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The Different Minds podcast series

The Different Minds podcast series

By John Offord
Broadcaster, John Offord chats to people from all walks of life about the different ways our brain can work and interpret information. Neurodiversity highlights that people naturally think about things differently. We have different interests and motivations, and are naturally better at some things and poorer at others. Most people are neurotypical, meaning that the brain functions and processes information in the way society expects.

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An actress living with Bipolar disorder

The Different Minds podcast series

The Double Empathy problem
Broadcaster, John Offord chats to Dr Damian Milton, an Autistic academic and father. He proposes a different interpretation for the disconnection between Autistic and non-autistic people, which he calls the ‘double empathy problem’. Please see: for more details.
May 1, 2021
Broadcaster, John Offord chats to Dr Dinah Murray, an independent researcher with a background in linguistics, anthropology and philosophy and her son Fergus Murray, a science teacher, writer and 'autist' about Monotropism, a cognitive strategy posited to be the central underlying feature of autism. A monotropic mind is one that focuses its attention on a small number of interests at any time, tending to miss things outside of this attention tunnel. The theory of Monotropism was developed by Dr Dinah Murray, Wenn Lawson and Mike Lesser. You can read more from Fergus Murray here: And more from Dinah Murray here:
April 15, 2021
A conversation with Adam Harris
Broadcaster, John Offord chats to Adam Harris, an Irish Autistic activist, speaker, member of Autism-Europe’s Council of Administration and the founder and CEO of Autism acceptance group AsIAm. Adam was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome aged five and founded AsIAm based on his experiences living with Autism. Adam speaks about the importance of self-advocacy and being part of the associative movement to advance the rights of autistic people. This special podcast has been produced in partnership with Autism-Europe in order to mark World Autism Awareness Day 2021. For more details, please see: For more information about Autism-Europe, please see: For more information about AsIAm, please see:
April 2, 2021
Temple Grandin
Broadcaster, John Offord chats to American scientist, activist, author and speaker, Temple Grandin who is well known to many for her trailblazing work as a spokesperson for people with autism and her lifelong work with animal behaviour. Temple was named in the 2010 Time 100, an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world in the "Heroes" category. Grandin has written six previous books on autism and was also the subject of the Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning semi-biographical film Temple Grandin, staring Clare Danes. Today, we are seeing a new generation of autistic activists, who can take awareness as a given (because of Grandin) and focus instead on the social, political and economic barriers to our full integration and acceptance by society," said Ari Ne'eman, president and co-founder of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, which represents autistic adults. For more details, please see
March 31, 2021
A conversation with autistic comedian, Joe Wells
Broadcaster, John Offord chats to autistic comedian and writer, Joe Wells. Joe Wells' writing career began when his first book 'Touch and Go Joe' about his experiences of OCD was published, since then he has made a name for himself as a stand up comic, writer and speaker. Joe now focuses mainly on his unique brand of comedy. For more details, please see:
March 15, 2021
A history of Autism with Adam Feinstein
Broadcaster John Offord chats to Adam Feinstein, an acclaimed author, poet, translator, journalist, film critic, Hispanist and autism researcher to talk about neurodiversity. Adam’s book A History of Autism: conversations with the pioneers received widespread praise. 
March 1, 2021
A conversation with Shain Neumeier
Broadcaster John Offord chats to Shain Neumeier. Shain is an American autistic and nonbinary transgender attorney from Los Angeles, California. Shain is best known for advocacy against coercive and forced treatment, including advocacy to close the Judge Rotenberg Center, an institution for people with developmental disabilities that has been condemned by the United Nations for torture due to its use of electric shocks on people with disabilities.
February 14, 2021
A conversation with Lydia Brown
Broadcaster John Offord chats to Lydia X. Z. Brown, an American autistic disability rights activist, writer, attorney, and public speaker who was honoured by the White House in 2013. Lydia talks about disability justice, ableism, Neurodiversity, models of disability, intersectionality and connections between trans, queer and disability experiences. 
February 1, 2021
A conversation with Christopher Eccleston
