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

Cal Poly sophomore Claudia Kraake saw a need, had an idea and developed a program in less than a month. The program connects hundreds of struggling parents with over 380 student tutors who are helping their children navigate virtual learning, make social connections and get outdoors. Elizabeth Barrett shares a conversation with learn-by-doing entrepreneur Claudia Kraake about Claudia for Learning and making a difference, lifting spirits and caring for our mental health.

September is Suicide Prevention and Awareness month. Knowing how to recognize, address and talk about stressors, mental health, loss and grief; is critical in helping those we love and care for and help to reduce ever increasing suicide rates. Tune in for a Conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the Reluctant Therapist and Alysia Hendry, suicide prevention coordinator for the county of San Luis Obispo about hope, resilience and recovery.

Every person has a story to tell and once we hear that story, we are connected. Healing the divide in this country will require having the patience to listen to each other's story to discover the humanity, love and light in every person. Tune in for a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the Reluctant Therapist, from the Black Hills of South Dakota and meet three individuals learning to live their best lives with love, honor and dignity. 

If we as a country fail to value the work of those who care for others, who will be able, or want to do the work? Tune in for a conversation with Dr. Riane Eisler, author of the groundbreaking book, "The Chalice and the Blade." Her work as the president of the Center for Partnership Studies, and as the founder of the Caring Economy Campaign, has been incorporated into the Biden/Harris and Democratic platform, which vows to transform the value of care and caregivers in our economy.

Nothing is better than meeting a stranger who then becomes a friend. Jim Christensen, from Ashton, Idaho, is an avid fly fisherman, expert welder, boat builder and open book—all the traits for a great conversation. Tune in for a show from the road with the Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett, and meet Christensen, an ordinary person doing extraordinary things.

Ratified on August 18, 1920, the 19th amendment guaranteed American women the right to vote. It was a long, bloodless battle fought by generations of mothers and their daughters to secure their place in the political conversation. The struggles for opportunity and equality still continue 100 years later. Tune in for a conversation with the Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett, about the women whose shoulders we stand on and the lessons learned from the suffragist movement that need to be applied today.

While schools scramble to develop and offer a remote education that meets academic requirements, parents are scrambling to create alternative learning opportunities that also address their children's social and emotional needs, while providing much needed childcare.  "Learning Pods", or "Pandemic Pods" are comprised of families who come together to provide educational support, child care and social interactions.  They're quickly springing up all over the country and the county. Tune in for a Conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the Reluctant Therapist and guests, about the pros and cons of parent-led curriculum's and the potential for unintentionally fueling already troubling economic and racial inequities in our school systems.

What do they want? The grievances of Generation Z activists are wide and varied—from racial injustice to policing, civil rights to gender rights, climate change to economic inequity. These are not their grandparents protests, but they are a continuation of their legacy and collective anger, sadness, frustration, fear, resolve and love. Reluctant Therapist Elizabeth Barrett and guest hosts Aaliyah Sade and Davied Gudiel have a conversation about the complexity and yet, simplicity, of the fight for social justice and claiming of the American Dream for all.

For members of BIPOC communities, developing healthy relationships with their bodies and wellness in general can be challenging because the habits modeled by the dominant culture as "normal" do not reflect or address the diets, self care and self expression found in these diverse populations and can often lead to great harm. Tune in for a Conversation with The Reluctant Therapist's guest hosts, David Gudiel and Aaliyah Sade, as they explore their own personal journeys to reclaim their bodies and wellness outside of a patriarchal narrative that ignores and often rejects the wisdom of ancestors and ancient knowledge. We continue to open this space during BIPOC Mental Health Awareness month to give access to those voices who are rarely heard and need to be amplified.

With the number of married people in the U.S. at an all-time low, co-habitations at an all-time high and a generational rejection of traditional relationships, many wonder if we've seen the end of matrimony as a form of creating intimate connections. Tune in for a conversation with guest hosts David Gudiel and Aaliyah Sade about their recent engagement. They share their vision for their future as partners and the act of courage it takes to commit to a lifelong partnership in the 21st century.

How we identify, name and introduce ourselves can be an action of empowerment and inclusion—or, if we are not careful with our language, it can also be a source a disconnection and 'otherness.' Meeting each other where we are and as who we are is an important bridge to understanding and care. Tune in for a conversation with The Reluctant Therapist and guest hosts Aaliyah Sade and David Gudiel about the many ways that the helping professions fail to recognize or address the impact of institutional and systemic issues on the mental health and well-being of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) communities. This is the kick-off for BIPOC mental health awareness month and the beginning of a series of discussions and topics chosen and lead by this heart-centered, activist, artistic, passionate couple of recent Gen Z college graduates.

It may be a revolutionary idea to re-allocate funding away from police departments and toward programs and helping professionals trained to meet the social needs of the community - but how can we be sure that the care being dispersed will actually support, heal and benefit the citizens communities seek to serve? Tune in  for a conversation with the Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett, and guests about the limitations of one-size fits all interventions and the challenges in relying on institutions to provide for our collective mental health and well-being.

