In Safe Space Radio’s second conversation with Maine Wabanaki Truth and Reconcilitation Commissioner Sandy White Hawk, she talks about intergenerational trauma and helping white people better grasp what it means to lose your culture.
Maine Wabanaki Truth and Reconciliation Commissioner Sandy White Hawk talks about being taken for adoption by a white missionary family who believed they were saving her from the poverty of the reservation. She describes the power of being reunited with her tribe at 35, and the deep feeling of belonging and safety she felt as …read more »
Natasha Wilson moved to Maine in 2012 following the tragic death of two of her brothers. She talks about how her experience of racism has been shaped by the different places she’s lived, and how she was unprepared for the alienation and hostility she has experienced in overwhelmingly white states like Iowa and Maine. We also discuss the …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features multiple stories from the lives of parents of children on the autism spectrum.
Nathan Poore talks about how the experience of raising his 11-year-old son, who is on the autism spectrum, has defied his expectations again and again.
Psychotherapist Lindy Anton talks about the uncertainty and fear she and her husband have experienced as they’ve watched their 4-year-old son exhibit intermittent signs of autism.
This episode of Safe Space Radio features a conversation with Susan Levin about her son Ben, who is now 11. She tells the story of discovering his autism, and talks about the ways she blamed herself for his difficulties. She explains the techniques she used to develop a stronger bond with Ben, and how he …read more »
Ellen Jennings is the mother of a 19-year-old son with autism. She talks about the winding path that brought them to that diagnosis, about coping with judgment of her parenting, and about advocating for her son to get him the services he needs.
David Finch is author of The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man’s Quest to Be a Better Husband. In this episode of Safe Space Radio, he discusses how learning he has Aspergers has helped him to stop blaming himself for the difficulties he had in relationships, and opened up …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features Temple Grandin as she vividly describes the various sensory ways that autistic people like herself experience the world differently from the neurotypical majority. She also discusses a number of strategies to help autistic children reach their full potential.
This episode of Safe Space Radio features multiple stories from young people about how they came out to themselves and others.
In Part 2 of his conversation with Safe Space Radio, poet Richard Blanco talks and reads poems about how he navigates the homophobia in his family and in the world.
In Part 1 of his conversation with Safe Space Radio, poet Richard Blanco talks about the challenge of knowing he was gay in an unsupportive family.
Sue, a mother of a transgender teen, and Abby, a teacher who advises her school’s Gay-Straight-Trans Alliance, talk about what they’ve learned about supporting the young LGBTQ people in their lives.
16-year-old Kyle talks about how he went from being bullied in middle school to becoming the face of the Gay-Straight-Trans Alliance in his high school.
Transgender teen Aiden talks about how he entered high school as a girl, gradually came to understand that he had always been a boy, and how he made that transformation real.
This episode of Safe Space Radio features a conversation with lesbian high schooler Sianna about how she has taken a stand against homophobia in situations where no one else was on her side, and why she’s glad she had to.
This episode of Safe Space Radio features Samantha, who was outed as a lesbian to her parents by a teacher at her school. She remembers the turmoil this has created in her life, being rejected by some important people after they learned she was gay, and how that experience has inspired her to be a …read more »
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.
This episode of Safe Space Radio features Dostoevsky scholar Dr. Robin Feuer Miller. She discusses how Crime and Punishment is relevant to the experiences of prisoners today. We also hear stories from listeners about how incarceration, and the stigma it carries, have affected their own lives.
This episode features 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. She talks about what it has been …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features Dr. T. Richard Snyder on the work of restorative justice. This approach brings together the victim, the offender and the community of people affected by a crime in order to find solutions that not only work to repair the damage, but build healing for all the parties involved. …read more »
Bobby Payzant is a hospice volunteer and inmate at the Maine State Prison. In this interview, Bobby talks more about the deep remorse he feels for the man he assaulted, and how he has had to face himself during the many years he has spent in prison. He describes the decision he made to stop …read more »
This episode features two conversations with people involved in the hospice program within the state prison in Warren, Maine. First we speak with the program’s founder, Kandyce Powell, executive director of the Maine Hospice Council, who talks about the genesis of the prison’s hospice program, her motivation for starting it, and the difference it has …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features a conversation with public defender Michael Lepie about his work with indigent clients, and why he considers criminal defense to be a civil rights issue. He discusses how he tries to seek outcomes for his clients which won’t completely derail their lives, and the obstacles within the legal …read more »
Part 2 of Mike’s conversation with Safe Space Radio about the seven years he spent in federal prison. Mike talks about his experiences participating in a group inside the prison called the Jericho Circle which he credits with teaching him emotional literacy and authenticity. His work with Jericho Circle enabled him to reunite with his …read more »
This episode features Mike, who spent seven years in a federal prison on a drug conviction. He talks about the circumstances which led to his arrest, including an abusive upbringing and a chemical dependency which began in his mid-teen years. He describes his arrest in a hotel, and the subsequent trial in which the perjury …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features Liz, who spoke with us only three days after her release from prison. She discusses her shame at being arrested, and the experience of exposure and intrusion from a public trial. She also describes the surprising support she received from other women in prison, and the experiences she …read more »
Lani Peterson, of the Public Voice Project, talks about her work with formerly incarcerated men and women to help them tell their stories in a way that helps them to make peace with their past and move forward in their lives. She explains the importance of telling a story that is bigger than a narrow focus …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features multiple stories of dementia from you, our listeners. This collection of ten stories reflects the wide range of experiences and emotions that result from having a loved one with dementia—including frustration and poignant loss, but also warmth, connection, and surprising moments of sweetness. You can watch Scott Kirschenbaum’s …read more »
Bill Verrill, a former banker, now suffers from early Alzheimer’s disease. Bill describes his deep trust in his wife Shirley’s ability to take care of him—and his deepest fears about the toll his illness will take on her life. He remembers letting go of his driver’s license and learning to be more dependent while striving …read more »
An interview with elder-caregiving expert Carol Bradley Bursack about sibling conflict in the care of a parent with Dementia. Carol reports that most adult children caregivers are still women, and that typically the responsibilities of caregiving fall mostly to one child within a family. This creates the conditions for old resentments, jealousies, and conflicts to …read more »
This episode features Melynda, whose husband has frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Unlike Alzheimer’s, FTD is not first characterized by problems with memory, but by poor judgment and inappropriate behavior. Melynda’s husband, a doctor, began to make errors in judgment by over-prescribing pain medications to his patients, and was incarcerated for these mistakes. After his incarceration, the …read more »
In this episode of Safe Space Radio our host Anne Hallward talks to her mother, Clare Hallward, about her husband John’s diagnosis with dementia, which lasted for 16 years before his death. Anne and Clare remember some of the exasperating and even downright terrifying challenges of caring for John as his illness progressed. They discuss …read more »
In this episode of Safe Space Radio, neuropsychologist Steven Sabat discusses how he’s been able to find ways of communicating with people with advanced dementia by recognizing and honoring their enduring personhood. He talks about the failure of standard tests of mental ability to register the social awareness of people diagnosed with dementia, and the …read more »
Therapist Nancy Sowell remembers the family secrets that came out as she was caring for her grandmother with dementia, and how the curious distance and even hostility she had always felt from this side of the family began to make sense as her grandmother opened up for the first time. She discusses how dementia can …read more »
A conversation with Liz Havu about the experience of caring for her mother, who has both Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. She talks about her promise never to put her mother in a nursing home, and how this decision has brought her family together in more ways than one.
