James S. Gordon, MD, a Harvard-educated psychiatrist, is internationally recognized for using self-awareness, self-care, and group support to heal population-wide psychological trauma. He is founder and executive director of the nonprofit Center for Mind-Body Medicine in Washington, D.C., a clinical professor at Georgetown Medical School, and was chairman (under Presidents Clinton and GW Bush) of the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy.
Dr. Gordon’s latest book, The Transformation: Discovering Wholeness and Healing After Trauma, helps us understand that trauma will come sooner or later to all of us. Trauma, he explains, is a human experience, not a pathological anomaly. In The Transformation, he guides us step by step in a comprehensive evidence-based program to reverse the psychological and biological damage that trauma causes. He shows us, drawing on the latest scientific research, 50 years of clinical experience, timeless wisdom, and inspiring life stories, how we can, as we meet the challenges that trauma brings, discover the ordinary joys as well as the meaning and purpose of our lives. We come to know that our broken hearts can open with greater compassion and love.
My deepest desire is to share the life transforming skills and experience of self-care and group support with those in the greatest need …James S. Gordon, MD
In 1991 Dr. Gordon founded The Center for Mind-Body Medicine. He wanted to create a healing community and community of healers, to make self-awareness, self-care, and group support central to all health care, to the training of health professionals, and the education of our children. He understood, even then, that all of us, regardless of age or educational level, have a great and largely untapped capacity to help and heal ourselves and heal one another.
Dr. Gordon leads an international faculty of 130 who have trained more than 6,000 clinicians, educators, and community leaders. They in turn have brought CMBM’s therapeutic and educational program to many hundreds of thousands of traumatized and stressed adults and children, as well as people confronting the challenges of anxiety, depression, and chronic and life-threatening illnesses.
A peace-maker and consensus-builder, Dr. Gordon is known for cross-cultural relationship building as well as deep life-changing therapeutic work with individuals and families. For more than 25 years, he has led CMBM teams, to relieve population-wide psychological trauma: during and after wars in the Balkans and Middle East; after climate related disasters in Louisiana, Texas, California, Puerto Rico, and Haiti; in communities affected by school shootings; and with active duty U.S. military and veterans and their families.
Over the past 3 years, Dr. Gordon and his team have worked closely with tribal elders, teachers, and clinicians on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservations in South Dakota to create a program that has married mind-body medicine to traditional Lakota healing and stemmed a tide of youth suicide.
Dr. Gordon and his team are now working with peer counselors, teachers, and parents at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida, and are partnering with Broward County Public Schools to support the entire community of 270,000 students and 30,000 employees. He and his international faculty are also collaborating with South Sudan’s pre-transitional government and civil society organizations to heal the psychological wounds of that devastated country’s 60 years of war.
A noted author and essayist, Dr. Gordon has been published in The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Guardian. His warm inclusive approach makes him a credible and compelling source for news media. He has been featured on CBS 60 Minutes, Good Morning America, The Today Show, CNN, CBS Sunday Morning, FOX News, and on NPR’s Fresh Air, Talk of the Nation, Science Friday, and All Things Considered, as well as in the pages of The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, and People magazine.
Dr. Gordon’s other books include Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven Stage Journey Out of Depression (Penguin Press), Manifesto for a New Medicine: Your Guide to Healing Partnerships and the Wise Use of Alternative Therapies (Perseus Books), and the award-winning Health for the Whole Person. He has authored numerous book chapters and has published more than 140 articles in professional journals and popular press.
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu has said of Dr. Gordon: “You are really amazing and we give great thanks to God for the remarkable work you are doing in so many places where God’s Children are hurting.”
Gaza isn’t just a physical wreck. The psychological damage is even worse., James S. Gordon, MD, The Washington Post, November 3, 2014