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It's Not Just In Your Head

It's Not Just In Your Head

By It's Not Just In Your Head
Two mental health professionals explore how our capitalist economic system impacts our emotional lives. From precarious housing and employment, to unaffordable healthcare, to endless debt -- it's not just in your head!
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#061: Black Trauma Treatment Planning (w/ Jason Myles & Pascal Robert)
Jason Myles & Pascal Roberts, from the THIS IS REVOLUTION podcast join us to talk about black trauma from a political economy and Marxist perspective. Jason and Pascal had Catherine Liu on their show recently to talk specifically about "black trauma spectacle" ongoing within the culture industry, liberal media, and other areas of American society. We asked them what they thought more broadly about the concept of black trauma, racial trauma, intergenerational trauma, and what kind of "treatment plan" is needed to remedy the suffering of those who may suffer under capitalism more disproportionately than others. More therapy for racialized peoples? Reparations and other "race first" programs? So-called "class reductionist" politics? Also, should Harriet compliment men's balls?   Listen to more of Jason and Pascal on their podcast "THIS IS REVOLUTION podcast: at Jason & Pascal's book references: James Foreman Jr- Locking Up Our Own Janice Peck- The Age of Oprah neoliberal Icon Email us with feedback, questions, suggestions at Become a patron at to gain early access  to episodes, our discord server, and monthly reading/discussion groups.
October 18, 2021
Why are racial disparities shocking?
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October 12, 2021
#60: Emotional Labor (interview w/ Harriet)
Max interviews Harriet about an article she wrote in 2008 ago called Toiling In The Field Of Emotion, published in Class Struggle on the Home Front. He asks her: what is emotional labor? How does the concept fit into Marxian economic analysis of economy and relationships? Why has the concept been repressed in Marxist circles? Toiling In The Field of Emotion: Still faced experiment: Email us with feedback, questions, suggestions at Become a patron at to gain early access  to episodes, our discord server, and monthly reading/discussion groups.
October 11, 2021
Children's emotional labor
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October 5, 2021
#059: Eviction PTSD (Do You Meet Criteria?)
In this ep we talk about evictions and the trauma they cause, with some emphasis near the end on data showing that race better predicts eviction rates than income. Max shares his own eviction story and educates listeners about the difference between "soft" and "hard" evictions, as well as how extreme the power differential is between landlords and tenants. How helpful are "tenants rights" compared to property rights? Who has access to lawyers? When the landlord retaliates for you exercising your rights, what recourse do you have? Do mental health professionals understand, care, or have any involvement in addressing the extreme housing crisis in America or do they just want you to talk about your childhood and meditate?  To get involved in tenant organizing:  Resources/references:  The coming eviction crisis will hit Black communities the hardest The hidden health costs of eviction Eviction: The physical, financial and mental health consequences of losing your home  Email us with feedback, questions, suggestions at Become a patron at to gain early access  to episodes, our discord server, and monthly reading/discussion groups.
October 4, 2021
Everyday Landlord Terrorism
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September 28, 2021
#058: America's wretched history and getting "unstuck" (w/ Bob Hennelly)
We interview award-winning investigative journalist Bob Hennelly about his new book "Stuck Nation: Can the United States Change Course on Our History of Choosing Profits Over People?" Learn more about Bob here: Email us with feedback, questions, suggestions at Become a patron at to gain early access  to episodes, our discord server, and monthly reading/discussion groups.
September 27, 2021
If it doesn't pay it's not worth doing
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September 22, 2021
#057: Domestic violence & intergenerational trauma (Liberation Health Case Conceptualization #1)
Some listeners suggested we do some case conceptualizations so we decided to use the liberation health model to conceptualize two past cases we had. We plan to try doing something like this once per month or so. Identifying aspects of these cases have been modified so that previous clients could not be identified if listeners, people they knew, or they themselves heard the episode.  See here for information on the liberation health triangle which puts a problem at center, with personal, cultural and institutional factors mapped out at each corner of the triangle to both understand and try solving the problem. Email us with feedback, questions, suggestions at Become a patron at to gain early access  to episodes, our discord server, and monthly reading/discussion groups.
September 20, 2021
Liberation health triangle
(Mistake: personal, cultural, institutional - not personal, cultural, economic. See here:   Become  a patron of our podcast at to  get early access to full episodes, our discord chat room, and monthly  reading/discussion groups.
September 14, 2021
#056: Violence & Conflict Literacy (ft. Bob Hall)
In this episode we learn from Bob Hall about the concept of "conflict literacy" and how it relates to addressing different forms of interpersonal violence. Bob Hall is  the founder of Learning To Live With Conflict, Inc., a company he  established in 1987 to provide education and training in the analysis  and resolution of conflict. His academic background includes a Bachelors  Degree in Business Administration from the Rochester Institute of  Technology and a Masters Degree in Conflict Resolution from Antioch  University; as well as a host of informal study and research on sexual  violence, human sexuality, addiction, violence, conflict, nonviolence,  and Girardian Theory on mimetic rivalry, sacrificial violence, and  scapegoating. Learn more about his work at Email us with feedback, questions, suggestions at Become a patron at to gain early access  to episodes, our discord server, and monthly reading/discussion groups.
September 13, 2021
Conflict is good
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September 7, 2021
#055: Is Mindfulness A Capitalist Spirituality? (w/ Dr. Ron Purser)
Ron Purser, Ph.D., author of McMindfulness: How Mindfulness Became the New Capitalist Spirituality, joins us for this episode. We ask him how mindfulness became a multi-billion dollar industry, why Silicon Valley has designed hundreds of mindfulness apps, and whether mindfulness is just a capitalist form of spirituality. Is mindfulness actually a secular medical intervention that improves focus, mood, and compassion? Is mindfulness in its modern Western form in service of anything beyond The Self? Ron helps us figure all this out and more. -- Ron Purser, Ph.D. is the Lam Larsen Distinguished Research Professor of Management at San Francisco State University. He is the author of eight books, including McMindfulness: How Mindfulness Became the New Capitalist Spirituality (Penguin Random House/Repeater Books), the Handbook of the Ethical Foundations of Mindfulness and the Handbook of Mindfulness: Culture, Context and Social Engagement. He writes for such media outlets as Tricycle, The Guardian, Salon, Alternet, Tikkun, Pando Daily and Transformation. He is also the host of The Mindful Cranks podcast. @ronpurser (Twitter) --- Email us at Become a patron at to gain early access  to episodes, our discord server, and monthly reading/discussion groups.
September 6, 2021
Mindfulness Reinforces The Ideal Neoliberal Subject
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August 31, 2021
#054: Why Are Millennials "The Therapy Generation"? (ft. Jennifer Silva)
In this episode we interview Prof. Jennifer Silva, author of Coming Up Short: Working-Class Adulthood in an Age of Uncertainty. Silva interviewed 100 working class young adults for the book (published in 2013) and found that most interviewees attributed their life problems to psychological issues located within themselves rather than economic or political problems located outside of themselves. While Silva initially found it almost bewildering that none of her interviewees thought of their problems as related to declining wages and working conditions, and other economically and politically determined factors, she later concluded that the more internally focused and psychologized shift was a kind of survival mechanism for working class millennials. If traditional institutions such as churches, unions, the family, government, had failed their parents as well as themselves, the self would be the most rational place to retreat to "work through" struggle. This may explain why millennials are "the therapy generation."    Silva's most recent book is called We're Still Here Pain and Politics in the Heart of America, which you can find here: Email us at Become a patron at to gain early access  to episodes, our discord server, and monthly reading/discussion groups.
August 30, 2021
Is "rugged individualism" a survival strategy?
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August 24, 2021
#053: Aging Under Capitalism
Piggybagging off of last week's episode on death, Harriet and Max focus on aging. What's it like to grow older in a capitalist society that devalues anyone who doesn't produce wealth for the 1%? Why do older people tend to get lonelier over time, go into more debt than ever, and have some of the highest rates of bankruptcy? Harriet speaks on her experience as a 79 year old with more privileges than most - a nice place to live, healthy eating and exercise habits, having attained lots of education. But what's it like to age in poverty in America? Email us at Become a patron at to gain early access  to episodes, our discord server, and monthly reading/discussion groups.
August 23, 2021
I'm almost 80
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August 17, 2021
#052: Death, Marxism & Supernaturalism
Max shares about the recent passing of his estranged father and about some very odd and possibly supernatural experiences surrounding it, as well as some expected political economy commentary (his father was homeless in a world where housing is a globally financialized hyper-commodity).  Tying the personal to the political, Harriet and Max both remark on how the materialist roots and emphases within Marxism seem sometimes devoid of attention to the seemingly non-materialist phenomena such as supernaturalism, the occult, etc. Harriet shares about her experiences with people dying, being 79 years of age and having seeing so many people go. Email us at Become a patron at to gain early access to episodes, our discord server, and monthly reading/discussion groups.
