Transforming Trauma Episode112: A Former NFL Player on Overcoming Childhood Trauma through Belonging With Gaelin Elmore
A podcast brought to you by the NARM® Training Institute
Former NFL player and speaker Gaelin Elmore believes that childhood trauma changes the rules of the game for youth, making interaction with well-intentioned adults difficult. While teachers, therapists, and caregivers of all sorts are poised to provide the most enduring assistance, the prospect of building sincere, purposeful relationships with children and teens can challenge even the most dedicated professionals.
In this episode of Transforming Trauma, Gaelin and Emily Ruth reflect on ways adults can foster atmospheres of belonging thereby positively influencing the lives of young people. Using his own life as a case study, Gaelin shares his personal history with complex childhood trauma and honors the adults who changed the trajectory of his life for good. The pair also explore parallels between Gaelin's work and the heart-centered approach NARM employs to reignite one's capacity for self-love and strengthen interpersonal connections.
“The neuroscience of trauma lessons are: it lowers our brain's ability to think of an extended future; it changes how we process and understand the things happening right in front of us.” Gaelin experienced complex trauma for much of his childhood. Despite this extreme adversity, he went on to play college football, graduated early with honors, and signed an NFL contract. Today, Gaelin is a national keynote speaker, trainer, and advocate working with adults and professionals who want to help children overcome trauma and unleash their potential through belonging.
As Gaelin explains, belonging is the central driver of transformational healing, a fundamental need in all humans to find acceptance, and a portal through which we discover meaning. “Football became a primary pathway for me to experience belonging,” Gaelin says. But smaller everyday interactions with teachers, janitors, and bus drivers also had an effect on his development. Unfortunately, too many adults give up on children before ever forging that connection, becoming reactive to and discouraged by layers of protection that a child with C-PTSD might assume to keep themselves safe. Gaelin helps adults understand the child's perspective and encourages environments where all parties can co-define what it means to belong.
Transforming Trauma is grateful to Gaelin for his openness and commitment to educating those who serve children with C-PTSD.
Gaelin Elmore experienced complex trauma for most, if not all, of his childhood. Despite extreme childhood adversity, Gaelin played college football, graduated early, with honors, and signed an NFL contract. Now, as a national keynote speaker, trainer, and advocate, Gaelin works with adults and professionals who want to help children overcome trauma and unleash their potential through belonging.