When everything hits at once it can feel like you are drowning—the weight of the world bears down on your chest and even the simplest of daily tasks can began to feel like rolling a boulder up a hill. If that sounds familiar, you're not alone. Since March there has been a 30% increase in reported depressive episodes in people who have not struggled with mental health before. With limited services available, where can people get help? Tune in for a conversation with the Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett, about coping with stress overload, recognizing deep melancholy and building resilience while trying to care for children, family, friends and hoping to heal the world.

In the spirit of 'Live Oak on the Radio,' tune in to revisit a raw and honest 2019 backstage conversation with Reluctant Therapist Elizabeth Barrett and singer, songwriter, artist and survivor Sunny War, setting the mood for this upcoming weekend of music, memories and camping at home to support Central Coast Public Radio KCBX. Tune in started Friday for more than 30 hours of music from the festival’s archive recordings of past stage performances, along with live concerts from local musicians and special appearances by other Live Oak personalities, such as MC Joe Craven.

What's next, graduates? Shaping the future. With a world of uncertainty facing them, what is the graduating class of 2020 thinking about their future? Tune in for a Conversation with the Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett, and students David Guidel, Mariah Kate Alviso-Saenz, Bailey Buchanan and Kristine Sandoval about their hopes, dreams, concerns and ambitions. If we have any hope for real change, it is going to be fueled by this next generation of highly educated, incredibly compassionate, focused, fierce and thoughtful activists.

To have and to hold, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part; how hard can that be? Tune in for a conversation with the Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett, and guests Larella Ellsworth and Trish Wilson about the state of their unions and the world of marriage in general. Maybe marital bliss is the wrong goal?

Central Coast singer-songwriter Chris Beland is a musically-gifted and gentle soul.  He also has a wildly interesting and almost unbelievable life story.  Hear a remarkable conversation about life lessons and living without regrets, in this episode of The Reluctant Therapist.

Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron once said, "Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It's a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity." 

Tune in to the Reluctant Therapist for a compelling conversation with Compassion Prison Project founder Fritzi Horstman, talking about her life, her work and her vision and belief that bringing humanity and compassion to those behind bars will change society in fundamental ways. 

With the national shutdown, many aspects of our lives have been drastically disrupted.  But for those  looking forward to a special event like a wedding, graduation or new job, the loss of the celebration associated with this life event can be devastating.  Tune into this conversation with the Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett, about dealing with—and helping others to navigate—the disappointment and even grief associated with not being able to experience and mark these major milestones. 

Elizabeth Barrett explores ways we can deal with the current isolation caused by the pandemic and stay at home orders. Learn about Acceptance Commitment Therapy in this conversation with the Reluctant Therapist.

During this time of sheltering-in-place, managing addictions may seem like an impossible task. Yet our mental and physical health, our relationships, and futures depend on our ability to make peace with our greatest challenges. The Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett, and her guest Dr. Michael McGee talk about coping with addictions through the time of COVID-19.

As we transition back to the life we knew before the pandemic, how will we re-enter our world of daily tasks, business and social obligations? Elizabeth Barrett, the Reluctant Therapist, asks this question and encourages us to consider how much of our old life we want back.

Join Elizabeth Barrett and her guest Ashlyn Hatch as they discuss ways to reduce stress. Many of us are dealing with isolation, sickness, a house full of family and the loss of jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Barrett and Hatch share their own experiences along with tips and advice.

Shelter-in-place parenting has become a category of its own, an unprecedented experience that has even the most confident of caregivers struggling to meet the daily demands of their children. Elizabeth Barrett and her guest, therapist Megan Englert, discuss strategies for keeping it all together when we're not sure where we're going.

In this conversation with the Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett speaks with guests Chris and Breanne Burkard. They speak candidly about their life, their struggles, their joys, and how they've learned to "make it work" for over a decade.

Can drinking wine deepen one's spiritual life and act as a surrogate for traditional religions? Host Elizabeth Barrett and her guest Dr. Stephen LLoyd-Moffett, professor of comparative religions and author of "The Spirit of Wine," discuss the rich history of wine.

This episode honors Women's History Month and International Women's Day, which celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Join us for a conversation between the Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett, and her guest Shelly Higginbotham, about the status of women in 2020 through a community and cultural lens. What is it that women need to thrive in all aspects of their lives?

Eating disorders come in many forms, from restrictive eating to over-eating, body dysmorphia, exercise compulsions, orthorexia and body image issues. These disorders can affect people of every background, every age, every shape and every size. And although there are many treatments available, very few people actually seek help.  Elizabeth Barrett talks with certified eating disorder dietitian Marlena Tanner about recovery and making peace with our bodies.

Finding a cause to support—an issue to take action on and speak out for—is one of the keys to mental health and well-being. But with so many needs in the world, committing to one issue can be the biggest challenge. Busy environmental activist Kara Woodruff joins the Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett, for a conversation on championing for better mental health. 

If you've ever experienced heartbreak, then it's easy to understand why some people choose to avoid love at any cost. But aside from all of the research supporting the mental, emotional and physical benefits associated with intimate connections, there are biological and evolutionary reasons why we are prone to falling hard for someone else. Tune in for a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the Reluctant Therapist, about the many roles love plays in our lives—and how to accept love as we find ourselves facing another Valentine's Day.

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