August 16, 2021
Death & Family
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August 10, 2021
#051: Cruel Optimism
Harriet explains what is cruel about a form of optimism that people internalize which says everything will be fine if they just work hard and follow the rules within this economic system and society. The US capitalist economy is pitted against the vast majority of people and waking up to this and understanding the collective situation we're all in is the first step. Become a patron at to join monthly discussion groups by zoom, early access to episodes, and a private chatroom for fans of the show, email us at
August 3, 2021
Cruel optimism (teaser)
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July 27, 2021
#050: The Power Threat Meaning Framework (w/ Dr. Lucy Johnstone)
Clinical psychologist Dr. Lucy Johnstone, one of the lead authors of the Power Threat Meaning Framework (PTMF), joins this episode to talk about the most ambitious, comprehensive challenge to the mainstream diagnostic mental health models used in Western society ever proposed. The PTMF, which was developed over a 5 year period under the British Psychological Society, attempts to replace the entire DSM-5 and ICD-10 and to re-conceptualize human distress as occurring within and often caused by complex social and political situations. Harriet and Max excitedly interview Dr. Johnstone to understand this framework, and encourage listeners to learn more about it and to tell us what your reactions were to this discussion at Learn more the PTMF website, which has documents, videos, resources, practice examples of PTMF application here: Here is an accessible short guide for anyone who wants to construct, or support someone to construct, a PTMF narrative: Follow-up on issues related to challenging diagnosis and medical model understandings - with resources, videos, online festivals and discussion events. Join an  international online festival on Sept 17th. www. --- Support the podcast and get early access to full episodes, our discord server, and monthly reading and discussion groups at
July 26, 2021
1 in 4 are mentally ill, but soon 9 in 10 will be mentally ill, and eventually 100% of us will be mentally ill, at which point nobody will be mentally ill!
This is the voice of Dr. Lucy Johnstone, one of the lead authors of the Power Threat Meaning Framework (PTMF) - an alternative to the DSM-5 and ICD-10 frameworks that have come to define not just Western culture's conceptual understanding of "mental disorders" but which have now exported into all parts of the world like a new form of psychological colonialism. Listen to the full episode at
July 20, 2021
#049: Britney Was Made A Slave 4 U (#FreeBritney)
Harriet opens with a deep dive into the #FreeBritney conservatorship abuse phenomenon and how Britney Spears was basically turned into a slave to make her family, as well as legal and medical establishment profit-seekers, very rich at Britney's expense. Max recalls growing up with Britney Spears' music on the radio and TV, and asking about how many child pop stars are basically just child slaves for parental capitalist bosses. What exactly are children for? Hit us baby one more time with feedback at  Become a patron to get early access to episodes, a monthly reading/discussion group, and discord server at
July 19, 2021
#FreeBritney (trailer)
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July 15, 2021
#048: Politically Polarized Families
A listener emailed us about how politically polarized their family was, and how painful this was for everyone to experience. Harriet and Max comment on what may have caused this phenomenon historically and economically. Email us if your family is politically polarized and whether this causes you distress or if you're fine with this abeing your family dynamic. Do you avoid political conversations? Do you just listen to family members? Have you cut them off permanently due to their views? To join our patrons-only discord, get early access to episodes, and our monthly reading group, go to
July 12, 2021
My alt-right dad, neo-lib mom, and intersectional-anarcho-communist self. Help!
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July 6, 2021
#047: A Critique Of #TikTokTherapy
In this solocast episode, Max offers some critiques of the depoliticized and McDonaldized way #mentalhealth is discussed on social media. When he saw a recent CIA recruitment video that included a millennial Latinx CIA agent identifying as being diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and listening to some nearby 20-somethings use a bucket full of DSM-5 and pop-psych jargon, he began wondering why #mentalhealth content has become so #relateable to the millennial and zoomer generations. He did some research and found that the hashtag #TikTokTherapy has 50 million posts on TikTok , then decided to lecture you for 40 minutes about it. The gist is: Marx's theory of alienation is important, the top social media therapist influencers should use their platforms to historicize and politicize young adults' internal experiences and connect them larger social, political, and economic forces, and everyone should read "Coming Up Short: Working Class Adulthood In An Age Of Uncertainty" by Jennifer Silva. Yell at Max for his problematic takes at  SMASH this link to become a patron:, so we can #outcompete other #therapists in the #freemarket of #mentalhealth podcasts. Links: Woke CIA Recruitment Ad: Marx's Theory of Alienation: Sampled TikTok Therapists: Book: "Coming Up Short: Working Class Adulthood In An Age Of Uncertainty" by Jennifer Silva.
July 5, 2021
#TikTokTherapy (trailer)
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June 29, 2021
#046: Middle and Upper Class Guilt
Do you ever feel guilty or ashamed for having climbed or been born into a more "middle class" or "upper class" position on the socioeconomic ladder? Harriet and Max call this phenomenon "class guilt," and define it separately from other forms of "privilege guilt" such as white guilt and male guilt. Harriet complicates "class" by reminding us of the Marxian definition. Some argue there are multiple classes in society denoted by amounts of money or types of jobs, but on a basic level there are ultimately two major classes: the ownership class who owns the means of production and accumulates wealth through ownership, and the working class who do not own the means of production and can only survive through wage labor. Both therapists offer insights around whether such a sense of guilt, and any form of "privilege" based guilt, is helpful or harmful. Harriet encourages listeners of all backgrounds to simply ask themselves if they stand with those who exploit for a living or if they stand with those who wish to transform the economy into an equitable, sustainable one based on cooperation and democracy. Max encourages listeners to go beyond cognitively believing oneself to "be on a side" and to become active members of organizations intending to build and expand working class power, long-term. Email us feedback on this episode at Get early access to episodes, join monthly reading groups and the discord community at
June 28, 2021
Guilt and shame (about socioeconomic position)
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June 22, 2021
#045: Identity wrap-up
Harriet and Max "wrap up" on identity politics so they can move on to other topics.,
June 21, 2021
The erasure of women of color in union organizing
Full episode at Please give us feedback / reactions to our conversations at or anonymously here:
June 13, 2021
#044: Does Validation Cause Narcissism? (ft. Angie Speaks)
Youtuber and podcaster Angie Speaks joins us to talk about what inspired her recent video "How Validation Ruined Your Life: Narcissism and Social Justice."  In this episode we discuss (and debate) whether there is value to identifying or allying with certain groups along lines of gender, race, ethnicity, immigration status, etc. Angie argues that most  identification to this effect has been twisted into pseudo-political culture wars that produce more infighting and political ineffectiveness. Harriet argues that identity is often a starting point for people to become politicized and later develop class politics (ie, through Blackness, woman-ness, trans-ness, etc). A debate breaks out about whether a "class identity" is an appropriate way to talk about moving toward class unity. Max acknowledges the psychological need most people have to develop a sense of personal and collective identity, but questions whether this identity development process in our current culture leads to class politics or has become designed to become hostile toward it. Check out Angie Speaks' Youtube videos here: And her podcast Low Society here: Reach Angie on twitter at
June 7, 2021
White people walking on eggshells around Black people
Clip of an upcoming episode with Youtuber Angie Speaks. Check out her work here: Get early access to this episode at
June 1, 2021
#043: Suicide vs. Fighting For Worlds Worth Living In (w/ Prof. Jennifer White)
This week we talk to Jennifer White, one of the founders of the Critical Suicidology Network. White is a professor in the School of Child and Youth Care at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada. She served for 7 years as the Director of Suicide Prevention Center in the Dept. of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia. With White, we learn about the new field of "critical suicidology," which seeks to rethink what it means to study and prevent suicide in a more diverse and less psycho-centric and depoliticized ways. We explore how historical factors like colonialism and genocide, deindustrialization, gender violence and racism impact suicide. While DBT's mantra as a modality is to help clients "build a life worth living," White challenges us to develop approaches that empower suicidal people to fight to build a WORLD worth living in. Here is an additional interview and podcast with Jennifer White from Mad In America: A book that Prof. White recommends, including an article she wrote on collective ethics of suicide prevention: Suicide and Social Justice New Perspectives on the Politics of Suicide and Suicide Prevention --- Send us your reactions to this episode at, and become a patron to get early access to episodes, to join our monthly reading groups and discord server, and extra behind the scenes content at
May 31, 2021
How to rebel (without committing suicide)
Short clip of upcoming episode with critical suicidologist Jennifer White. Hear the whole episode early at
May 25, 2021
#042: Boss vs. Worker Psychology (ft. Tedwood Strong & Jen Garcia)
Two union organizers from Atlanta, Georgia join us to explore questions about the psychology of bosses versus workers in the context of union organizing. What's a typical reaction of managers and bosses when workers form a union? Are these reactions any different with more liberal or progressive bosses? Are workers who organize a real or imagined threat to a business owner's sense of identity and accomplishments? What are common fears that prevent workers from organizing? When workers do organize together, what helps them overcome fear of retaliation from the boss and how do they develop a sense of solidarity over horizontal distrust and competitiveness? Our guests: Tedwood Strong (they/them), former animator and campaign lead for CODE-CWA - a campaign to organize digital employees. Jen Garcia, a "reformed animator" and software engineer who "thinks unions are rad." Go to for more info Email us at, support the pod at
