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Ep 32- Brave, Strong and True with Dr. Kate Hendricks Thomas

Episode 32

Dr. Kate Hendricks Thomas is a former Marine who today balances the roles of wife, new mother, professor and author. Her latest book Brave, Strong, True: The Modern Warrior’s Battle for Balance takes a close look at resilience, stress and what it takes to learn how to face distress successfully. Pulling from her experience as a Marine and research with military populations, Dr. Kate writes an incredibly compelling account of how stress affects us, and how best to build-up resilience and cope with trauma. She very specifically addresses the issue of trauma recovery and reintegration of veterans into the civilian world, but trust me everything she writes about is applicable to anyone out there.

This interview is a must listen for anyone who deals with stress, anyone who feels overwhelmed by life and everyone else, because you know someone who falls in one of those two categories.


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Take Home:

  • Stress vs. Distress = Growth vs. Breakdown
  • Stress is necessary to build, challenge  and promote physical, intellectual and emotional growth. It’s chronic distress is what wears us down, triggers trauma and causes damage to our systems.
  • Do you practice self-care? Are you surrounded by a strong community? Do you have practices that tap into your need for purpose and connection? Dr. Kate identifies these three things as necessary to cultivate strong resilience.
  • Resilience is a trait that we are born with, but new evidence shows that it can also be learned later in life. We go into this in the interview.
  • Distress tolerance, delayed gratification, do these words sound like psycho-babble to you? Pay attention, because both are skills that are essential to healthy living that you need to develop to thrive.
  • The things we suffer from are often states. They are technically reversible, but if we don’t see them as such we shift into victims mindsets, when in truth we are powerful agents of change in our own life.
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kate Thomas

Meet Dr. Kate Hendricks Thomas:

Dr. Kate Hendricks Thomas is an Assistant Professor of Health Promotion at Charleston Southern University, a speaker, and the co-founder of Just Roll With It Wellness. Hendricks Thomas, also a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, helps businesses and military veterans improve their holistic health and quality of life. Her behavioral health research, published in journals like Military Behavioral Health, the Californian Journal of Health Promotion, andGender Forum, has been praised as “masterful” and “constructive.” More info can be found atKateHendricksThomas.com and you can follow her @PrecisionWell on Twitter.Finally, Tad is a great example of resilience, and the importance of building  resilience to thrive despite hardship.

About the Book:

Brave, Strong, True: The Modern Warrior’s Battle for Balance is a practical call to health for America’s modern military warriors and those who support them. With a unique blend of personal narratives and current research, author Dr. Kate Hendricks Thomas explores this question: what if we could train America’s service members to succeed in mental battles as we do in physical ones? This book unpacks the possibility of mental fitness training programs that shift the paradigm from treatment to resilience.

In an accessible, inspiring, and powerful way, Dr. Kate outlines strategies – including social support, self-care, and spiritual practice – for readers to meet the challenge of living purposeful lives. Her research provides a wealth of knowledge and practical guidance for veterans, their family members, military commands, mental health professionals, and everyday citizens who can identify with the title “warrior.”

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Hi! I'm Dr. Alessandra Wall

I help smart driven women and forward-thinking companies bridge the gap & build real conversations.

Here on the ‘Dr. Wall Says’, I share tools, tips, and insights about speaking up, getting heard and how women can take up space and thrive in the 21st century.



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