We would say with confidence that at the root of the addiction to drugs/alcohol we work with at Foundation for Change is trauma. We see the addiction as being a symptom of the underlying emotional pain caused by some kind of traumatic event. The relationship between addiction and early experiences of trauma is thankfully becoming more commonplace; what many people often don’t realise is just how widespread the experience of trauma is amongst the whole population. What is also often not understood is that the way we deal with things in the present – such as all things Covid – is intricately linked to experiences from our pasts, particularly trauma.

In this episode we dive into this idea and explore the many different types of experiences that can leave a traumatic imprint in the body. We particularly look at the physiology of trauma: it is by understanding why our bodies respond to trauma in particular ways and understanding the function of those responses that we can begin the process of healing from trauma.

We end with a presentation of an easy to remember model by the Shoreditch-based GP, Dr Jonathon Tomlinson that supports the practice of wellbeing (his blog is well worth reading). We use the word practice here deliberately – it is something it helps to continue to attend to, it’s something we manage to do better at sometimes than others, and it’s something that the more we do more of, the stronger our practice gets.

Listen to the podcast link using the Spotify player above or by going to our Youtube channel

The handout accompanying this podcast can be downloaded as a PDF here or viewed as a webpage here.


Although we make a point of exploring the many types of trauma that aren’t the obvious ones such as war, the film Waltz with Bashir provides a powerful visual example of trauma being something that hijacks the body’s ability to function. The blocking out of the trauma (through significant gaps in memory) and the intrusive nature of it trying to force its way back in (through flashbacks) are central to this film and help understand how a person can experience trauma.