Shauna Springer, Ph.D.
Post-Performance Authority. Trauma Expert. Trusted Doc
- Leading Expert on PTSD and Performance Stress
- Author of WARRIOR: How to Support Those Who Protect Us and Beyond the Military: A Leader’s Handbook for Warrior Reintegration
- Regular Contributor to Psychology Today, CNN, Business Insider, NPR, CBS Radio, US News and World Report and Military Times.
- Chief Psychologist for Stella Center
- Military Times Podcast Co-host
- Graduate of Harvard University (B.A.) and the University of Florida (Ph.D.)
Doc Shauna Springer is one of the most requested leadership speakers in the COVID-19 era. This stems from her work as the preeminent expert on PTSD, Trauma, and Moral Injury among veterans and first responders. Her work helps leaders of organizations keep their workers healthy and effective, and addresses common symptoms of Chronic Threat Response which often occur during times of disruptive change. A graduate of Harvard University She co-hosts a weekly podcast on these topics in collaboration with Military Times. Her work has been featured on CNN, VICE, Dr. Oz, NPR, NBC, CBS Radio, Forbes, The Philadelphia Tribune, Washington Post, and many more. She is a regular contributor to Psychology Today.
Areas of Expertise
Leadership | Change | Strategy | Disruption | Workforce | Change | Agility | Talent | Resilience | Mental Health | Trauma
Shauna "Doc" Springer
Restoring Companies After Disruptive Challenges
Trauma pierces our defenses. It inflicts invisible wounds. It can change our personalities and how we navigate the world around us. And it is taking a heavy toll on our workforce and consumers.
COVID-19 is like a prolonged natural disaster. It has not damaged buildings, but rather people. In every corner of our society, we are experiencing a level of trauma that is similar to what our warfighters have experienced after serving in combat zones, such as:
- Like our warfighters, we are facing an enemy we can’t see.
- This enemy has taught us to see contact with others – including those we love - as a potential threat.
- Many of us have experienced massive change in the identities and roles that give our lives purpose.
- We suffer from withdrawal of previous social contact.
- Cut-off grief has become a heavy burden as many of us have lost loved ones to COVID, and deaths due to other causes, including deaths of despair.
- Many Americans report chronically high levels of anxiety, over-whelming feelings of helplessness and crippling fears about the future.
Has the personality of your organization changed since the threat of COVID-19?
Just as disruptive change and traumatic events create psychological injury in individuals, this occurs in corporate organizations as well. When companies are damaged in this way, vision goes dark, innovation suffers, and profits are lost. How does this happen, and how can an organization regain its’ fundamental equilibrium – it’s “corporate personality health?”
In the wake of COVID-19, if the company you work for were a person, what kind of person would it be?
Would it be someone who…
- Fearfully and constantly scans the environment for potential threats, and is quick to perceive the potential downside in any alteration of standard practice or new idea?
- Punishes those who challenge the status quo, like a playground bully in corporate form, who aggressively dominates and who cannot maintain healthy partnerships and alliances with other companies?
- Over-commits to potentially risky propositions and untested partnerships, without taking time to thoughtfully weigh costs and benefits of these decisions?
- Takes calculated risks, pushes towards innovation, rewards good performance, treats itself with respect and treats employees and company partners with the same respect?
To gain actionable insights, more and more leaders are turning to Dr. Shauna Springer. Known as “Doc Springer” in the military community, she is one of the nation's leading experts on PTSD and transitional trauma. Her work has been featured on CNN, VICE, Business Insider, THRIVE Global, US News and World Report, NPR, NBC, CBS Radio, Forbes, Washington Post, and Military Times. She is a regular contributor to Psychology Today.
Over the past decade, Doc Springer has earned a rare form of trust with military leaders and combat warfighters. Her reputation for walking with warfighters in the trenches of mental warfare is widely recognized. Now companies are using her expertise to navigate change and drive post-disruptive growth.
What Dr. Springer has learned from helping our nation’s warriors confront and overcome the challenges they face gives her a uniquely valuable perspective on how to develop corporate resilience during this time of unknowns. The insights she delivers can help us lead ourselves – and those around us – through times of trauma, challenge, and unforeseen life disruption.
The counter-intuitive truths you will learn from the application of Dr. Shauna Springer’s work can enhance innovative potential, clarify the meaning and purpose that drives strong performance, and help us enjoy healthier, more connected relationships in our work and home lives.
Post Disruptive Growth
We can all grow through trauma. But to do so, we must first understand how incredibly deceptive and profound trauma can be to each person. Doc Springer has identified a phenomenon she calls “Chronic Threat Response,” which is caused by traumatic disruptions. Chronic Threat Response takes a toll on our physical and mental well-being. Many times, we may not even be aware of the extent of this negative impact. Whether or not we are aware, however, this impact can dictate our long-term performance potential.
