Being Well Podcast: Managing the Freeze Response: Dissociation, Emotional Shutdown, and Creating Safety
April 1, 2024

What do dissociation, avoidance, and emotional shutdown all have in common? They’re connected to the “freeze” response to stress. In one of our favorite episodes to date of the Being Well Podcast, Dr. Rick and Forrest explore managing the freeze response. 

They talk about what stress responses are, how they impact our behavior, and why different people tend to default to different coping strategies. Forrest explains what freezing looks like in practice, and why the freeze response can be particularly difficult to navigate. Dr. Rick then shares a number of helpful strategies for working with the freeze response, including strengthening self-confidence, and the feeling of ourselves as someone who can create safety. Towards the end of the episode they discuss managing these tendencies in a relationship.

You can watch this episode on YouTube.

Key Topics:

  • 0:00: Introduction 
  • 1:15: Understanding the stress response
  • 9:05: Asking if your stress response serves your relationships
  • 15:25: The difficulty of perceiving your freeze response
  • 19:05: Dissociation, and what freezing looks like in practice
  • 23:55: Steps of moving through dissociation
  • 30:05: Self-awareness, ‘global’ conditioning, and unconditional positive regard
  • 38:10: Exploring new ways of being with a hypothetical case study
  • 53:45: Seeing yourself as a source of safety
  • 1:02:55: Recap

Forrest is now writing on Substack, check out his work there.

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Join Dr. Rick and Forrest Hanson every week on the Being Well Podcast for lively and thought-provoking conversation and practical tips for being happier, building inner strengths, and getting the most out of life.

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