May 24, 2021
American workers have never experienced solidarity
Voice of Jen Garcia, workplace organizer and "reformed animator." Get access to the full episode and our monthly reading groups at
May 18, 2021
#041: What is capitalism and why should you care? (ft. Richard Wolff)
Marxian economist Richard Wolff joins us for this episode to help us define our terms. What do we mean when we use words like capitalism, socialism, and communism? Wolff begins his explanation by describing different kinds of relationships and tensions between who has owned property throughout history and who has not. Relationships between slave owner and slave, feudal lord and serf, and capitalist employer and employee, all share some commonalities through history and during each historical period there have been both supporters and critics of each economic system. Wolff explains that although in the US, Karl Marx has been made into an almost cartoon-like villain largely due to the 20th century's "Red Scare," that Marx was just one of many critics of capitalism who believed capitalism was born and would die, followed by eventually systems we might call socialism and communism. Wolff makes clear that definitions of socialism and communism have always been heatedly debated, as has been the question of how we are to move from capitalism to socialism, but Americans in particular are only now coming out of decades long hibernation -- having lagged behind the rest of the world in understanding these ideas, discussing and debating them, and applying all of this to their own lives and societies. After Professor Wolff's explanation, Harriet and Max share thoughts about how these economic systems impact how people see themselves, their relationships to others, their identification with different kinds of social groups and activities, their sense of purpose and meaning, and their ability to imagine new possibilities within their own and other people's lives. To learn more about Richard Wolff's work, visit and Email us any reactions you have about this episode at, and to get early access to episodes and other perks, become a patron at
May 17, 2021
The dream of a new system
Voice of Professor Richard Wolff - for early access to this episode become a patron at
May 11, 2021
#040: Identity Politics & Mental Health (w/ Asad Haider)
For this episode we invited Asad Haider on to talk about identity politics and mental health. Haider wrote a book called Mistaken Identity in 2018, which weaves in a blend of personal narratives and scholarly analysis; Haider shares on the one hand the "lived experiences" of being on the receiving end of racism having grown up in a Pakistani immigrant family in post-9/11 America, and on the other a deep challenge for the left to consider whether modern identity politics are capable of significantly and positively transforming society. We ask Haider if he thinks there has been cultural and interpersonal progress on the left from the now relatively normalized integration of mental health and trauma therapy language into identity politic discourse (ie, invalidation, trigger, safe space, micro-aggression). Haider argues that there's a mistake in assuming there are more similarities than differences for people with "the same identities," and that operating on this assumption often leads to ineffective politics. Harriet and Max try to balance the need to acknowledge the psychological significance of identity while understanding the limitations of identity as a form of politics. Asad Haider is a founding editor of Viewpoint Magazine. He is the author of Mistaken Identity. His writing can be found in The Baffler, n+1, The Point, Salon, and elsewhere. Read about Haider's work here, here, and here: Two of Haider's more recent writings: Please give us your feedback on this discussion at Support our podcast at
May 10, 2021
"It's not true that people are oppressed by their race"
This is the voice of Asad Haider, founding editor of Viewpoint Magazine and author of Mistaken Identity. Read about Haider's work here, here, and here: Two of Haider's more recent writings: For early access to the full episode become a patron at
May 4, 2021
#39: Occupational Therapy vs. Capitalism
Max interviews Occupational Therapist Maria Dong to talk about the many ways our for-profit healthcare system negatively impacts healthcare workers and patient outcomes. Maria can be reached at @mariadongwrites on twitter. Email us at and become a patreon at
May 3, 2021
Corporate healthcare kills
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April 27, 2021
#037: What's Wrong With Mainsteam Psychology? w/ Bethany Morris
Bethany Morris joins us to talk about critical and community psychology, Lacanian psychoanalysis, and borderline personality disorder. Dr. Morris is an assistant professor of psychology at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she teaches and does theoretical and qualitative research. She is a transdisciplinary scholar whose work bridges critical psychology, literature, philosophy, history, psychoanalysis, and film studies. Dr. Morris' interview with Mad In America: Get early access to episodes and extra perks at, and email us at
April 26, 2021
#038: Will Biden's "Caring Economy" Infrastructure Plan Empower Women?
Harriet reviews Biden's ambitious infrastructure and jobs plan and the inclusion of various aspects of the "caring economy," including investment into childcare, healthcare, eldercare, etc. Such jobs are overwhelmingly performed by women, mostly women of color, and are notoriously underpaid. Harriet praises the arguably "revolutionary" potential of Biden's plans, then critiques them with focus on proposed timelines of implementation and lack of attention to pay disparities within "caring" fields (ie, physician to nurse aid; psychiatrist to mental health counselor). Max explains how union and worker co-op efforts to set pay ratios within workplaces and industries could address the pay disparity problem for women, and generally, but questions whether workplace democracy needs to be "made allowed" more from the top or "fought for" from the bottom. --- We've released this episode one week early to invite listeners to our first ever patrons-only reading/discussion hour with Harriet and Max on the following article: This discussion will take place April 23, Friday, 12pm PST / 3pm PST. This will be an ongoing perk for patrons, who will influence what is read and discussed monthly. If you absolutely cannot afford to become a patron but are eager to join the discussion, email us at To become a patron go to
April 18, 2021
Can You Prove You're An Individual?
Get early access to our full episode with Dr. Bethany Morris at
April 10, 2021
#036: Childcare 4 All (w/ Sarah R and Mo from DSA)
Sarah and Mo join Max to talk about the many reasons why a universal childcare program in the U.S. would be good for the mental health of children, mothers, parents-generally, families, teachers, and society-at-large. Rooted in her "whole worker" labor organizing struggle in Appalachia (Southwest Virginia) as a childcare worker, Sarah realized that lack of access to quality childcare for working mothers and families, and the low pay and poor working conditions for childcare workers generally, is as much of a crisis in America as is is our lack of affordable healthcare. Mo, a trained doula, professional caseworker, and healthcare organizer, shares some of her insights about the struggles moms can face when they lack access to childcare. Mo recently ran a public good campaign and believes guaranteed childcare is something socialists need to fight for in a member-funded organization as hard as they do for universal healthcare. If you want DSA to make Childcare 4 All a national priority this year, sign the resolution here (must be a DSA member to sign): Learn more about the DSA Class Unity Caucus at Support our podcast at, and contact us at
April 5, 2021
If you want stable adults, you need universal childcare
Listen to the full episode at If you want DSA to make Childcare 4 All a national priority this year, sign this resolution (must be a DSA member to sign):
April 1, 2021
#035: The economy is crumbling - how does that make us feel?
In this episode, Harriet gives a broad "macro" zoom out view of what's going on in America right now economically and politically. Next, she zooms in to the "micro" level to look at how our crumbling political economy is impacting people's relationships and individual mental health. Max shares his frustrations around wanting for us to be able to move from "diagnosis" to "treatment" in this context, and both therapists explore possible solutions to the economic and political problems facing all of us today. Get early access to episodes, join our patreon/discord community, and get extra perks by becoming a patron at Contact us at
March 29, 2021
Why do we fear organizations and allow algorithms and bosses to dominate us?
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March 23, 2021
#034: Abolish ICE To Treat Immigrant PTSD? (ft. Randy Capps)
We reached out to Migration Policy Institute (MPI) to discuss their research on immigration enforcement and Latino adolescent mental health, resulting in this conversation with their director of research Randy Capps. In this episode, we ask Randy about MPI's research findings on how immigration policies impact the mental health of migrants in the US, with attention to Latino mental health. We ask Randy his thoughts on abolishing ICE, the "open borders" debate, and what kinds of immigration policies would promote the best mental health for migrants in the US. Through email, we asked Randy about how US military and trade interventionism in South America has impacted migration patterns and he made clear he does not know much about this - if you know of researchers with knowledge in this area let us know so we can address that important aspect of US migration and mental health. Also, this episode is more policy focused than usual, and does not draw on personal narratives to help listeners understand the mental health struggles associated with fear of loved ones being deported. If you are someone with such a story and feel comfortable sharing, please email us at Randy Capps is Director of Research for U.S. Programs at the Migration Policy Institute. His areas of expertise include immigration trends, the unauthorized population, immigrants in the U.S. labor force, the children of immigrants and their well-being, and immigrant health-care and public benefits access and use. Resource: Immigration Enforcement and the Mental Health of Latino High School Students Support our podcast at
March 22, 2021
Should immigrants trust the US government?
