Linda Durham’s professional and personal life centers on art, artists, global travel, and humanitarian causes. She is the founder and director of Santa Fe’s Wonder Institute, which sponsors art exhibitions, lectures, workshops, and salons focused on discovering and implementing creative solutions to contemporary social and cultural issues. For more than three decades, Durham promoted New Mexico-based artists as the hands-on owner of a contemporary art gallery with seven exhibition locations through the years: six in Santa Fe, and one in New York. In 2012, the New Mexico Museum of Art acquired her extensive gallery archives. A prolific writer and speaker, she has been guest lecturer or workshop presenter at Brigham Young University, the University of Wisconsin, Ohio Wesleyan University, Yale University, the Sundance Institute, the College of Santa Fe, Santa Fe Community College, and the New Mexico Museum of Art. For her seventieth birthday, Durham circumnavigated the world in seventy days, meeting Indigenous women, educators, artists, entrepreneurs, and peace activists, and planting “Seeds of Peace” in gardens, schoolyards, and parks in South Africa, Lesotho, Madagascar, Thailand, Myanmar, and Hawaii.
Dr. Mike Rucker is an organizational psychologist and charter member of the International Positive Psychology Association whose work has been published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management and Nutrition Research. His ideas about fun and health have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Vox, Thrive Global, mindbodygreen, and more. Named one of ten digital changemakers by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, he currently serves as a senior leader at Active Wellness. Learn more at MichaelRucker.com.
What's emotional health and wellbeing, and why does it matter? That's a big question, and Daryl Van Tongeren has lots of answers and ideas.
Daryl is a social psychologist, college professor, a person who now knows how to swim (which I learned about after reading his newest book), and author of The Courage to Suffer.
His latest book, Humble: Free Yourself from the Traps of a Narcissistic World, is the focus of this thoughtful and thought-provoking podcast. Click here to listen to information and wisdom about emotional health and wellbeing.
Here's a quick checklist for emotional health and wellbeing:
The more comfortable you are with your emotions and know how to communicate them in healthy ways to others and set firm boundaries, the healthier you are emotionally.
You're not afraid of your feelings, nor are you afraid to express them in healthy ways to others. Importantly, you also know how important it is to set good boundaries. Your overall well-being will get stronger and stronger when you do these things.
Well-being means feeling comfortable, healthy, and happy. The good and bad news is that you're the only one in charge of that.
And when you take charge of your emotional health and well-being, your life and everything in it begins feeling so much better, can I just tell you?! You'll be making good choices for yourself, feeling satisfied and fulfilled with work, and joyful in reciprocal relationships (each gives and takes equally).
Daryl has a lot of fascinating things to say about narcissism, including that “the last two decades have been a shrine to ‘the Self’, [which means that] we’ve put our meaning and happiness in other people’s hands.”
Most of us have a "fragile sense of self — we’re externally puffed up and internally hollow: sad, lonely, and anxious."
Another point Daryl makes is that “our preoccupation with ourselves seems to be backfiring.”
It doesn't take a lot of effort to look around and see the rampant narcissism running through so many leaders. Also, it's easy to see how our preoccupation with ourselves has marginalized and isolated far too many people.
And the truth is that too many of my beloved therapy clients are caught in the trap of narcissist relationships. So many people have never been taught about emotional health and well-being, which means they don't know how to teach their children. And so the unhealthy cycle continues.
Daryl believes that "seeing the world accurately and objectively" is the first step in cultivating humility, handling conflict, and setting good boundaries.
Mindfulness, also called mindful awareness, is how we can begin doing that.
Sometimes we need to have "tough conversations" with ourselves, which mindfulness helps us do.
Daryl writes that we can begin cultivating humility in this narcissistic culture by starting from a place of emotional self-acceptance.
Emotional self-acceptance is also where mindfulness comes in because it helps you 1) become more aware of your emotions and 2) learn that whatever you're feeling is OK.
There's great freedom and emotional health in seeing who you are and allowing yourself to feel whatever is true for you.
Mindful awareness also helps you realize when you're maybe being a tiny bit extra defensive. You know that knee-jerk reaction to defend yourself against any possible attack, whether or not it's ever gonna happen? Yeah, that defensiveness.
It's easy to develop the habit of going on the attack before you get attacked, just in case you are going to get attacked, right? But that defensiveness can keep you disconnected from yourself and other people. No one needs any more loneliness or to be any more disconnected.
Importantly, mindfulness helps your awareness of yourself and can help you accept how things are, including how you are.
Also, it's an excellent help for emotional regulation and understanding how to deal with emotions in a healthy way, which is the foundation for emotional health and well-being.
