A conversation with psychotherapist Sonia about her experience of arrest and imprisonment for possession of firearms and explosives as an anti-Vietnam War activist. In order to get professional licensure, Sonia waited years to get her record sealed, requiring her to keep her past a secret. We talk about what it has been like to live for 40 years with this secret, and the unexpected ways it has shaped her life.
An interview with yoga teacher and author, Dave Emerson, who co-wrote, Overcoming Trauma through Yoga about the development of “trauma-sensitive yoga.” Dave begins by talking about how trauma is held in the body, and can be addressed through the body, often in conjunction with talk therapy. [Read more…]
An interview with personal trainer Beth Erlichman about having both a mother and a daughter with mental illness. Beth describes growing up with a mentally ill mother like living in a storm. At 16 she found a boarding school in another country as a way to get out and take care of herself. She grew up in a family that never [Read more…]
An interview with psychotherapist and author, Dr. Jeanne Safer about chronic sibling tension and non-communication. Jeanne describes the phenomenon of “sibspeak” where no real communication takes place except the recitation of grievances, the discharge of obligations, and endless attempts to fix the other person. She encourages sibs to take the initiative in naming what is going on directly and asking about the feelings and experiences of each other. She especially talks about the challenges facing siblings when there was blatant favoritism from the parents. She encourages the favored sibling to acknowledge the advantages they received and the fact that they took it for granted as deserved. She encourages the less favored sibling not to let this fact define them as righteous and resentful victims, but to focus on the ways they do indeed have enough in the present. She closes with a description of how Freud overlooked his own favored position as a sibling, a favoritism he felt entitled to and could not examine or apologize for. His blindspot became a blindspot in therapy, where sibling relationships (the longest of our lives) are often overlooked for the deep ways they shape our relational dynamics. Jeanne’s new book is Cain’s Legacy: Liberating Siblings from a Lifetime of rage, shame, secrecy and regret.
An interview with David Moltz about his experience of being a psychiatrist. David talked about his reasons for going into psychiatry and the things he finds most difficult about the profession and the things he loves. He spoke about the use of power, the difficulty of deciding whether to commit someone to a hospital, how he listens to a suicidal patient and the importance of being present in the midst of someone’s pain. David also talked about the differences between the culture of mental health, and the culture of substance abuse treatment or recovery models of care. He also talks about the corruption of psychiatry by the pharmaceutical industry and how this has brought us back to the importance of human relationship in healing.