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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Tune in to this conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the Reluctant Therapist, and two actors currently presenting their inspiring one-woman shows at the Central Coast's Pacific Conservatory Theatre—known as PCPA—about the power of story, the intimacy of live theater, and the ability to improve and enhance our lives by sharing stories in our community.

#metoo, #whyIdidntireport, #domesticviolenceawarenessmonth - with all of the allegations and revelations about sexual abuse and assault that have flooded the news, our communities and our personal lives over the last year - will it ever be possible to find peace again? How do we provide solace and support for those who have been forever affected and also find a way to move forward as a country?

As the saying goes, "we are what we eat" but it may also be true that we "feel how we eat." Growing research supports the connection between the health of our gut and the health of our mind - and the idea that we can heal common mood disorders like depression and anxiety by changing our diet. Dr. Kelly Brogan, a holistic psychiatrist, is one of the pioneers addressing this new understanding about the correlation between food and mood. Tune in at 2 for a conversation with the reluctant therapist, Elizabeth Barrett, and Dr. Brogan about the re-imagining of mental health.

We've all heard the adage about yearning for the life outside of our own - where the grass is always greener and happiness prevails. We've also been told that the grass isn't really greener - we just imagine that it is and that fantasy prevents us from appreciating what we have. But what if there is a better life waiting on the other side of the fence? Tune in for a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the Reluctant Therapist, about knowing when it's time to tend to our lives as they are or take the leap into the unknown. 

Today is 9/11 - where were you 17 years ago when the course of history was changed? Tune in about how we remember, or not remember, the events that unfolded as the Twin Towers fell. 

What will it take to navigate our ever-changing, complex and challenging world for the next generation? And are we preparing our children to thrive as adults? Tune in for a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the Reluctant Therapist, about the importance of focusing education and parenting efforts on building resilience, connection and a relationship with the natural world.

There are many paths toward healing. For the Spiritualists, healing is aided by conversations with deceased relatives who share their wisdom through mediums and a mediumship message. Tune in for a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the Reluctant Therapist and members of the Spiritualist community of Lily Dale, NY. Bring an open heart and an open mind to this show from the road!

Losing the physical presence of the one who filled your world with love, partnership and light is for many - our greatest fear. Something that is inevitable - and yet, still incomprehensible. How do we move forward in that new and empty space once a beloved companion, soul mate or spouse has passed? Tune in for a courageous conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the reluctant therapist, and her guest, Constance Hart about the world of all-encompassing grief and re-engaging in life.

Life is a series of movements forward and times of pulling back. How do we know which way to proceed in relationships, personal choices and in raising our children? Tune in for a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the reluctant therapist, about navigating the emotional minefields we face in our lives.

Brandon Demchak enlisted in the U.S. Army at 21 and was deployed twice before being honorably discharged in 2015. Demchak returned home, like many veterans, with a "noise in his head" that haunted his days and nights. He was soon diagnosed as PTSD. His journey to healing led to discovering a gift for film and storytelling. Today, Brandon is dedicated to bringing a message of hope and awareness to fellow veterans and civilians through the big screen.

How far have we come? And how far do we still have to go to understand, and make adjustments in, how we view and speak about gender, sexuality and equality for all? With each new generation comes a greater awareness of the wide spectrum of human experience and we are tasked to incorporate new language, new perspectives and a broader acceptance of those with whom we share this world. Tune in Tuesday at 2 in the afternoon for a conversation with the Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett and her guests Douglas Heumann and Keegan Meadows about their lives, loves and hopes for the future.

If self-love is the key to well-being, why isn't that skill taught and nurtured? Instead, we are a culture that focuses on chasing perfection, reveres competition and shames those who attempt to live a life of joy and self-acceptance. If you weren't at war with your body how would you spend your time? Tune in at 2 for a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the reluctant therapist, for a conversation about the battles that disrupt our mental health and quality of life.

What is the polite and appropriate way to enjoy live music, or any live performance?  It seems that more and more people have become so distracted by taking selfies, recording their every experience and sharing every thought - that they’ve forgotten, or lost, the art of public behavior.

Positivity is a state of mind that must be nurtured and cultivated, especially in the face of great challenges and negativity. Surrounding ourselves with upbeat people can help to improve our own mental health. Tune in Tuesday at two in the afternoon for a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the Reluctant Therapist, and her guests Mike Wood and Andre Giovanni about their inspiring lives.

Travel has a profound effect on our mental, physical and intellectual lives - and often travel can be achieved by never leaving our homes. Taking a trip - in any form - by car, by foot, by plane or by brain - can help us to widen our perspectives and make room for personal growth in ways that felt impossible when stuck in our known routines and patterns. Tune in today at 2 for a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the reluctant therapist, about what inspires travel, and where we travel influences who we are.

The idea of the Swedish Death Cleaning - cleaning out and clearing out the material remnants of your life to save your loved one the daunting task upon your passing - is an opportunity to not only pay-it-forward for your children, but it is also a chance to get a fresh start in creating a new direction and energy for your life moving forward. It doesn't matter if you're 18 or 80 - when you are storing more items than you are enjoying, you are carrying along an unnecessary burden - letting go of things can make room for psychic growth and expansion.