Finally, it can help you figure out if you're too attached to ideas about how things are supposed to work, your job or career, and the people in your life who may be toxic.
The meaning of humility, according to Daryl Van Tongeren, is
a secure openness to the world, where we can be honest with ourselves and others about our strengths and limitations.
It's a way of approaching ourselves, other people, and the world around us with a sense of enough-ness … that opens us to the world as it is.
[It's] knowing yourself, checking yourself (ego), and going beyond yourself (an orientation toward other people).
He also says that humility means "being the right size." I love that description.
I'll admit that I learned a lot from spending the time to read Daryl's book, as well as the hour we spent doing the radio show. The definition of humility he offers is a lovely touchstone for checking in with ourselves about our emotional health and our mindset.
If you feel secure being open to the world, can hear your truth about how you're feeling, and are confident that you.are.enough ... well, then, you're pretty good to go.
Your emotional health will be robust, and your mindset will be open and connected to yourself and others in healthy, compassionate ways.
I’m Melanie, the Santa Fe Therapist. I think of emotional health and wellbeing as “loving yourself into wholeness.”
In my experience, learning how to love yourself can be a lifelong journey. Emotional and spiritual healing and wellbeing happen when you deepen into your true self, uncovering, processing, and releasing layer after layer of learned self-doubt, even self-hatred.
Then, you can begin replacing those unhealthy layers with what's good and true and authentic for you.
It’s really about understanding how to feel emotionally safe in a dangerous world. You'll experience freedom when you know how to recognize being connected with something grander (and more important) than your tiny, ego-based monkey-mind thinking. That connection can be as simple and beautiful as loving and caring for your doggo.
Online therapy helps stressed women find the time away from day-to-day pressures to calm their nervous systems. It also makes it easy and convenient to process emotions and learn new neuroscience techniques to cope with challenges, heal the past, and begin building your future..
I strongly believe in the power of online counseling. Along with the research that proves its effectiveness, I see the positive benefits for my clients every week. If you've got questions about online therapy, please click here.
Online counseling from anywhere in New Mexico, including Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Taos, Los Alamos, Pecos, Las Vegas, Tesuque and El Dorado.
You don't have to suffer alone anymore. Please, send me an email, and let's schedule a free, 15-minute phone consultation: email@example.com.
The Santa Fe Therapist specializes in several areas of health, wellbeing, healing and recovery. We know that one size never fits all. Our services are individualized to each client, and are based on your values, your needs and desires, and your goals.
We offer individual adult counseling and guidance in Santa Fe NM for:
Feeling sad and feeling anxious are two common signs of ambiguous loss. Dr. Pauline Boss, one of the world's leading experts on ambiguous loss, shares insights and research in The Myth of Closure: Ambiguous Loss in a Time of Pandemic and Change, her newest book.
Dr. Boss is a psychologist, thought leader, emeritus professor, and author of the seminal books Loss, Trauma, and Resilience: Therapeutic Work with Ambiguous Loss, and The Myth of Closure: Ambiguous Loss In A Time of Pandemic and Change.
She's known worldwide for developing the theory of ambiguous loss and as a pioneer in the interdisciplinary study of family stress management.
And at the age of 87, she's having a moment!
A delightful guest, Pauline freely shares some of her personal journey and how her experiences of loss changed the scope of her newest book even as she was writing it.
She says that ambiguous loss is "an unclear loss." And that many people don't realize they're grieving. The result can be that the grief then becomes frozen.
When we understand that how we're feeling and why we're feeling it is because we're grieving an unclear loss, our lives can begin making more sense.
Examples of ambiguous loss include
Pauline Boss makes it clear that most caregivers are not depressed. Nor should they be labeled with a pathogizing diagnosis they don't deserve.
What many caregivers are is sad. And it's a sadness that's very normal and understandable given the circumstances.
Closure on normal grieving is a myth. Grief does not end. Further, if we've loved someone or something, we want to remember. Because we're remembering with love.
Pauline offers thoughtful, and helpful counsel for how to increase our tolerance for ambiguous loss, and continue moving forward with our lives, even as we hold what's dear to us in our hearts.
If you're feeling sad, depressed, confused about how to move forward after a traumatic change, or if you'd like to explore grief counseling in Santa Fe, please reach out to the Santa Fe Therapist for a free 15-minute phone consult.
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and schedule a session, won't you?
Self-awareness and self-compassion are the touchstones of this fascinating episode.
Silvia Stenitzer is a licensed psychotherapist in Santa Fe, NM. She's gathered an eclectic array of well-researched techniques she uses to help her clients, and to train the trainers.
