Safe Space
Safe Space

Local psychiatrist Dr. Anne Hallward conducts half hour interviews on subjects that are uncomfortable, painful or shameful to talk about. The hope is that in making difficult subjects discussable, we are all freer to express ourselves more fully. For more information and newer programs go to the Safe Space web page at SafeSpaceRadio.com.


Trauma

03/28/12 On Wednesday, March 28th, Dr. Anne interviewed Maine's governor, Paul LePage about his childhood growing up in a home with domestic violence. In the half-hour conversation Governor LePage describes the moment when he decided he had to leave home: the moment 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 pervaded his childhood home, and his attempts to protect his mother from his father's assaults. LePage then goes on to challenge men to speak up against domestic violence in settings with other men, and to create a culture that has no tolerance for attitudes and behaviors that belittle women. He talks about his vision for new laws in Maine that protect women from batterers and bring abusers to justice.

12/22/10 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 situation in the present. He describes the importance of helping the body feel safe, and how working with EMDR, Internal Family Systems Therapy and neurofeedback can literally help rewire the brain. Bessel also discusses traumatic repetition and the emergence of a new diagnosis for developmental trauma which reflects the effects of chronic, relational trauma on the child's developing brain.

12/15/10 An interview with Dr. Pat Ogden about working with the body in healing from trauma. Pat used 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 shake to release the intense activation in their nervous systems after trauma. She also stressed the importance of integrating movement with beliefs and emotions so that all levels of the brain are involved in healing.

12/08/10 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 with them, and to bear the pain and emotion of them. She feels it is only safe to re-inhabit the body after trauma in the context of a safe relationship, where the person feels that the other person is attuned to their inner world.

12/01/10 An interview with psychiatrist, and Harvard Medical School Professor, Judy Herman 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. She describes the laughter that dissolves shame in shared story, and also how some survivors of trauma develop "survivor mission" where they use their experience in some way to prevent or lessen the suffering of others.

11/24/10 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 submission. She describes the process in therapy where you can begin to notice these reactions to triggers in the present, and respond to them with compassion, instead of becoming them.

11/17/10 Trauma and EMDR: An interview with therapist Celia Grand, 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 that traumatic memory is stored in the brain, allowing new beliefs about the self to emerge.

11/10/10 Trauma and the ingredients of Recovery. An interview with therapist, advocate and trauma survivor, Mary Auslander about the nature of trauma, the ingredients of recovery and what a person can realistically hope for as they heal from trauma. Mary describes the trauma of giving up her child to adoption after a history of childhood sexual abuse, and the painful ways in which the psychiatric system re-traumatized her when she most needed help. Mary explains how symptoms are an expression of what were initially survival strategies, and can be honored as such, even if they are no longer useful.

Food and Body Image

11/03/10 An interview with Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, Episcopal priest at Grace Episcopal Church in Amherst, Massachusetts and author of "Holy Hunger: A Woman's Journey from Food Addiction to Spiritual Fulfillment."

10/27/10 An Interview with psychotherapist Jean Fain about Self-compassion for chronic dieters. Jean describes research showing that self-compassion messages can reduce over-eating and binging. She demonstrates that will-power and self-discipline do not tend to work, and over time lead to weight gain. She describes different practices for accessing self-compassion, through mindful awareness, self-kindness and cultivating a sense of connection to others. Jean’s book, The Self-Compassion Diet comes out in January.

10/20/10 An Interview with nutritionist and family therapist, Ellyn Satter about the feeding relationship between parent and child. Ellyn describes the “Division of Responsibility” where the parent is in charge of the when, where and what of a meal and the child is responsibly for the how much and whether of eating. She outlines the importance of not trying to control how much your child eats, and the elements of eating competence for adults.

10/13/10 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 the body into a machine that is not subject to vulnerability and unpredictability, as a way to feel safe.

09/29/10 An interview with Julia Jarvis 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 discovery through Adult Children of Alcoholics that it was ok to feel and express all her feelings.

09/22/10 An interview with therapist Alice Rosen, about compulsive eating. Alice describes her own struggle with food, and her discovery through mindful eating, of experiencing satisfaction for the first time. She speaks about the possibility of trusting our bodies to give us clear messages about what we want to eat, and that when we do that, we can eat whatever we want.