The summer solstice is a mystical time - the longest day of the year, the midpoint in the earth's journey around the sun and an opportunity to heighten our senses and well-being with more opportunities for time spent outdoors. What will you make of your mid-year reset? Tune in today at 2 for a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the reluctant therapist, about capturing the energy of the season and making the most of the healing vibrations that are available all around if we take the time to slow down, breathe in and move with joy and intention.


Graduations, Weddings, Birthdays and Births all include some sort of wish for the future of the person, or people, being honored. The intentions and hopes that we bestow upon another can carry great weight as they move on through the course of their lives. So it is important to think about what it is that we are actually gifting to another when we toast to their new adventures. Tune in Tuesday at 2 for a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the reluctant therapist about wishing one well, without burdening them with an impossible task.

The counseling profession has been through many changes since 1968 from differing theories on treatment to an expanded list of potential disorders and a heavy reliance on pharmaceutical intervention. So what have we learned over the last 50 years about the condition of the human psyche? And what will be the mental health challenges that we face in the next 50 years? Tune in at 2 for a Conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the reluctant therapist about the hope of counseling in improving our lives.

We are all a product of our varied life experiences;  and how we choose to interpret and reflect on those experiences becomes the story that we live, and also becomes the story that we tell others about who we are.  One of life's greatest joys is simply listening to those  stories of other's lives and marveling at the many paths that we all end up walking. Tune in Tuesday at 2 for a Conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the reluctant therapist, for the first in a series of stories shared by unique and interesting individuals.

When the need became greater than the government, established programs and state agencies could handle, caring citizens came together to address the addiction crisis, and other issues facing students and families in their community. Over 20 years later, the thriving Atascadero Greyhound Foundation is still tirelessly working to provide healing and opportunities to those who are struggling. What can other communities learn from this successful model? And what kind of help are parents still looking for?

Mother's Day is certainly a boon for the florist and greeting card industries - but does the second Sunday in May really benefit the women it claims to honor? The intention is to celebrate and acknowledge the efforts of the person who has done more for you than anyone else - but is the ideal of a sacrificial Mother really in the best interest of the mental health and well-being of women? Tune in Tuesday at 2 for a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the reluctant therapist, about how to really value and show appreciation for the moms in your life.

In a society obsessed with youth and beauty - how far should we go in an attempt to meet social standards for appearance? Enhancing our appearance might be good for our soul and mental health. But we may need to redefine our beauty ideal. Tune in Tuesday at 2 for a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the Reluctant Therapist about the often precarious quest for our best self.

Is there an easy way to ask for forgiveness, to beg for your pardon or just say I'm sorry? What makes the act of apology so difficult? And how can we be sure that our mea culpa will be received in the spirit that it is offered? We all have things that we would like to apologize for - so what is holding us back? Tune in Tuesday at 2 for a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the Reluctant Therapist about the freedom that accompanies a sincere and heartfelt apology, and the possibility for more satisfying relationships moving forward.

48 years ago, on April 22, 1970, millions of people took to the streets to protest the negative impacts of 150 years of industrial development - and the first Earth Day was born. With global ecological awareness growing, the US Congress responded quickly to create the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and pass environmental laws such as the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act. But here we are, facing catastrophic change and instead of strengthening protections, the United States is moving backwards.

Spring is the season full of promise and wonder - new life, new possibilities and a return to the vitality of a world come alive after a long, dreary winter. Sounds a bit like the seasons of marriage - which begin with eternal hope, basking in the warmth of love and connection and then slowly fading into periods of waning light, disappointment and loneliness, followed by the cold, feelings of anger, despair and loss.

There has been a lot of activity, writing, and discussion lately around the topic of Depression and how we think about this most distressing and prevalent of mood disorders. What if everything we believe is wrong and that everything we are doing to make it better is actually making it worse? And what if feeling depressed is actually our new normal - and feelings of joy, hope and happiness have become just fleeting experiences that we enjoy through certain times in our life?

We are in an era when acts of violence have become almost commonplace. We have calls for reform, regulations and more mental health care; we call, we write, we argue, we march. But what no one seems to do is understand or address the factors that lead someone to plan and execute an attack on others. Tune in Tuesday at 2 for a conversation with the Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett, about the gaping holes in our social fabric that lead to acts of despicable desperation.

In 1848, 300 women and men gathered in Seneca Falls, NY for the inaugural Women's Rights Convention, advertised as a convention to discuss social, civil and religious conditions and the rights of women. Tune in Tuesday at 2 pm for a conversation with the reluctant therapist Elizabeth Barrett  from the Women's Rights National Historic Park in western New York, about the role of history in making the women's marches and #metoo movements possible today.

With so many causes needing our attention, how do we narrow our focus in a way that can really make a difference and prevent the inevitable burnout and overwhelming feelings that often accompany activism? Elizabeth Barrett leads a conversation about one of the keys to sustaining our mental health: service to others. How do we each create our own authentic way of taking action?