Podcast: The Transformative Power of Kindness

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After working clinically with patients for over 25 years, it’s natural that one would learn something about what heals or harms humans. Such is the case with Dr. Eva Ritvo, who discovered through her work and personal life the power of human kindness and put together a book about it entitled Bekindr: The Transformative Power of Kindness (2017, Momosa Publishing). The book contains short stories by people from all walks of life, depicting poignant moments of human vulnerability and kindness. In our interview, we discuss what led her to put together this book and the international movement it has spawned, as well as her conviction that kindness has the power to transform. 

Eva Ritvo, M.D. is a physician, author, and TV and radio personality, as well as the founder of Bekindr, an international initiative to bring more kindness into the world. She is also co-founder of the Bold Beauty Project, a nonprofit that pairs women with disabilities with award-winning photographers to create art shows. She is former Chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center and former Vice Chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Miller School of Medicine at University of Miami, with over 25 years of experience practicing in Miami Beach, Florida.

Listen to our interview by clicking below. To subscribe to the New Books in Psychology podcast, click here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/new-books-in-psychology/id436024959?mt=2

Podcast: Being Awkward

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Some people can’t help but be ‘awkward’ despite their lifelong efforts to blend in. They feel ashamed of their social ineptitude and end up shying away from social situations, yet research offers insights that could help. In his new book, Awkward: The Science of Why We’re Socially Awkward and Why That’s Awesome (Harper Collins, 2017), Dr. Ty Tashiro reviews research findings that explain socially awkward behavior and offer strategies for acquiring social fluency. In our interview, Dr. Tashiro explains what defines an ‘awkward’ person and shares anecdotes from his own experience that take us into the mind of such a person. We also discuss how modern social life has evolved in ways that make everyone feel a bit more awkward in everyday social situations. His ideas offer new, kinder ways to think about awkwardness that anyone who identifies as awkward—or loves someone who does—would find helpful and illuminating.

Ty Tashiro, Ph.D. is the author of The Science of Happily Ever After (William Morrow, 2017). His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time.com, TheAtlantic.com, and on NPR and Sirius XM Stars radio. He received his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Minnesota, has been an award-winning professor at the University of Maryland and University of Colorado, and has addressed TED@NYC, Harvard Business School, MIT’s Media Lab, and the American Psychological Association. He lives in New York City.

Listen to our interview by clicking below. To subscribe to the New Books in Psychology podcast, click here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/new-books-in-psychology/id436024959?mt=2

Podcast: Let's Talk about Character

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Are we good people? Or do we just think we are? In his new book The Character Gap: How Good Are We? (Oxford University Press, 2017), author Christian Miller tackles these questions and more, breaking down what character is, how to measure it, and how to distinguish good from bad moral behavior. In our interview, Miller talks to us about finding his way into this area of study and what research says about our tendencies to display our best and worst qualities. His insights and findings offer us the chance to better understand what’s going on when we witness ourselves, our loved ones, and even our highest-ranking leaders behaving in ways that run against consciously-held morals. They also offer pathways for developing and inspiring more upstanding behavior.

Christian B. Miller is A.C. Reid Professor of Philosophy at Wake Forest University and Director of the Character Project, funded by the John Templeton Foundation and Templeton World Charity Foundation. He is the author of over 75 papers as well as two books with Oxford University Press, Moral Character: An Empirical Theory (2013) and Character and Moral Psychology (2014). He is also the editor or co-editor of Essays in the Philosophy of Religion (Oxford University Press), Character: New Directions from Philosophy, Psychology, and Theology (Oxford University Press), and several other volumes.

Listen to our interview by clicking below. To subscribe to the New Books in Psychology podcast, click here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/new-books-in-psychology/id436024959?mt=2

Podcast: Psychology in the Light of the East

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Psychology and spirituality have a complicated relationship. Dating back to ancient times, we see them treated as sister disciplines which inform and enhance one another. But at some point in the last century, Western psychology decided to divorce itself from Eastern philosophy and spirituality, leaving us with an incomplete way of understanding human experience. Author Margot Esther Borden takes up this story in her new book, Psychology in the Light of the East (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017), and in our interview, we discuss her conviction that our understanding of human nature is best served by attending to the soul as well as the psyche, and be utilizing wisdom from Eastern as well as Western traditions and worldviews.

Margot Esther Borden, M.A., is a psychotherapist, international public speaker, and adjunct professor at Antioch University Midwest. She completed her training in breathwork in Paris and her master of arts in person-centered counseling/humanistic psychology at the University of Durham. She works in India, Europe, and the United States and is coeditor of Spirituality and Business: Exploring Possibilities for a New Management Paradigm.

