Michelle Chalfant | The Adult Chair | 258 – Healing the Brain after Narcissistic Abuse with Dr. Rhonda Freeman
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258 – Healing the Brain after Narcissistic Abuse with Dr. Rhonda Freeman

We’ve talked a lot about narcissistic abuse and the emotional effects of it on this podcast, but we haven’t dug into how this experience affects the brain and how neuroscience and healing from narcissistic abuse go hand in hand…until today! In this episode, we’re diving deep into this very important topic with Dr. Rhonda Freeman, who is an expert on the brain, neuroplasticity and trauma and who brings a message of hope to anyone wondering how to heal.


Dr. Freeman is a neuropsychologist who works with patients with neurological conditions and brain trauma, and after her own experience in an abusive relationship with a narcissist, she began using her knowledge of the brain to help survivors of abuse and trauma heal. This is an absolutely fascinating episode that gives an inside look into what is actually going on in the brain during and after an abusive relationship, how the healing process works and the hopeful science that shows why anyone can change their brain after trauma.


Listen to discover:

  • How a romantic relationship with an unhealthy person changes the brain
  • The effects of narcissism on children
  • Why anyone can heal and how the healing process works
  • The prefrontal cortex and trauma
  • How to get back into a balanced brain state
  • The importance of body work in changing the brain


One of the most interesting things Dr. Freeman talks about is how abusive situations activate parts of the brain that wouldn’t be activated otherwise…for example, the bonding system and threat system being triggered at the same time. When we can see what’s going on at a brain chemistry level, it helps us understand why these situations are truly so unique and damaging…and why none of it is your fault!


But the hopeful side is that the brain is constantly changing and being shaped by new experiences, so with the right tools, you can heal and transform your brain and get back to a healthy, balanced state…and this episode will show you how!


“In general, experiences change our brains.” – Dr. Rhonda Freeman


“The brain will do whatever it takes to protect you.” – Dr. Rhonda Freeman


“We’re bonded…and even though we’re in threat, we can’t let go.” – Michelle Chalfant


“You have to have others to heal.” – Dr. Rhonda Freeman


“Pay attention to your intuition. If it feels off, don’t sweep it under the carpet.” – Michelle Chalfant


“Bonds don’t necessarily mean love.” – Dr. Rhonda Freeman





Dr. Rhonda Freeman Website



Dr. Rhonda Freeman Instagram



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