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.
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.
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 »
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 »
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.
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 »
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 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.
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 »
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.
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.
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 »
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 »
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 »
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.
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.
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.
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 »
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.
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.
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 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 »
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 »
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.
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 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 »
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 »
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 »
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.
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 »
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 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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 »
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.
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 »
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.
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 »
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.
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.
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.