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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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.

Death is one of life’s few certainties, and yet we live as if it will never happen to us - and often fail to prepare for how we’ll go. One of the most important gifts we can offer to those we leave behind is a detailed plan of how we’d like to be remembered - and that begins with a death ritual. What’s yours? Tune in for a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the Reluctant Therapist, exploring the many ways we can be laid to rest.

One of the essential skills for living well is mastering the fine art of constructive conflict. No one likes to butt heads with those they love and care for—but without conflict, there also wouldn't be passion, growth or stronger, deeper life-long connections. Avoiding conflict can make us sick, and mishandling conflict can destroy relationships. Tune in for a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the Reluctant Therapist, about how to make friends with one of our most feared relational roadblocks—conflict.

In the midst of the current opioid crisis and our on-going cultural struggle with addictions in many forms, the search for a lasting and sustainable recovery can be frustrating and demoralizing. Tune in Tuesday for a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the reluctant therapist and her guest, Dr. Michael McGee about new advances in healing for those who are steeped in the addiction cycle, and for the loved ones who are also suffering.

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.

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