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The Brain, Inflammation, and Recovery In the time of COVID

We're all facing some kind of trauma especially right now on some level, but for those with a history of trauma, and developmental trauma in particular, there is compelling evidence that -- over time -- trauma in childhood causes levels of inflammation to slowly grow over time. And this in turn activates a conversation between body and brain that leads to shifts immunologically in the body.

Emerging Neuroscience About Trauma, Inflammation, and Recovery

Recent discoveries in neuroscience tell us that body and brain are constantly responding to perceived threats from our environment, deciding, on a cellular level, whether we are safe, or unsafe. How safe we feel in the world around us profoundly affects not only our physical and immune health, but our brain’s immune health, which, in turn, determines our mental health. This understanding, coupled with the latest neuroscience on trauma, warns us that as America confronts and emerges from the COVID pandemic, we are poised for a mental health crisis of epic proportions. In this series, individuals will learn how early trauma sets the stage for brain health in adulthood, how chronic stressors in adult life exacerbate these potential ill effects, and the latest scientific understanding on the biophysical link between trauma, inflammation, and mental health. This series will also explore the potential effects of COVID itself on brain health. We will discuss how these factors, taken together, create a perfect storm for rising rates of anxiety, depression, OCD, agoraphobia, and other mental health concerns and why understanding this science is crucial to intervening and treating mental health concerns in clients and patients. 


When a child remains in consistent fight/flight/freeze, the level of inflammation in the body begins to change. This in turn shifts the activity of genes and epigenetic changes then occur, making the person more likely to develop a range of diseases, like heart disease, or autoimmune disease.

In the research of the last seven to eight years, this is all very well-accepted, and it appears to be gradually becoming part of most therapy practice.

What Therapists Need To Know

But here's what really hasn't trickled down into most practitioner's offices yet:

  1. The brain and the body are in constant cross talk.

  2. The brain has its own immune system.

We're going to talk about how science missed this critical fact until the last decade. We'll look at implications for healing from trauma, explore what this new understanding of our immune systems means, for our view of brain function, of immune system function, and of recovery in a pandemic.

Lecture Topics
Session 1: Brain Health During COVID - How Inflammation and Trauma Affect Health Outcomes 
Session 2:  Hope During A Pandemic - What Neuroscience Suggests About Trauma, Inflammation, and Recovery Today
Session 3:  Brain Health And Recovery - What Research Teaches About Overcoming Trauma And Inflammation During COVID

Join award-winning journalist, internationally-acclaimed speaker, Donna Jackson Nakazawa explores the intersection of neuroscience, immunology, and human emotion.

Live lectures schedule:
  • Tuesday, March 9, 1pm - 2pm EST
  • Tuesday, March 16, 1pm - 2pm EST
  • Tuesday, March 23, 1pm - 2pm EST

 Each session is one hour long. Sessions will be recorded (the recording will be available a few days after the live session). Once posted, the recording will remain accessible for a month from when it is posted.

Participants do not need to attend live sessions to receive APA CE credit. You can watch the recorded video and pass a quiz on each lecture to meet learning objectives.

This program is available for 2 CE hours. EEG Education & Research is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. EEG Education & Research maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

About Donna Jackson Nakazawa

“ The way in which she interwove evidence-based studies with stories, metaphors, and real-life examples made her talk a captivating journey for our audience from start to finish. Donna eloquently handled every query from the audience and the feedback we received was excellent.” --Georgie Oldfield, Founder, SIRPA”

Georgie Oldfield

“Donna ... provided our 600 guests with a powerful and effective message ... an understanding of the cutting-edge science on both chronic stress and resiliency, children can overcome adversity in their youth. Our audience stayed thoroughly engaged throughout Donna’s impactful presentation and many reached out afterwards to tell us how inspired they had been by her talk. We will have her back again. —Brian Maness, President and CEO of Children’s Home Society of North Carolina”

Brian Maness