We all make mistakes. Knowing how to mend our relationships is vital to the mental health of our families and communities. This episode is an exploration of apologies: why saying “I’m sorry” can be difficult, and how we can get better at repairing the relationships that matter the most. Through stories, this show addresses apologies …read more »
Matthew Sanford is a yoga teacher focused on trauma recovery. Matthew 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. He learned that he could listen to his body instead, and …read more »
Social worker Layne Gregory shares strategies for navigating the subject of sex and sexuality that she used with her own kids and gives 6 basic principles that are important for kids to understand.
Ellen Jennings’ son is living with high-functioning autism. She talks with Anne about the long and difficult path to his diagnosis, and about the many ways she has had to push for him to get the services he needs and help him thrive.
This episode revisits Safe Space Radio’s 2014 interview with Bobby Payzant, an inmate at the Maine State Prison. He discusses the crime for which he is serving time, and his work as a hospice volunteer, giving care to inmates dying in prison.
This episode revisits Anne’s 2012 conversation with Meredith Hall about her pregnancy at age 16. Meredith remembers being shunned by her family and school and forced to give the child up for adoption. Her memoir, Without a Map, explores how silence can be an impediment to healing.
Episcopal priest Carl Russell talks about the childhood sexual abuse he experienced at the hands of his family’s own priest. He remembers the catalyst on his own path to healing: a radio story about sexual abuse in the Boston Archdiocese. At 72 years old Carl decided to press charges, and broke a silence that had …read more »
Doula and birth educator Leah Deragon of Birth Roots talks about her struggles with postpartum depression and anxiety. She discusses the many unrealistic expectations new mothers face, and how normal it is to struggle in ways that aren’t often discussed.
This episode of Safe Space Radio features Glenn Close talking about her relationship with her sister Jessie, who is bipolar, and how they are working together to advocate for people living with major mental illness.
Sheila Heen is on faculty at the Harvard Negotiation Project. She discusses how she and her husband—who have opposing political beliefs—navigate their relationship and communicate respectfully when they disagree. She suggests that when we listen receptively, we actually become more persuasive.
This hour-long special is about the unspoken challenges of caring for a family member with dementia. The show explores the experience of ambiguous loss, where the person is both here and not here at the same time. …read more »
Poet Catharine Murray describes how writing helped her heal from unspeakable loss—the death of her 6 year old son. She shares three poems that illustrate the evolution of her grief and her ongoing healing.
Safe Space Radio speaks with violence prevention educator Daryl Fort. He explains how our culture teaches men that they are superior and women that they are inferior—and how these messages work to justify and facilitate the mistreatment of women.
Sandy White Hawk is Sicangu Lakota and a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe who was separated as a child from her family and heritage when she was adopted at 18 months old by a white family. She is also one of five commissioners of Maine’s historic Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Sandy discusses the trauma …read more »
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, and discusses how sharing his vulnerability was the pivotal step to …read more »
Elyn Saks is 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.
Psychiatrist Aaron Lazare talks about the impact of shame and humiliation, and how to repair the damage they cause. He also discusses how shame can complicate the relationship between doctors and patients, and what can be done to reduce it.
Navy veteran Meosha Thomas talks about the injuries she suffered in Iraq when her convoy hit an IED, and how she lost and regained her desire to live in the long recovery period that followed. She also talks more about the concept of moral injury, and how she wrestles with guilt over the choices she …read more »
Meosha Thomas talks about the trauma of a helicopter crash that killed a close friend, and the PTSD symptoms that followed after she returned home. She also describes the impossible choices she has to make while trying to be both a mother and a soldier.
LaRhonda Harris, of the Maine Department of Veterans’ Affairs, talks about changes that have been made in the last decade so that women feel safer and more comfortable coming to the VA for health care. She also talks about leading a book group for women veterans, and how sharing stories of the experience of being …read more »
This episode is part two of an interview with Kate Weber. In this episode, she discusses the years since her discharge from the army, including her struggle to feel safe in the culture of the VA, her battle with PTSD, and the ways that being in the Oscar-nominated documentary The Invisible War has empowered her …read more »
Kate Weber was raped by a fellow soldier within her first weeks of deployment overseas in 1993. She discusses the helplessness and isolation she felt when she discovered that no one, from the staff doctor, to her friends and fellow soldiers, would take her seriously.
