Addiction Recovery

Podcast – Ep. 98 – The Connection Between Trauma and Eating Disorders.

As you begin to learn how your past affects your present life, you start putting the puzzle pieces together of why you feel the way you do, what your specific triggers are and where they stem from, why you struggle in certain aspects of life, and a myriad of other things start to come into focus and you have these “ah ha” or “lightbulb” moments when suddenly everything makes sense.

I’ve had many such enlightening moments during some very intense and difficult times in a therapists office, or working with a trauma informed coach. I can remember saying things like, “I never know that my self-esteem problems were because of being bullied. I didn’t realize that my learning disability may very well have developed due to childhood trauma. The problems with my weight and issues with food are not simply some genetic family problem, but have been intensified and increased due to childhood sexual abuse and other trauma. The list goes on and on, and needless to say this revelation was both empowering and disheartening at the same time.

Realizing that all of these struggles were not my fault, and were either caused by or greatly influenced by past trauma, took me down a dark road for a time. Sitting with that realization was difficult, but one of the ways that I began to work through it and reframe the shame, was to use this information as a learning experience. Something I could take to change the tide of what was ahead for me, rather than just accept that I was destined to suffer and struggle for the rest of my life.

One of the biggest hurdles that I continue to work through, is in the area of food, and because of this struggle I am always on the lookout for ways to discover and understand how the mind and body work in the wake of past trauma, and specifically in this case, with eating disorders, food struggles, and gaining weight.

My guest today, Dr. Carolyn Coker Ross, joins me on the podcast to discuss the connection between trauma and eating disorders.

Born in Houston, Texas, Dr. Carolyn Coker Ross spent her childhood in San Antonio where as the oldest of five children, she comes from a long line of physicians and healers. Her mother’s father was a well-known physician in Bryan, Texas, who opened his own hospital and nursing school. His mother, Betty Love, was a Cherokee medicine woman.

Dr. Ross’s own personal health crisis and the diagnosis of her mother with Alzheimer’s led her on a journey to healing in which her perspective about medicine changed and her desire to focus on integrative medicine led her to the University of Arizona’s Center for Integrative Medicine. Dr. Ross completed a two-year fellowship in Integrative Medicine, studying with Dr. Andrew Weil. Her path then led her to work as the head of the Eating Disorders Program and the Integrative Medicine Department at world-renowned inpatient hospital, Sierra Tucson where she pioneered the Integrative Medicine approach to eating disorder treatment. She currently works in private practice in Denver, Colorado, as an addiction medicine specialist and suboxone doctor who specializes in opioid addiction treatment. She also is a consultant for treatment centers across the country on eating disorders and integrative medicine.  You can learn more about her practice, and how she got started in medicine, by checking out her bio on her website, 

I’m so honored to talk with Carolyn on the podcast, and dive a bit deeper into some of the struggles with food and weight that are not only close to my heart but affect so many who listen to the podcasts and read the blog posts both here and on Surviving My Past.  During our chat, Dr. Ross and I discuss:

  • How do events from the past impact eating habits?
  • How much does trauma have to do with eating disorders?
  • Is food addiction a true eating disorder, and can you actually be addicted to food?
  • The impact of dieting on eating disorders, and the effects on our mind and body.
  • What is the relationship between weight and health, is it really about “calories in calories out?”
  • How do we develop a healthy relationship with food as trauma survivors.

Carolyn and I discuss these topics and more on the podcast, so you’ll definitely want to check it out and give it a listen. The information she shares could very well be life changing for you or someone you know, so please consider sharing this with someone who might need it.

If you’d like more information about Dr. Carolyn Coker Ross, her Books, The Anchor Program, or working with her individually in the areas of eating disorders or addiction, head over to

free one hour coaching sessions - beyond your past






All conversation and information exchanged during participation on the Beyond Your Past Podcast, on, and is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing on these podcasts or posted on the above mentioned websites are supplements for or supersedes the relationship and direction of your medical or mental health providers.

Podcast – Ep. 97 – Dynamic Running Therapy, and Authenticity in Recovery, with William Pullen

One of the keys to healing from trauma, overcoming anxiety, working through depression, addictions, and virtually any other struggle is figuring out a way to get what’s in our heads, out of our heads in a way that feels safe, validating, and in compliance with who we are as individuals.  By doing so we begin to chip away at the self-shame that so often comes when battling any mental health challenge.

By showing up authentically, to ourselves and the world, even in the wake of extreme events, we gain confidence and resilience. We learn that what happened to us, does not define our future, and the struggles of our past only have the power that we allow them to have. This certainly does not mean that we should try to rush through recovery, or feel as though we should just get over what’s happened.  Instead, simply understand that, in time, we can learn to live and thrive in our present life, rather than being held back by the very thoughts, feelings, and coping strategies which served us for a time, but are now keeping us stuck.

william pullen - podcast - beyond your pastMy guest on this episode of the podcast, is someone who has developed a very unique approach to work through those very struggles that no longer serve us. William Pullen, creator of Dynamic Running Therapy, is a practicing therapist in the U.K., working with clients not only utilizing DRT, but also integrative psychotherapy in areas such as : substance abuse, emotional abuse, anxiety, relationship struggles, career change, life transition, self-esteem, depression, and more.

