In this interview from 2011, I speak with Catharine Murray about how writing poetry helped her heal from a loss that initially felt unspeakable – the death of her 6 year old son. She explains how sitting down to write allows her to create a new space to work with her sadness, and she shares three poems that illustrate the evolution of her grief and her ongoing healing. Her story offers a novel approach to healing from all kinds of losses.
This week we revisit a 2015 conversation with Sandy White Hawk, one of five commissioners of Maine’s historic Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Sandy is Sicangu Lakota and an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, who was separated from her family and heritage and adopted at 18 months old by a white family. She talks about the trauma of adoption and racism, and about the healing she found by reclaiming her identity.
This week we revisit one of the first episodes of Safe Space Radio, a conversation with Canadian broadcaster Neil McKenty about his struggles with depression and alcohol. He describes his depression as the result of a collision between his negative ideas about himself and the smooth front of success he had constructed for the world to see. We talk about how sharing his vulnerability was the pivotal step that helped him gain a new feeling of freedom.
This week we revisit a conversation from 2011 with Elyn Saks, a law professor and MacArthur fellow who lives with schizophrenia. We discuss how she came to the difficult understanding that she had the illness and needed treatment, and how she was able to achieve personal and professional success, contrary to our popular notions of life with psychosis.
We begin a new season of the show with some of the best episodes from the early days of Safe Space Radio. We’ll be updating them with new commentary, bonus segments and occasional follow-up conversations. Today we revisit my 2010 interview with psychiatrist Aaron Lazare about the impact of shame and humiliation, and how to repair the damage they cause. Then, a new conversation with a current medical student about how shame can complicate the relationship between doctors and patients, and what can be done to reduce it.