Frances Randolph’s husband had early-onset Alzheimer’s. In this conversation, she remembers the outgoing man she married and how dementia changed him so much that he became someone she barely recognized, someone who ultimately became violent with her. Frances describes the series of losses inherent in his Alzheimer’s, including the loss of her sense of herself …read more »
Julia Jarvis remembers how her relationship with her difficult father has evolved both before and after he got dementia. Julia talks about her struggles to make peace with him, and about the challenges now faced by the caregivers in her father’s life.
Psychotherapist Marushka Glissen talks about her mother, a survivor of Auschwitz who now has dementia. Marushka describes how her mother’s experiences complicated her relationships with her own children and husband, and raises the possibility that for some who are haunted by painful memories, dementia may actually provide a bittersweet respite.
Dr. Pauline Boss discusses the experience of ambiguous loss. Dementia often creates a situation in which a person’s body is present, but the mind is absent. For caregivers, this can generate feelings of ambivalence toward the person with dementia, including wishing for this person’s death as a way to resolve the ambiguity. Dr. Boss says that …read more »
Julie Colpitts is the Executive Director of the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence. In this episode of Safe Space Radio, she discusses how survivors of abuse are often drawn to social service and first responder jobs, and how these roles are connected to the process of recovery. Julie, herself a survivor, discusses choices she …read more »
Songwriter Michael Skinner used music as a way to heal from the abuse he suffered as a child. Michael talks about his adult experiences with PTSD, his often-frustrating encounters with the mental health system, and his efforts to resist the stigmatizing label of “mental illness.” He also explores songwriting as an important healing tool in …read more »
In this episode of Safe Space Radio, Rachel Grant talks about the sexual abuse she suffered as a ten-year-old and the work she has done to counteract its lasting impact on her life. Rachel became a coach because she wanted to be able to use her own story as a way to help others.
Child advocate Brie Masselli discusses her own experience growing up in a home with domestic violence. Brie tells the story of running to school to escape her stepfather’s violent outbursts, and how her childhood struggles in and out of school were missed by those who might have helped. Brie speaks about the ways that children …read more »
Dr. Vincent Felitti talks about his groundbreaking research to show that Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s, like abuse, neglect and severe family dysfunction) are correlated not only with mental illness and addiction, but also with physical illnesses like heart disease, lung disease and even auto-immune diseases.
This episode of Safe Space Radio features Dr. Vincent Felitti talking about his groundbreaking work discovering the high prevalence of child sexual abuse among those who are obese. In his clinic, 55% of patients coming in for treatment of obesity had histories of child abuse. When the patients were asked, many discussed eating as a …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features Bob Stains of the Public Conversations Project. He talks about the use of restraints on patients in mental hospitals and discusses facilitating a series of conversations in which both the workers who apply restraints and the people to whom restraints have been applied are able to talk about their experiences …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features Laura Chasin, the founder of the Public Conversations Project, talking about her work facilitating a dialogue between leaders of the pro-life and pro-choice movements in Boston after the abortion clinic shootings in 1994.
Tim Wilson is a senior advisor to Seeds of Peace, an organization that brings youth from war-torn countries together for dialogue and mediation at a camp in Maine each summer. Tim describes the way that trust, respect, and communication are practiced at camp to build relationships that can foster peace throughout a lifetime. He remembers …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features Hussein Ahmed, a business owner in Lewiston, Maine. He describes his journey from Somalia, the ten years he spent in refugee camps in Kenya, and the challenges of finding work in the U.S. due to language barriers, cultural uncertainties and religious stereotypes. Hussein is optimistic that with modifications …read more »
Maria Padian is author of Out of Nowhere, about friendships between Somali and Franco-Catholic high school students in Maine. Maria talks about her own experience with four immigrant grandparents, and how different it is to come here as an immigrant, eager to build a new life, than to come as a refugee, having had to …read more »
Mohammed Dini is Executive Director of the African Diaspora Institute, founder of Portland Forward, and former candidate for state representative. Mohammed talks about his experience moving to Maine at age 13 and learning to identify himself as a Mainer. He also explores the Somali concept of furfurnaan, which means openness, inviting an open-hearted dialogue about …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features psychologist, yoga teacher and author bo Forbes talking about how restorative yoga and breathing exercises can restore balance to the nervous system. Coming to yoga from a solid background in clinical psychology, and work as a talk therapist, bo describes the way that moving away from verbal processing …read more »
Richard Miller is a yoga teacher, researcher, and author who has adapted yoga nidra—or deep relaxation practices—for use with vets returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Richard describes studies done by the Department of Defense showing that yoga nidra can be effective at reducing the symptoms of PTSD, allowing vets to sleep through the night, to …read more »
Yoga teacher Deb Cook discusses how a daily practice of yoga can build a sense of safety inside. Deb describes how turning the attention inward on a regular basis creates a feeling of a home inside that one can always return to, and remembers how yoga supported her while grieving her father’s death.
