Researcher Susan McHale discusses the impact of gender and culture on how siblings view each other, and how this might vary across cultures. Susan explores the way that individualistic cultures foster sibling competitiveness and resentment of favoritism. She reiterates the importance of the sibling relationship as a source of longstanding and as yet poorly studied …read more »
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 »
Psychologist and author Dr. Patricia Papernow talks about the challenges of step-family living, including insider/outsider dynamics and the complicated set of losses and loyalty that step-parents can represent for a child. Patricia talks about her book, Surviving and Thriving in Stepfamily Relationships: What Works and What Doesn’t.
This episode features clinical social worker and birth mother Marilyn Bronzi, who had a child “out of wedlock” in 1966. She remembers the shame of her choice and how she’s made peace with it in different ways over the years. She also describes the experience of reunification with her daughter Lisa, and the ways that …read more »
Psychologist, researcher and author Diane Ehrensaft talks about the psychological experience of parenting children conceived through the assistance of a donor. Diane describes the challenges parents face in coping with “genetic assymetry” between the parents, and fears that disclosing to the child will undermine bonding with the non-biological parent. Diane also speaks of the challenges …read more »
This episode of Safe Space Radio features author, adoptee and clinician Joyce Maguire Pavao as she talks about parenting an adopted child. Joyce describes the changing demographics of adopted children, and how adopted children are increasingly older and may have experienced trauma as well as the loss of their birth family. Joyce asserts that “adoption …read more »
Social psychologist and author Susan Newman talks about the stereotypes of and misinformation about only children. Studies show that only children do not suffer from the lack of siblings and even show improved academic achievement. She reports that the stereotypes of being spoiled, bossy, or lonely do not hold up to research. Only children families …read more »
Family therapist and author Evan Imber-Black talks about how to tell a family secret thoughtfully and well. She tells stories from her work about the impact of secrets on family members, creating ever widening circles of silence and distance in relationships. Children may not know a secret, but their behavior is nonetheless deeply affected by …read more »
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.
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 »
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 »
Dr. Patrice Lockhart describes her work at the New England Eating Disorders Center at Mercy Hospital. She emphasizes how she tries to help her patients distance their sense of self from the eating disorder, she also describes the key role of family support.
Janna Smith is an author and social worker. In this episode of Safe Space Radio, she discusses the relationship between privacy and shame. She describes her own struggle over how much to reveal about her father Bernard Malamud, and how to respect both his and her privacy while also confronting her shame about being compared …read more »
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 »
Family therapist David Treadway talks about his struggle with advanced lymphoma. He and his wife and two grown sons wrote a book together, Home Before Dark, about their experiences of dealing with his illness and the possibility he might die. They take an honest look at the differences in their coping styles and some of the …read more »
Richard Schwartz is the developer of Internal Family Systems Therapy. He talks about his decision to get divorced and the process of healing that followed.
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.