Healing the Fragmented Selves of Trauma Survivors

February 5, 2020
Karen O’Malia

Synopsis: The presentation is based upon research and book (same title as Subject, above) by Janina Fisher. Dr. Fisher proposes that survivors of trauma, abuse, neglect and violence store traumatic memories in a different way from normal, non-traumatic memories. Because they are stored as implicit memories in areas of the brain that are non-rational, non-verbal, and non-chronological, they can be triggered for years after the event, resulting in behaviors that get diagnosed as borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, and dissociative identity disorder. We will talk about how these memories are stored, why they are stored in that manner, and suggest ways to help people suffering from PTSD because of these memories to understand and cope with their reactions.

Karen O’Malia’s Bio:  Karen became interested in biology in high school; majored in French, and studied Spanish, art history, and biology as an undergrad; did graduate work in biology, with a concentration in ecology; went back to grad school later for a Master’s in counseling. Continued to read on topics in biology, bio and organic chemistry, and medicine. Her three careers include teaching high school French, corporate financial sales and management, and legal pharmaceutical product liability case management.