09/15/10 An interview with therapist and trainer, Toni Herbine-Blank about her own struggle with food and body image. Toni describes the struggle between her inner “fit girl” parts that were rigid and restricting, and her inner “fat girl” parts that didn’t care and wanted to eat whatever they wanted. She explains that Fat is not a feeling, but rather, a way that her body became the target for pre-existing feelings of low self-worth. She outlines the process by which she was able to listen to her parts inside,and get clear that inner beliefs about unworthiness were false.

09/08/10 Dr. 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.

Shame

06/30/10 an interview with psychiatrist Donald Nathanson about our built-in, innate capacity for shame. He describes the physiological process of shame, and the ways in which it becomes interwoven with our developing sense of self. He describes the ways that advertising makes use of shame in tapping into people's fears of being not good enough as they are.

06/23/10 an interview with social worker Janna Smith about the relationship between privacy and shame. She describes how shame and shameful acts can hide behind the curtain of privacy, but also how essential privacy is to healthy development. She describes her own struggle over how much to reveal about her father Bernard Malamud, how to respect both his and her privacy, while also confronting her shame about being compared to him as a writer.

06/09/10 an interview with author and researcher, Brene Brown about the ways in which our culture shames us for being vulnerable. Brene describes her work examining how people cope with vulnerability and how vulnerability tends to reinforce the wish for false, and often rigid certainties, as well as blaming or bullying others. She states that instead, by finding ways to bear discomfort, we can embrace our vulnerabilities which leads to joy.

06/02/10 an interview with psychiatrist Aaron Lazare about his work with humiliation and apology. He says that you know you've been humiliated when you find yourself rehearsing better and better come backs that you wish you had said at the time. He states the importance of not acting then when filled with righteous, and often vengeful rage. He describes the healing power of apology in restoring dignity.

Suicide

05/26/10 an interview with zen teacher Cheri Huber about her own suicide attempt and recovery thanks to becoming a student of Zen. Cheri reports that even when severely depressed, it is possible to shift one's attention away from self-hatred toward the breath. She describes the awareness of her own self-destructive patterns that she became aware of, once she was focused on her breathing, and no longer identified with the ruthless voice of self-criticism inside her head.

05/12/10 an interview with Pete MacMullen, the Suicide Prevention Coordinator for the VA in Maine. Pete describes the painful readjustment recently returned vets face in trying to relate to their peers. He describes their struggle with post traumatic stress disorder, living with constant fear for their life, and feeling haunted by memories of loss of friends, as well as by memories of having killed others. He describes warning signs of suicide risk for families and ways in which he tries to help young vets lift the self-judgment and isolation they struggle with.

05/05/10 an interview with Charles Robbins, CEO of the Trevor Project, an organization dedicated to preventing suicide among gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender and questioning youth. Charles describes the vulnerable time in a young persons life after they realize they are gay, but before they have found accepting others to share it with. Charles describes his own story of using drugs and alcohol until he had the courage to come out to his father.

04/21/10 an interview with Patricia Ellen about the suicide of her son 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 led into the suicide. Patricia movingly describes the many years long process of recovering from this loss, and the ways that she learned to let go of blaming herself.

04/14/10 an interview with family therapist David Treadway about his mother's suicide when David was 20. David describes the profound impact it had on all of his family members and the process of thawing his conflicting emotions over many years. He names the confusing combination of feelings after a suicide: guilt for not being able to save her, grief over losing her and anger at his mother for killing the woman he loved.

04/07/10 an interview with child psychiatrist Dr. Nancy Rappaport about the suicide of her mother, 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 also shares hope that suicide can be talked about, that it does not need to be kept hidden and that comfort and healing are possible.

Living with Life-Threatening Illness

03/31/10 an interview with hospice chaplain Ellie Mercer about caring for patients at the end of life. She describes her own childhood in a Christian Science family where illness and death were not talked about, or even treated medically.  She describes the relief of hospice where death can be acknowledged and fears can be addressed.

