What makes you feel most alive? For me it is when we finally can talk about the thing we haven’t been talking about. That is such a thrill: it makes you feel that, yes! it’s going to happen, and things are going to change. Things will feel real.
I started Safe Space Radio because of what I learned from my work as a clinician. As a psychiatrist I see people with depression, panic attacks, trauma, addiction, or bipolar disorder, and what I kept hearing was: at the root, each person was suffering from the same thing. They were suffering from feeling like damaged goods, defective, that there was something wrong with them that made them fear they were unlovable, weak, a failure. This is shame, and it silences people and makes us want to hide. It leaves us alone with our worst suffering. And this aloneness, this isolation is dangerous. It is a key ingredient in suicide. I came to see that shame is a lethal public health threat. [Read more…]
This show is the first in a new series on the experiences of LGBTQ teens in Maine. This episode features a conversation with high school junior AJ, who identifies as gender-neutral. AJ discusses the challenges of not identifying as either a girl or a boy, and the value of finding allies within a new school.
For the final show of 2016 and this season of Safe Space Radio, we revisit my 2011 conversation with Matthew Sanford. Matthew is a yoga teacher focusing on trauma recovery. He was paralyzed from the chest down at age 13 in a car accident that killed his father and sister. As a teen, he was encouraged to overcome the silence of his paralyzed body, but he learned that he could listen to it instead. Over time, he began to experience his body’s silence as a source of strength and connection. He encourages all of us, as we age, to listen to the increasing silence of our bodies in new ways.
This week we go back to 2008 and the second episode of Safe Space Radio to revisit a conversation that remains so important to me: how (and when) to talk to your kids about sexuality. My guest Layne Gregory and I discuss the ways our parents were unable to give us the information we needed on the subject. Layne shares the strategies for navigating the subject of sexuality that she used with her own kids and gives 6 basic principles that are important for kids to understand.
And here’s the website I mention at the end of the show which has great suggestions about how to talk to your kids about sex and sexuality: parents.teachingsexualhealth.ca
This week we revisit my 2014 conversation with Ellen Jennings, who is the mother of a son with high-functioning autism. She talks about how long and difficult the path to his diagnosis was, and about the many ways she has had to push for him to get the services he needed and that have helped him thrive.
The resources mentioned at the end of this show are autismspeaks.org, and the books School Success for Kids with High-Functioning Autism and The Survival Guide for Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (and Their Parents).