Yoga teacher and therapist Deirdre Fay talks about her experience of discovering her own trauma history through yoga, which softened her defenses to the point that her body began to relive previously forgotten memories of trauma. She narrates the journey of using yoga to navigate PTSD and how she advocates for and supports survivors now.
This episode with Safe Space Radio features yoga teacher and author Dave Emerson, who co-wrote Overcoming Trauma through Yoga about the development of “trauma-sensitive yoga.” Dave discusses how trauma is held in the body, and can be addressed through the body, often in conjunction with talk therapy.
This episode of Safe Space Radio features the founder of Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, Michael Lee, talking about how yoga therapy can help people to heal lifelong wounds and bring balance to patterns that hold them back in life. Michael suggests that when we experience emotional tension associated with difficult life events, we also experience …read more »
Yoga teacher and author Amy Weintraub talks about her own experience of depression and how yoga helped her with depression on all levels—biologically, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Amy also leads listeners through several breathing exercises to help give energy, reduce anxiety and lift mood. You can learn more about her work at www.yogafordepression.com
This episode of Safe Space Radio features therapist Isa Mattei talking about her relationship with her brother, Artie, who had schizophrenia. She describes her mother’s fierce determination not to have Artie institutionalized, which kept him integrated in the family and also sometimes subjected his siblings to chaotic and often frightening interactions—yet Isa felt very seen …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features Rachel talking about her son’s severe depression and multiple suicide attempts. Rachel names the sense of ambiguous loss she feels now that her son lives in a state mental hospital, and how her daily visits to him can bring their own sense of shame and self-doubt. She offers …read more »
Harvard Nieman Fellow Jeneen Interlandi talks about her father’s bi-polar disorder. She describes the painful and extraordinary measures her family had to go through to get him into treatment, including restraining orders, getting him arrested, and hiring a lawyer to broker an agreement to get him to take medicine as a condition of leaving jail. …read more »
This Safe Space Radio episode features personal trainer Beth Erlichman, whose mother and daughter both live with mental illness. Beth describes how her experiences growing up with her mother transformed the way she supported her daughter after a psychotic break, and how internal family systems therapy helped her befriend the young, frightened parts of herself …read more »
Theologian and academic Rosemary Radford Ruether talks with Safe Space Radio about her son David’s schizophrenia and the challenges her family has faced in supporting him. She questions whether medications have helped or hurt him, and offers a critique of the mental health system which she feels is more interested in warehousing and pacifying people …read more »
Safe Space Radio interviews Cheryl Ramsay about her two sons, one with schizophrenia who is in treatment and one with an undiagnosed mental illness and addiction who avoids the mental health system. Cheryl describes the deep self-doubt she feels about whether she somehow could have made a difference at each step of the way. She …read more »
Safe Space Radio interviews family educator Valerie Gamache about her relationship with her mother who had bi-polar disorder. Valerie describes the ways her family tried to keep the “Big Secret,” to the point that a friend thought her mother had actually died since Valerie spoke so little about her. She also talks about her encounters …read more »
Alicia Barnes talks about her brother, Josh Barnes, who had schizophrenia. Alicia describes Josh’s fears that he had brought mental illness on himself, and how medication impacted his creativity and sense of purpose in writing and playing music. She remembers how stigma kept him from talking about his illness and speaks about becoming involved with …read more »
Social worker and trainer Liz Brenner talks about the challenges of having a father with major mental illness. Liz describes his suicide attempt when she was 20, and how living with the fear of losing him was a form of relational trauma. She experienced first hand how the stigma and trauma of mental illness resulted …read more »
Neil McKenty is a broadcast, author, and former Jesuit priest. He talks about how his expectations about aging have matched up with his experiences now, in his 85th year of life. Neil has been a consultant and constant inspiration to Safe Space Radio since its inception in 2008, and this show was aired in tribute …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features psychologist and researcher Dr. Nancy Kassam-Adams. She talks about children’s medical experiences as a source of PTSD and gives helpful suggestions for how parents can identify trauma in their kids after painful medical procedures or hospitalizations. Nancy described an innovative program to treat adolescent cancer survivors and their …read more »
This episode features Emmy Award-winning television writer and executive producer, Chris Nee, talking about her show, Doc McStuffins. Chris wrote the show in order to help her own son, Theo, who suffers from severe asthma.
Safe Space Radio interviews film-maker Nancy Andrews about her experience as a patient in the surgical ICU. Upon her release from the hospital, Nancy noticed that she kept having “weird experiences,” which her doctor recognized as post-traumatic stress disorder. Nancy’s film, On a Phantom Limb, explores the horror and disorientation of being an ICU patient. …read more »
Safe Space Radio interviews psychiatrist Dr. Jim Gilligan, a former mental health director for the prison system in Massachusetts and the author of three books on violence. Dr. Gilligan reports that many of his patients speak about violence as their only means of reclaiming pride or self-esteem. He also observes that punishment tends to generate …read more »
Safe Space Radio interviews playwright Cathy Plourde, Founder of Add Verb productions. Her play, Major Medical Breakthrough, was written to inspire health care providers to screen their patients for domestic violence—especially important since only 10-19% of doctors report that they screen their patients routinely for domestic violence. Cathy gives a thoughtful description of why providers are …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features Part 2 of Anne’s conversation with Daryl Fort, about ways in which we are all bystanders to social interactions that foster violence against women. Daryl challenges us to see these situations for what they are and to have the courage to intervene. He describes two everyday social situations …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features Part 1 of Anne’s conversation with educator Daryl Fort about the many levels of messages about women’s inferiority to the justification of mistreatment. He describes the ways communities can collude in violence against women, and makes a clear case that jokes and disrespectful language form the foundation and …read more »
This episode features Maine Governor Paul LePage talking about growing up in a home with domestic violence. Governor LePage describes the moment when he decided he had to leave home: when his father tried to pay him to lie to a doctor about the cause of his injuries. He describes living with the fear that …read more »
Drew Wing is Executive Director of Boys To Men, an organization devoted to reducing interpersonal violence by fostering the healthy development of boys. Drew describes their Reducing Sexism and Violence Program (RSVP), which supports teenagers developing empathy for the experience of others, and helps them clarify their potential roles as bystanders who can intervene in …read more »
Lundy Bancroft is the former co-leader of Emerge, the first batterers treatment program in the United States, and the author of Why Does He Do That: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men. Lundy debunks common myths about male abusers, explaining that violence happens in a larger context of needing control as a form …read more »
Julia Colpitts is Executive Director of the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence. Julia affirms that Maine has reached a tipping point, and she discusses relevant legislation in Maine and the importance of engaging men to speak out clearly and powerfully about the necessity of treating women with love and respect.