Doc Springer shares insights that can help us overcome stressful ordeals, to not just restore our prior functioning, but create post disruptive growth. Many have called this the most important presentation they have experienced in the COVID-19 era.
Preparing for Genius
Genius can be defined as actions that are hard to replicate, with extraordinary outcomes. Genius is the building of a loyal, profitable customer relationship; it is solving an unsolvable problem; it is creating the disruptive innovation that companies strive for; and it is keeping people calm in the middle of a storm. But genius is fragile, and fleeting. And the quest for genius is fraught with stress.
Doc Springer explores how to prepare for moments of genius, and how to recover physically, mentally, and soulfully so that you are ready to try again, and again. She uses her experience working with our country’s warriors to show how to build environments of high-performance and trust, and avoid the burnout and churn that often infect such companies. You will be better equipped for your moment in the sun and find those flashes of genius that will define your future.
The Relationship between Strength and Vulnerability for Leaders
The pioneering work of Brene Brown has helped many leaders understand that vulnerability is a form of strength. What many do not understand as yet though is that strength is a unique vulnerability for leaders. It is common for corporate leaders to exist in a state of what Doc Springer identifies as “Chronic Threat Response” (CTR). CTR is a type of trauma impact – a state of being locked in a “fight or flight” mode with challenges like consistent sleep disruption, surges of irritability, floods of anxiety (whether openly displayed or not), difficulties concentrating, and a heightened startle response.
This talk will provide psychological insight to explain how and why leaders may be at heightened risk for trauma impact – especially when disruption impacts their companies. This talk provides actionable strategies for what they can do to lead themselves – and others – through times of trial and challenge.
Testimonials and Recent Speeches
"Doc Springer has been there for us since day one. She has been a part of our “sacred circle.” She has heard and seen our souls cry."
- Rumaldo Parra, Master Sergeant, United States Marine Corps (retired)
“Shauna’s creative and ingenious approach is a welcome addition to the national dialogue on suicide prevention. She effectively cuts across disciplines and breaks down prohibitive silos to bring through a new way of understanding a complex issue to both military/veteran and civilian populations. The field of suicide prevention and our communities are much better off thanks to Shauna and her work.”
- Colleen Creighton, Executive Director of the American Assn. of Suicidology
“Dr. Shauna Springer has proven to be an asset to leadership within both the military and veteran community. Her dedication to Veterans and their families is very clear and she has uniquely perceptive abilities that are greatly valued within the suicide prevention community. Fortunately for us – she has always been available to consult and share her expertise with our staff, veterans and family members. A true treasure.”
- Dr. Keita Franklin, Former National Director of Suicide Prevention, U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs
"Over 19 years as an infantry Marine and I have never met someone like Shauna "Doc" Springer. She was able to empathize with me, become a part of the pack, and translate my inner thoughts into constructive interactions. I think of her as one of the corpsmen embedded into my platoon."
- Keola Lee, 1st Sgt, USMC (active duty)
"Shauna is someone I deeply trust, and that doesn't come easy between combat Veterans and (former) VA psychologists. She isn't afraid to enter, what can often be, the lion's den of peoples' minds. She joins people where they're at, and literally and figuratively, enters their wilderness alongside them. Dr. Springer did not self-appoint herself the nickname, "Doc Springer" -- rather that coveted term, given only to those we truly respect, was given to her by Veterans, born out of countless hours of listening to, caring for, and cultivating understanding for Veterans' experiences."
- Ryan Berg, Combat USMC Veteran Producer, Veterans Voices
"As a three-time combat veteran and former battalion commander, I don't see Doc Springer as a practitioner that supports the military community, I see her as standing within our ranks to tackle those unspeakable issues shoulder to shoulder with the men and women who endure invisible wounds from otherwise forgotten wars."
- Jason Roncoroni, MBA, MS, CPC, ELI-MP, Founder of Ordinary Hero Coaching
Dr. Springer delivers numerous speeches to corporations, the list of which she keeps in complete confidence. Here are the non-profit organizations and government entities that she can disclose:
- NFL Foundation
- Veterans Administration
- Department of Defense
- Congressman Scott Perry
- Special Operations Chain of Command (SOCOM)
- American Association of Suicidology
- Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors
- Air Force Academy
- Los Angeles County Mental Health Summit
- California Spirituality and Mental Healthy Conference
- Cohen Veterans Network
- San Mateo County Suicide Prevention Committee
- The Marine Corps League
- Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment
- Numerous VA Veterans Centers
- Center for Deployment Psychology