Listen to our interview by clicking below. To subscribe to the New Books in Psychology podcast, click here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/new-books-in-psychology/id436024959?mt=2

Podcast: The Psychology of Immigration

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Immigrant experiences are complex and varied. People who leave their home countries for a new one often feel torn between two identities and struggle to feel at ‘home’ in either place. Dr. Julia Beltsiou, my guest for this episode, has put together an anthology addressing the various dimensions of the immigration experience entitled, Immigration in Psychoanalysis: Locating Ourselves (Routledge, 2016). In our interview, we discuss her own immigrant experience as it shapes her sense of self and her clinical work with fellow foreigners, as well as topics such as language, name changes, and public perception of immigrants. We also hear her thoughts on the current moment in immigration, which is fraught with struggles over power, identity, and acceptance.

Julia Beltsiou, Psy.D. grew up in Germany as the daughter of recent Greek immigrants and came to live in the U.S. as a young adult. She is a graduate of New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis. She has presented nationally and internationally on the topic of immigration and identity. In 2013, she received the Patrick Lane Award of the Psychoanalytic Society of the Postdoctoral Program for her work on immigration in psychoanalysis. She is also adjunct supervisor at the Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology at City University of New York and maintains a private practice in New York City.

Listen to our interview by clicking below. To subscribe to the New Books in Psychology podcast, click here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/new-books-in-psychology/id436024959?mt=2

Podcast: Treating Eating Problems

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The psychology of eating disorders is poorly understood. Recent trends in research and treatment focus near-exclusively on behaviors around food and weight without sufficiently attending to their psychic undercurrents. Yet evidence shows that, when patients start putting words to the pain their eating disorders express, they start gaining freedom from these vexing patterns. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is well positioned to offer individuals such an opportunity, and the rationale for such an approach is well-described in Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin’s new book, Food for Thought: Perspectives on Eating Disorders (2017, Rowman & Littlefield). In her book, Dr. Nina—as she likes to be called—explains psychoanalysis’s unique perspective on eating problems: that they express relational needs and traumas when words cannot, and that treatment which focuses on “what’s eating at you” rather that “what you’re eating” offers deeper and longer-lasting healing. In our interview, Dr. Nina shares her personal journey to this realization and offers insights about our relationships with food that will speak to us all.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin is a psychoanalyst, author, radio host, and internationally recognized expert in the psychology of eating. She has been featured in Psychology Today, The Los Angeles Times, Prevention, Real Simple, Redbook, Huffington Post and many other publications, as well as numerous radio shows, summits and events. Dr. Nina also writes an award-winning blog, Make Peace With Food, and hosts a call-in radio program, The Dr. Nina Show, which airs Wednesdays at 10am PST on LA Talk Radio.

Listen to our interview by clicking below. To subscribe to the New Books in Psychology podcast, click here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/new-books-in-psychology/id436024959?mt=2

Podcast: Transgenderism Challenges Psychoanalysis & Psychology

Psychoanalysis is transitioning. Its history of pathologizing deviant sexuality is giving way to curiosity about the universal complexities and contradictions inherent in sex and gender. Yet it could use some pushing along, and Patricia Gherovici’s new book, Transgender Psychoanalysis: A Lacanian Perspective on Sexual Difference (Routledge, 2017), does just that. In it, she draws inspiration and courage from her clinical work with transgender patients in order to challenge long-standing essentialist notions about sex and gender. She also introduces readers to Jacque Lacan’s still-revolutionary ethics on sexual difference. In our interview, we talk about her involvement in the recent ‘wave’ of attention to transgender experience, how she applies Lacan’s ideas to her own clinical work, and the importance of putting further pressure on psychoanalysis—and Western society, at large—to let go of antiquated, discriminatory notions and embrace the infinite complexity in all human sexuality.

Patricia Gherovici is a psychoanalyst and analytic supervisor. She is co-founder and director of the Philadelphia Lacan Group and Associate Faculty, Psychoanalytic Studies Minor, University of Pennsylvania (PSYS). She is also Honorary Member at IPTAR, the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research in New York City, and member at Apres-Coup Psychoanalytic Association New York. Her prior books include The Puerto Rican Syndrome (Other Press, 2003) and Please Select Your Gender: From the Invention of Hysteria to the Democratizing of Transgenderism (Routledge, 2010). She has published two edited collections, both with Manya Steinkoler, entitled Lacan On Madness: Madness, Yes You Can't (Routledge, 2015) and Lacan, Psychoanalysis and Comedy (Cambridge University Press, 2016).