Researcher Susan McHale discusses the impact of gender and culture on how siblings view each other, and how this might vary across cultures. Susan explores the way that individualistic cultures foster sibling competitiveness and resentment of favoritism. She reiterates the importance of the sibling relationship as a source of longstanding and as yet poorly studied …read more »
Parenting expert Adele Faber is co-author of the best-selling Siblings Without Rivalry and How to Talk So Kids Will Listen. Adele speaks about the importance of listening to and validating kids feelings, especially around their siblings. She uses the analogy of how you would feel if your spouse brought home another spouse you were expected …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features author and professor Dr. Vernon Wiehe. He talks about sibling abuse and how it differs from sibling rivalry in a pattern of frequent victimization of one sibling at the hands of another. Dr. Wiehe points out that sibling abuse is even more common that domestic violence or child …read more »
Laurie Kramer is a researcher and directs the More Fun with Sisters and Brothers program, which supports kids ages 4-8 getting along with their siblings. Laurie explains that parental attempts at conflict resolution often result in separating the kids. Her program teaches siblings core skills of taking each other’s perspective, managing their own strong emotions, …read more »
This episode features an interview with psychotherapist and author Dr. Jeanne Safer, who works on 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 siblings to take the …read more »
Frank is the father of two boys, and he is also a gay man. In this interview, Frank talks about always wanting children and how he and his husband have taken steps to protect their children from homophobia and find welcoming communities. Frank also describes his experience of finding a surrogate to conceive and bear …read more »
Psychologist and author Dr. Patricia Papernow talks about the challenges of step-family living, including insider/outsider dynamics and the complicated set of losses and loyalty that step-parents can represent for a child. Patricia talks about her book, Surviving and Thriving in Stepfamily Relationships: What Works and What Doesn’t.
Catherine Anderson is a white public school teacher and writer. In this episode of Safe Space Radio she talks about adopting her son Sam, who is Black. Catherine describes her decision to adopt and how she thought she understood racism before parenting. She describes her experience of those “grocery store moments” when she has to …read more »
Deb Gallagher created her family through “the messy miracle of international adoption.” Deb talks about the homophobia she encountered as a lesbian seeking to adopt a child both domestically and internationally, and the way she had to hide parts of her identity to have any chance at adoption. She describes her grief at bringing a …read more »
This episode features clinical social worker and birth mother Marilyn Bronzi, who had a child “out of wedlock” in 1966. She remembers the shame of her choice and how she’s made peace with it in different ways over the years. She also describes the experience of reunification with her daughter Lisa, and the ways that …read more »
Psychologist, researcher and author Diane Ehrensaft talks about the psychological experience of parenting children conceived through the assistance of a donor. Diane describes the challenges parents face in coping with “genetic assymetry” between the parents, and fears that disclosing to the child will undermine bonding with the non-biological parent. Diane also speaks of the challenges …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features author, adoptee and clinician Joyce Maguire Pavao as she talks about parenting an adopted child. Joyce describes the changing demographics of adopted children, and how adopted children are increasingly older and may have experienced trauma as well as the loss of their birth family. Joyce asserts that “adoption …read more »
Social psychologist and author Susan Newman talks about the stereotypes of and misinformation about only children. Studies show that only children do not suffer from the lack of siblings and even show improved academic achievement. She reports that the stereotypes of being spoiled, bossy, or lonely do not hold up to research. Only children families …read more »
Family therapist and author Evan Imber-Black talks about how to tell a family secret thoughtfully and well. She tells stories from her work about the impact of secrets on family members, creating ever widening circles of silence and distance in relationships. Children may not know a secret, but their behavior is nonetheless deeply affected by …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features Professor Lawrence L. Langer discussing his book Holocaust Testimonies: The Ruins of Memory. Professor Langer developed courses on the literature of atrocity to try and help people find a way to imagine the Holocaust, using stories from survivors. He remembers hearing stories of such horror that the teller …read more »
Author Art Frank describes his own experience with an early heart attack and later cancer. He describes the way the medical world can be oblivious to the patient’s needs and subjective experience, and the importance of finding your own voice after your body has been colonized by treatment. He offered examples of the ways that …read more »
This episode features an interview with author and social psychologist Jamie Pennebaker about his research into the benefits of confiding painful experiences. Jamie suggests that one of the reasons that childhood sexual abuse may be so destructive is because it is so often kept secret. He describes experiments where people are invited to write for …read more »
Storyteller Laura Simms worked as a narrative therapist in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. She talks about the power of stories to remind us of what is good inside us.
Dr. Diane Morrow describes the ways that writing helped her cope with her mother’s severe depression, and how writing can be healing as a process or ritual in itself. For Diane, writing fiction can be create enough distance from pain to allow the listener to resonate with it.