Silvia "trusts the deep wisdom of the body, our innate self-healing abilities, and the magic of interpersonal connection. Movement, action, psychodrama, improvisation, art expression, dreams, play, meditation are our allies on the journey to Self."
Melanie and Silvia share thoughts and experiences of the importance of the mind-body connection, and the deep wisdom that we have available to us all the time when we know how to hear it.
Self-awareness is an interesting phenomenon. You'd think we'd all know how we're feeling, and why -- what triggered us -- to feel what we're feeling.
But most of us don't. At all. We're such a "neck-up" culture, meaning that we believe that our brain lives in our heads, with our bodies and energetic hearts somehow just along for the ride.
Being self-awareness means that you know who you are in this moment. You're not afraid of your emotions. You can feel them and name.
You understand that how you're feeling isn't necessarily something to act on, or react to.
You recogize your thoughts and beliefs, and accept that your thoughts are just thoughts, and your beliefs aren't necessarily objective Truth with a capital T.
From this place of self-awareness, you're then able to think more clearly, feel more deeply, and make much better decisions and choices for you and your loved ones.
Another powerful practice to cultive is self-compassion. The truth is that, once you begin developing self-awareness, you'll be seeing and feeling some things about yourself that aren't always pretty or pleasant.
That's OK. You're human. When you can feel compassion -- kindness, gentleness, and tenderness -- toward yourself, you'll begin experiencing such delicious and healing things as inner balance and inner harmony.
If you're feeling out of balance, anxious, sad and lonely, or confused about self-awareness and self-compassion can help you, please reach out to the Santa Fe Therapist for a free 15-minute phone consult. Send an email to email@example.com and schedule a session, won't you?
Sharing openly about his diagnosis of CPTSD, as a result of his early childhood experiences, he and Melanie talk about the stress of living in a chaotic world with so many challenges facing his generation, including the climate crisis.
C-PTSD, or complex PTSD, shares a lot of symptoms with PTSD, although it's different in one important aspect.
C-PTSD can develop as a result of repeated stressful or traumatic events that happen over months or even years.
"A recent study by the National Survey of Children's Health found that almost 50% of the children in the United States have had at least one significant traumatic experience. Even more recently, a study from 2019 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 60% of American adults report having had at least one adverse childhood experience (ACE), and almost a quarter reported three or more ACEs. These numbers are even more sobering when you consider that the CDC researchers believe them to be an underestimate" (from What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing, Bruce Perry MD, PhD, Oprah Winfrey).
Some common symptoms of C-PTSD include
If you're struggling with C-PTSD, you may find relationships challenging. You might have issues feeling emotionally safe with other people, and not understand how to trust others (or yourself).
You may avoid intimacy because you just don't understand it.
Conflict may feel terrifying for you. Or, on the other hand, you may be so comfortable with conflict and arguing that you push people away.
Anxiety, depression, and addictive behaviors can be best friends. I'm talking about the kind of "best" friend that can suck you in so deeply that you forget who you are and how it feels to be healthy and thriving.
Yvonne Castaneda is a licensed social worker, adjunct professor of Boston College Graduate School of Social Work, online facilitator of BC School of Theology and Ministry, and author of the new book, Pork Belly Tacos With a Side of Anxiety: My Journey Through Depression, Bulimia, and Addiction.
She's an expert in anxiety, depression, and addictive behaviors. She's also super articulate and a lot of fun!
This thought-provoking, light-hearted conversation touches on a wide range of topics, including cultural identity. Yvonne identifies as Latina, writing that her identity "as a Latina is rooted in the core values we share as a people, in our ability to overcome hardships with tenacity, perseverance, and determination, in the underlying passion and respect for life that I've encountered in all of the [Latinos] who have crossed my path, our cultural differences not strong enough to drive us apart because combined we wrote the book on how to laugh, how to love and how to vivir."
In addition to Latina cultural identity, Yvonne and Dr. Melanie Harth, the show host, talk about how:
As Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street, wrote: "There are wounds of the spirit impossible to heal alone. Yvonne Castañeda is a healer healing others by sharing her own story. This book resonated deeply with me, as it will with many who are lost when their DNA contradicts the image of the ideal."
"Anxiety, Depression, & Addictive Behaviors" is a beautiful episode, with Yvonne Castenada and Melanie Harth sharing sensitive experiences with transparency, clinical knowledge, and the wisdom earned through painful personal experiences.
Guest Duff McDonald, journalist and New York Times bestselling author, discusses his philosophy, and his new book, "Tickled: A Commonsense Guide To The Present Moment."