Listen to our interview by clicking below. To subscribe to the New Books in Psychology podcast, click here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/new-books-in-psychology/id436024959?mt=2

Podcast: Are You Born Anxious?

Anxiety has become a social epidemic. People feel anxious all the time about nearly everything: their work, families, and even survival. However, research shows that some of us are more prone to chronic anxiety than others, due in large part to experiences in utero and during the first year of life. My guest, psychologist Dr. Daniel Keating, explores these biological and genetic mechanisms in his new book, Born anxious: The lifelong impact of early life adversity—and how to break the cycle (St. Martin’s Press, 2017). His many years of research inform his ideas about the role of social inequality in elevated stress levels, and the impact of stress and adversity on gene expression and manifestations of anxiety. In our interview, we talk about the implications of these findings for understanding why some people perpetually feel ‘tightly-wound’ and easily triggered. He also shares his suggestions for breaking this cycle and reducing our proneness to anxiety.

Daniel P. Keating is a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan. He has conducted research at leading North American universities, at Berlin’s Max Planck Institute, and with the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, where he was a fellow for two decades and led the program in human development. His research focuses on developmental differences—cognitive, social, and emotional—and in physical and mental health.

Listen to our interview by clicking below. To subscribe to the New Books in Psychology podcast, click here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/new-books-in-psychology/id436024959?mt=2

Podcast: Teaching LGBTQ Psychology

Despite the prominence of LGBTQ issues in our current social consciousness, many people still know little about the LGBTQ community, which means that teaching about this community and its issues is an important job. It’s also a difficult one that’s been handled with varying degrees of effectiveness and sensitivity over the past few decades. Many of us can recall during our undergrad or graduate training having a single class day devoted to the topic, or our instructors trying to ‘squeeze it in’ alongside other material. Fortunately, the teaching of LGBTQ issues has advanced dramatically, thanks to the work of psychologists such as Theodore Burnes and Jeanne Stanley. Their new edited book, entitled Teaching LGBTQ Psychology: Queering Innovative Pedagogy and Practice (2017, American Psychological Association), covers pedagogical concepts as well as practical suggestions for bringing the material to life and helping students feel at home with it. In our interview, we have a frank discussion about the challenges of teaching LGBTQ psychology—such as fear, prejudice, and misinformation among students—and how to best rise to those challenges.

Theodore Burnes is associate professor and director of the LGBT specialization of Antioch University’s clinical psychology master’s program. He has 15 years of experience constructing, facilitating, and evaluating undergraduate and graduate coursework in psychology, Black studies, writing, LGBT studies, poetry, women’s studies, teacher education, and counseling in various university settings. He is a licensed psychologist and licensed professional clinical counselor in private practice in Los Angeles.

Jeanne Stanley is Executive Director of Watershed Counseling and Consultation Services. She regularly conducts training around the country on best practices for supporting and affirming LGBTQ individuals and is a licensed psychologist in private practice in the Chestnut Hill are of Philadelphia.

Listen to our interview by clicking below. To subscribe to the New Books in Psychology podcast, click here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/new-books-in-psychology/id436024959?mt=2

Podcast: Rising to the Top

Most psychology books are written by experts with knowledge deriving from professional experience—for which we are grateful. Occasionally, a psychologist ventures to write a book that draws from intimate personal experience to illuminate important psychological phenomena. Such is the case with our guest this week, Shelvy Haywood Keglar. In his book Underdog to top dog: An improbable rise (published in 2017 in association with IBJ Book Publishing), Dr. Keglar describes his journey from poverty and rural life, through racism and segregation, to the fulfillment and success he enjoys now. He talks with me about what inspired him to document his personal journey and the hard-earned lessons he imparts to young Black men in search of hope and guidance. To the extent that dreaming is a basic human enterprise, Dr. Keglar’s experiences and wisdom strike universal chords.

Shelvy Haywood Keglar is a psychologist, and founder and president of Midwest Psychological Center, Inc. He also serves as staff member at Community Hospital and Fairbanks Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana. He has taught at Indiana University Medical School in the Department of Psychiatry. Prior publications have been in the areas of personality assessment, addictions, and adolescent psychology

Listen to the interview by clicking below. To subscribe to the New Books in Psychology podcast, click here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/new-books-in-psychology/id436024959?mt=2