Susan Conley is author of The Foremost Good Fortune and co-founder of The Telling Room in Portland, Maine. In this interview she talks about coping with breast cancer in China while parenting two young boys, and how writing helped her survive. Susan describes her decision to write as honestly as possible, exposing less-than-ideal parenting or …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features law professor and Macarthur Fellow Elyn Saks talking about her experience of living with Schizophrenia. When diagnosed, Elyn was given a grave prognosis and told that she might never live independently. With the help of psychoanalysis and medication, however, she returned to law school and is now an …read more »
David Moltz is a psychiatrist in Portland, ME. In this episode, 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 speaks about the use of power, the difficulty of deciding whether to commit someone to a hospital, how he …read more »
Writer Christiane Wells talks with Safe Space Radio about her experience living with bi-polar disorder and addiction. Chris spent a decade in and out of psychiatric hospitals while addicted to crack, not taking her medication and struggling with suicidal thoughts. She describes how she found the will to take care of herself and change her …read more »
An interview with Deb McCarthy, the author of the blog Living in Stigma. Deb describes her experience of feeling written-off by the mental health system after multiple psychiatric hospitalizations and 77 ECT treatments failed to help her. After being willing to try anything that might help her, she met a new psychiatrist who took a …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features author and trainer Tom Wootton on his transition from “Bipolar Disorder to Bipolar In Order.” Tom describes how current treatment paradigms teach people to view their highs and lows as problems to be gotten rid of, and his belief that it’s possible to stay aware of intense moods …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features award-winning journalist Robert Whitaker on how some psychotropic medications may worsen the long term outcomes of people with severe mental illness. Since the advent of psychotropic medication, the numbers of Americans on psychiatric disability has tripled. Rob notes that people with schizophrenia tend to do better in some …read more »
Jean Vermette talks about recognizing that she was female, and taking the risk to share it with the people she loved. She ultimately chose to undergo sexual reassignment surgery and wrote a book, Je Me Souviens (“I Will Remember”) about her experience of MTF genital surgery. Jean describes the process as an example of the …read more »
Frank Brooks is a doctor of clinical social work who studies gender role non-conformity, particularly the link between gender role non-conformity in boys and the risk of suicide. Frank describes his experiences of feeling different and facing prejudice as he grew up. He now works with families with gender role non-conforming kids to help them …read more »
Sexuality educator and mother Sandy Lovell talks about parenting her trans son. As a feminist mother she celebrated his early gender non-conformism, but it never occurred to her that he might be trans. Sandy named parental concerns for her child’s safety, his ability to find love, her grief over losing the daughter, and her struggle …read more »
Social worker Liam Bechen talks with Safe Space Radio about his identity as a genderfluid trans man. Liam describes the daily challenge of coping with people’s responses to his visible inbetween-ness. He describes moments of fear of violence, but also of his determination to live without shame, and to celebrate the many manifestations of gender …read more »
Social worker, writer, and queer activist Jen Hodsdon talks about the relationship between the lesbian community and the trans community. Jen speaks about how delicate the relationship can be between two oppressed and marginalized groups, and her intention to speak only about her particular experience. A focus on marriage equality can be divisive because it …read more »
Author and gender studies professor Helen Boyd is married to a trans woman. She remembers her early courtship with a man who “occasionally cross-dressed” and how this evolved into loving her partner through her transition. Helen explores what it is like to be perceived now as a lesbian because she is married to a woman, …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features the founder and president of the first camp for trans youth, Nick Teich. Nick describes many challenges that trans youth face as they grow up, particularly as they enter puberty and begin to develop secondary sex characteristics of the sex that feels wrong to them. Camp Aranu’tiq is …read more »
Alex Roan is the director of the Maine Transgender Network. Alex defines the terms transgender, transsexual, and cross-dresser, clarifying the difference between sex, gender, gender expression and sexual orientation. He describes his own story of experiencing the gap between his sex and his gender, and his experience of transitioning from female to male.
This episode of Safe Space Radio features radio program director Lisa Bunker talking about her experience of becoming aware that she identified as a woman. Lisa describes feeling like a failure at trying to be a man, and the deep relief of embracing her female identity. She remembers experiences of telling her friends, her workplace …read more »
Research professor Jessica Stern is an expert in the connection between trauma and terrorism. In this interview she talks about her experience following a rape at age 15, and how her story was not believed by the police—resulting in more than 40 other children being targeted. Jessica describes living with PTSD, and experiencing a confusing …read more »
This interview features body psychotherapist Betta de Boer van der Kolk about Tantra as a way to heal from sexual abuse. Betta describes Tantra as an exchange of energy that brings presence, connection, safety and play into sexuality. She leads the listener in a technique for couples to harmonize their breathing in order to give …read more »
Philosophy professor Susan Brison survived a sexual assault and attempted murder. She describes the transition from needing to tell the story, to finding the story increasingly boring as she healed—and how group therapy, self-defense classes, and jazz singing all helped her recovery.
This interview is with couples therapist and certified sex therapist Wendy Maltz about the impact of sexual abuse on sexuality, and ways to reclaim pleasure, safety and intimacy. She reports that taking a vacation from sex is sometimes necessary, because when sex feels like an obligation, it can often trigger difficulties from the abuse. She …read more »
An interview with psychiatrist and trauma researcher Bessel van der Kolk about the impact of trauma on the brain. Bessel outlines the way in which traumatic experience in children shapes the development of the brain, and how our brains can get hijacked by triggers that make us feel we are in a life and death …read more »
An interview with Dr. Pat Ogden about working with the body in healing from trauma. Pat uses several clinical examples to describe how she works with the body to help people re-engage the physical defenses that got overwhelmed and shut down during trauma. She describes the process of allowing people to move and tremble and …read more »
An interview with psychotherapist Deirdre Fay about the deep relational disruption that is a hallmark of trauma. Deirdre recounts how, as an adult she only became aware of her own trauma in the context of safe relationship. She describes the use of meditation techniques to help a person become aware of traumatic memories, to stay …read more »
Judy Harmon is a psychiatrist and Harvard Medical School professor. She talks about how group therapy for trauma can reduce shame and support survivors to take action that reduces helplessness. Dr. Herman describes the deep shame and isolation that accompany trauma, and how group therapy creates a community where members can give and receive empathy.
