A Conversation with the Reluctant Therapist

Tuesdays, 2:00PM - 3:00PM

The Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett, leads a conversation about the state of our collective mental health and the ways in which our helping professions are either aiding or getting in the way of our cultural well-being. With so many social services, treatments and programs available - why are we all still struggling in so many ways? You are invited to call in and share your thoughts at 805-781-3875.

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The Fourth of July is a reminder that we are a part of something greater than ourselves. That being a part of this country requires that we each find a way to exercise our rights and honor our responsibilities as citizens. But how do we celebrate at a time when it feels as if the foundation of the United States is shifting? Tune in for a conversation with the reluctant therapist, Elizabeth Barrett about the need for recovering our inner patriot. Your calls will be welcomed and encouraged.

The quest for a spiritual identity can take decades or can appear in a flash - but according to religious studies professor Dr. Stephen Lloyd-Moffett- we all need to believe in something. Tune in for a conversation with the Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett and her guest, about the many varied paths to enlightenment. Your calls will be welcomed and encouraged.

What constitutes a vacation? And why do we need them? The summer solstice signals the beginning of this season marked by long warm days, a call to the natural world, deep reflection and gatherings with friends and family. Tune for a conversation with the Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett, about how to make the most of your time in the light. Your calls will be welcomed and encouraged.

A little wisdom shared at the right time can change the course of our life. What was the best tip you ever received and who delivered it? Tune in Today at 2 for a conversation with the Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett about the value of listening to our elders and the importance of taken on the role of mentor for the generations coming up behind us. Your calls will be welcomed and encouraged.

When asked why he climbed Mt. Everest, George Mallory famously replied, "because it was there." In the same spirit, brothers Ryan and Casey Higginbotham have completed two epic journeys paddling from Alaska to Mexico and from the Mexican border to the southern tip of Baja. What is it that drives this desire for extreme adventure? Tune in for a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the Reluctant Therapist and her paddleboarding guests about the physical and emotional highs, lows, triumphs and setbacks that inspire their adventurous spirits. Your calls will be welcomed and encouraged.

Where do you feel well? The quick answer is often "in nature," but what does that mean? Finding time to be outside is one of our biggest challenges, along with finding time to share the natural world with our children and knowing how to best teach them how to care for themselves and the world around them. Getting ourselves, and children, connected to nature may be one of the most important things we can do to address climate change and environmental destruction. You have to experience something personally in order to feel inspired to protect it. How can we expect a child to care about habitat loss if they've never interacted with an ecosystem outside of their home? Tune in for a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the Reluctant Therapist, and camp director Emily Zbin about mental health, nature deficit disorder and the growing research supporting nature-based therapies.

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, let's talk about how we can best support and value the work of educators who make a difference in the lives of our children everyday. Tune in for a conversation with the Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett, and her guests—Trevor McDonald, superintendent of the Lompoc Unified School District and 21-year veteran teacher and union representative Lodene Blair—about the state of education and what is needed to help teachers do their best for students. 

Naming is serious business. Our name is fundamental to our identity and how we feel connected to our family. The name we are given is part of the story we tell of ourselves—and how our name is received can bring us great respect or painful ridicule. Tune in  for a conversation with the Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett, about the origin of our names and how it has influenced our lives. 

As we continue to expand our understanding of the many different ways we express our humanity, it’s important to keep communication open. Tune in for a conversation with the Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett, and her guest, college senior Winston Chang, about the generational differences and similarities in approaching challenging and often charged topics.

Living our best—while preparing for the worst—seems to be a common theme for those concerned about the future of our planet. As another Earth Day arrives, how are you managing to create a life of meaning and joy, while facing the ever-present realities of climate change? Tune in for a conversation with the Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett, about learning to live with less, cultivating resilience and awakening our own unique gifts as we all learn to navigate our ever changing world.

Prednisone is an anti-inflammatory drug that reduces the body's immune response in order to manage and improve many health conditions. But the relief that can be achieved by using this popular medication can be overshadowed by side-effects that can range from insomnia, acne and nausea to more deadly reactions like depression, confusion and aggression. Tune in for a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the Reluctant Therapist, and her guest Jill Stegman, who's beloved husband of 40 years committed suicide after years of Prednisone use that altered his quality of life and personality. Your calls will be welcomed and encouraged.

The 4th trimester of pregnancy begins after birth and is marked by rapid changes physically, emotionally and hormonally for both newborn and new-mom. This often overlooked and ignored time of instability and uncertainty can leave women feeling stressed, overwhelmed, exhausted and at risk for a severe depressive response. Tune for a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the reluctant therapist, about rethinking postpartum care. Your calls will be welcomed and encouraged.

The Live Oak Music Festival—a weekend gathering with family and friends, taking in great music, discovering new favorite artists, camping, dancing, playing and sharing stories. Tune in for a series of conversations with Elizabeth Barrett, the Reluctant Therapist, and Live Oak performers, about their creative inspirations, challenges, triumphs, loves and a musician's life on the road.

Parents bribing, cheating, bullying and lying—all in the name of wanting what's best for their children. Governments bribe, lie, cheat and bully—all in the name of wanting what's best for their citizens. Children lie, cheat, bully and steal because they lack role models teaching them anything different. Tune in for a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the Reluctant Therapist, about the collapse of social conformity and the rise of the enlightened outliers. Maybe the unveiling of sweeping universal inequities will be the path that puts us in the best place for growth and change.

For many of us our longest lasting relationships will be with our siblings. And although they may be enduring, these connections with our closest blood relations can also be the most complex. Tune in for a cfonversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the Reluctant Therapist, about the role of our brothers and sisters in shaping who we are and how to navigate the challenges of just getting along. How have your sibling relationships impacted your life? Your calls will be welcomed and encouraged.