03/24/10 an interview with family therapist David Treadway about his struggle with advanced lymphoma.  He and his wife and two grown sons write 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 conflicts that generated. They also share some of the strategies that helped them get through it as a family.

03/10/10 an interview with Julie Marchese, 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. Julie completed her own triathlon after being diagnosed with cancer and felt so empowered by it, she wanted to offer the same experience for other cancer survivors.

03/03/10 an interview with Cathy Kidman about her diagnosis and treatment for Ovarian Cancer. Under the influence of steroids, 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.

02/24/10 an interview with Pam Mullens 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 less depressed than she was when she was physically well.

02/17/10 an interview with Dr. Sheila Cassidy about her experience running a support group for women with breast cancer, and then getting breast cancer herself. She talks about the fear of dying and the ways that emotional support makes a difference.

02/10/10 an interview with Joanne Anning about working with bereaved children in England. She describes the incredible resilience of children going through loss and the importance of including children in what is going on, explaining what to expect and helping them cry

Working with Our Dreams

02/03/10 an interview with Chris Beach about the nuts and bolts and remembering and working with your dreams. Chris describes the power of exploring your first childhood dream, and the possibility of using active imagination with a therapist to have a dialogue with a key figure from your dream

01/27/10 an interview with Jeanne Safer, Ph.D about nightmares and recurring dreams. Jeanne describes the 40 year long relationship she has with a recurring, intensely anxiety-provoking dream. She talks about how disturbing dreams can be a gift, demanding we pay attention to an unknown part of our selves.

01/20/10 an interview with Laura Mazikowski, LCPC about dreams and grieving.  Laura tells the story of the death of her brother Roger and two powerful dreams that shaped her experience of his loss.

01/13/10 an interview with Bob Childs, Psy.D. about developing a relationship with your dreams.  Bob describes a pivotal dream and how it shaped his understanding of himself and his professional direction.

Male Sexuality

12/16/09 an interview with Irwin Goldstein MD about sexual medicine, including pre-mature ejaculation, bicycle injuries and erectile dysfunction.

12/09/09 an interview with Gina Rourke and Daryl Fort about Pornography. Gina and Daryl talk about finding a sex-positive, pro-feminist relationship to pornography, that doesn't deny the realities of violence and subjugation of women that is present in some porn.

12/02/09 an interview with Michael Bader, Ph.D about sexual fantasies. Michael suggests that our sexual fantasies work by offering a solution to any guilt and fear that may underly our relationship to sexuality. He proposes that many men use fantasy to cope with concern about hurting their partner, because of caring so much about the partner's experience, not the reverse.

11/18/09 an interview with Deb Dana, LCSW about working with Sex offenders. Deb clarifies the difference between pedophiles whose sexual desires only include children, and who are highly likely to re-offend, and sex-offenders who do have adult sexual desires but use the child victim to meet other needs and are less likely to offend. She offers tremendous hope for families where sexual abuse has taken place.

11/11/09 Sexual difficulties after Prostate Surgery: An interview with pelvic floor physical therapist Susan Ramsey about effective ways to prevent and treat erectile dysfunction and incontinence after prostatectomy. Susan describes the vulnerability and stigma that can make it difficult for men to ask for help with erectile function. She explains that men need to do kegel exercises too(!) and explains how. She also talks about experiencing pleasure and intimacy even if the man cannot sustain an erection.

11/04/09 Sexual gridlock in long-term relationships: An interview with local sex therapist Ron Feintech, about how couples can get stuck in patterns of "leftover sex" where they avoid whatever is uncomfortable and only do what is "leftover" again and again, and then feel stuck and bored. Ron describes a way out through differentiation, being able to be very present to your partner, and intimate with eye contact, sharing loving words and taking risks.

Feelings of Failure

10/28/09 An interview with Rebecca Weinstein, the founder of PeopleofSize.com about the experience of being a large person in today's culture. Rebecca states that 90% of the problems of being large come from dealing with other people's perceptions. She talks specifically about difficulties with the medical profession and receiving shaming and discriminatory comments.