Voice of Randy Capps from Migration Policy Institute. In full episode we talk about this: Hear the full episode at
March 17, 2021
#033: We're All Addicts (w/ Kevin Gallagher)
Fellow mental health counselor Kevin Gallagher joins us to talk about the history of addiction in America, its causes, and cures. Kevin shares  what he learned first-hand about America's broken approaches to addiction treatment while he struggled through his own past addiction, which led him toward intensive research and writing on the history of addiction and why we approach and conceptualize it the way we do today.  Is addiction a moral problem? Why did the "war on drugs" position addiction around (highly racialized) individual criminality? Are people born with "addictive personalities" as a result of defective brains and chemical imbalances? What's missing from today's so-called "trauma informed" approach to addiction popularized by experts such as Gabor Maté? Read Kevin's 10 part Mad In America series "An American History of Addiction" here: - Kevin Gallagher is a former adjunct professor of Psychology and Sociology at Point Park University, in Pittsburgh, PA. He has worked in various community-health settings including four years with the award-winning street medicine program, Operation Safety Net. His work focuses on rethinking mental health, substance use, and addiction from a sociological and social-justice perspective.  He is currently a writer for Mad in America and works in Medicaid clinical quality program development." Contact us at Get early access to episodes and other perks at
March 15, 2021
Where does all our addiction and trauma come from?
Read Kevin Gallagher's 10 part Mad In America series on the history of addiction here: Get early access to this episode at
March 9, 2021
#032: Cultural Anthropologist Roy Grinker On Capitalism, Brain Science vs Supernaturalism, and The Neurodiversity Movement
In this episode we interview Roy Grinker, cultural anthropologist and author of Nobody's Normal: How Culture Created the Stigma of Mental Illness. His book is broken into three sections: capitalism, wars, and the mind and body. Grinker explains that the transition from feudalism to capitalism in Europe created the conditions that gave rise to doctors observing "unproductive deviants" within asylums for the first time in history, leading to categorization of different forms of mental suffering based on "clinical observation" and the cultural invention of psychiatry. World Wars I and II had some of the most profound impacts on the development and later global exportation of the DSM and the cultural and ideological assumptions contained within it and the treatment concepts it espouses. Are rates of autism spectrum disorder higher in South Korea? Can a supportive culture "treat" mental problems better than individualistic diagnostic/treatment modalities? What better explains hallucinations and reduces stigma for those who experience them: brain science or supernaturalism? And what's so important about the neurodiversity movement? More on Grinker: Grinker's book: Email us reactions, thoughts, critiques at Get early access to episodes and other perks at
March 8, 2021
[Listener response] Clarifying our stance on psych meds
A listener shared with us that they felt that in episode #030 it sounded like we were shaming people who take psych meds. We wanted to clarify our stance with this brief response for anyone who has felt shamed when we speak critically about the pharmaceutical industry and biologically driven approaches to mental health treatment. 
March 6, 2021
Did the transition from feudalism to capitalism create mental illness?
The speaker in this trailer is Roy Grinker, cultural anthropologist and author of Nobody's Normal: How Culture Created the Stigma of Mental Illness. Get early access to this episode at Listen to a free sample of Nobody's Normal: How Culture Created the Stigma of Mental Illness here:
March 2, 2021
#032: Is The PMC Delusional? (w/ Catherine Liu)
Max interviews author of the polemical book Virtue Hoarders, Catherine Liu, about the ways the so-called Professional-Managerial Class (PMC) uses fake empathy, mental health language, and superficial discourse on trauma to protect its material interests at the expense of lower wage workers.  The mental health field itself is positioned within the PMC strata and tends to lack class consciousness - part of what sparked the creation of this very podcast. But the PMC as a whole appears to deny any class positionality to the point of dissociation so that it lives in a world of fantasy to explain society, making it "the most delusional class" according to Liu. Near the end, conversations about psychoanalysis and today's cognitive-behavioral "customer satisfaction survey" therapies turn into cackling and managed grief.   Catherine Liu is professor of film and media studies at the University of California, Irvine and the author of Virtue Hoarders: The Case against the Professional Managerial Class: The Professional-Managerial Class w/ Catherine Liu | The Jacobin Show The Worst Class ft. Catherine Liu Wiki's PMC definition: Catherine's references: -Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer, Barbara Ehrenreich -Coming Up Short: Working Class Adulthood in An Age of Uncertainty, Jennifer Silva -We're Still Here: Pain and Politics in the Heart of America, Jennifer Silva
March 1, 2021
[BONUS] Was Sigmund Freud Helpful Or Harmful To Society?
This is a teaser clip of a full patrons-only episode we did on Sigmund Freud, the "father of psychotherapy." In our patrons-only discord chatroom, we were asked to answer questions about Freud such as: In what ways were Freud's ideas used to liberate vs oppress? Is psychoanalysis still needed? What material conditions helped create Freud's analysis? Why is psychoanalysis so inaccessible? What would Freud say about our culture if he were alive today? Become a patron today at for access to this episode, to get shout outs on the air, extra content, and early access to episodes.
February 27, 2021
"Wellness" as the full commodification of mental health
Get early access to full episodes at Voice in this trailer is Catherine Liu, author of Virtue Hoarders: The Case Against The Professional Managerial Class. Watch her Jacobin interview here: Listen to her interview on Aufhebunga Bunga podcast here:
February 23, 2021
#031: Do Women Have Better Sex In Socialist & Communist Countries? (ft. Kristen Ghodsee)
Kristen Ghodsee joins us to talk about sex and sexuality across the varied socialist experiments that took place for most of the 20th century in Eastern Europe. She acknowledges the well-known atrocities (purges, famines, secret police, gulags) - but cautions listeners to understand that  "heavy handed state socialism" was not the only form of socialism from 1917 to 1991 across Eastern Europe. Based on decades of ethnographic research, Ghodsee argues that despite some of the failures of socialist experiments (state socialism, goulash communism, market- and "self management" socialism, and many more), women consistently self-report having enjoyed sexual relationships more than women self-report in capitalist countries. We plan to invite Ghodsee back at another time in the Spring, so send any questions you have for her to Support our podcast and get early access to episodes and bonus content, access to a discord chat with other supporters and the hosts, at You can get Ghodsee's book "Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism: And Other Arguments for Economic Independence" anywhere books are sold.  
February 22, 2021
Sex Feels Better When All Your Basic Needs Are Met
Get early access to our full interview with Kristen Ghodsee, author of "Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism: And Other Arguments for Economic Independence," at
February 17, 2021
#30: Are DSM-5 Mental Disorders A Construct Of Capitalism?
In this episode, we take a deeper dive into the origins and psychological and international implications of the existence and widespread use of the DSM - Diagnostic Statistical Manual - which is the bible of mental disorders used by psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, social workers and psychotherapists. When you seek therapy through either public or  private insurance, you must be diagnosed with something from the DSM for insurance to pay for services. Psychiatrists prescribe medication as treatment based on diagnoses within the DSM. Where did this model of understanding human suffering come from? Why are biological/individual explanations for mental, emotional, and behavioral phenomena dominant in the field of mental health? How much do culture, politics, economics, and power influence our conceptualization of mental health within the USA and around the world? Does imperialism find ways to use the DSM its adjacent industries as an instrument of "soft power" to maintain and spread US cultural  hegemony? What are your thoughts on the DSM and "mental disorder" concept generally? Email us at for feedback and criticism. Support our podcast and get early access to episodes and extra perks at References: -Nobody's Normal: How Culture Created the Stigma of Mental Illness, Roy R. Grinker Sr. -Wiki page on the DSM-5:
February 15, 2021
Are Mental Disorders Real?
Get early access to full episodes at Email us at
February 9, 2021
#029: Too Poor To Eat And Losing Your Mind From Hunger (ft. Tati Cosper)
Tati Cosper contacted us to raise awareness about the connections between hunger, poverty and mental health in America - so we did an episode on it with her! Why are people malnourished in the richest country on Earth? How is it that people can work a full time job or multiple jobs, and not be able to feed their children? We explore stats such as "school-aged children who face severe hunger are 56.2% more likely to have PTSD and 53.1% more likely to have severe depression," and question how it is that 40% of food gets thrown in the trash in America. Is capitalism the best economic system for the production and distribution of food for children and working families? Contact Tati at and support a project she's involved in called the Urban Indigenous Collective here: Email us your reactions at Support us at Resources: -Wasted: How America Is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill Why are people malnourished in the richest country on Earth? 3 Devastating Effects of Hunger on the Body To be thin but not healthy - The body-image dilemma may affect health among female university students in China Weight status and body image perceptions in adolescents: current perspectives Food Security Status of U.S. Households with Children in 2019 Food Insecurity and Bulimia Nervosa in the United States As Thanksgiving Approaches, Fewer Than Half of Households With Kids Very Confident About Affording Needed Food
February 5, 2021
Hunger, Poverty, and Mental Health (trailer)
To hear the full episode early become a patron at
February 2, 2021
Marxist Mindfulness 1: Sensing The Scalp And Contemplating Shampoo
Max has been wanting to explore this for a while and Harriet gave him permission to do this as a solo episode - but it's not really an episode. It's an actual mindfulness meditation. Max would like listeners to try using this meditation as they would any guided recording (relaxed sitting or laying position, eyes closed) and to give him feedback on the experience.  This is a sample of what could be developed into a guided meditation series that blends traditional mindfulness (increasing focus, relaxation, compassion) and political education.   Email us at Support our podcast at
January 29, 2021
#028: Were the Capitol Hill Riots caused by white supremacy, neoliberalism, or digital influence operations?
