Category Archives: podcast

Open Minds – Show #005

This week my colleague, Elisabeth Schramm, speaks about her experiences as a therapist who incorporates talk therapy and yoga and mindfulness training to help people who suffer with worry, self-criticism and other mental health issues.

Elisabeth shares how she promotes the concept of self-compassion, and helps clients decrease their isolation by helping them determine how they can share their painful experiences with family and friends.

If you’ve been thinking about seeing a counselor because you find yourself feeling unhappy, anxious or overly competitive or perfectionistic, listening to Elisabeth may give you the confidence you need to make that first appointment.

Listen now:

Open Minds – Show #004

Following a shocking suicide attempt in a residence on the UOG campus that was streamed online, I invited two guests to speak about the impact and the resources available to support anyone struggling.

Andrea is a student and volunteer at the CFRU radio station. This event prompted her to join other students who are exploring the possibility of having another psychiatrist on campus in order to identify and treat those who have serious mental health issues.

Daniel Poulin is the coordinator of the Student Support Network which is a free, drop-in, peer support for anyone who needs to talk and be heard, on this issue, or any other.

They both talk about not only mental illness and it’s stigma, but also the pros and cons of social media and how it helps – or hinders – productive dialogue. Listen to what they have to say and see if it doesn’t open your mind on this very sensitive issue!

Listen now:

Open Minds – Show #003

My guest this week is Melissa Beacom, occupational therapist with the Centre for Students with Disabilities at the University of Guelph.

Melissa knows firsthand how many students are impacted in their academic career by struggles with mental health issues. Luckily she and her colleagues also know how to offer the support that will help these students achieve at their true capability and have successful academic careers.

In her straightforward manner, Melissa draws parallels between physical health issues and how those would affect a student, and mental health issues and their impact on student abilities. She explains how to access the CSD on campus, and offers advice for parents who worry about their kids’  university experience.

I hope that hearing what she has to say will help anyone who has been doing less than their best at school –  because of anxiety, depression, eating disorder, or any other mental health issue – find the courage to seek the support they need and would benefit from!

Listen now:

Open Minds – Show #002

This week I interviewed fellow psychotherapist Karen McGratten. Not only is she dedicating her professional life to helping those who experience mental illness, she’s gone a step further and shared some of her own struggles in a graphic novel she’s written, called wiTHIN. In it she tells her own story of life with obsessive compulsive disorder and an eating disorder.

She and illustrator, Emily McGratten, (who also happens to be her sister-in-law!) started a Kickstarter fundraiser and have successfully met their first goal! Congratulations to them both, and a big thumbs up to all who supported them! (And for those of you who haven’t, it’s not too late! They have raised enough for part one of the book, but will need more funds for parts two and three, so check out her Kickstarter page  to donate to this very worthwhile cause!)

With this book and the interview (along with others they’ve given) Karen and Emily are doing their part to break down the negative stigma that surrounds mental illness and keeps people feeling ashamed and isolated. I can’t even tell you how much I admire that!

Listen now:

Open Minds – Show #001

For today’s show, I had the unbelievable good fortune to interview Dr. Joan Borysenko. This woman has incredible credentials including a magna cum laude from Bryn Mawr College in 1967; a doctorate in Medical Sciences from the Harvard Medical School, where she completed post-doctoral training in cancer cell biology and a faculty position at the Tufts University College of Medicine in Boston.

After the death of her father from cancer, she became more interested in the person with the illness than in the disease itself, and returned to Harvard Medical School to complete a second postdoctoral fellowship, this time in the new field of behavioral medicine. Under the tutelage of Herbert Benson, M.D., who first identified the relaxation response and brought meditation into medicine, she was awarded a Medical Foundation Fellowship and completed her third post-doctoral fellowship in psychoneuroimmunology (the study of the interaction between psychological processes and the nervous and immune systems of the human body). In the early 1980’s she co-founded a Mind/Body clinic with Dr. Benson and Dr. Ilan Kutz, became licensed as a psychologist, and was appointed instructor in medicine at the Harvard Medical School.

Her years of clinical experience and research culminated in the 1987 publication of the New York Times best seller, Minding the Body, Mending the Mind, which sold over 400,000 copies.  Author or co-author of 13 other books and numerous audio and video programs, including the Public Television special Inner Peace for Busy People, she is the Founding Partner of Mind/Body Health Sciences, LLC located in Boulder, Colorado and the Director of The Claritas Institute Interspiritual Mentor Training Program.

Whew!! Right?!?

I met her when I attended a workshop she was presenting called Writing Down the Light, at the Kripalu Meditation Center in Massachusetts, which was about  transforming pain and trauma and loss into healing. She was SUCH an interesting and hilarious and empathic and smart speaker, that I decided to ask her if she’d do an interview and to my amazement she agreed! In this show is some of what she has to say about mental health, mental illness and stigma in our culture. I’m honored that she took the time to speak with me and hope you’ll find her words as moving and inspiring as I do!

Listen now: