Elizabeth Barrett

Host of The Reluctant Therapist

Elizabeth Barrett is a wife, mother, licensed marriage-family therapist, educator, eaves dropper, emotion worker, and mental health consultant. She uses all of these skills to address the subjects that we all struggle with in this conversation with the Reluctant Therapist.

Ways to Connect

The first hour of life outside the womb is a special time when babies meet their parents for the first time and a family is formed. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and should not be interrupted unless the baby or mother is unstable and requires medical resuscitation. It is a "sacred" time that should be honored, cherished and protected whenever possible.

  When one consciously invests in life, the possible accomplishments are limitless. It is something Dr. Ryan Alaniz is keenly aware of. He is an associate professor in Cal Poly's sociology department, an author, researcher and community builder. Dr. Alaniz is an expert in disaster relief, social change, water scarcity & drought and correctional education. He is also a father, farmer, beekeeper, soccer player, kayak guide, and tender of the earth.

Host Elizabeth Barrett speaks with Dr. Alaniz about his work and efforts to educate incarcerated persons, alongside what led him to sociology and how he balances his work with his mental health.

   Dr. Riane Eisler, author, social systems scientist and knowledge leader, may be best known for her culture-shifting, award winning book, The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future. But it is her current work as the president of the Center for Partnership Studies and book, Nurturing Our Humanity: How Domination and Partnership Shape Our Brains, Lives and Future, that may be her most powerful transformational gift to our collective cultural narrative. 

   For many, the path to adulthood has been drastically accelerated, and altered, over the last year with the pandemic and a rapidly changing social structure that has called into question many of our long-held beliefs regarding what it means to be a grown-up. Host Elizabeth Barrett welcomes this week's guest, David Gudiel. He is a seeker, empath, and former Cal Poly student. The two discuss navigating the world when you don't conform or relate to, the cultural and familial narratives you were taught to follow. 

 April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a time to educate communities and individuals about how to prevent sexual violence. Host Elizabeth Barrett speaks with guest Jennifer Storm, a survivor and victim's rights expert, about her powerful personal story. She has devoted her life advocating for victims of crimes and is the author of six critically acclaimed books about addiction and recovery.

For many birthgivers, the childbirth process has become one that has not centered around the birthgiver, which is what Eri Guajardo Johnson strives recenter through decolonizing and liberating birthgivers. This week, host Elizabeth Barrett welcomes Guajardo Johnson, a queer, biracial birthworker and community educator. She is the founder of Birth Bruja, an online educaitonal platform devoted to intersectional, liberational and decolonial approaches to birth work, healing and life.

Estrangement between a parent and an adult child is not uncommon, but the pain, shame, guilt, and embarassment surrounding a rift in a family causes many to keep their separation a secret. What causes this kind of fissure between parents and children? Host Elizabeth Barrett speaks with psychologist and author Joshua Coleman about his work helping families reconnect.

A lot can be said about how one organizes a home and the energy that's given off from placement. This week, Elizabeth Barrett welcomes Pamela Abbott-Mouchou and Lauren Bragg to the program. Abbott-Mouchou and Bragg are a mother-daughter duo who run the Feng Shui Collective, which is dedicated to incorporating Feng Shui and its elements into home decorating and set-up.

In honor of Women's History Month, join Elizabeth Barrett for a conversation with Starhawk. She is an author and activist, a revered voice in modern Earth-based spirituality and ecofeminism, and is also a permaculture designer and teacher.

Humans are energy beings, deeply connected to the natural world and to each other. How energy moves through our bodies can determine the quality of our physical and mental health. Reiki is an ancient healing technique that fosters well-being by altering energy fields. Elizabeth Barrett speaks with Curtis Williams, certified Reiki practitioner and Humanistic Astrologer, about his 28 years of integrating these healing modalities to enhance the lives of his clients.

 

For over 40 years mental health care has been dominated by the theme that "there is a pill for that" - in treating everything from grief to paranoid schizophrenia. The results have been life-saving for some and life destroying for others. It's in the failures to provide relief that has forced the helping professions to search for new treatments.

Our mental health is a reflection of the events, experiences, people and environment that we inhabit throughout our lifetime, and how we respond to them. But we are also impacted by the abuse, loss and grief suffered by our ancestors - known as cultural and historical trauma - which adds to the challenge of healing our psychic wounds. 

As another Valentine's approaches, along with the one-year mark of COVID lockdowns, many relationships are feeling the strain in an uncertain world. It's time for a couple's health check, and maybe even a little intimacy resuscitation. 

Elizabeth Barrett welcomes Roya Khorram and Carmen Bouquin, two local college students who are uniting social movements through an Instagram account, "SLO Informed." Their account has amassed an impressive following and shaken up local conversations in less than a year by inspiring fellow activists. The conversation discusses the waves of change being driven by the emerging Generation Z, and the challenges of connecting the efforts of those from different eras of rebellion.

Last spring the pandemic brought the world - and the performing arts - to a halt.  But after months with the lights out, innovation, patience and creativity brought new forms of theater into our homes to restore some joy and connection to what makes life a little brighter. 

Pondering the divide between good and evil is really just another way that we divide ourselves from others. It may be that we cannot address the escalating rage and violence that we are experiencing in the world until we grapple with the anger and aggression that resides inside us all. 

Wine has long been connected to religious practices and communities. The act of drinking wine is at the heart of many rituals and celebrations. But what about the spiritual lives of those who grow the grapes, tend the vines and create the wine that is enjoyed by many? The reverence that goes into making wine may be key to the elixirs magic. 

It's time for the new year onslaught of diet, exercise and personal improvement advertisements, influencers and programs - encouraging us to get back in shape, to shed those shameful extra pounds and therefore, be better people. Year after year, people return to the scale, get back to the gym and praise the programs for their successes and hate themselves when they fail. But it's not you, it's the plan - they don't work. In this Conversation with the Reluctant Therapist, join Elizabeth Barrett and certified eating disorder dietician Marlena Tanner, as they talk about shutting out the noise and turning in toward ourselves with love and intuitive care.

Through the darkest of times, we find our way to the light—the promise of a new beginning, new life, new meaning and joy. In this epidsode of the Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett has a conversation with Conscious Colors and Colors Aroma founder Constance Hart about her life's work, her dedication to personal wellness and growth, and how color aroma therapy can enhance your life.

Divorce rates are soaring during the pandemic. As the holidays approach, questions about how to gather, who can attend and where we will go may be even more challenging for families that have been restructured. Bird-nesting divorce is a new way that parents are working together to provide continued stability for their children. What does that look like?

Traditions are how we stay connected to each other, create memories and alleviate feelings of isolation and loneliness. Traditions define families. So, what are yours?

Your life has potential and opportunities greater than the story you tell yourself and your family. As the holidays arrive, this is the perfect time to examine your family myths and look for ways to edit and rewrite who you are. Tune in for a conversation with the Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett, and guest Tom Andre, a licensed marriage and family therapist. They talk about the process of narrative therapy and the journey from imagined life to reality. 

What the world needs now is love, sweet love. More than in any other time in recent history, right now we need to be opening our hearts to something greater than ourselves. True love, deep love, honest love, passionate love, compassionate love—love that makes us believe in life again. The world is more beautiful, hopeful and full of possibilities—it's hard to hate when you're bathed in love. Tune in for a conversation with the Reluctant Therapist and author, coach and consultant Bob Kamm about the power of love at every age in healing our deepest wounds.  

Veterans Day honors all of those who have served our country in war or peace. Hear a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett and guests US Army retired Lt. Colonel David Kramer and retired Colonel Jeff White about their lifelong friendship that began on September 11, 2001. It has continued through tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, promotions, marriages, children and civilian careers. It's a bond formed through years serving side-by-side as brothers and friends.

In times of stress, anxiety and uncertainty it's important to take action.  Seek comfort, self soothe and find moments of calm. Listen to music, dance like no one is watching, focus your breathing, think positive thoughts.  Talk about things that give you joy and allow space for new friends, feelings and interests. Tune in for a conversation with the Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett, and guest Nick Larsen from the band Proxima Parada, about anything that isn't connected to the current climate of fear, anger, despair and rage. Let's lift our energy toward hope and love - let's sing, breathe and laugh.

One of life's most profound moments is the birth of a child, becoming a mom and beginning the journey of raising a human. Tune in for a conversation with Reluctant Therapist Elizabeth Barrett about the changes we go through with the arrival of a baby, and the changes we're experiencing parenting through the pandemic. How has your parenting changed since the world locked down? 

As the world continues to feel fraught with fear and uncertainty, now is the perfect time to call upon our muses and ignite the latent artist we each have. Creativity is a sure way to calm an anxious mind, improve dampened spirits and direct our energy toward feelings of hope love. Listen to a conversation with Reluctant Therapist Elizabeth Barrett and singer, songwriter, author and psychologist Kelly Moreno. Hear about the healing power of making music and art and his journey releasing an album of personal songs in the midst of the pandemic.

Currently 86 percent of working psychotherapists are white, and many earned their degrees before multicultural counseling became a standard part of graduate training. This reality inspired the creation of AYANA Therapy, an online platform connecting marginalized and intersectional individuals with mental health professionals. Listen to a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett and AYANA's founder and CEO Eric Coly.

Mental health care can be liberating, but it can also be debilitating. How can we be sure that we are accessing help that will truly bring relief, healing and support, to reach our highest potential? Tune in for a conversation with Reluctant Therapist Elizabeth Barrett and guest James Statler, executive director of Community Counseling Center, about challenging the current system of mental health care treatment and re-imagining a mental wellness plan for addressing our complex social challenges.

In the face of stress, trauma and tragedy, learning to nurture our soul and lean in to our relationships is fundamental in maintaining our mental health and well-being. Tune in for a conversation with Reluctant Therapist Elizabeth Barrett and guest Dr. John Elfers about how we can find the energy to rekindle our motivation and tap into the tools available to calm our mind and improve our lives.

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