In this episode, Harriet and Max offer different interpretations of the Capitol Hill riots and what caused them from both a personal psychological perspective as well as from a more "zoomed out" view that takes history and broader factors into account. Harriet gives an overview of the last several decades and how the decline of value of the "white male wage" due to both neoliberal austerity policies (deindustrialization, outsourcing, automation) and capitalist divide and conquer strategies have played a role in creating the conditions of the right-wing movement we see today. Max shares his views on how the rise of extremely sophisticated psychological influence operations "on the battlefield of social media" explain some of the technical mechanisms that has amplified, spread, and strengthened the far right.    Readings: The Psychology and Strategy of Fake News by Joohn Choe Commanding The Trend: Social media as information warfare by Lt. Col. Jarred Prier, U.S. Air Force   Contact us Support us at
January 27, 2021
Social media as information and psychological warfare
Get early access to our full episode on what caused the Capitol Hill riots at Email us at
January 25, 2021
#027: The LGBT Working Class vs. Rainbow Capitalism (w/ Eric Pierce)
We spoke to one of our supporters and comrades, fellow mental health and social worker Eric Piece about the intersections of LGBT issues and capitalism. Eric identifies as a gay man and just as strongly as a union member and socialist. He highlighted the ways labor unions have always offered stronger protections for the LGBT community, and some of the pitfalls of thinking of LGBT people first as people with sexual orientations and gender identities as opposed to people with material, class interests first. How did Pride get co-opted and commodified? Why are white gay men painted as gentrifiers in diverse urban environments? Did Reagan use the AIDS crisis of the 1980s to divide and conquer the working class? All of this and more in this episode. Contact us at Support this podcast at and get behind the scenes content and other perks.
January 20, 2021
LGBT Struggle And Unions (teaser)
Sneak peak of our episode with Eric Piece, social worker, union member, DSA member, about the links between LGBT and class struggle. Full episode at
January 17, 2021
#026: Healing ourselves by fighting gentrification and slumification... and can we abolish rent completely? (ft. tenant organizer Talia Smith)
Millions of tenants are at risk of being thrown out onto the street this year due to the covid-19 eviction moratoria being lifted federally and throughout different states and regions. The mental health field is ill-equipped to conceptualize any way to treat such widespread and looming trauma, and the world of tenant organizing might have something to teach us. Could it be possible that building solidarity through tenant organizing within buildings, across buildings, throughout neighborhoods, can prevent trauma and increase social bonds? In speaking with Talia Smith, tenant organizer with Omaha Tenants United and Autonomous Tenants Union Network, we came to think that tenant organizing could very well be a modality of healing just as much as psychotherapy can be. Talia explains what might motivate ordinary people to show up to confront police to stop fellow tenants from being evicted, and what can help overcome fear and social anxiety when asking neighbors to sign a demand letter and mail it to a landlord. What collective courage is necessary to go on a rent strike? What internal psychological mechanisms are at play that can transform neighbors from complete strangers who are suspicious and distrustful of one another, to comrades and friends who dedicate their lives to fighting for each other? Email us with your reactions to this episode at Support our podcast at to get access to early releases of full episodes and other patron-only perks. Tenants United Podcast: Omaha Tenants United: Autonomous Tenants Union Network:
January 14, 2021
Can we ever actually "abolish rent"? (Episode teaser)
This is a snippet of the full episode where we talk with Talia Smith, tenant organizer with Omaha Tenants United and Autonomous Tenants Union Network. Is "rent abolition" actually possible? Email us with your thoughts on the topic at Support our podcast at to get access to early releases of full episodes and patron-only perks. Talia's podcast: Omaha Tenants United: Autonomous Tenants Union Network:
January 10, 2021
Social Medicine On Air Crossover Episode: "Mental Health, Individualism, and the Economy"
Here is a crossover episode we did with the hosts of Social Medicine On Air, a podcast very similar to our own but run by two physicians. Listen to the original episode here and be sure to check out their other episodes, all of which are extremely important fascinating! "Welcome  to Social Medicine On Air, a podcast where we explore the field of  social medicine with healthcare practitioners, activists, and  researchers. Social medicine hopes to work for a world of justice and  health - especially for the most marginalized - and connects clinical  care to the deeper causes of health and illness. Through our  conversational interviews, we hope to create a warm and welcoming space  to learn about social medicine and meet the amazing people you'll find  there. Hosted by Brendan Johnson and Jonas Attilus, produced by Raghav Goyal, and with design by Clara Brand. Harriet and Max, hosts of the "It's Not  Just In Your Head" podcast, join us today to discuss mental health, how  capitalism accelerates inequality and social breakdown, and how most  approaches to mental health care support neoliberal individualism. They  explain the connection between personal and social liberation, our need  for one another, the value and pitfalls of medication-based approaches,  the need for a strong labor movement and organizing, and how mental  health is inextricably bound to social conditions. "It's Not Just In Your Head" is a podcast  with Harriet Fraad (@harrietfraad) and Max Golding, two mental health  professionals who explore how our capitalist economic system impacts our  emotional lives, from precarious housing and employment, to  unaffordable healthcare, to endless debt -- it's not just  in your head!  Dr. Harriet Fraad is a mental health counselor and activist in New York  City with over 45 years of experience, who writes and speaks on the  intersection of politics, economics, and personal life; her work can be  found at Max Golding is a licenced marriage and family  therapist from California who is interested in tenant and labor  organizing, and connecting the struggle for mental health with other  struggles for justice and liberation. Their recommended resources: Mark Fisher. (2009). Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? Winchester, UK: Zero Books. Capitalism Hits Home (podcast) with Dr. Harriet Fraad & Julianna Forlano, link Kate Pickett & Wilkinson, Richard. (2010). The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone. London: Penguin Books."
January 4, 2021
#025: Climate Anxiety (w/ Ecological Engineer Sam Francis)
Ecological Engineering Phd student Sam Francis joins us for this episode to talk about climate anxiety: the very real and "not just in your head" problem of millions of people fearing the onslaught of terror caused by climate change. Should we all just try our best to recycle, eat less meat and, if we can afford it, buy electric cars? Harriet and Sam explore whether a "central planning" government approach is the only way out while Max spirals into a depressive stupor and wonders if his therapist would understand. We would love listener feedback on this and any other episode. Contact us at: Support us at: To hear more from Harriet and Juliana Forlono on "Capitalism Hits Home" produced by Democracy At Work go to  Contact Sam on Twitter at @samthejamminman Sam's references: -Naomi Klein’s This Change’s Everything: Capitalism versus the Climate -Leigh Phillip’s Austerity Ecology and the Collapse Porn Addicts -Citations Needed Episode on Climate Chaos and Liberal Rhetoric Promoting Denialism: Max's Jacobin reference: How Environmentalism Was Separated From Class Politics:
December 23, 2020
Is it safe to talk about climate change with my therapist? (Teaser)
Get early access to the FULL podcast episode at Email us at 
December 20, 2020
#024: Decommodify All Parts Of The Economy Related To Human Need
Harriet proposes in this episode that for Americans to have good mental health, we have to decommodify all parts of the economy related to human need so that people don't feel depressed or anxious about things which all humans need and deserve. These aspects of the economy are primarily related to food, water, air, and housing. Currently, nutritious, organic and quality food is too inaccessible and expensive for millions of Americans. Privatized bottled water competes with public water so that when disasters like Flynt, Michigan occur, those who can afford bottled water for drinking and washing themselves, and those who can't may die. Air may not appear to be commodified, but areas where air is polluted (near fossil fuel extraction sites, for example) is cheaper to live near. The unequal distribution of access of food, water, and air across the U.S. shows patterns of inequality that sustain themselves as long as these aspects of commodified needs remain commodified (reinforcing our heavily racialized class divide in the U.S.).   Both therapists explore what decommodification of housing might look like. Max describes what authors of "In Defense Of Housing" call the hyper-commodification of housing since the Reagan Era, wherein random capitalists from all over the world can make financial decisions that can mass-evict tenants within cities because their housing is an "under performing asset." Max also tries to figure out if he and Harriet are advocating for social democracy (strong capitalist economy with heavy taxes to pay for social programs) or more traditional socialism (getting rid of the capitalist economy altogether).   --   Support us at  Contact us at  Books referenced: In Defense Of Housing by Peter Marcuse and David Madden Capital City by Sam Stein
December 15, 2020
Money and Marxism Explained in 82 Seconds
Trailer for Ep24: Decommodify All Parts Of The Economy Related To Human Need Contact us at Support us at
December 13, 2020
#023: Unionized Therapists Fighting For Client Care And Workers Rights
Harriet and Max interview two therapists who also act as "shop stewards" with the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) - Jackie Schalit LMFT and Elizabeth White LCSW. Both talk about what got them involved in union organizing within the mental health field, and why the labor movement still matters more today than ever. Why was there a "civil war" within Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and why did it lead to the formation of NUHW? Why should mental health workers unionize? How can unions improve the lives of everyday people? Listen to this episode to find out! To learn more about NUHW go to Email us at Support us at Also check out Capitalism Hits Home, Harriet's program with Julianna Forlano at
November 27, 2020
When The Boss Makes You Feel Powerless
Teaser for the full episode where we talk to two NUHW members - union therapists fighting for better client care and workers rights.
