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

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.

Are we experiencing another generational divide, just when we most need to pull together? Tune in for a conversation about the disconnect between parents and children of every generation and how to come together as we seem to be falling apart.

How quickly the world has changed in the early 21st century. But what really changes more—the world that we inhabit or the lens through which we view our world? Tune in for a conversation with Reluctant Therapist Elizabeth Barrett and award-winning photographer, author, filmmaker, adventurer, husband and father Chris Burkard, who has traveled the world documenting and sharing some of the last remaining wild places and encouraging others to get out and explore.

Navigating the complexity of modern health care can be overwhelming for anyone. But it's especially challenging for those who are aging and their family members who want to be supportive but don't know how to help. Tune in  Conversation with The Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett and her guest, elder advocate Linda Beck, about creating a plan and understanding options when it comes to dealing with the medical world. 

This is a great time to reset expectations for yourself and your family. A clean slate, a letting go of past disappointments, an opportunity to correct failed strategies and to embrace parenting and relationships from a new perspective. Tune in for a conversation with Reluctant Therapist Elizabeth Barrett and Out-of-the-Box Parenting founder Megan Englert, about utilizing the start of this decade to set new goals. 

Dreams are considered a window into our soul, our psyche and our deepest desires—but how to interpret these messages is hotly debated. One of the challenges is deciphering the language of symbolism, images and characters that inhabit our dreams. Tune for a conversation with Reluctant Therapist Eizabeth Barrett and author, Jungian practitioner and dream analyst Dr. Laura Grace, about her groundbreaking work in harnessing the power of dreams. 

Anxiety is the most common of mental health issues, affecting 40 million adults each year. Although there are many treatments available, long term success can be elusive and medications are often unreliable. Tune in Tuesday for a conversation with Reluctant Therapist Elizabeth Barrett and guest Breanne Burkard about the promising outcomes associated with alternative therapies.

Being of service to others by giving of our time, or our money, is one of the foundations for maintaining our mental health. On this Giving Tuesday tune in for a convesation with The Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett, for a discussion about how we choose to be charitable and what it does for our well being. What organizations do you support, and why? 

If it is in our nature as humans to err, then why is it so difficult to forgive? It may be because we are conditioned to focus on our negatives. In an effort to make space for giving thanks, it might be time to let go of stale shame, guilt and anger. Listen to this conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the Reluctant Therapist, about recognizing the good in ourselves and others and learning to be okay with gratitude.

As we enter the holiday season it's important to have a plan for navigating what can be the trickiest of social encounters - the family gatherings. Tune in for a conversation about developing sure-fire strategies for making peace, creating harmony and finding a few joyful nuggets amidst the crazy. 

Do we choose a life in music or does the music choose us? Tune in for some more backstage banter with various artists and the Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett, about being called to make a difference in the world by using their voices and lyrics to uplift, raise awareness and inspire others toward action.

Today there are more single adults living in the United States than ever before. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were more than 110 million unmarried people in America aged 18 and older in 2016. And this group made up 45 percent of all U.S. residents aged 18 and older. What is it like to be unattached in the 21st century? Tune in for a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the Reluctant Therapist, about the many paths we choose, or have chosen for us.

Parenting takes more than love and good intentions. So where do we turn for guidance that is helpful and realistic? Tune in for a conversation with the Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett and guest, Meghan Englert, founder of Out of the Box Parenting, about the joys and challenges of modern child-rearing. What's your most pressing parenting concern?

Tune in for a conversation with the Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett, and her guest, veteran Brandon Demchak, about his journey toward healing after his military service. His path to recovery included writing and producing a film, Firecracker, based off his own experiences and the experiences of friends dealing with post-military life, especially their struggles with PTSD, depression and alcohol and drug abuse. His film has wrapped is now making the film festival round. Demchak is back to work on a new project and still advocating for others struggling to find their way.

The phone call is always a surprise—a relative has fallen ill, and you, as the closest family, are called in to begin managing their care. This includes everything from doctor's visits, home health, tasks of daily living, financial responsibilities, and possibly end-of-life decisions. Most of us do not have a plan for what happens when we are asked to step-in for a parent, and even fewer of us are prepared for the stress of taking responsibility for an aunt, uncle or sibling. Tune in for a conversation with the Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett, and elder care advocate Linda Beck about her experiences being called into action and how it led her into an entirely new life and career.