Melanie continues her conversation with Aliza Einhorn, astrologer, and author of A Mystical Practical Guide to Magic: Instructions for Seekers, Witches, & Other Spiritual Misfits.
Guest host Diane Tegmeyer talks with author and expert on American cheeses, Laura Werlin.
Guest Aliza Einhorn, astrologer, and author of A Mystical Practical Guide to Magic: Instructions for Seekers, Witches, & Other Spiritual Misfits discusses emotions, spirituality, and tarot.
Animals can be such wonderful contributors to our healing, happiness and well-being!
Guest host Diane Tegmeyer talks all things animals with Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Human Society Executive Director Dr. Jennifer Steketee.
Born and raised in Oregon, Jennifer attended vet school in Oregon and Washington states. Hers is an important voice in helping us understand the plight of sheltered animals in northern New Mexico. She shares stories of hope and healing, as well as lots of ideas for volunteering in this episode.
We can find a tremendous amount of wisdom when we journal. Dr. Elaine Casquarelli and Dr. Karin Lubin share insights, ideas, and lots of laughter in this episode.
Elaine is a psychotherapist who incorporates IFS (Internal Family Systems) into her work with clients.
Karin's professional background includes having been the Global Director of The Passion Test Certification programs. She's the co-owner — along with her husband, Randy Crutches, of Quantum Leap Coaching and Consulting. And she's co-hosted and guest hosted several episodes of Living From Happiness. Karin's doctorate is in education and organizational leadership.
There is now a large body of research that supports journaling as an activity that can have a profound impact on our health, happiness, and wellbeing. Karin explains some of these benefits to listeners.
And Elaine offers insights into how powerful it can be to understand our internal parts.
When the two are combined together -- IFS and journaling -- amazing things can happen. Elaine, Karin and Melanie talk about the importance of curiosity and clarity, how to access our inner wisdom, and how journaling can help us reconnect with ourselves.
In the second half, Karin shares her feelings about the books cover art, created by Estella Loretto (be on the lookout for a show with Estella in the near future).
Elaine and Karin are co-facilitating a 6-week virtual journaling wisdom circle Oct 8 – Nov 12, 2021. They’ll incorporate their book -- Living From Your Centered Self: An IFS Wisdom Journal -- and teach you how to connect with your centered Self and help the wounded and overworked parts of you to heal.
You’ll reconnect with your body, mind, and spirit through guided meditations, journaling and the sharing of your experiences and inner wisdom with one another.
Stress. Who isn't stressed these days? Absolutely no one. Melanie's the guest on her own show in this episode inspired by a New York Times article on smart phones and stress.
Do you know that stress really does affect everything else in our lives, from how we feel when we wake up (how’d you sleep last night, by the way?) to how we interact with too fast or too slow drivers around town?
Stress has a major affect on our health, wellbeing and happiness. It’s an important component of almost decision we make all day long, all our lives. Stress contributes to anxiety, sadness, anger, brain fog, rational thought, self-control and our decision-making abilities. It’s a contributor to serious health problems.
Basically, stress can make us miserable.
The article states that “cortisol is our primary fight-or-flight hormone. Its release triggers physiological changes, such as spikes in blood pressure, heart rate and blood sugar, that help us react to and survive acute physical threats.
“These effects can be lifesaving if you are actually in physical danger — like, say, you’re being charged by a bull. But our bodies also release cortisol in response to emotional stressors where an increased heart rate isn’t going to do much good, such as checking your phone to find an angry email from your boss.
“If they happened only occasionally, phone-induced cortisol spikes might not matter. But the average American spends four hours a day staring at their smartphone and keeps it within arm’s reach nearly all the time … . The result, as Google has noted in a report, is that ‘mobile devices loaded with social media, email and news apps create ‘a constant sense of obligation, generating unintended personal stress.’"
The good news? There's lots of it in the 2nd half of the show, including the idea of being with beauty to help calm our nervous systems down.
As Terry Tempest Williams wrote, “Finding beauty in a broken world is creating beauty in the world we find.” (in Finding Beauty in a Broken World)
Listen in for more ideas about calming down our stress response.
Notable New Mexico psychotherapist Dr. Elaine Casquarelli is featured in this episode. Elaine is a counselor, instructor, and an author. She's a certified EMDR therapist, as well as an IFS (Internal Family Systems)-trained practitioner.
