Many white parents have never learned how to talk about race and racism with their kids. Silence perpetuates racism—but it can be hard to know how to start. This hour-long program is about talking to white kids about race and racism: how white parents, families, and teachers can learn to show up for racial justice …read more »
This episode is about loneliness: what it is, why so many of us feel it, and the surprising toll loneliness takes on our physical and mental health. The health effects of chronic loneliness are akin to smoking 15 cigarettes every day—it literally shortens our lives. Yet it can feel vulnerable to name it when we feel lonely. This show examines the risk factors for loneliness, the influence of social media, and how creative approaches to loneliness can leave us more connected and resilient. We also explore why two groups in particular—teens and the elderly—are most at risk for chronic loneliness. We combine compelling storytelling with practical expert guidance to give you the tools you need to start your own courageous conversations.…read more »
This hour-long program is about asking for help: why it’s so hard to admit when we need something from another person, and the surprising effects that sharing our vulnerability can have on our mental health. The episode explores how shame and stigma can prevent us from asking for what we need, why we tend to underestimate the generosity of others, and how asking can make us feel seen in both welcome and uncomfortable ways. Finally, we address the complicated experience of wanting to help to someone who can’t or won’t ask for it. We combine compelling storytelling with practical expert guidance to give you the tools you need to start your own courageous conversations.…read more »
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 »
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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 »
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 »
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 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 »
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 »
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 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 »
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.
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 »
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 »
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.
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.
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 »
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 »
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 »
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.