An interview with psychologist Janina Fisher about dissociation in the face of trauma. Janina describes “structural dissociation” as the process where parts of our Self respond to traumatic experience not only with Fight or Flight, but also by terrified freezing, calling for help, and desperately seeking to attach out of fear of abandonment, and total …read more »
Therapist Celia Grand is an EMDR facilitator and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy trainer with trauma survivors and their partners. Celia blends her expertise in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR) with her extensive experience working with the body in trauma. She describes three phases of trauma recovery and how EMDR in particular can change the way …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features therapist, advocate and trauma survivor, Mary Auslander. She discusses the nature of trauma, the ingredients of recovery and what a person can realistically hope for as they heal from trauma. Mary describes giving up her child to adoption after a history of childhood sexual abuse, and the painful …read more »
This episode features Episcopal priest Margaret Bullitt-Jonas talking about her experience of food addiction. She discusses living with feelings of longing and how she found support in OA.
Jean Fain is a psychotherapist who specializes in eating disorders and chronic dieting. Her book is The Self-Compassion Diet.
This episode of Safe Space Radio features nutritionist and family therapist Ellyn Satter talking about the feeding relationship between parent and child. Ellyn describes what she calls “Division of Responsibility,” wherein the parent is in charge of the when, where and what of a meal and the child is responsible for the how much and …read more »
An interview with therapist Lori Galperin about how to have a non-judgmental relationship to an eating disorder. Lori describes the many roles that eating disorders serve in the life of a young person, and the importance of not getting into power struggles to try to remove it. She highlights anorexia as an attempt to turn …read more »
Julia Jarvis talks about her struggle with bulimia and her recovery. Julia describes her profound experience with feeling she was bad, and keeping a journal of her daily sins. She credits her recovery with the loosening of a rigid and punitive theology, prozac, and the community she found in Adult Children of Alcoholics.
This interview is with therapist Alice Rosen about compulsive eating. Alice describes her own struggle with food, and of experiencing satisfaction for the first time through mindful eating. She speaks about the possibility of trusting our bodies to give us clear messages about what we want to eat.
An interview with therapist and trainer Toni Herbine-Blank about her own struggle with food and body image. Toni outlines the process by which she was able to listen to herself, and get clear that inner beliefs about unworthiness were false.
Dr. Patrice Lockhart describes her work at the New England Eating Disorders Center at Mercy Hospital. She emphasizes how she tries to help her patients distance their sense of self from the eating disorder, she also describes the key role of family support.
Janna Smith is an author and social worker. In this episode of Safe Space Radio, she discusses the relationship between privacy and shame. She describes her own struggle over how much to reveal about her father Bernard Malamud, and how to respect both his and her privacy while also confronting her shame about being compared …read more »
Brene Brown is the author of Daring Greatly and chair of the graduate college of social work at University of Houston. In this episode of Safe Spcae Radio, Brene talks about shame resilience, and how we can learn to embrace our vulnerability. Brene describes the consequences of denying our vulnerability including clinging to false certainties and …read more »
An interview with psychiatrist Aaron Lazare about his work with humiliation and apology. Aaron says that you know you’ve been humiliated when you find yourself rehearsing better and better comebacks that you wish you had said at the time. He states the importance of not acting then when filled with righteous, and often vengeful rage. …read more »
Zen teacher Cheri Huber became a student of Zen after her suicide attempt. She describes how Zen led her to awareness of her own self-destructive patterns and allowed her to break from the ruthless voice of self-criticism inside her head.
Pete MacMullen is the Suicide Prevention Coordinator for Veterans Affairs in Maine. Pete describes the painful readjustment recently returned vets face in trying to relate to their peers and the warning signs of suicide risk for families. He tries to help young vets lift the self-judgment and isolation they struggle with.
Charles Robbins is CEO of the Trevor Project, an organization dedicated to preventing suicide among gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth. Charles describes the vulnerable time in a young person’s life after they realize they are queer, but before they have found accepting others to share it with. Charles describes his own story of …read more »
Therapist Mary Clare talks about the anxiety, depression and suicide of a close friend. Mary Clare describes how difficult it was to stay close to her friend as she became more depressed, and how helpless and angry parts of her felt that her friend would not stay in treatment. She discusses the agonizing decision about …read more »
Patricia Ellen’s son killed himself when he was fourteen. Patricia describes the process of trying to understand what led up to it, and the signs that were and were not there. She describes the bullying incident at school that she believes led her son to suicide. Patricia movingly describes the many years long process of …read more »
Family therapist David Treadway talks about his mother’s suicide, which happened when David was 20.
Child psychiatrist Dr. Nancy Rappaport discusses her mother’s suicide, which happened when Nancy was four. Nancy undertakes a detective-like 18 year journey to discover who her mother was, and to understand what she was going through. Nancy describes the terrible consequences when a distorted belief that ones life is expendable, is combined with impulsivity. She …read more »
An interview with hospice chaplain Ellie Mercer about caring for patients at the end of life. She describes her own childhood in a Christian Science family where illness and death were not talked about, or even treated medically, and the relief of working in hospice, where death can be acknowledged and fears can be addressed.
Family therapist David Treadway talks about his struggle with advanced lymphoma. He and his wife and two grown sons wrote a book together, Home Before Dark, about their experiences of dealing with his illness and the possibility he might die. They take an honest look at the differences in their coping styles and some of the …read more »
Julie Marchese is the founder of the Tri-for-a Cure, the all women’s triathlon to raise money for women’s cancer. She describes her experiences taking care of her mother when she had cancer, and how that shaped her ability to take charge of her own treatment when she was diagnosed years later.
An interview with Cathy Kidman about her diagnosis and treatment for ovarian cancer. Cathy tells the story of how she became a stand up comedian while in treatment, and the ways she has used humor to cope with difficult situations.
Pam Mullens talks about living with Multiple Sclerosis. Pam describes the long period of uncertainty until she was definitively diagnosed, and how her symptoms effect her day to day life. Pam describes the paradoxical way in which her illness has invited her to live more in the present in a way that has made her …read more »
Sheila Cassidy ran a support group for women with breast cancer, and was then diagnosed with breast cancer herself. She talks about the fear of dying and the ways that emotional support makes a difference.
