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

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.

North to Alaska

Sep 14, 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.

North to Alaska

Sep 14, 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.

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.

Female Friendships - you can be besties or party pals, enjoying a "she"mance or navigating frenemey territory, whatever the status, these relationships, life long or short lived- are rarely easy, but they are incredibly necessary for our mental health and well-being. Tune in for a conversation about the world of friendships and how they shape our lives.

In order to bring greater awareness to the issue of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the United States Senate designated June 27th as National PTSD Awareness Day. PTSD is a mental health problem that can occur after someone has been exposed to a single traumatic event or multiple traumatic events, such as sexual or physical assault, natural or man-made disaster, and war-related combat stress. Symptoms of PTSD include persistent intrusive thoughts and distressing dreams about the traumatic event, triggered emotional responses to reminders of the trauma, efforts to avoid thinking or talking about the trauma, and persistent hypervigilance for cues that  indicate additional danger or trauma re-occurring. Join us for a conversation about PTSD in it's many forms and how our understanding of trauma and treatment continue to change and improve.

It's the season for travel, adventure, gathering, and the all important family vacation. How will you shake off the cobwebs and re-connect with the people, places and things that really matter? Tune in for a conversation about how the simplest of pleasures can bring us the greatest joy, and help keep our lives in perspective.

The current cultural climate has not been friendly to men, to the masculine and to the role of fathers in general. Tune for a conversation about what it looks like to be a Dad in this new century - and how we continue to grapple with stale models of masculinity and the importance of fathers that continue to limit men in many aspects of their lives.

It's easy to get bogged down by the challenges we can face in every aspect of our lives. And when there is no obvious relief in sight, the time comes when we need to create our own space to let off steam and make room for pleasure. Tune in for some words of musical wisdom and a reminder that making time for dance and community can heal the soul.

It is critical that we come together and unite around something bigger than just our own individual lives. A year of domestic service, working to address a community need may be the best way to improve the mental health and well-being of our collective whole. Tune in for a conversation about this simple idea that could change our cultural identity and unite our fractured country.

Protecting your mental health is more important now than ever - we are all called on to mobilize our energy toward action or we run the risk of a cultural major depressive outbreak. Tune in for a conversation about the state of our collective well-being.

With the complexity involved in managing home, family, finances and self, it's no wonder that many young adults are struggling to keep up with the often daunting tasks of daily living. These deficits in education can cause anxiety, depression, overwhelm, stress and maybe, a move back in with mom and dad to regroup and learn the fundamentals of life. Maybe it's time to reconsider teaching Home Economics in junior high and high school as a necessity for a comprehensive public education. Tune in for a conversation about the skills needed to develop into a fully functioning adult and how are these lessons currently being taught?

Our mental health is heavily influenced by our sense of self worth, purpose and ability to be a valued part of our community. For those who are disabled, maintaining good mental health also includes the challenge of finding your place in a community that can be largely dismissive, and or afraid, of those who are seen as different. Tune in for a conversation about inclusion, acceptance and finding our place in the world.

Earth day. The one day each year when we honor our home and habitat. Should it be a time of celebration or mourning? As humans we have a poor track record of caring for our environment- just as we struggle to care for each other and ourselves. Tune in for a conversation about where we go from here.

Siblings - they are our closest blood relations, we share secrets, stories and at least one parent in common. And yet these same people can feel like complete strangers and even at times, mortal enemies. Why are these sibling relationships often so troubled and complex? Tune in for a conversation about the unique bonds we form with our brothers and sisters - for better or worse - and how they shape who we are as adults.

At 56, Jung described this age as the beginning of the afternoon of our lives. A period of time marked by great happiness and satisfaction or disappointment and regret. How will you spend your afternoon? And if you have moved on to your sunset years - what would you like to share about the seasons of your life?

There is a lot of concern about the proposed changes to the Affordable Care Act and how a new plan would impact coverage for mental health. This may be a good time to rethink whether our current practices regarding the treatment of mental health are actually in the best interest of those receiving treatment. Tune in for a conversation about the may different ways of caring for our mental health and how less medical intervention might be better for our collective well-being.

When you want to be helpful but are unsure of what to say or do - what is your next move? Do you act or do you retreat? Tune in for a conversation about how to best offer love and support in times of crisis, disruption, sickness and grief. 

Never underestimate the power of women in community. It is when we are united that the quality of life for all - not just women - begins to change. It's important to take the time to recognize and celebrate women, history, amazing accomplishments and the opportunities that lie ahead. Tune in for a conversation with, and about, the not-so-silent majority. Your calls with questions and comments are welcomed and encouraged.

Is education aiding, or getting in the way of addressing and solving looming community, cultural and global problems? What skills, talents and wisdom will be needed as we move deeper into the 21st century? Tune in for a conversation with the reluctant therapist, Elizabeth Barrett about the need for radical disruptions in education that are more focused on the common good more than individual achievement.

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.

On this Valentine's Day, join Elizabeth Barrett in a  conversation about acts of love for your partner and staying optimistic about our relationships.

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