A 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.

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?

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.

Many of us spend a lifetime trying to be better people, make better choices and reach a level of integrity we can be proud of. And yet - with one reminder of our past - years of self improvement can be shattered. Tune in for a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the Reluctant Therapist, about the challenges to truly leaving behind a less than stellar past - and finding full acceptance in our present.

Tune in at for a conversation with the Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett and guest, religious studies professor Stephen Lloyd-Moffett about the role of faith in the 21st century.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of Operation Surf, founded by local legend Van Curaza. Curaza has shared the therapeutic benefits of surfing with hundreds of veterans and brought relief in ways that traditional therapy has often failed. Tune in for a conversation with the Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett, about the many roads to healing and a celebration of the work of Operation Surf.

  

How did we get so lonely at a time when the world is so crowded? With epidemic levels of mood disorders and rising suicide rates, as a society we are grappling with how to keep our mental health grounded in a culture that is inherently out-of-balance. Tune in for a conversation with the Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett about the damaging effects of social isolation on our collective well-being and how to connect to possibly save a life, maybe your own.

Maintaining mental health requires learning to recognize the messages from our gut and innate wisdom before we get into trouble. When we tune in to what we need, life seems to fall into place —although it may not be in the place we expected to be. Tune in for a conversation with the Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett, and her guest about creating a meaningful life in unexpected ways. Another show from the road with ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

Dr. Lois Bristow has reached her 90th year with much wisdom to share about her journey and the realities of aging. Tune in for a candid conversation from Bend, Oregon with Lois and the Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett. It's a show from the road celebrating life, unexpected gifts and the agelessness of friendship.

A deep connection to the natural world is key to our collective mental health. The Central Coast State Parks Association is a non-profit organization that supports and funds the interpretive and educational programs at our local State Parks that help to introduce the magic of nature to thousands of visitors each year. Tune in Tuesday for a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the Reluctant Therapist and guest about the importance of teaching conservation and insuring that our natural resources will be protected for generations to come.

What the world needs now is one good hug. As a matter of fact, what we all need to thrive are many good hugs, a few held hands, a rub on the shoulder and every form of healthy affection that can address our national epidemic of skin hunger. According to social scientists, a lack of touch can lead to a devastating decline is our physical and mental health. Have you reached your minimum four hugs today? Tune in for a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the Reluctant Therapist, about how to improve our collective well-being, and possibly heal the divide in our country. 

Pondering the divide between good and evil is really just another way that we divide ourselves from others. It may be that we cannot address the escalating rage and violence that we are experiencing in the world until we grapple with the anger and aggression that resides inside us all. Tune in for a conversation with Elizabeth Barrett, the Reluctant Therapist, about our collective attachment to destroying that which we do not find acceptable. 

Providing disabled adults and their advocates information about available support services, the nonprofit Independent Living Navigator helps people living with disabilities find housing and their place in the community. It was founded by Laura Mackenzie, who spent years piecing together appropriate help for her son and wanted to share her knowledge with other families so they might avoid the many heartaches and disappointments that she encountered. Tune in for a conversation with the Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett, about the success of this grassroots program and the many lives it's improved. 

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