March 8 is International Women's Day—formally celebrated around the world since 1977, but recognized in many forms since the early 1900s. Although International Women's Day is a holiday in many parts of the world, it goes widely unnoticed in the United States, aside from its inclusion in Women's History Month, proclaimed by President Barak Obama in 2011. Should there be a newly-designated federal holiday celebrating women? Or a particularly outstanding woman? Tune in for a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the Reluctant Therapist, about taking time to honor and recognize those people and events who have most shaped U.S. history, and the mental health benefits of a day of remembrance.

Postpartum recovery is often overlooked and unrecognized as a crucial part of the healing journey for new mothers. Damage to the pelvic girdle and surrounding areas can cause discomfort and pain for women long after childbirth, resulting in not only physical but also emotional distress. There has been a wave of interest in helping to address these post childbirth issues with different healing methods from pilates, to pelvic floor therapy, mindfulness and kegels. Tune in for a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the Reluctant Therapist and her guest, the Pilates Mama, about helping mothers learn to care for themselves and to heal their physical and emotional body after birth.

Chris Beland has a remarkable life story—one that not many people would wish for—and that story might have just as easily been one of tragedy, but instead it's been a journey that has led to music, a wealth of self-awareness and a circle of riches in extended family and friends. Tune in for conversation and song with Elizabeth Barrett, the Reluctant Therapist, and her guest: singer, songwriter and gentle soul, Chris Beland— an ordinary person, doing extraordinary things.

Finding something that ignites curiosity, creates a sense of adventure and unleashes a bit of the naughty is key to rekindling passion in a stalled out love life. Bringing a little fantasy and flirty fun into your life can also improve self-esteem, help alleviate the blues and stimulate new ideas. The challenge is finding the courage to try something new and being tolerant of a bit of discomfort and maybe embarrassment. Tune in Tuesday at 2 for a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the Reluctant Therapist, and her guest, Lady Galaxy of Glitterotica, about her journey of self-discovery through the world of burlesque, the power of performance and engaging in the erotic.

What happens once the kids are grown, the job is winding down and we are facing another decade or two of active life to fill? Dealing with life after children and career can be daunting, but it can also be a time a renewal and great joy. Let's talk about how to make the most of our middle years and cope with inevitable transitions that may become more challenging that we expected. Tune in for a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the Reluctant Therapist, about finding new ways to feather your empty nest and make it feel like home.

Divorce may be a relief for some couples and traumatic for others, but for all couples with children, divorce is the shattering of a family dream. Divorce coaching and mediation can help minimize the potential devastation and provide parents with tools for navigating this new world. Tune in for a conversation with host Elizabeth Barrett and divorce coach Jennifer Blomfield about new ways of approaching the dissolution of a marriage.

Although we may all be familiar with the first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence—the promise that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness—how do we actually define that life and liberty and happiness we seek? Maybe our expectations of what it means to live a good life have gotten us into trouble financially, mentally and emotionally. Tune in for a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the Reluctant Therapist, and her guest about how to determine what is worth pursuing.

We need to be able to recognize the emotions that we're having and find the words to describe them. But how can we get the help we need if we can't define our own feelings, are uncomfortable being vulnerable or sharing our experiences? Tune in for a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the reluctant therapist, about helping families and each other to create a culture of support and comfort.

If you've never tried it—now's the time. Whatever it is: that idea you have but keep pushing aside, that dream you remember but dismiss, that change you've considered but find too daunting to try. If you want things to be different, you have to do things differently. The first step is to retreat from your routine, then find a supportive group, awaken a new truth, take small steps and trust. Tune in Tuesday at 2 for today's conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the Reluctant Therapist, and guest Tawny Sterios about reigniting our fire.

Traditions are stories, beliefs, rituals and customs that are passed from one generation to the next. They offer a sense of identity and belonging for children, and impart values and provide continuity for families during times of change, trauma and transition. And traditions are essential to our mental health and well-being. Tune in Tuesday at 2 for a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett and guests, about how to implement meaningful rituals into your life.

Mantras, prayers and inspirational quotes are mighty medicine for altering our moods and improving mental health and well-being. Tune in with Elizabeth Barrett, the reluctant therapist, and Nick Larson of Central Coast band Proxima Parada for a conversation about guiding our thoughts with intention, finding words to live by, and creating new ways of interacting with the world.

Loneliness is a mental health crisis which leads to depression, anxiety, anger, isolation, physical illness, suicide and eventually a societal breakdown. One of the answers to addressing this issue begins at home and how we are raising our adolescents to meet the demands of our complex world. In an effort to provide nurturing support to our teenagers we are inadvertently creating a culture of fragile adults more prone to feeling victimized, incapable and alone. Tune in for a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the Reluctant Therapist, about addressing this silent epidemic.

Child care in the United States is inadequate, unable to meet the demands of a growing workforce and struggling to address the changing needs of American families. In many ways, we are failing to provide for our next generation during the years that they most need adult attention, stimulation, encouragement, love and hands-on tending to. Tune in for a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the Reluctant Therapist, about creative solutions for raising our children when parents are being pulled in many directions at once.

As the holidays approach and the buying season begins, our mental health and well-being can become closely tied to the purchases we do, or do not make. And although we may not be able to buy our way to mental health—we may be able to put a down payment on lifting our spirits, and inspiring steps toward a better self. Tune in for a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the Reluctant Therapist, about the potential joys and sorrows related to our spending habits. Your calls will be welcomed and encouraged!

What are you voting for? Is it for the betterment of yourself or the well-being of the greater good? If voting is a right of citizenship, what are our responsibilities as citizens? Listen in for a conversation with the Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett, about what brings us to the polls.

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