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Category: Health & Fitness

Learn about mental health and anxiety through books and laughs! Every month, we interview an author and bring you that conversation!

December 1, 2022

Episode 39 - Mental Health Comics with Sacha Mardou

In this episode, me and the amazing Sacha Mardou (known as Mardou in her comic books), discuss her contribution to art and mental health via her ifscomics.com, her previous books (here and here), and her forthcoming memoir. We discuss her personal path to healing (which also comes by way of anxiety), and how the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model and her description of her sessions via art has led to some serious healing. I really enjoyed this chat, and I hope you do to!

Also mentioned:

November 1, 2022

Episode 38 - Life is Hard with Kieran Setiya

In this episode, I talk with philosopher Kieran Setiya about his very new book, Life is Hard: How Philosophy Can Help Us Find Our Way. We discuss hope, pain, illness, moral philosophy, stoicism, grief, FOMO, and much more. Enjoy!


Kieran’s Podcast:



Kieran’s Website



Kieran’s Twitter


October 1, 2022

Episode 37 - Community Mental Health with San Mar

In a bit of a departure for the podcast, this episode goes local, and explores how community mental health operates at a single organization, San Mar Family and Community Services in Boonsboro, Maryland. San Mar provides a diverse collection of services, including foster care support and outpatient mental health. My guests are CEO Keith Fanjoy and Director Jerica Washington, who explain the ins and outs of this special organization, including the philosophy of "Wraparound" services that inform much of its approach to community well being. Enjoy!


- https://sanmarhope.org/

- https://besterhope.org/

- https://jebcenter.com/

- Program Overview

September 1, 2022

Episode 36 - Effortless Mindfulness with Loch Kelly

In this episode, I discuss a variety of practice that seeks to take the "meditator" out of meditation. Loch Kelly, author and meditation teacher, introduces us to a kind of meditation that helps us awaken immediately and without strenuous effort. Enjoy our conversation, and find out more about Loch at his website, or through his book.

August 1, 2022

Episode 35 - Am I Dreaming with James Kingsland

In this episode, I speak with author and science journalist James Kingsland about his newest book, "Am I Dreaming?: The Science of Altered States, from Psychedelics to Virtual Reality, and Beyond". We discuss how our brains behave under the influences of these alternative realities, and what the scientific community has found about their therapeutic benefits. 


Am I Dreaming?

Plastic Brain Blog

July 1, 2022

Episode 34 - Unwinding Anxiety with Dr. Judson Brewer

In Episode 34, we welcome Dr. Judson Brewer back to the podcast to understand anxiety and worry as a habit, and how to unravel them. Dr. Jud uses neuroscience to identify the ways that mindfulness can help us unlearn unskillful behaviors like worrying, and let curiosity disenchant our minds with the experience of ruminative habit loops



June 1, 2022

Episode 33 - The Grieving Brain

Join me in conversation with Dr. Mary-Frances O'Connor, associate professor of psychology at University of Arizona, and expert in the neuroscience of grief and loss. We discuss what happens to our brains when we lose those close to us, and how to explain grieving behavior, including what makes it so challenging. We also dispel some myths about the grieving process and add nuance to the conventional wisdom around what to expect during the "normal" grieving process. 

The Grieving Brain

May 1, 2022

Episode 32 - Talking About Perfectionism with Dr. Z

Join me for another fun and informative conversation with Dr. Patricia Zurita Ona to talk about her latest book, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for High Achieving Behaviors. We talk about ACT, mentorship, anger, shame, when emotions fuse with identity, fear of failure, the scope of perfectionism, how perfectionists see their self worth, how perfectionism can be socially acceptable


Book link: https://www.amazon.com/Acceptance-Commitment-Perfectionism-High-Achieving-Behaviors/dp/0367369222

Other books mentioned: 


April 1, 2022

Episode 31 - Internal Family Systems with Dick Schwartz

Buckle your seatbelts! In this incredible interview with Dr. Richard Schwartz, creator of the now popular therapeutic method Internal Family Systems (IFS), we talk about the world he has discovered inside his and his patients' minds, whether to understand these descriptions as useful metaphors for deep work or as bona fide depictions of the characters that live in our minds! To boot, Dr. Schwartz helps me find an exile of my own. This episode is unlike anyone ever recorded on the podcast before -- I hope you enjoy! 


IFS Institute

The Book: No Bad Parts

March 1, 2022

Episode 30 - How to Cultivate Compassion

People talk a lot about compassion these days. But how do you cultivate it? And why would you want to? On this episode, I sit down with Sara Owens Woodard, PhD, psychologist, consultant and teacher of Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT). CCT is a Stanford developed, 8 week course on how to cultivate more compassionate in your own life -- toward yourself, your loved ones, and even the guy on the street. Enjoy!