10/21/09 Neil McKenty talks with Safe Space about his experience with celibacy as a Jesuit Priest. Neil says that priests in training were not talked to or helped in coping with the demands of celibacy. Ultimately he was unable to remain celibate, left the priesthood and has been married for the past 27 years, a decision he credits as the best thing that ever happened to him. Audio not available at this time.

10/14/09 An interview with 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 sense of self and as a therapist. Dr. Safer decided to write books about her own personal struggles, trusting that this information would be helpful, so that instead of seeing her as the expert, and themselves as screwed up, they could join in the shared process of self-discovery. She also writes about how it was the death of her mother, that ultimately helped initiate the process of healing.

09/30/09 An interview with Richard Schwartz, developer of Internal Family Systems Therapy, about his decision to get divorced and the process of healing that followed. He describes his experience of working for repair with his daughters and how hard it is to keep your heart open in the face of someone else's anger. He also talks about his struggles with a sense of worthlessness and how getting divorced and facing this part of himself was not an experience of failure, but an act of courage.

09/23/09 An interview with documentary filmmaker Roger Amory about his inability to quit smoking. Roger talked about his feelings of failure, especially when he compares himself to friends who have quit. He described how torturedly he struggles not to smoke and his intense longing to smoke. He spoke about how smoking gives him a break from being with people, like a kind of reset button to reconnect with himself, how the only thing that has worked temporarily is to replace that with something else, "an addiction upgrade."

09/16/09 An interview with couples therapist and workshop leader, Dr. Mona Barbera about the legacy of divorce. Mona talks about how desperate she felt to be single in her 30s and face the prospect of not having children. She leads us through her process of moving from feeling rejected and confused about where to set the bar for a new man; to how she envisioned the feeling of being emotionally held by someone as her touchstone for who would be right for her. She explains how she decided to bring all blame home and look only at her part of any intense reaction she had to her new husband, and how that set the tone for a new way of being in relationship.

09/09/09 An interview with actor Sinead Rushe 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 9 people and give her all.

Bad Mother Anxiety

09/02/09 An interview with Dr. Jeanne Safer about her decision not to have children. Jeanne describes the intense internal and external pressure she felt to have kids, and the sense that choosing not to meant she was somehow deficient in her ability to love. She talks about how she came to her decision and affirm that having kids was not right for her. She also names the ambivalence that all women feel, and how hard it can be for mothers to acknowledge the part of them that still wishes they did not have kids.

08/26/09 An interview with Kathryn Black, author of Mothering Without a Map: Finding the Good Mother Within. Kathryn talked about her own experience of feeling "under-mothered" and the fear she had of passing on a painful legacy to her children. She said that the very moments when she most fell into repetition were the same moments where healing was possible, by going into the feelings and exploring them instead of trying to contain them. Kathryn spoke of the courage it takes to face the pain of any childhood and to move past idealization through blame to acceptance. She spoke about the fantasy that childhood is perfectible and of how much striving and overcompensating that can generate.

08/19/09 An interview with medical assistant and doula Martha Tole about bad mother anxiety and childbirth. Martha affirmed that indeed bad mother anxiety begins before birth and may continue indefinitely. She describes how so many mothers' tendency to compare themselves to others and to judge themselves in other spheres of life is especially painful when it comes to parenting.

08/12/09 An interview with Kathryn Landon-Malone, pediatric nurse practitioner and early childhood psychologist talking about attachment parenting and how it can reflect and generate anxiety in mothers.

08/05/09 An interview with Raye Tibbetts author of the Bad Mother Chronicles and a new blog, "Good Enough." Raye spoke about intergenerational patterns of painful mothering. She describes the legacy of her mother having given away a child to adoption and the impact that had on her ability to bond with Raye, followed by Raye's own struggle to bond with her first child. She spoke movingly about how difficult it is to do it differently and how harshly we can judge ourselves when we don't live up to our own ideals.

07/22/09 Women's health doctor Amy Gottlieb describes her bad mother anxiety due to her absences from her child necessitated by her training. She talks about how the work-family balance affects mothers and often results in fears that we are doing both badly. She describes some of the legislative and employment reforms that are needed in order to support women as working mothers.