November 26, 2020
#022: Worker Cooperative Led By Mental Health Workers! (Tell Your Therapist To Join The Movement)
"We are a cooperatively-run mental health practice located in Bushwick, Brooklyn" - from the Alliance Psychological Services website which also reads "Seeking Licensed Clinical Social Worker to Join Radical Psychotherapy Practice." Meet worker-owners Juliet, Kara, and Billy - who run this cooperative. What makes a worker cooperative different from regular business enterprises? Are co-ops inherently "revolutionary"? How do they make money? Why is the mental health field mostly disconnected and uninformed about workplace democracy and worker-owners? Why are therapists and social workers often considered professionals and not workers?  If you're an LCSW in NYC wanting to join Alliance: Learn more about Alliance here: If you're a mental health therapist or social worker wanting to start a worker cooperative, or have other questions/comments for them, email them at Learn more about worker cooperatives here: Support us at Email us at
November 24, 2020
Democratizing Mental Health Work?
Sneak peek of our conversation with members of one of the only existing mental health provider worker cooperatives in existence -- Alliance Psychological Services, from Bushwick, Brooklyn New York. If you're a therapist or social worker interested in joining their team, go to or email Full episode to be released later this week! Get immediate access to the full episode by joining at Support us at | email us at
November 22, 2020
Harming Relationships With Your Politics (Patron Q/A)
We try to answer Patron questions as often as we can. In this recording, we answer Jake's question about how to avoid harming relationships with your politics (a summary of his question). If you haven't check out Harriet's program with Julianna Forlano called Capitalism Hits Home:
November 15, 2020
#021: Can Joe Biden Improve Our Mental Health?
Will a Joe Biden presidency be better for our collective mental health? Harriet thinks having a neoliberal president is better than a fascist president, Max mostly agrees. Both therapists encourage listeners to stay (or to get) active, because Biden likely won't unilaterally do much to improve healthcare, education, housing, workers rights, fight climate change (etc) without being pushed "from the bottom." Max and Harriet question whether Biden will follow through on any single campaign promise or platform bullet point from his website, with some attention to mental health policy concerning veterans, the opioid crisis, and suicide. Email us at Support us at -- Resources from this episode: No Honeymoon For Joe Biden, Ben Burgis -- There Was Actually a Lot of Good News for the Left on Election Day, Liza Featherstone -- Mental Health U.S. Interviews Biden On Mental Health Policy:
November 13, 2020
Sigmund Freud Interview (re: Biden's Oepidal Complex)
For the full clip of Harriet pretending to be Sigmund Freud, become a patron at
November 10, 2020
#020: Will Biden build me 2.6 single family homes? (ft. Justin Roczniak AKA "donoteat01")
In this episode we interview leftist civil engineer Justin Roczniak (aka "donoteat01" on YouTube) to better understand the history of single family homes, suburbs, the real estate industry, and try to figure out better ways the built environment can facilitate mental and social wellness among those who... live somewhere. We wanted to talk with Justin about this because in our last episode on the nuclear family, we realized that the history and set of policies around the construction of middle class suburbs was one important puzzle piece related to the decline of cohesive marriages and families. Are single family homes bad? Why is public housing associated with poverty? Does homeownership make people politically right wing? What's a community land trust? Will Biden build me a house with 2.6 dogs? JUSTIN, GIVE US ANSWERS! Justin's referenced video on gentrification: Justin's podcast:
November 3, 2020
#020: Trailer (w/ Justin Roczniak A.K.A. YouTuber "donoteat01")
We got some guy named Justin on the podcast for episode #20, to continue talking about the nuclear family, single family homes, and what owning McMansions does to people psychologically and politically. Read about Justin here (more on him in the full episode description)
October 31, 2020
#019: Abolish The Family? (full episode)
Harriet describes the invention  of the nuclear family as part of the transition from European feudalism to capitalism, with attention to the function of the patriarch as the familial feudal lord, and children as chattel. Max shares his initial reaction to the idea of the nuclear family being flawed or unnatural, asking: what came before, what alternatives are there, and what options to people have? Both therapists explore what it means for the nuclear family to be a social construct and question why entering into a nuclear family appears to a dice roll which can lead to happiness, love, and prosperity - or isolation, violence, and despair. Co-hosts touch on the bizarre urban design concept of single family homes and suburbs, and put a call out to anyone living within more traditional extended families, within housing cooperatives and co-housing communities, or progressive urban planners, to join in a future podcast to look beyond the nuclear family at what's possible.   Contact us at Support us at
October 21, 2020
Abolish The Family? (Skit)
Max plays role of client, Harriet plays role of therapist. This is the trailer to our next episode "Abolish The Family?" Music:  Andromeda, Gabriele Tosi 
October 18, 2020
#018: Interviewing Sex Worker Gemma Paradise and Feminist Studies Scholar Dr. Heather Berg
Thanks to helpfully critical feedback we received on our W.A.P. episode, we were lucky to make contact with guests Gemma Paradise and Dr. Heather Berg. Gemma is a full service sex worker (which she says many know better as "escort" or "prostitute") and Marxist sex worker organizer. Dr. Heather Berg is a feminist scholar who teaches Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. In this episode we talk about struggles facing sex workers seeking mental health services; whether sex work should be considered an especially exploitative form of wage labor under capitalism or just another form of wage labor; the political weaponization of sex trafficking laws and survivor narratives used against sex workers; why some men feel more comfortable hiring sex workers "for therapy" than actually seeing a therapist...and a lot more! Resources referenced in the episode: Marxist reading group for current sex workers: Revolting Prostitutes: The Fight for Sex Workers’ Rights: We Too: Essays on Sex Work and Survival: Porn Work: Sex, Labor, and Late Capitalism Heather's website: More information on the EARN IT Act:
October 5, 2020
#018 Trailer (ft. Gemma Paradise)
Episode #018 is all about sex work and mental health, featuring Marxist sex worker and organizer Gemma Paradise and Feminist Studies scholar Dr. Heather Berg.
October 2, 2020
#017: Three communist psychotherapists walk into a church (ft. Bruce Rogers-Vaughn)
In this episode we interview Christian minister and anti-capitalist psychotherapist Bruce Rogers-Vaughn, whose deep and calming voice happens to be an FDA approved anti-anxiety medicine.  One of Bruce's students emailed to inform us about his writings, and we discovered there is yet another therapist in the U.S. who openly believes capitalism is bad for our mental health. Bruce is associate professor of pastoral theology and counseling at Vanderbilt Divinity School, and author of Caring For Souls in a Neoliberal Age, and an ordained minister. Harriet, Bruce, and Max, explore the nuanced reasons for why the Christian Left has been repressed and popularly replaced by the Christian Right in the last half century. Harriet and Max make a new friend, and Bruce and Max almost cry a few times. Find out more about Bruce here: Contact us at Support us on
September 29, 2020
#017 Trailer (ft. Bruce Rogers-Vaughn)
Meet Bruce Rogers-Vaughn, an anti-capitalist psychotherapist and Christian minister. Full episode will be released soon!
September 28, 2020
Answering Patron Questions
We answer four questions from our Patreon community Support us at   Contact us at     Check  out Harriet's program Capitalism Hits Home at, or at Also be sure to get to know Democracy At Work better  at their website
September 15, 2020
#016: Therapists React To W.A.P. By Cardi B (SHOCKING!)