An interview with Joanne Anning about working with bereaved children in England. She describes the incredible resilience of children going through loss and the importance of including children in processes around death, explaining what to expect, and helping them cry.
This episode of Safe Space Radio features Chris Beach discussing the nuts and bolts of remembering and working with your dreams. Chris describes the power of exploring your first childhood dream, and the possibility of using active imagination with a therapist to have a dialogue with a key figure from your dream.
Jeanne Safer, Ph.D talks about nightmares and recurring dreams. Jeanne describes the 40 year long relationship she has with a recurring, intensely anxiety-provoking dream. She talks about how disturbing dreams can be a gift, demanding we pay attention to an unknown part of our selves.
Professional counselor Laura Mazikowski talks about dreams and grieving. Laura tells the story of the death of her brother Roger and two powerful dreams that shaped her experience of his loss.
Psychologist Bob Childs talks about developing a relationship with your dreams. Bob describes a pivotal dream and how it shaped his understanding of himself and his professional direction.
An interview with Dr. Irwin Goldstein about sexual health including premature ejaculation, bicycle injuries, and erectile dysfunction.
An interview with Gina Rourke and Daryl Fort about Pornography. Gina and Daryl talk about finding a sex-positive, pro-feminist relationship to pornography, that doesn’t deny the realities of violence and subjugation of women that is present in some porn.
An interview with Michael Bader, Ph.D about sexual fantasies. Michael suggests that our sexual fantasies work by offering a solution to any guilt and fear that may undermine our relationship to sexuality. He proposes that many—especially men—may use fantasy to cope with concern about hurting their partner, because of caring so much about the partner’s …read more »
Deb Dana is a social worker who works with sex offenders. She talks about what factors contribute to multiple offenses and offers tremendous hope for families where sexual abuse has taken place.
Pelvic floor physical therapist Susan Ramsey talks about effective ways to prevent and treat erectile dysfunction and incontinence after prostatectomy. She talks about helpful exercises and ways to experience intimacy and pleasure regardless of erection.
Sex therapist Ron Feintech talks about what he calls “sexual gridlock,” how intimacy can change in long-term relationships, and offers tips for fostering intimacy and risk-taking.
Rebecca Weinstein is founder of PeopleofSize.com. In this interview she discusses the experience of being a large person in today’s culture. Rebecca states that 90% of her problems come from dealing with other people’s perceptions. She talks specifically about difficulties with the medical profession and receiving shaming and discriminatory comments.
Neil McKenty talks with Safe Space about his experience with celibacy as a Jesuit Priest. Neil says that priests in training were not talked to or helped in coping with the demands of celibacy. Ultimately he was unable to remain celibate and left the priesthood. Neil has now been happily married for the past 27 …read more »
Psychotherapist Dr. Jeanne Safer about her experience struggling with her own wounds that did not heal in therapy. She discusses the impact this had on her sense of self as a therapist.
Richard Schwartz is the developer of Internal Family Systems Therapy. He talks about his decision to get divorced and the process of healing that followed.
Documentary filmmaker Roger Amory talks to Safe Space Radio about his inability to quit smoking. Roger talks about feeling like a failure, especially when comparing himself to friends who have quit. He also describes smoking as something that gives him a break from being with people, and how he’s explored replacing that with something else, …read more »
Couples therapist and workshop leader Dr. Mona Barbera talks to Safe Space Radio about the legacy of divorce. Mona talks about her feelings of confusion and failure after her divorce, her continuing desire to have children, and how she’s tried to learn and change her own patterns of behavior in new relationship.
Actor Sinead Rushe talks about performance anxiety and feelings of failure. Sinead describes how deeply her confidence in her own creative instincts was shaken when a play that she had written got a bad review and almost nobody came. She talks about how difficult it was to go out each night to a crowd of …read more »
Dr. Jeanne Safer discusses her decision not to have children. Jeanne describes the intense internal and external pressure she felt to have kids, and the sense that choosing not to meant she was somehow deficient in her ability to love. She talks about how she came to her decision and affirm that having kids was …read more »
Kathryn Black is author of Mothering Without a Map: Finding the Good Mother Within. Kathryn talks about her own experience with feeling “under-mothered,” and her fear of passing on a painful legacy to her children. She talks about changing and healing her own behavior, and the pervasive cultural fantasy that childhood is perfectible and of …read more »
Medical assistant and doula Martha Tole talks about bad mother anxiety and childbirth. Martha affirms that bad mother anxiety can begin before birth and may continue indefinitely. She describes how so many mothers’ tendency to compare themselves to others and to judge themselves in other spheres of life is especially painful when it comes to …read more »
Kathryn Landon-Malone is a pediatric nurse practitioner and early childhood psychologist. She talks with Safe Space Radio about attachment parenting and how it can reflect and generate anxiety in mothers.
Raye Tibbetts is author of The Bad Mother Chronicles and a new blog called Good Enough. In this episode she speaks about intergenerational patterns of painful mothering. She describes the legacy of her mother having given away a child to adoption and the impact that had on her ability to bond with Raye, followed by …read more »
Women’s health doctor Amy Gottlieb describes her bad mother anxiety due to her absences from her child necessitated by her training. She talks about how balancing work and family can affect mothering and often results in fears that we are doing both badly. She also names some legislative and employment reforms that are needed in …read more »
Nicole Chaison is author of The Passion of the Hausfrau about the experience of motherhood as a form of the mythic hero’s journey. She speaks about the courage it took to write honestly about her experiences as a mother and her struggles with both shame and loyalty in deciding to go public with her stories.