Kathy Russin is the Military Sexual Trauma Program Coordinator for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Maine. In this episode she talks about the prevalence of Military Sexual Trauma among veterans, and explains that it is not limited to rape, and affects both men and women. She explains how MST is different from combat PTSD …read more »
Ruth Moore is the namesake of the Ruth Moore Act, a piece of pending legislation which would remove some of the current barriers to treatment and justice for survivors of military sexual trauma. This part of the interview covers Ruth’s path to personal healing after returning from overseas duty, and her choice to share her …read more »
In this episode of Safe Space Radio, Ruth Moore talks about being sexually assaulted by her commanding officer in the Navy, after which she was ostracized and punished for seeking help. Ruth eventually escaped, but as she explains, there are thousands of other young soldiers who are not as fortunate.
This episode features Armenian-American photographer and filmmaker Nubar Alexanian. He discusses making a film with his daughter about their journey to their ancestors’ homeland, the site of the Armenian genocide which began in 1915, the silence that surrounds the genocide and how it has impacted his sense of self and his place in the world. …read more »
Jungian analyst Don Kalsched helps people work through trauma by exploring the feelings of the characters in their dreams. He explains that because these characters represent the ways our minds have compartmentalized feelings that have been too painful to acknowledge consciously, they can be clues that point us toward healing.
This episode of Safe Space Radio features LJ, who has been dealing with Depression for most of his life. He describes living with Depression as a battle with a powerful enemy, and describes the strategies he uses when he is well so that he is better prepared when Depression returns.
Mary Allen Lindemann is co-founder of Coffee By Design in Portland, Maine. She remembers how one coffee shop worked to become a safe place for those with mental illness. Mary Allen is trained in de-escalatation, and she tells a story about using these skills when a staff member became ill.
Clare Miller is the director of the American Psychiatric Association’s Partnership for Workplace Mental Health. She works with employers to help them do everything they can to identify and treat depression among their employees. We discuss how to reduce the stigma of depression, and the value of people coming forward with their own stories. Clare …read more »
On this episode of Safe Space Radio Anne talks with Lisa, who shares two dramatically different stories of telling co-workers about her depression. Her experiences highlight the contrast between a work culture that is supportive and one that stigmatizes, and all the consequences that has for the employee.
Therapist and former orchestra conductor Susie Melnick talks about how depression has affected her work in both professions. She remembers living through her first episode of major depression, one that she struggled with on and off for decades, and discusses how coping eventually led her to change careers. She talks about treating her patients while …read more »
Geoff Smith heads L.L. Bean’s Employee Assistance Program, or EAP. He talks about what an EAP can do to destigmatize depression within a company, and why it’s in every employer’s best interest to identify and help workers who are struggling.
Sara is an Iraqi citizen who fled to the U.S. after her brother’s work for the American forces in Baghdad put her family in danger. She talks about the opaque process of applying to leave, and her complicated feelings when she learned that she would be allowed to pack only two bags.
Feminist scholar Cynthia Enloe discusses about how women are affected by war and militarization. Her work focuses on sexual violence—and its subsequent silencing—as a repressive political tool, and about international efforts by feminist activists to make the United Nations address this issue. You can read UN Security Council Resolution 1325 here.
This episode of Safe Space Radio features high school senior Eman, who moved to the U.S. in 2015. She talks about leaving her friends and family behind in Sudan and again in Egypt, where she lived for five years. Eman remembers being at the mercy of resettlement organizations, and being elected as class president only …read more »
Taysier moved to Maine from Sudan in 2015 with three of her children. Because of her volunteer work with humanitarian aid agencies in Darfur, Taysier was detained by the Sudanese government, who accused her of spying. In this episode, she tells her story of her escape, and talks about her life since moving to America, …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features Catherine Bestemen, Francis F. and Ruth K. Bartlett Professor of Anthropology at Colby College. She is the author of Unraveling Somalia: Race, Class, and the Legacy of Slavery and has worked closely with the Somali community in Portland, Maine. She discusses the extraordinary resilience of this community, the impact …read more »
This is the second episode of Safe Space Radio to feature Catherine Bestemen, Francis F. and Ruth K. Bartlett Professor of Anthropology at Colby College and the author of Unraveling Somalia: Race, Class, and the Legacy of Slavery. Catherine has spent her career studying society in both Somalia and Maine, where many Somali refugees have …read more »
Lawyer Phil Mantis works for the Immigrant Legal Assistance Program, or ILAP, in Portland, Maine. ILAP provides free legal help to people seeking asylum in the United States. Phil explains the difference between a refugee and an asylee, describes the most common reasons asylum cases are denied, and explains how ILAP helps asylees apply successfully.