(Note from the future: thanks to helpfully critical feedback we received for this  episode, we recorded a follow up one with sex worker Gemma Paradise and  feminist studies scholar Dr. Heather Berg, who helped us better  understand the world of sex work and the various societal nuances within  that world. Go here to listen to that follow up episode: -- Harriet points out that despite pop feminism's celebration of W.A.P. being some kind of symbol of peak female empowerment, that it signals the now widely accepted pornification of sex as something that has to do with body parts and humilitation fetishes minus relational context. The 3rd wave liberal feminist embrace of hypersexualization in popular media came along with it minimal to no effort to push for improved sex education in US public schools, with focus not just on anatomy but the social and emotional skills and complexities leading to mutual sexual consent. Lack of comprehensive sex education in the US has meant that Cardi B and similar entertainers have become the sex educators for the next generation. Since 1 in 4 children in the US are being raised by single mothers with multiple jobs thanks to neoliberalism, youth turn to their incessant relationships to the internet to learn social norms related to sex, sexuality, and relationships. Consumers of videos like W.A.P. may get the impression that sex work is glamorous, and sex workers become so rich that they own mansions. But most sex workers in the US are lower class, working multiple low wage jobs, lack healthcare, are in serious debt, and find that sex work is just another way to barely make ends meet.   Harriet and Max share different views on whether the video celebrates sexist and racist stereotypes, or if certain stereotypes are being reclaimed similarly to how the LGBT community reclaimed the term "queer." Max focuses on Cardi B's videos and lyrics as a result of the shock driven attention economy which transforms every minute of our time online into profits of whoever owns the websites. Cardi B, Ben Shapiro, feminist bloggers, and even the two of us, are actively generating billions of dollars for internet mass media companies by reacting and counter-reacting to W.A.P., everyone participating in the attention economy thinks they're making conscious choices related to what they consume. How much of this is human nature, and how much is Late Stage Capitalism and the dying breaths of an economic system that eats up and spits out the very people it requires to keep the system intact? Support us at   Contact us at   Check  out Harriet's program Capitalism Hits Home at, or at Also be sure to get to know Democracy At Work better  at their website
September 4, 2020
Capitalism Hits Home!
Check out Harriet's program Capitalism Hits Home at, or at Also be sure to get to know Democracy At Work better at their website
August 31, 2020
#015: Immigrating from Africa, Black Lives Matter, and Woke Capitalism (a chat with Russel Ndip)
Harriet and Max interview one of their listeners for this episode and cover a wide variety of topics from immigration to gender and cross-cultural expectations, to discrimination and colorism and European colonialism within Africa, to the strengths and limitations of the Black Lives Matter movement -- and, of course, whether these three should start a band called Marxists From Mars. Our guest Russel Ndip walks us through having immigrated to the US from Cameroon in Central Africa at the age of 8, and reflects on what it's like to occupy numerous positions of culture as sometimes both an insider and outsider (ie, African, immigrant, Black, woman, and so on). Max fumbles around trying to figure out where in Europe his family is from while trying to summarize the book "Racecraft." The trio explore some of the economic factors leading to the myth and partial reality of the resilient Black matriarch and the suicide paradox (white males have highest suicide rate, Black women the lowest), why Black Lives Matter is validating for African immigrants, how nobody can speak for a whole group, and the problem with focusing on race without understanding it in the context of class. Also, why has Walmart embraced "anti-racism" so quickly? Contact us at Check out Harriet's program Capitalism Hits Home produced by Democracy At Work at or on YouTube at:
August 24, 2020
#014: Suicide
USA National Suicide hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) Max does a solo episode on the topic of suicide (Harriet will be back next week!). Topics he explores include the correlation between higher suicide rates and lower minimum wage, as well as the "suicide paradox" of white men having the highest suicide rate and black women have the lowest. Max looks at suicide from Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) perspective, framing the issue as one rooted in emotional and cognitive "dysregulation" which occurs on a physiological level, caused or exacerbated by a chronically "socially invalidating environment." He uses his own past suicidal ideation to walk listeners through "what it's like," and explores some of the causal factors and influences within his own personal history that led to his own past suicidality followed by some brief clinical examples. His message to anyone who is currently suicidal is a) I've been there and feel free to email us about what you're going through, b) a better world is possible and we can't get there without you. Resources: The Link Between Unemployment, Depression and Suicide in the COVID-19 Pandemic I’ve Got My Family and My Faith:  Black Women and the Suicide Paradox Understanding Validation in Families - Alan E. Fruzzetti, PhD
August 17, 2020
#013: How To Form A Tenant's Union
In this solo episode, Max explains how to form a tenant's union, from inside his car. He gives an overview of what the benefits are of tenants uniting to collectively bargain with landlords, why this can be empowering and good for mental health, and what some of the first steps are to getting this done. He points out that property management companies and landlords tend to belong to "associations" which concentrate their power, which makes tenant's associations a reasonable and necessary balancing mechanism. Through such associations, Max argues that tenants can problem solve common issues in a practical way while even functioning at times as an emotionally focused support group (Max has a specific story about this near the end). He shares how he and tenants throughout Santa Barbara rapidly formed the SB Tenants Council when the pandemic started ( by simply sending an email to a landlord as part of a small disability justice campaign, which eventually led to serious support and empowerment for numerous tenants. Resource: The Tenants Will Win: TANC Pandemic Organizing Guide Contact us at Support us on Patreon at
August 7, 2020
#012: Interview with Social Worker co-creator of the Liberation Health Model: Dawn Belkin Martinez
Harriet and Max interview Dawn Belkin Martinez about the Liberation Health Model, which she and other social workers developed 20 years ago to move toward a more holistic "mental health" approach that conceptualizes people's problems within economic, political, cultural, and historical contexts. She gives an overview of "the triangle" method, centering people's problems in the center of the triangle, and the three points of the triangle -- the personal, the cultural, the institutional -- contributing to those problems. Within this model, practitioners such as Dawn help individuals, families, and communities, develop action plans to change the conditions in their lives that cause their distress. This is a radical departure from the dominant mental health model which says most of our life problems stem from whatever is going on inside our heads. You can learn more at, and Contact us at Support us on
August 1, 2020
#011: Sex, Love, and Intimacy Under Neoliberalism
We have a Patreon now! To support us go to In this episode, Max and Harriet talk about how neoliberalism paved the way toward our epidemic of mass loneliness and why dating now resembles a short term, extractive, free market activity wherein alienated singles try to connect through a market medium to secure a basic human need: love. The new norm is that everyone is expected to perform in a place called "online" portraying themselves as a special, eye-catching brand, to maximize attraction to consumers (dates) within a particular niche market (potential matches within monetized software on phones built with  hyper-exploited third world labor).  We argue the precarity of housing, jobs, and healthcare has created a kind of "trickle down economics" effect so that even sex, love, and intimacy have transformed into increasingly precarious, scarce commodities. Harriet speaks on how lovers used to meet through living in the same neighborhood, attending the same school or church or bowling alley, and could vet each other within their overlapping circles because people knew each other for a long time. We urge our loneliest and most despairing listeners to fall in love with "the movement" in some way, and to keep searching for meaningful connections however they can so they don't feel so alone within an economy that sees them primarily as a source of cheap labor. - Resources: - The ‘Dating Market’ Is Getting Worse How Tinder Became The McDonalds Of Love Tinder, Destroyer of Cities—When Capital Abandons Sex - Contact us at
July 25, 2020
#010: Can Labor Organizing Treat Depression? ft. Rachel Mendelson
Harriet and Max chat with biomolecular engineering grad student Rachel Mendelson about her experience participating in the historic Cost Of Living Adjustment (COLA) campaign that started at UC Santa Cruz in September, 2019, then spread to every UC campus in California. We explore what kinds of conditions typically lead to workers going on strike, and how those conditions can be mapped into the individualistic mental health model as symptoms of depression and anxiety (ie, a sense of dread, feeling helpless and powerless, self-blame, etc). Rachel shares with us the mental health benefits she experienced from joining the wildcat strike along with thousands of other grad students risking their careers (and some being injured by police) in hopes of achieving a better quality of life for themselves as well as everyone else. Learn more about the ongoing COLA campaign at, and contact us to say whatever is  on your mind Support us by becoming a Patron at
July 18, 2020
#009: Mental Health In Rural America ft. Pete Bourgelais
Harriet and Max talk with Pete Bourgelais about mental health in rural America, with emphasis on Maine because that's where Pete is from (and is running for office to push for a Green New Deal, support for local organic farmers, and public broadband). Harriet emphasizes connectivity as central to mental health, and explores with Pete questions about how people in small towns connect with each other. Pete walks us through the economic history of Maine, as having depended on manufacturing which was outsourced first to the American South then eventually, mostly, to China. Lack of jobs, an aging population, and lack of services those of us in cities typically take for granted, creates unique challenges for rural Americans. Max asks Pete about whether "hick" and "redneck" stereotypes have an impact on rural people, and whether or not it's a myth that white rural Americans are "more racist" than other white Americans. (Board of Behavioral Sciences: Max was joking about being drunk at 9am.) Give us positive and negative feedback at Support us by becoming a Patron at Resources: Rural America Reimagined Maine is the hardest-drinking state in New England: ‘This will be catastrophic’: Maine families face elder boom, worker shortage in preview of nation’s future White poverty exists, ignored (from 2014, a little dated in places) Black Lives Matter protest in Kingfield (population 997) peaceful Hollowed Out: Against the Sham Revitalization of Appalachia