07/15/09 Nicole Chaison author of The Passion of the Hausfrau. Nicole describes the experience of motherhood as a form of the mythic hero's journey. She speaks about the courage it took to write honestly about her experiences as a mother and her struggles with both shame and loyalty in deciding to go public with her stories.

07/08/09 An interview with Ayelet Waldman, author of Bad Mother, about the forces that contribute to the fear of being a bad mother. Ayelet talks about the differences between her and her mother's generation in the difficulties of living up to the impossible expectations that fit our ideal of a "good mother." Ayelet argues that being honest with your children about maternal ambivalence helps them feel safe because they can already sense it, and also because it frees them not to judge themselves for it when they become parents.

Homophobia

07/01/09 An interview with Betsy Parsons on her decision to come out as a teacher in the Portland public schools. She talks about the impact of verbal and physical harassment on gay and lesbian students and how powerfully it affects their abilty to learn and to feel safe in school. She now co-leads GLSEN, a non-profit devoted to making school a safe place for everyone.

06/24/09 An interview with Darlene Huntress from equality Maine on the impact of denying marriage to same sex couples. Darlene talks about the impact on children when they learn that marriage, the stuff of so many fairytales, will be denied to them, and how affirming marriage access for all will play a powerful role in reducing homophobia

06/17/09 Having or being a Lesbian Mom: an interview with Jen Hodsden and her 11 year old daughter Soleil about the impact of homophobia on their lives. They talk about how it has affected their relationships with friends, other kids and men.

06/10/09 Coming Out, Homophobia and Psychiatry: an interview with psychiatrist Dr. Marshall Forstein about his own coming out, the impact of fag jokes, and the experience of legal marriage in Massachusetts.

06/03/09 Marriage for same sex couples and the church: an interview with the Rev. Myke Johnson on a religious perspective affirming the sacredness of gay and lesbian people and celebrating their right to marry.

Substance Abuse: the impact on adolescents and families

05/27/09 An interview with Jo Morrissey, program director of 21 reasons. Jo describes common myths that keep parents from being effective at preventing their kids from using alcohol.

05/20/09 An interview with Ronnie Katz, 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.

05/13/09 An interview with child psychologist and researcher Dennis Embry on "Youthanasia" the policies and practices that result in the projected lifespan of our kids being shorter than our own. He looks at the causes of mental health problems, substance abuse, violence, obesity and suicide and shows how the same interventions can prevent all of the above.

05/06/09 An interview with Dr. Louise Zubrod on the impact of alcoholism on familes. Dr. Zubrod movingly 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.

Women's Sexuality

04/29/09 Hormones and Sexuality: An interview with gynecologist Dr. Bethany Hayes about how estrogen, testosterone, progesterone and oxytocin affect sexuality. She puts the importance of hormones in perspective, reminding us that the mind is the biggest sex organ of all.

04/22/09 Sexual Assault: an interview with Julia Chafets, education coordinator with Sexual Assault Response Services on the short and long term impact of sexual assault on womens lives. She also reflects on how learning about rape effects young boys and women who are not assaulted.

04/15/09 Interview with Sex Therapist Stephanie Abate on how sex therapy can help couples develop a pleasurable sex life. She describes the qualities essential for good sex, including safety, the ability to talk together about sex, a positive body image, and the belief the sexual pleasure is truly available for both men and women.

04/08/09 Interview with Gina Rourke on Masturbation. Gina is the owner of Nomia, a sensuality boutique and resource center in portland. She gives a historical overview of the puritan origins of American shame about pleasure and the body, and details the importance of women knowing their own pleasure, to experience a fully satisfying sexual relationship with someone else.

04/01/09 Interview with Sex Therapist Gina Ogden about women's sexual desire and how falsely limited it seems when we restrict it to desire for intercourse. GIna describes how desire for sexual connection occurs on physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels. She says that taking emotional risks with your partner can help to rekindle some of the excitement that can get dulled over years in a long term relationship.

03/25/09 Interview with Sex therapist Gina Ogden about messages in the culture for women and girls about sexuality. Gina describes the confusion women face about integrating frightening and prohibitive messages about sex as teenagers, to expectations of ready availability within marriage.

03/18/09 Interview with Susan Ramsey on physical therapy for pelvic pain, especially burning or itching vulvar pain. Susan describes how exercises to strengthen and relax the pelvic floor, and to bring sensation with internal manual work and the use of vibrators can restore pleasurable sex for women suffering from chronic pain, the second most common reason women see their gynecologist!

03/11/09 Female incontinence, an interview with the owner of Holistic Physical Therapy Servies, Susan Ramsey/. Susan describes who is at risk for leakage and why. She teaches how to do a kegel exercise, and how often we should be peeing! She affirms the value of the pelvic floor and describes how she celebrates and tends it in her work and life.

03/04/09 Women's Postmenopausal Sexuality, an interview with storyteller Judith Black. Judith hilariously and poignantly describes her own descent into menopause and her painful realization that she had, "lost her hot." She retells the snow white story from the point of view of the misunderstood Queen, and gives us a new superhero, Queen Crone who finds her way to a new and deeply satisfying sexuality as an older woman.

Coping with Fear

02/25/09 Postpartum Depression and Anxiety, an interview with birth-educator Leah Deragon about her own experiences with post-partum anxiety and depression. Leah describes her fierce determination to breastfeed despite overwhelming obstacles and intense sleep deprivation, and how she came to recognize that she was depressed. She names the perfectionism that shapes so many birthing and mothering decisions and how her own experience gave her more compassion for herself and others.

02/11/09 Fear Itself: an interview with psychotherapist Mike Elkin suggesting that the fear of not being good is experienced as a threat as powerful as survival itself. 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 it with loving attention.

02/04/09 Anticipatory Dementia: an interview with designer and sociologist John Zeisel about his work designing residences that optimize brain functioning and relational presence for people with Alzheimers. Dr. Zeisel describes how so many of the difficulties that people with alzheimers run into are caused by environments that don't recognize their ongoing personhood or honor the things they can and cannot do.

01/28/09 The inner Experience of Working with the Homeless: An interview with Street minister Pastor Mair Honan about her work with the homeless in Portland. Pastor Mair talks about the power of listening and treating people with respect, and the funny, poignant, authentic moments that result. She shares some of the inner struggles she has to confront in herself to do this work.

01/21/09 Fear of Being a Bad Mother: an anonymous interview with MC about the many ways she can blame herself for difficulties in parenting. A look at how our attempts to improve on our own childhood can lead to self-doubt, and the value of making repair with our children.

01/14/09 An interview with psychotherapist Anne Yeomans: about Vision Quest, a four night journey into the wilderness alone without food. Anne describes her encounters with fear and how her sense of connection to the stars and to those who love her, sustained her through dark nights alone.

Various Topics

08/26/08 Losing a Child: an interview with Katie Murray, who lost 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.

08/19/08 Domestic Violence: an interview with Sherry Edwards, community response coordinator at York County's Domestic Violence Project, Caring Unlimited. Sherry describes how the shame she felt at being a victim made it harder for her to reach out for help.

08/12/08 Adoption: An interview with psychologist Dr. Robert Childs on 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.

08/05/08 Premature Delivery: An interview with the Reverend Julia Jarvis on her experiences delivering one and a half pound baby girls at 26 weeks gestation. She discusses her struggle with worrying that somehow it was her fault, and also her struggle with the medical profession over who would make the decisions that would affect her daughters' lives.

07/29/08 Torture: an interview with Dr. Sheila Cassidy 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 helped her work in patients facing death.

07/22/08 Depression: an interivew with author and radio talk show host Neil McKenty about his struggle with depression, suicidality and alcoholism. He describes how taking the risk to expose his realness, his vulnerability helped him recover.

07/15/08 Death and Dying: an interview with hospice medical director, Dr. Loring Conant on how to broach the subject of dying with someone you love.

07/08/08 Talking to our Children about Sexuality: an interview with Layne Gregory, the executive director of Boys to Men, on how to talk to your kids about sexuality without giving messages of shame and fear.

07/01/08 Addiction and Shame: An interview with family therapist Mike Elkin on how the feeling of something being wrong with you sets you up to seek relief in an addiction.