IFS "is an approach to psychotherapy that identifies and addresses multiple sub-personalities or families within each person’s mental system. These sub-personalities consist of wounded parts and painful emotions such as anger and shame, and parts that try to control and protect the person from the pain of the wounded parts. The sub-personalities are often in conflict with each other and with one’s core Self, a concept that describes the confident, compassionate, whole person that is at the core of every individual. IFS focuses on healing the wounded parts and restoring mental balance and harmony by changing the dynamics that create discord among the sub-personalities and the Self." [from www.psychologytoday.com]
Don't freak out if that sounds too headsy, or complicated, or weird -- Elaine is masterful at helping us understand how IFS works!
She's even co-authored a book about it with Dr. Karin Lubin (stay tuned for a show with both of these amazing women in just a couple of weeks). The book is "Living From Your Centered Self: An IFS Wisdom Journal."
Elaine and Melanie talk about how IFS can help us recognize the internal voices that can either help us move into greater health or sabotage us, strategies to navigate the Covid-19 pandemic, how to define happiness and wellbeing, and much more.
note: Elaine and Dr. Karin Lubin are co-facilitating a 6-week virtual journaling circle Oct 8 - Nov 12, 2021. They'll incorporate their book, and teach you how to connect with your centered Self and help the wounded and overworked parts of you to heal. You'll reconnect with your body, mind, and spirit through guided meditations, journaling and the sharing of your experiences and inner wisdom with one another.
"Normal is broken," Melanie and guest Erin Doerwald agree. Erin's a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist, mindfulness facilitator, and mindfulness program developer based in Santa Fe, NM. She was the Program Director for The Sky Center of the New Mexico Suicide Intervention Project for many years and developed the core programming of Sky’s Toolkit for Wellbeing model. Finally, she's a member of the Board of Directors of Vallecitos Mountain Retreat Center.
Erin's an expert when it comes to mindfulness and how to manage when normal is broken.
She's also an incredibly articulate and compassionate psychotherapist who shares insights on life in a (sort of) post-pandemic world.
What does the process of meaning-making look like? What's resiliency? What's that "skillful place in the middle" that Erin mentions?
This conversation is wide-ranging, in-depth, full of curiosity and insights and laughter and hope.
For the truth is, there's always hope. There is always a way to create a little more space in our nervous systems and psyches. Which allows us to adapt to an ever-changing world, deepening into what's real and true and good and possible.
Erin mentions the internationally respected resiliency researcher, Dr. Ann Masten.* Resilience is basically the capacity of a system, whether that be an individual, a family, an organization, or a culture, to adapt in adverse circumstances.
One of the ways to strengthen our ability to adapt in adverse circumstances, to strengthen our resiliency muscle, is by practicing mindfulness.
How that works is a big part of this episode.
Among other things, Erin works with individuals and families in therapy, and teaches virtual affiliated mindfulness classes from UCLA.
Mindfulness, "normal," successfully adapting to an insane world ... so much in this 25-minute show!
David Bedrick, JD, psychotherapist specializing in process psychology, teacher, founder of the Santa Fe Institute for Shame-Based Studies, author, and all-around cool guy, is featured in this episode.
He and Melanie talk about his newest book, "You Can't Judge a Body by its Cover: 17 Women's Stories of Hunger, Body Shame, and Redemption."
David's insights into disordered eating, why diet programs fail, shame and self-hatred, and "the desire behind the desire, the hunger behind the hunger" are fascinating.
He explains that "failing at dieting masquerades as a problem of willpower and discipline, but it’s just as potent and complex as any other psychological issue or physical illness. My research has shown that resistance to dieting is a healthy response to the shaming that is baked into what drives people to try to lose weight. Because people naturally resist shame and self-hatred, they subconsciously undermine diets motivated by these feelings.”
Another quote from David regarding shame is, "What desire are you trying to satisfy behind the desire for nachos, or ice cream, or pie? You can’t love the parts of yourself you’re not yet aware of. These parts of you are waiting for you to notice them and let wisdom launch you forward. These parts need a loving not a shaming witness."
David brings deep insight, many years of clinical research and work with clients, as well as a real passion for making a difference in people's lives.
Part of his clinical and healing work includes diving into and re-working "the assumption that the thing that is wrong with me is not me. I can get rid of it and become the pure me, the right me, the “healed” me. But psychological difficulties are different. If we get angry but try to get rid of it, we only end up suppressing parts of ourselves. I can’t get rid of myself; I must become myself. I can’t get rid of my hungers and body size; I must become them—not the size and eating habits themselves, but the intelligence expressed in my size and habits."
This episode is terrific for anyone who's curious about how psychology works, how to develop and use self-insights and self-awareness, and some of the components of happiness and wellbeing.