Elizabeth Barrett

Host of The Reluctant Therapist

Elizabeth Barrett is a wife, mother, licensed marriage-family therapist, educator, eaves dropper, emotion worker, and mental health consultant. She uses all of these skills to address the subjects that we all struggle with in this conversation with the Reluctant Therapist.

Ways to Connect

Turn Worry to Trust. In an age when we are more connected than ever, why is it that we still feel so insecure, vulnerable and afraid? It might be that we've give into worry and lost our ability to trust. Tune in Tuesday at 2 for a conversation with the reluctant therapist, Elizabeth Barrett, about serendipity, kismet and an actual godsend. Your calls will be welcomed and encouraged.

How far have we traveled down the road to equality for all? In honor of Black History month and the contributions of African Americans in shaping the United States, listen for a conversation with host Elizabeth Barrett and her guests—a social activist in high school and a retired military veteran with ties to the civil rights movement—about their generational perspectives regarding the state of freedom and justice in America. They consider how we got here and where we’re going.

Jennifer Storm is the ultimate survivor, turned thriver, overcoming addiction, trauma and adversity to become an author and appointed Pennsylvania Victim Advocate fighting for other's rights. She offers insights and firsthand experiences about the complexities of biological and emotional responses to trauma and sexual assault. Tune in for a conversation with host Elizabeth Barrett and her guest about key components that can help a person turn their lives around in even the darkest of circumstances.

What is your family story? Every family has one, whether it's about a long-held family business, a home passed down through generations, or annual holiday gatherings that bring everyone together. Having a family legacy—a shared sense of purpose and belonging—is a cornerstone to our mental health and well-being. This is a conversation with host Elizabeth Barrett about creating your own family mission statement and why knowing your history matters, warts and all.

Television has struggled with a long complex and often misunderstood relationship with viewers. But although some studies may indicate some negatives associated with passive viewing, since the 1960s television has also been the driver of many social changes and introduced the American public to new issues, ideas, challenges, and triumphs. Some say television is in a platinum age of excellence. How do we harness this old school form of communication in a way that actually improves our social connections and well-being?

The are the four essential tools for mental health and well-being. The question is, how to we put them all together in challenging times? And how do you know if we're on the right path? Listen as Elizabeth Barrett discusses the paths to healing that are within our reach if we are willing to own our power and take responsibility for our lives.

An encore presentation, originally broadcast 9/16/2014.

A conversation with Author, Activist, and Inspiration, Dr. Jean Shinoda Bolen. Our planet is at a tipping point socially, politically and environmentally. So, where can we find the guidance and inspiration we need to collectively save the world? It’s a conversation about how we can find the role models and messages we need in the stories of the Gods and Goddesses of ancient Greece. 

There is much joy in giving. There are also many mental health benefits in being of service to others. But too many selfless acts without rejuvenation can lead to fatigue, disappointment, and depression. How can we find the zest for celebrating when our reserves have been depleted? Host Elizabeth Barrett talks with Michelle Gordon about the role of self care in making possible a happier holiday for all.

25 years ago, Daniel Quinn published the novel, Ishmael. This revolutionary book was awarded the 1991 Turner Tomorrow Fellowship, which was established to encourage authors to seek "creative and positive solutions to global problems." Quinn's  message has transformed the lives of millions of readers who feel inspired to share the story with family, friends, neighbors and acquaintances. Listen for a conversation with Daniel Quinn about Ishmael, writing and where we go from here. An encore presentation.

It is no longer possible to ignore the breadth and depth of sexual misconduct in our society. Tune in for a conversation with the reluctant therapist Elizabeth Barrett about the many faces and contributors to our current sexual revolution. It's still about power, gender imbalance, and social conditioning.

Theater allows us to step into a different world, to experience life through a unique lens, and sometimes to gain a new perspective on our own personal struggles. And when it comes to addressing and understanding the complexities of family relationships, having the chance to see the world through another's lens could be the key to bringing peace to a troubled world. Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett, and her guests Kitty Balay and Karin Hendrx from PCPA talk about the healing power of live theater and the stories that can change our lives.

What if there isn't a lot to be thankful for? Should you give up your seat at the table or hide out,
so as not to bring others down? Tune in for a conversation about some of the challenges associated with this traditional family holiday and how to find hints of gratitude even when you're just not "feeling it."

Getting it down on paper is one of the best ways to tend to our mental health. Whether it's journaling, sketching, list-making, brainstorming or letter writing, research supports the healing powers of self expression. Tune in for a conversation with the Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett, and her guest, Lucia Capacchione, about the many benefits of guided mindful journaling.

When the effects of combat and trauma  come home with them, many veterans find themselves struggling with the physical, mental and emotional fall out. Suicide claims 20 veterans each day and 20 percent of returning soldiers are suffering from PTSD. Operation Surf was created  by Van Curaza to restore hope and focus for veterans and their families. Tune in for a conversation with Van about surfing, his life and his work with Op Surf.

It has become easier to talk about dying with dignity and different ways to approach death. But we still cringe when it comes to addressing what happens once it's time to dispose of your body? Tune in for a conversation with the reluctant therapist - in honor of All Hallows' Eve, when the veil between the living and the dead is most thin- in a discussion about different funeral traditions and options.

