What I’m Listening to

I know this is so 2009, but I have recently started listening to podcasts during my commutes back and forth. Listening to things without any visual cues, without a beat or bass line, and for the most part without distractions, is almost traveling back in time, simpler times. I will admit that my conversions to podcasts started withserial, but here’s what I’ve been listening to that is relevant to my work as a therapist, relationships, life, parenting, etc.


dear sugar radio


Dear Sugar was an advice column from The Rumpus, which was very popular and had a cult like following. Unfortunately, I never knew about Dear Sugar until the podcast beganHosted by the original Sugars, writers Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond, the podcast answers questions submitted via email.


I always feel awkward in session when I ask a teen or an adult if they like writing- as in pen to paper type writing. I know clients can see that I use a Mac, and know that I’m fairly tech savvy, but asking about pen and paper writing/journaling is pretty old school. When I listen to Cheryl and Steve (both very accomplished writers), I realize in their process of writing fiction/non-fiction, that they have had dive headfirst into the complexities of their characters–characters that may be an extension of themselves.


Episode after episode of Dear Sugar, you realize that these two writers have had to wrestle with loss, success, doubt, love, risk, patience, etc. Their shared experience as humans, as well as writers who are constantly revising a narrative, enables them to dispense great insight, advice, and possibilities to those who are hurting. As a therapist, I’m always amazed by their ability to empathize, follow up on questions they would like to ask those seeking help, and offer some insight into what might be the struggle at the core of their being. Listening to Dear Sugar should not replace counseling, but I love how they encourage those who write in to explore their life conundrums in therapy.  That I fully agree with 🙂


mom and dad are fighting

As a long time reader and lover of Slate, I’ve also come to appreciate “Slate editors Allison Benedikt and Dan Kois review and debate the latest parenting news,” on Mom and Dad are Fighting.  They are real life parents that are writers, live in different cities, and are parents to several children. I appreciate their candor about all things related to parenting, their family, and the guests that contribute to their stories.


Parents are living in an era of information overload when it comes to parenting, which is both a good and a bad thing. There’s research to back up the long held beliefs, or research to refute such ideas, too. This podcast is a way to stay current on what other parents may talk about in the pick up line, may clue you in on a head start to a book that a school or teacher may endorse, but more importantly, it’s a quick way of digesting information about parenting. Topics range from how to talk to your child about pornography, are you raising a narcissist?, or issues around celebrating both Jewish and Christian traditions at home. It’s like listening in on an honest conversation between two smart parents who are on top of all the news, without the pretentiousness.


Last but not least, invisibilia “(Latin for “all the invisible things”) delves into a wide array of human behavior, interweaving narrative storytelling with fascinating new psychological and brain science. Listen and research will come to life in a way that will make you see your own life differently. Produced by NPR News, Invisibilia turns the dry and scholarly into utterly captivating storytelling.”


As a young undergrad, I had thoughts of continuing my education in the field of neuroscience, so all things regarding the brain still fascinate me. As I share with my clients, the brain is the “final frontier” of the human body for doctors and researchers. The storytelling style by two entertaining, enthusiastic, and non academics, makes for fascinating topics such as what is the role of fear in our lives? What’s it like to literally have all the “feels” of those around you, all the time? Great episodes that teeter between psychology, neuroscience, and the believable vs. unbelievable.


Are there podcasts related to teens, parenting, relationships, psychology that I’m missing out on?

Comment and share below.




*photo credit: Serial, WBUR, Slate, NPR


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