At the age of sixty-six, Dierdre Wolownick became the oldest woman to climb El Capitan, the iconic 3,200-foot "big wall" in Yosemite. Earlier that year, her son, Alex Honnold, stunned and terrified the world by climbing the same 1/2 mile vertical wall without ropes—a free solo assent. Should we see Honnald’s climbing as reckless? A sophisticated dance with passive-aggressive self-harm? Or does our strong emotional reaction to his mastery and success in this solitary sport say more about our own denial of the risks we take every day?
In this episode of The Soul of Life I speak with Dr. Michael Mithoefer, the lead investigator that has successfully piloted the first-ever study of MDMA, otherwise known as ecstasy, into the third and final stage of FDA approval for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. Dr. Mithoefer is featured as a lead character in the 2015 book Acid Test by award-winning journalist Tom Shroder, a meticulously researched history of the controversy and unprecedented healing properties associated with psychedelics.
I speak with Dr. Richard Schwartz, the founder of an evidence-based psychotherapeutic model called Self-Leadership (also known as Internal Family System’s therapy or IFS) that is widely recognized as one of the most compassionate and comprehensive psychotherapies available. We discuss Mary Trump's book Too Much and Never Enough and how the abuse that Mary reports in Donald Trump's family could explain his fear-driven narcissism.
Today I speak with Dr. Angela Heubner, author of Jailbreak: The Making and Breaking of Our Invisible Prisons; An IFS Informed Escape. We discuss the idea that we are all inherently good and Angela talks about the most common protective parts of us, what she calls our prison guards: The Pleaser, The Worry-wort, The Perfectionist, and The Logician.
In the 1970s, George Kolodner was one of the first psychiatrists to innovate with treatment of addiction by offering an alternative to in-patient hospitalization. He co-founded the Kolmac Clinics in the Washington, DC area and pioneered the Intensive Outpatient (IOP) model. George is now on a mission to sound the alarm about the lethality of nicotine addiction.
Today I speak with Dr. Rachel Rubin, a board-certified urologist and sexual medicine specialist. She has made it her mission to address fears people have about addressing the biology that underpins apathy toward sex. I ask Dr. Rubin about the bias in the clinical counseling field to focus A LOT on psychological and emotional issues when it comes to low desire and low libido.
Spirituality does not shrink and fold itself tightly into the pages of a how-to manual. But Russell Siler Jones' book, Spirit in Session: Working with Your Client’s Spirituality (and Your Own) in Psychotherapy. guides therapists to feel more competent having spiritual conversations.
Last summer, Curry, a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity, immersed herself in 108 rivers across the U.S. in order to bring attention to the state of water quality and it’s vital role in our own health and sustainability.
I speak to Dr. Lesley Tate-Gould, a psychotherapist that uses Somatic Experiencing (SE) to help people overcome trauma. SE was developed by Peter Levine, and like IFS therapy, deviates from the norms of traditional talk therapy and its typical cognitive and rational focus.