Writer Ayelet Waldman is author of Bad Mother. In this episode of Safe Space Radio, Ayelet talks about the differences between her and her mother’s generation, and the difficulties of living up to the impossible expectations that fit our ideal of a “good mother.” Ayelet argues that being honest with your children about maternal ambivalence helps …read more »
Educator Betsy Parsons talks about her decision to come out as a teacher in the public school system in Portland, Maine. She talks about the impact of verbal and physical harassment on gay and lesbian students and how powerfully it affects their ability to learn and to feel safe in school. She now co-leads GLSEN, …read more »
Darlene Huntress works for Equality Maine on the impact of denying marriage to same sex couples. Darlene talks about the impact on LGBTQ children when they learn that the cultural fantasy of marriage will be denied to them, and how affirming marriage access for all will play a powerful role in reducing homophobia
Jen Hodsden and her 11 year old daughter Soleil talk about the impact of homophobia on their lives, especially on their relationships with friends, other kids, and men.
Psychiatrist Dr. Marshall Forstein talks about his own coming out, the impact of homophobic jokes, and the experience of legal marriage in Massachusetts.
Reverand Myke Johnson talks from a religious perspective about affirming the sacredness of gay and lesbian people and celebrating their right to marry.
An interview with Jo Morrissey, program director of 21 Reasons. Jo describes common myths that keep parents from being effective at preventing their kids from using alcohol.
Ronnie Katz is the director of substance abuse prevention for the city of Portland. Ronnie describes her own story of getting into recovery and how programs in schools that help kids know who they are and connect with their own feelings help protect them from addiction.
This interview with Safe Space Radio features child psychologist and researcher Dennis Embry on “Youthanasia,” his name for the policies and practices that result in shorter projected lifespans for younger generations. He looks at the causes of mental health problems, substance abuse, violence, obesity and suicide and shows how the same interventions can prevent all …read more »
An interview with Dr. Louise Zubrod on the impact of alcoholism on familes. Dr. Zubrod describes the impact of alcoholism on her own family, especially in terms of what couldn’t get talked about, and how she learned to be prepared for anything.
Gynecologist Dr. Bethany Hays talks to Safe Space Radio about how estrogen, testosterone, progesterone and oxytocin affect sexuality. She puts the importance of hormones in perspective, reminding us that the mind is the biggest sex organ of all.
Julia Chafets is an education coordinator with Sexual Assault Response Services. She talks to Safe Space Radio about the short and long term impact of sexual assault. She also reflects on how learning about rape can effect young boys and women who have not been assaulted.
Sex therapist Stephanie Abate talks about how sex therapy can help couples develop a pleasurable sex life. She describes the qualities essential for good sex, including safety, communication, body positivity, and the belief the sexual pleasure is truly available for all genders.
Gina is the owner of Nomia, a sensuality boutique and resource center in Portland, Maine. She gives a historical overview of the Puritan origins of American shame about pleasure and the body, and how women can better understand their own pleasure to experience a fully satisfying sexual relationship with someone else.
Interview with Sex Therapist Gina Ogden about how desire is often falsely limited to sexual intercourse, and how desire for sexual connection occurs on physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels. She says that taking emotional risks with your partner can help to rekindle some of the excitement that can get dulled over years in a …read more »
Sex therapist Gina Ogden talks about messages in the culture for young women and girls about sexuality. Gina describes how teenagers must integrate both frightening and prohibitive messages about sex and intimacy.
Susan Ramsey talks about physical therapy for pelvic pain, especially burning or itching vulvar pain. Susan describes exercises to strengthen and relax the pelvic floor, and how bringing sensation with internal manual work and the use of vibrators can restore pleasurable sex and freedom from chronic pain.
Susan Ramsey is the owner of Holistic Physical Therapy Services. In this episode of Safe Space Radio, Susan describes who is at risk for leakage and why. She leads the listener through a kegel exercise, talks about the health of peeing, and affirms the value of the pelvic floor.
In this episode of Safe Space Radio, storyteller Judith Black hilariously describes her own experience with menopause and her painful realization that she had “lost her hot.” She retells Snow White from the point of view of the Queen, and gives us a new superhero, Queen Crone, who finds her way to a new and …read more »
Psychotherapist Mike Elkin suggests that many of us experience a fear of not being good as powerful threat. He describes how this fear plays itself out in couples and parenting relationships, and how we tend to express fear as either anger or guilt. He suggests that the most powerful antidote to fear is turning toward …read more »
Designer and sociologist John Zeisel talks about his work designing residences that optimize brain functioning and relational presence for people with Alzheimers.
Street minister Pastor Mair Honan talks about her work with the homeless in Portland, Maine. She shares some of the inner struggles she has to confront in herself to do this work.
An anonymous interview with MC about the many ways she can blame herself for difficulties in parenting.
Therapist Anne Yeomans talks about going on a vision quest, a four night journey into the wilderness alone without food. Anne describes her encounters with fear and how her sense of connection to the stars and love ones sustained her.
Katie Murray talks to Safe Space Radio about losing her 6 year old son Chan to Leukemia. Katie describes her struggle to fight against despair, and the great value of other people asking her to talk about it and not avoid the subject.
Sherry Edwards is a community response coordinator at Maine’s York County Domestic Violence Project, Caring Unlimited. She talks about her own experiences and what it takes to ask for help.
Psychologist Dr. Robert Childs specializes in the difficulties and shame that adoptees face in talking to their adoptive families about their biological parents. He addresses the myth that love is all an adoptee needs, and discusses the impact of searching for one’s biological parents as a way to address old fears and grief.
An interview with the Reverend Julia Jarvis on her experiences delivering one and a half pound baby girls at 26 weeks gestation. She discusses her struggle with worrying that somehow it was her fault, and also her struggle with the medical profession over who would make the decisions that would affect her daughters’ lives.
This episode of Safe Space Radio features Dr. Sheila Cassidy talking about her experience of being tortured in Chile under Pinochet. She describes the psychological aftermath of torture and how her encounter with her own fear of dying helps her work in patients facing death.
Author and radio talk show host Neil McKenty describes his struggle with depression, suicidality and alcoholism. He describes how taking the risk to expose his realness, his vulnerability helped him recover.
Hospice doctor Loring Conant describes his personal and professional experiences broaching the subject of someone’s impending death. He reflects on his own experience with dying family members and the forces that make it hard to bring up the subject.
This episode of Safe Space Radio features family therapist Mike Elkin talking about how the feeling of something being wrong with you can set you up to seek relief in an addiction.