This episode of Safe Space Radio features Alice B, an asylum-seeker from Burundi who now lives in Portland, Maine. She talks about her work to support and empower women who have faced cultural silencing and endured trauma in both Burundi and the U.S. Alice and Anne explore ways that refugees might be connected with therapists …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features Anna, who escaped Syria while 8 months pregnant in 2013 and now lives in Maine. She talks about trading the daily threat of bombings and kidnappings for a life of uncertainty as she and her husband applied and waited for asylum—and how the experience changed her understanding of …read more »
This is a particularly intense interview about one woman’s narrow escape from Burundi, after she and her mother gave medical aid to an injured protester. She describes their arrest and interrogation prior to coming to the United States, and what it is like to be here, having never planned to leave her life and dreams …read more »
Safe Space Radio talks with Fatuma Hussein of United Somali Women of Maine. She describes the challenges of resettlement for refugees fleeing war in their native countries, which she experienced herself as a teenager. She addresses the presumption that refugees have a negative impact on the state’s economy and culture, and explains her vision for …read more »
This episode highlights the Maine-Wabanaki Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Safe Space Radio speaks with non-native allies who are working on how to best respond to the needs that the TRC brought to light, and why these issues matter to them personally.
Safe Space Radio talks with Penthea Burns, co-director of Maine-Wabanaki REACH, about her background in child welfare and the difficulty of deciding whether the benefits of removing a child from abuse outweigh the additional trauma of severing family and community ties. Penthea’s work on these issues in Wabanaki communities has led her to a deeper …read more »
This episode features Jamie Bissonette Lewey of the Maine Indian Tribal State Commission (MITSC). She explains her views on Tribal-State politics, and why she believes that the fundamental issue is the difference between how the state and the tribes understand the concept of sovereignty stemming back to the history of the Maine Indian Claims Settlement …read more »
George’s biological parents are Passamaquoddy, but he was adopted at birth and raised by white parents in southern Maine. George describes how it felt to visit the reservation for the first time and meet his biological relatives. He talks about how he has grappled throughout his life with the question of whether he really is …read more »
This episode features part 2 of Anne’s conversation with gkisedtanamoogk, one of the five commissioners of the Maine State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In this conversation he talks more about the relationship between the government and the Wabanaki tribes, describes some of the main concepts of his spiritual worldview, and talks about the …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features gkisedtanamoogk, one of the five commissioners of the Maine Wabanaki State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He shares his reflections on the process now that the findings have been published, and we also speak about the gap between Native peoples’ views and those of mainstream America related …read more »
An interview with former tribal state representative Donna Loring, who is also a former police chief, an author, and a radio host. She talks with Safe Space Radio about the history of relations between the Maine government and the Wabanaki tribes, and the findings of the Maine Wabanaki State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s multi-year …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features Department of Health and Human Services worker Shawn Yardley. He talks about the Maine Wabanaki Truth and Reconciliation Commission, why children are removed from native families at disproportionate rates, and what it’s been like for him, as a white man, to raise three girls with Native heritage.
Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc is a researcher who studies the impact of stigma on adolescents. Her research has demonstrated that when schools are made safer for LGBTQ kids, they are safer for everyone, including the largest group targeted by anti-gay bullying: straight boys.
This episode concludes Safe Space Radio’s series on loneliness, guilt, humiliation, and jealousy with a story that combines all four. We also revisit an earlier interview with Dr. Aaron Lazare about shame and humiliation and how these self-conscious emotions intersect with the feelings we hide.
This episode of Safe Space Radio looks at the ways children are humiliated in school, both intentionally and inadvertently, and how it can significantly impact the way they feel about themselves well into adulthood.
Humiliation: that moment when you feel like dirt in someone else’s eyes, which is often so hard to bear that we bury it without ever really putting it to rest. This week Safe Space Radio features two stories from people who felt suddenly exposed and humiliated, and we’ll talk about where things went from there.
This episode of Safe Space Radio features two stories from people who have experienced jealousy in their professional lives—from the kind of jealousy that makes you feel inferior, to the kind that makes you want to disappear. We explore where it comes from and how to change our relationship to it.
This episode of Safe Space Radio features two stories about common types of guilt, often an emotion that nobody wants to admit to. One story is from childhood, the other from adulthood, and in both the teller hurt someone close to them, and has struggled to repair the damage to that person and to themselves.
Part of Safe Space Radio’s series on hidden feelings, this episode features two stories about guilt we might feel when we believe we didn’t do enough at the end of a parent’s life. We hear from people who were troubled by the way they failed to show up for their parents, and discuss the process …read more »
In this episode, Safe Space Radio interviews Stanford professor of psychiatry and human biology Herant Katchadourian, author of the book Guilt: The Bite of Conscience, about the urge to confess our guilt, how it can be used as a weapon, and how we can know whether we feel too much of it or too little. …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features stories from two people who carried guilt for decades before finally deciding to confess.