July 10, 2020
#008: Corona Emotions
In this solo episode, Harriet talks about the many ways people are being impacted emotionally by the current pandemic. Men in particular having a hard time asking for help and being vulnerable, resulting in more substance abuse and expressions of anger. Harriet points out that single men are afflicted with dangerous levels of loneliness more, resorting to buying testosterone supplements and penis enlargement pills, and stocking up on guns. The month of May saw the highest record of mass shootings this year, a fact buried by news about the current pandemic. Harriet highlights how single women are being impacted differently in that there tend to be more severe economic burdens on single women, and especially single mothers. Children are being abused and neglected at higher rates during the pandemic due to increased stress by unemployed parents. We hope anyone who is struggling more than usual understands they're not alone, and that everyone's mental health is being pushed to the limit. Please reach out and try to connect with others to commiserate as much as you can! Contact us at Support us by becoming a Patron at
July 7, 2020
#007: How The Plantation Class Invented Race To Divide Us, Why MLK Supported Multi-Racial Unionism, and Dr. Luke Wood's Black Minds Matter Project
In this episode we cover both "macro" and "micro" points of discussion about race and racism. Harriet starts off with explaining how capitalism has always required a set of social divisions to pit workers against each other to prevent them from uniting against common oppressors. Max shares the example of how the Bacon's Rebellion of 1676 - white and black servants uniting together to burn down the plantation - resulted in the plantation/ownership class inventing race and codifying it into centuries of law to slightly improve conditions for 'the white race' at the structural expense of 'the black race,' so the former would unite 'as a race' against the latter to maintain materially superior conditions. Harriet reminds us that MLK advocated for multi-racial labor solidarity through unions, and how the unprecedented uprisings of the last month as a reaction to George Floyd's murder by police may be a sign of growing multi-racial, working class solidarity. Max explains the "micro" pieces of racism with attention to stereotypes, prejudices, and microaggressions, then provides an overview of a powerpoint lecture called "Black Minds Matter" by Dr. Luke Wood. (Max failed to read the last slide which had proposed policy solutions like getting rid of school suspensions and integration of restorative justice programs, and more - see below). Recommended reading and resources Why Racism Is An Essential Tool For Maintaining The Capitalist Order, Richard Wolff (Dr. Wood's powerpoint here) Fatal Invention, by Dorothy Roberts Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together In The Cafeteria? by Beverly Tatum Are We Born Racist? New Insights from Neuroscience and Positive Psychology edited, by Jason Marsh, Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton, Jeremy Adam Smith Cornell West and Chris Hedges Interview "The Betrayal by the Black Elite:" How McCarthyism and the Red Scare Hurt the Black Freedom Struggle, Paul Heideman Support us by becoming a Patron at
June 27, 2020
#006: Our backgrounds, BPD, diet and mental health, Gloria Steinem is a cop, and the Liberation Health Model!
Sorry for the long gap between episodes! We respond to some fanmail and Anchor messages covering topics such as: how we developed our views based on our backgrounds; thoughts on borderline personality disorder; food/diet and mental health; Gloria Steinem and her CIA ties. Near the end, we talk about an exciting mental health activism model called the Liberation Health Model which came out of Boston and appears to be spreading (see the article below). If anyone has ideas on what kinds of rewards we should include within our upcoming Patreon page, let us know. Send any feedback you have to --- Support us by becoming a Patron at
June 21, 2020
#005: Mental Health Awareness Month & The Nonprofit Industrial Complex
Max and Harriet lay out their critique of #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth by first speaking on its origins - a big pharma funded nonprofit called Mental Health America, beginning in 1949 - then explain how the rise of the nonprofit industrial complex helped to pacify, depoliticize, and professionalize social movements to the detriment of the working class. Both counselors agree that while the 100-200k salaries paid out to Mental Health America nonprofit executives are not necessarily excessive, it would make more sense for them to advocate for ALL workers to make that wage in service of solving the mental health crisis. Max draws on parallel processes brought on from the neoliberal era (Reagan to now) : wealth for the 1% went up higher than ever due to lowered tax rates, deregulation, outsourcing; public sector funding was cut and so needs for public services became highest in decades; capitalists seized the decimation of public/democratic control of capital by promoting charity with strings attached as the solution; many nonprofits formed and found niche markets of 'helping,' and began competing with each other like small capitalist firms; worker productivity rose 70% due to higher expectations, weaker unions, and technological advancements but wages stagnated so managers, executives and shareholders could make more money; working class wealth transferred to the 1% and, in small portions, redistributed into nonprofits such as Mental Health America, so that radical demands for structural changes to society were replaced with "awareness raising activities." Subsequently, mental health problems have worsened over this period and we're typically told that the solution is either take medication, correct our negative thinking, or do better self care. We offer systems level suggestions on how to solve the mental health crisis, including a Green New Deal, stronger unions, adopting something similar to Italy's Marcora Law to grow worker cooperatives, and for listeners to get as engaged in fighting for these solutions as possible. Near the end, we read some fanmail and respond to it. We'll be fixing our audio quality issues soon, thanks for listening! Support us by becoming a Patron at
May 31, 2020
#004: A Tale of Four Depressions
In the first half of this episode, Harriet lays out a thesis on four depressions in the United States. 1) Depression of wages and employment in the late 1970s caused by outsourcing and automation of mainly male jobs, causing severe economic and family systems consequences; 2) Depression of the American family resulting from the economic crisis, including a dramatic spikes in male violence, substance abuse, divorce rates (all carried on to now), and the majority of children now living with single-mothers; 3) The current economic depression felt by tens of millions of Americans from the pandemic; 4) Depression of mental health conditions for Americans due to economic instability, lack of competent government leadership, and lack of care infrastructure due to pro-business and anti-government shifts which started in the 1970s but never ended. In the second half, Max personalizes Harriet's thesis through self-disclosures about his own childhood traumas having been caught in the middle of family violence exacerbated by the economic decisions made in boardrooms beyond his family's influence during the 1980s. Both mental health counselors emphasize how mental health problems on this scale require "treatment" outside of the therapy office, through social connections and political engagement on a mass scale. Email us with questions, comments, criticisms at Support us by becoming a Patron at
May 23, 2020
#003: Does meditating, doing yoga, and practicing self-care make the world better?
[Disclaimer: Harriet and Max are pro-meditation, pro-yoga, and pro- self-care! And want listeners to think about these practices within a broader sociopolitical context.] The mental health counselor duo guide listeners through a mock meditation that makes rent strikes, labor exploitation, climate change, and all bad-vibes-in-general, completely vanish through deep breathing. Both share thoughts on whether class unconscious loving-kindness meditations and sweaty yoga classes can end imperialism and world hunger (both disclose that they like meditation and yoga, by the way). Max explores the idea of meditation teachers and therapists being helicoptered into the 1800s to calm down abolitionists and suffragists as a means to "help." Harriet clarifies what the women's liberation movement meant by 'the personal is political,' and shares how self-care can help strengthen our collective resolve to build an economy based more on care than exploitation. Readings that inspired this episode: Tell Me It’s Going to be OK: Self-care and social retreat under neoliberalism, Miya Tokumitsu A History of Self-Care: From its radical roots to its yuppie-driven middle age to its election-inspired resurgence, Aisha Harris Remembering the Origins of the Self-Care Movement, Sarah Boyle ‘Self-care’: how a radical feminist idea was stripped of politics for  the mass market, André Spicer McMindfulness: How Mindfulness Became the New Capitalist Spirituality, Ronald Purser Extreme Makeover: Yoga in the British Empire from Decolonizing Yoga, Melissa Heather Meditation background music in this episode by Dmitriy Samoylenko - Old Forms Must Die. Email us questions, comments, criticisms at  Support us by becoming a Patron at
May 18, 2020
#002: Covid-19, Mental Health, and The Return Of The Strike! (May Day Edition)
Recorded on May 1, International Worker's Day, mental health counselors Harriet and Max talk about the many ways covid-19 is impacting our collective mental health with emphasis on class disparities and the US proving itself to be a failed state. Bill Gates bought a $43 million dollar mansion near the US-Mexico border while undocumented workers aren't getting stimulus checks despite being the backbone of the economy. The working class rent strikes again, but who killed militant unionism in the US for the last 50 years? Everyone's even more anxious and depressed than usual -- it's not just in your head! Give us feedback at Support us by becoming a Patron at
May 2, 2020
#001: It's Not Just In Your Head
Max and Harriet introduce themselves, how they met and why they're  starting the podcast with hopes of reaching other mental health  practitioners, consumers of mental health services, and whoever else  will listen. Harriet explains the mental health industrial complex  involving four co-conspirators. Both emphasize the systemic nature of  the problem so as not to blame any one or another individual involved.  Max critiques the main text used to define mental disorders (DSM-5) and  emphasizes that our conception of mental illness today is a product of  historical, cultural, socioeconomic, and political factors. Give us your feedback on this first podcast at Support us by becoming a Patron at
April 16, 2020