, Jon has tried ayahuasca out of curiosity. Introducing him to the experience and idea that demystifies death, he felt this made him ready and more accepting of the possibilities when the news of big C came. It opened a new world for him. He was calm because ayahuasca has taken away his fear of dying. 

Things like this happen and we try to give it meaning. To these two friends, the more important question lies in finding the excuse for not giving up and the springboard for a new determination. Yes, of course, we know we’re all dying. But we do come in egotistical intent when we want to die. So when we are faced with the scenario of dying younger than we intend to, then that’s when it scares us. 

Lessons from Jon’s extraordinary healing journey are extraordinary gems, too, because it confronts death by approaching life. It’s important not to feel that we are just victims of our circumstances. Letting go of the baggage, as well as possessions, are immensely freeing. And so we must go for the experience. 

Just stay open. Be curious. Embrace life. 

Links mention in the podcast     

Podcast Highlights 

  • It was this fortunate discovery—that dying is not the worst thing—that made me accept and ready for the possibilities of having cancer. I had the presence of mind to make my own decisions about how I want this to evolve. – Jon Thorisson 
  • People think that death is something that can be totally avoided. With the pandemic, we’ve become so risk-averse. When you’re not afraid of dying, it doesn’t mean you want to die, but it makes you more relaxed in your approach to life. – Jon Thorisson 
  • People who came up with healing methods came out of situations like Jon’s. People make choices and embrace death, and in embracing and accepting it, is where the healing journey actually starts. In moments when we feel helpless, we want to get help. But sometimes, that help is like somebody else taking over our mind and guiding us to something, while the crucial part really is our own mental aspect in it. – Alexandra Kreis 
  • When you’re not controlled by fear, you’ll see the opportunities. You approach life with an open heart and a positive mind. And that influences whatever situation you enter. – Jon Thorisson 
  • At the root of healing is letting go of old ways, of old tricks, and becoming more connected to our nature. – Alexandra Kreis 


Adair Finucane – Breaking Free from Trauma

This week’s podcast brings us another enlightening conversation about trauma and healing. Thanks to our guest, Adair Finucane, who allowed us to hear her most vulnerable and most decisive.

Diagnosed with Celiac disease at three years old, Adair’s journey was about discovering her trauma through her trauma research and nontraditional social work. She started with her theory that the immunological celiac condition she had has something to do with her emotional balance. She could not eat a lot of food; her siblings and other kids could otherwise do. Growing up with supportive parents and the environment indeed helped her, but her parents didn’t know what to do; they didn’t have the right tools to heal her fully.

She was rageful at 6. And that rage turned into anxiety and depression over time. She had this tumultuous inner world with a lot of pain behind her seemingly ordinary social world. She was capable of joy; she was socially and academically on-point, but she was so sensitive to pain.

Adair became a trauma expert when she was on a journey of calibrate her emotions and life. She was 22 years old when she met a psychotherapist with expertise in dialectical behavioral therapy and mindfulness practice who gave her the crowbar to smash all the boxes that enclosed her. From there, she fell in love with social work and providing service.

But her continuing search for healing brought Adair to different spaces. She studied with amazing mentors and discovered Kundalini yoga. She got trained on eye movement desensitization retraining (EMDR) and other trauma healing techniques. That’s when she realized she was not intended to go on a traditional social work path. Adair decided and since then has been helping healers to be able to continue helping others. Taking care of the self is part of the dharma, and Adair is sharing this now with her yoga health coaching.

Alex gracefully draws out from Adair’s own experience that at the root of all classical traditions of awakening or trying to reconnect with yourself, the journey to being awakened is never a straight path. It takes a lot of tools and not just one process.

So from these two wonderful ladies, this podcast profoundly reminds us that we have to go too far and too disciplined and undisciplined. Somewhere in between, they assure, we get to be alive and hopefully happy. Embrace and love life.

Links mention in the podcast

Road to self Care

Podcast Highlights

  • It was really grounding to be in a space where what I’m dealing with was not unusual. Dialectical behavioral therapy had me learn coping skills which let me track my progress. The shift was extreme. It got me more into my yoga and meditation. It also led me to love social work and the activism world. – Adair Finucane
  • I started learning coping skills and I realized nobody ever taught me how to breathe. It’s very simple stuff. Western culture is very sick for not having it a part of how children are raised.  – Adair Finucane
  • It’s funny that some of the most uncomfortable experiences in our lives can bring such huge joy and clarity. One of these brought me to Kundalini yoga practice, like my second crowbar, which helped my energy explode. It made me realize that I could control my energy, turn it to joy and power.  – Adair Finucane
  • We often see experts with an annotation to their name. But I think experts are also those who really lived life and who walk the talk. – Alexandra Kreis
  • I wouldn’t be drawn to the teachers I’ve trusted and been with if I didn’t know my heart, soul, and gut that I’m supposed to be with them. But they’re not gonna be there forever. I have to be my own teacher. Stick with your gut. Stay close to your friends who know you. Always be willing to stop a practice; never think you have to do a practice in order to be on the path. Because it will just be attachment and it will confuse you. – Adair Finucane


Guest BIO:

Adair Finucane - Breaking Free from TraumaAdair is from Rochester, New York, living with her big love James. She started out as a social worker who’s now in the Ayurveda health and wellness practice to help people heal and turn life into a passionate and fulfilled one. She grew up with the Celiac disease and finding full healing on her own. She was a social worker, worked around labor, environmental justice, among many others. She’s now helping healers, coaches, teachers to take care of their own trauma and self with her own yoga health coaching With Adair.