How hard is it to feel lonely when everyone around you seems to be part of a happy couple? Safe Space Radio talks to psychiatrist Amy Banks to find out what social isolation does to our brains, and some concrete things we can do to strengthen our ability to connect.
This episode of Safe Space Radio features David talking about how he came to understand the origins of a persistent and puzzling loneliness that he’d felt since childhood.
Maine Wabanaki Truth and Reconciliation Commissioner Sandy White Hawk discusses the ways in which centuries of removing native children from their families have created a pattern of trauma and corresponding struggle that has made ongoing removal of children more likely. She talks about alternative approaches that support families in difficulty and expresses her hopes for …read more »
Maine Wabanaki REACH staff members Esther Attean and Stephanie Bailey discuss the experience of giving statements to the Maine Wabanaki Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the hopes they had about what may come of it, and the anxiety of making painful stories public.
This episode of Safe Space Radio features Maria Girouard, Esther Attean, and Stephanie Bailey of Maine Wabanaki REACH. They discuss the process of gathering the untold stories of the many people affected by the longstanding practice of removing native children from their families and their tribes.
This episode of Safe Space Radio features Maria Girouard and Esther Attean of Maine Wabanaki REACH. They discuss the history of federal and state policies toward Native Americans here in Maine. We focus on the many attempts throughout the years to erase Wabanaki people and their culture, including the practice of removing native children from …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features multiple stories of relationships between Black and white people, exploring race in personal relationships and some of the common pitfalls that white people fall into—often without realizing it.
Racial justice educator Debby Irving discusses the interpersonal dynamics of racism—especially in friendships, in “white spaces” like schools and offices, and even around the dinner table. Debby gives concrete suggestions on how to shift these dynamics in useful ways.
Debby Irving is a racial justice educator and author of the book Waking Up White. She talks about the way her world was shaken when she began understanding the extent to which her whiteness has been crucial to her success in life. She also details the ways in which her new ability to engage in …read more »
Anti-racism educator Paul Marcus talks about how the history of discrimination by government, banking, business, education, and housing institutions has resulted in enormous disparities in wealth between white and Black communities, and how we can address questions of white guilt and police bias.
Anti-racism educator Paul Marcus discusses how, by studying history, he came to understand racism as a system, and how this understanding shapes his work.
Shelly Tochluk is author of the book Witnessing Whiteness. We talk about how she decided that the most important thing she could do to combat racism was to educate herself and her white peers, to change how they talked about and thought about race.
In the second episode of Safe Space Radio featuring Peggy McIntosh, she talks about the five phases of understanding white privilege, and how white people can use their unearned advantage to work against the system which perpetuates it.
Peggy McIntosh is author of the groundbreaking essay “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” published in 1988. She talks about how encounters with the sexism of well-meaning men helped her see that she too had blind spots about her own racism. She describes how humbling it was for her to grasp the concept of white …read more »
Anthropologist and social work student Natasha Wilson talks about being a black woman in mostly-white schools and workplaces. She remembers feeling shunned and avoided, which made it harder to deal with other adversity in her life. She also talks about how these experiences have inspired her research on Post-Traumatic Growth.
Peter Hallward is a professor of philosophy at Kingston University. He discusses the connection between anxiety and existentialism. Then author and book reviewer Reeve Lindbergh discusses Susan Cain’s take on introversion in the 2013 book Quiet. We close with a comparative review of apps for reducing anxiety by Rob McGinley Myers of the blog anxiousmachine.com.
Ten-year-old Maiya takes us into the world of childhood phobias, describing what it was like to live with overwhelming anxiety about sickness, and how she found help. Now she is creating a website of fear-reducing games to help other kids who suffer with anxiety.
Musician and educator Monica talks about how the intense insomnia that began in her 40′s led her to a diagnosis of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Therapist and mother Valery discusses how she grew to understand her daughter’s difficulty with social situations as the result of severe social anxiety, and her seemingly excessive internet use as a positive and healthy adaptation.
Paula Matlins talks about her daily struggle with OCD and panic, and how she is able to operate in the world through rules, medication, perseverance, and thinking about llamas.
In this episode of Safe Space Radio, psychotherapist Rob talks about his own anxiety, which makes him feel an insatiable need to confess things to those around him, and which can also lead to debilitating panic attacks. He talks about the various therapies he’s tried, including two which have greatly reduced his anxiety in the …read more »
Photographer John William Keedy has exhibited his work under the title It’s Hardly Noticeable, depicting different aspects of anxiety via images. John talks about the personal experiences that inform these photos, and how his anxiety has improved.