In this complex world of rapidly changing social norms, heightened expectations and intense pressure toward perfection - the job of raising daughters to be healthy, strong and confident women is more challenging than ever. And for father's, often unsure of their role in parenting - the responsibility of guiding and nurturing their daughters can be even more daunting. Listen for a conversation with  Elizabeth Barrett about fathers, daughters and the unique influence they have on each other's lives. Guests Dr. Eric Simon and his daughter Malia will talk about their experiences and the inspiration that led to Malia to write a book at 17. Your calls will be welcomed and encouraged.

In almost every aspect of life, the current status of women in society is under assault - economically, politically, socially and personally.  With injustice and inequality so pervasive and systemically ingrained in our culture, even the most passionate of activists can feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to put their energies to make progress.  How do we connect the dots, find a common denominator, and begin to bring about true equality in an unequal world?  Tune in for a conversation about the fight for true equality. 

World Mental Health Day is observed on October 10th every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health.

The Day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.

Tune in for a conversation with the reluctant therapist, Elizabeth Barrett, about making mental health a cultural priority. Your calls will be welcomed and encouraged.

Making sense of parenting in the 21st century can be full of twists and turns, conflicting opinions and research. Unfortunately, you'll never know how you're doing as a parent until it may be too late to change course. Tune in for a conversation about making the most of your parenting years and ensuring that you've provided the best foundation for your child.

If we can't talk about it how can we make it better? September is Suicide Awareness and Prevention month -  so it's time to have the conversation about one of the most difficult mental health issues we face. No one is immune and suicide does not discriminate - so everyone needs to be aware of the red flags, recognize triggers and be willing to reach out for help when they need it or be there for someone who may be struggling. Join us for this important hour with the Reluctant Therapist, Elizabeth Barrett. Your calls will be welcomed and encouraged.

Looking back over the summer of 2017 it will be the memories of time spent alone in blissful solitude, and the time spent in joyful community with those we love, along with the moments of awe and wonder, surprise and comedic disaster that will sustain our mental health and well-being. It is in the sharing and retelling of these memories and stories that we keep them alive and active in our hearts. Tune in for a conversation about those memories we've collected and how they far outlast the collecting of things.

Five years ago Hurricane Sandy slammed into New York and the Jersey shore, spreading destruction and devastation in a way the country had never experienced. It was considered the storm of a century - until Harvey and Irma came ashore. How do we recover physically, emotionally and communally when faced with the unimaginable? Tune in for a conversation with Sandy survivor, Ed Wright, about the lessons learned post this catastrophic storm.

North to Alaska

Sep 5, 2017

Elizabeth Barrett asks “What is community?” and “What is home?” as she continues her summer adventures, traveling around the nation.  This week she takes us to Alaska, where she explores, not just the natural beauty and wide open spaces of our 49th state, but also the communities made up of people who call Alaska home.  Tune in for a show from the road in Juneau, Alaska with the Reluctant Therapist.

This show from the road features conversations with two men, of two different generations with two very different perspectives on the future of farming and meeting the needs of a growing population. Tune in to meet Farmer John from Half Moon Bay, a third generation family farmer and long time community leader, and Robin "Bloom" Liepman, musician, activist and passionate advocate of the permaculture movement.

What happens when a community comes together to hear what their neighbors have to say about their shared hometown? Tune in for a follow-up conversation with Ashlin Hatch and Kyle Berlin about their project, "Nice Town, Normal People." They will be sharing how their recent performances were received, what they learned from the 100 interviews they conducted with residents, and what they see as the next step for Arroyo Grande, and other towns around the country, grappling with change, growth and competing visions for the future.

Is it really eavesdropping, or is it simply being friendly, to chime in on the conversation of strangers? Sometimes the greatest interactions happen in the most unlikely places and circumstances, so wouldn't it be a shame to miss out on a new friendship for fear of being too bold? And in order to make any new connections in life, someone has to jump in and initiate the exchange. Tune in for a conversation about the art of striking up a conversation, and enjoying wherever that experience takes you.

In our quest to make life appear to be more simple, manageable or understandable, we have unintentionally created more challenges to getting along, getting by and maintaining our mental health and well-being. Understanding the complexities of our social world can feel overwhelming but broadening, instead of narrowing, our worldview can be liberating. Tune in for a conversation about some issues that aren't all bad, or all good, they just are.

Some of the most exciting times in our life happen in the space between feelings of utter despair, pain and suffering and feelings of mastery, joy and completion. And yet - we've been conditioned to believe that we should avoid destruction at all costs, and focus instead on maintaining balance and ease. But efforts to remain comfortable can eventually prevent us from experiencing profound growth, enlightenment and joy. Tune in Tuesday for a conversation about the importance of stepping into the liminal space and embracing the unknown.

Some of the most exciting times in our life happen in the space between feelings of utter despair, pain and suffering and feelings of mastery, joy and completion. And yet - we've been conditioned to believe that we should avoid destruction at all costs, and focus instead on maintaining balance and ease. But efforts to remain comfortable can eventually prevent us from experiencing profound growth, enlightenment and joy. Tune in for a conversation about the importance of stepping into the liminal space and embracing the unknown.

What is home?

Jul 18, 2017

Home can be defined by the place, the actual structure in which we reside or by the people we share the space with. How we identify home and our place within it has a profound impact on are mental health and well-being. Tune in Tuesday at 2 for a conversation about finding our way home and the path that leads us there. Guests Ashlin Hatch and Kyle Berlin will discuss their current project working with the community of Arroyo Grande to articulate what makes this place home.

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