Integrative Psychotherapy aims to facilitate wholeness between the feeling, behavioural, cognitive, and physiological levels of functioning – in other words the whole person. This is done in part through looking at aspects of the self that you may be unaware of and making them conscious. Together we can look at the life you want for yourself and how to achieve it. Change takes time and cannot be rushed. I believe in providing focus and space, not pressure. I believe in removing expectation, often routed in the demands of others, and instead aligning ourselves with what we feel inside. Change comes about by clearing a path to where we want to be, not forcing our way through to it.

I work in a way that is warm, empathic, non-judgemental, and direct. I am not a therapist who will stare at you in silence. I also believe there is a place for humour in therapy. My work draws on many theoretical orientations and styles. Because each person is unique, my work is different with every person that I see. I tailor my approach to help you and your individual needs. I offer a comfortable and confidential space where you can look at your life free of expectation or judgement.

Dynamic Running Therapy includes the use of a smart phone app, and William’s book, Running with Mindfulness: Dynamic Running Therapy (DRT) to Improve Low-mood, Anxiety, Stress, and Depression. You can find his book on Amazon, and the app is available for iPhone users in the app store.

During our chat on the podcast:

  • We dive more into what exactly Dynamic Running Therapy  (DRT) is, how it works, and how this strategy can help not only with self-esteem, anxiety, stress, and depression, but many other mental health challenges.
  • His Tedx Talk, “Movement is Medicine“.
  • How the struggles of his past, not only in childhood but challenges in adult life, lead him into a role of becoming a Psychotherapist.
  • The importance of authenticity in healing from trauma.
  • Finding your purpose in life, what ever that looks like for you and no matter how long it takes to find, and using your combined experiences to shape who you are and your ability to relate to others.
  • Learning that staying in a survivor mentality can be detrimental to your overall healing.

I encourage you to check out William Pullen’s website, , to learn more about his work, DRT, and his book.  Be sure to follow him on Facebook and Twitter as well.

If you found this podcast helpful, consider subscribing on your favorite podcasting app and leaving a review; I would appreciate it so much. Don’t forget to share it with your friends!

-Matthew Pappas, CLC, MPNLP








All conversation and information exchanged during participation on the Beyond Your Past Podcast, on, and is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing on these podcasts or posted on the above mentioned websites are supplements for or supersedes the relationship and direction of your medical or mental health providers.







Podcast – Ep. 81 – Finding Hope and Life by Overcoming Addiction, and Living with Bipolar and Mania.

Every now and then I have the opportunity to chat with a former guest blogger on Surviving My Past, and when I get that opportunity it’s always an incredible experience. Not everyone is ready to, or enjoys sharing their story on a podcast, and that’s okay. The main thing is that when you are at a point of being able to use your experiences to help others, while continuing to aid your own recovery journey, you do so in a way that feels congruent with you and in line with your values.

This episode of the podcast is just such one of those opportunities to chat with a former guest blogger and share more about his story, hearing it in his own voice. Jason Miller, of and @CostlyLoveWins on Twitter joins me for an incredibly moving chat about his life.

His submission on the blog, “A Bipolar Life: He spent years making mud pies in a slum, but no more!” was vulnerable and honest as he shares many of the struggles he’s endured, in a way that makes you want to keep reading to find out how it all turns out and how he made it through such trauma.  As with so many survivors, you may find yourself not only saddened by their experiences, but cheering them on as they begin to pull themselves out of the depths and into a new world of healing and awareness.

On his blog, Jason describes himself as: a grizzled veteran of the roller coaster of this deadly illness, I (barely) survived it for 43 years. But today, I live with it (bipolar disorder). Perpetually on the edge of that cliff of mania or depression, but with the joy and peace of that boy feeding the gentle giraffe. I hope to help you learn how to do the same. It may take years of diligent effort, but if you want a life instead of a miserable existence, the support networks, tools, medications, recovery angels in skin, and spiritual miracles are all there.

Throughout our conversation, Jason shares more indepth about some of the struggles in his life in the areas of Living with Bipolar Disorder, Mania, Addiction to Pornography and Alcohol, a traumatic accident at work which left him with severe burns,  as well as these following topics:

  • To what do you attribute your getting into recovery and what tools do you use to stay there?
  • What has been most beneficial to your recovery?
  • Besides working on your own recovery, what do you do within the mental health and addiction community?
  • What are your thoughts on the stigma surrounding mental illness and addiction?
  • What are your thoughts on our broken mental health care system?

As you listen to Jason talk, don’t be surprised if you find yourself hanging on each word as you hear him recount struggle after struggle, starting over again and again, until finally coming to a place where he could seek out help, surround himself with safe people, and embrace acceptance along his life long journey of healing.

Thank you again Jason for coming on the podcast, your story is undoubtedly helping so many and I’m honored to help share your story.

Don’t forget to check out Jason’s post on Surviving My Past, and we hope you’ll consider sharing his podcast with those who you feel might benefit from his story.

Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review on your favorite podcasting app, I’d surely appreciate it! Special thanks to my sponsors, and Daily Recovery Support.

If you’d like to be a guest on an upcoming episode of the podcast, just contact me anytime!

Matthew Pappas, CLC, CPNLP









All conversation and information exchanged during participation on the Beyond Your Past Podcast, on, and is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing on these podcasts or posted on the above mentioned websites are supplements for or supersedes the relationship and direction of your medical or mental health providers.