Broadcaster John Offord chats to English actor and recipient of an Emmy Award and nominations for two BAFTA Awards and star of The A-Word, Christopher Eccleston. For those who haven’t watched it, The A Word is a family drama TV series with an autistic twist. The plot focuses primarily on Paul and Alison Hughes, whose son Joe is on the spectrum. Since 2016, Eccleston has played Maurice, the grandfather of Joe. Maurice has an extremely abrasive and blunt personality; he also provides us with plenty of comedy moments. For those in the UK, you can currently watch the A-Word here:
January 14, 2021
January 10, 2021
January 10, 2021
A conversation with Adam Ockelford about his friend, Derek Paravicini
Broadcaster  John Offord chats to Ted speaker, Adam Ockelford, a Professor of Music and Director of the Applied Music Research Centre at the University of Roehampton, London.  Adam wrote the official biography of the musical savant, Derek Paravicini, entitled "In the Key of Genius: The Extraordinary Life of Derek Paravicini". Derek was born three and a half months prematurely, and is blind and has severe autism. But with perfect pitch, innate talent and a lot of practice, he became a concert pianist by the age of 10. Adam is Derek’s long time piano teacher, mentee and friend.
January 1, 2021
A conversation with Chris Packham
Broadcaster John Offord chats to Chris Packham CBE, an English naturalist, nature photographer, television presenter and author, best known for his television work including the CBBC children's nature series The Really Wild Show from 1986 to 1995 and the BBC’s nature series Springwatch, including Autumnwatch and Winterwatch, since 2009. Extraordinarily creative and prolific, Chris Packham has led a remarkable life. In 2003, at the age of 42, Packham began seeing a therapist after the death of his dog. As his work with the therapist concluded in 2005, Packham was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. He has also stated that he has suffered from severe depression.  For more details about Chris, please see
December 10, 2020
How it feels to be diagnosed with Autism later in life
Broadcaster John Offord chats to his friend, Ashley Kirk who has recently been diagnosed with Autism. Although autism is predominantly diagnosed in childhood, increasing numbers of adults are finding out that they too have autism. This issue, of later life diagnosis, was brought to light recently after nature photographer and TV presenter, Chris Packham, went public with his experiences. About 1% of the adult population has been diagnosed as on the autism spectrum – with more people diagnosed with autism than ever before. And yet, generally, the focus on who has autism is still mostly on infants, children and young adults.
December 1, 2020
A conversation with Simon Baron-Cohen
Broadcaster John Offord chats to Simon Baron-Cohen, one of the world’s leading authorities on autism, and Director of the Autism Research Centre at the University of Cambridge about autism theory and his latest book “The Pattern-Seekers: A New Theory of Human Invention” which argues that autistic people have been crucial to our creative and cultural history for the past 70,000 years.
November 24, 2020
How to stop overthinking
Broadcaster John Offord chats to psychologist, speaker and the author of "The Book of Overthinking: How to Stop the Cycle of Worry", Gwendoline Smith about mental health and her own experiences of Bipolar Disorder. Please see more details.
November 23, 2020
The Black Dyspraxic
Broadcaster John Offord chats to Neurodiversity advocate, Tumi Sotire, aka "The Black Dyspraxic" about his experiences and thoughts on the intersection of race and disability. Tumi says “Living with the intersectionality of being a black man with dyspraxia presents the challenge of disentangling whether social barriers presented are due to race or neurodivergence. Companies that are inclusive on the grounds of ethnic diversity are not necessarily organizations with neurodivergent staff.”
November 6, 2020
Broadcaster John Offord chats to Jake Hobson who shares his own personal experiences of Dyspraxia, a Developmental Coordination Disorder, a  common disorder affecting fine and/or gross motor coordination in children and adults. Please see for more details.
November 2, 2020
Understanding Autism
Broadcaster John Offord chats to Michael Barton, an autistic keynote speaker aiming to spread the message of autism to everyone. Michael is an experienced speaker on autism, Asperger's syndrome and Neurodiversity, having given over 100 talks to date and been featured around the media from Channel 4, the BBC and the Week Junior to the New Scientist magazine. Michael has also spoken alongside world-renowned speakers such as Wenn Lawson, Luke Jackson and Professor Simon Baron-Cohen. Please see for more details.
October 8, 2020
Aphasia - Sarah's story
Broadcaster John Offord chats to Sarah Scott who had a stroke when she was 18 and now has Aphasia. Sarah appeared on the 2nd series of Undateables. Sarah runs her own YouTube channel and has inspired others to create their own websites and videos to show how language can recover after a brain injury. You can view Sarah’s YouTube channel documenting her recovery here:
September 30, 2020
Neurodiversity and Intersectionality
Broadcaster John Offord chats to Dr Nancy Doyle, CEO and Founder of Genius Within about Neurodiversity and Intersectionality. Nancy has worked with thousands of clients from Access to Work, to blue chip boards and within the prison service.  Nancy won Public Policy impact of the year at the BPS division of Occupational Psychology in 2019 for her working lobbying the DWP and several APPGs to take an evidence based approach to neurodiversity inclusion. See
September 21, 2020
Untangling the ties between Autism and OCD
Broadcaster John Offord chats to Chris Pittenger, Director of the OCD Research Clinic at Yale University in the USA about how Autism and OCD interact — and how they differ. Those distinctions could be important not only for making correct diagnoses but also for choosing effective treatments. People who have both OCD and autism appear to have unique experiences, distinct from those of either condition on its own. You can read more here:
September 16, 2020
A conversation with Francesca Happé
Broadcaster John Offord chats to Francesca Happé, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience in London about how people with autism experience the world around them and how our understanding of autism has developed over the past 30 years. 
September 14, 2020
Male Suicide
Broadcaster John Offord chats to writer, mental health campaigner / advocate and freelance media consultant, Richard Taylor about male suicide to mark World Suicide Prevention Day. Suicide is the biggest killer of men in Britain between the ages of 20 and 50, but we don’t seem to talk about it.  You can read Richard's article in the Guardian here For more support, please see: CALM tackle male mental health issues, with a deep focus on preventing male suicide: Whatever you're going through, Samaritans will face it with you (24 hours a day, 365 days a year): Developed by the Zero Suicide Alliance, the free, online training takes around 20 minutes and is designed to show how to have a direct and honest conversation about suicide and mental health with friends and family.
September 9, 2020
An interview with Steve Silberman, author of Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity
Broadcaster John Offord chats to award winning author, Steve Silberman who was once haunted by the question: Why have rates of autism diagnosis increased so steeply in the past 30 years? To solve that medical mystery for his book, NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity, Silberman went back to the first years of autism research, where he uncovered a series of events -- some long forgotten, and others deliberately buried -- that required the history of autism to be rewritten. Neurotribes was awarded the Samuel Johnson Prize in 2015, and has received wide acclaim from both the scientific and the popular press. You can visit Steve’s website here:
September 5, 2020
The Two Faces of Narcissism
Broadcaster, John Offord chats to Debbie Mirza, author of The Covert Passive Aggressive Narcissist and Linda Barnes, Admin for the Healing After Experiencing Covert Passive-Aggressive Narcissism Facebook Group about the differences between overt and covert narcissism. You can read more here
September 3, 2020
A conversation with Dr Radha
Broadcaster John Offord chats to Dr Radha Modgil, a medical doctor, media personality, campaigner for wellbeing, hopeful problem solver and co-host for BBC Radio 1's Life Hack’s about tangible takeaway tips for your mental health. You can visit  Dr Radha’s website here:
August 28, 2020
In conversation with Judy Singer - creator of the term 'Neurodiversity'
Broadcaster John Offord chats to the originator of the term "Neurodiversity", Australian sociologist and author, Judy Singer. Judy is generally credited with the coinage of the word that became the banner for the last great social movement to emerge from the 20th century. You can read Judy's blog here:
August 18, 2020
Building better mental health
Broadcaster John Offord chats to Kathryn Wheeler, Head Writer at Happiful - a mental health and wellbeing magazine on a mission to create a healthier and happier society through inspiring life stories and positive news. Kathryn is passionate about normalising mental health conversations, tackling stigma, and equipping people with the language they need to communicate what they're going through. Please see:
August 14, 2020
Hypnosis and the Subconscious Mind
There is no doubting the power of the subconscious mind. But what is the subconscious? And how can hypnosis help us to 'reprogram' this part of the mind? Broadcaster John Offord chats to Julia Daley, a Hypnotherapist and Psychotherapist from the UK about the fact that everyone has a subconscious mind with the ability to do wonderful things.
August 13, 2020
Living with OCD
Broadcaster John Offord chats to TEDx speaker, Dr Julia Britz from Arizona, USA about OCD - they also chat about some of the overlaps between OCD and Autism. Julia is the creator and founder of My OCD Diary, a website and YouTube channel dedicated to discussing insights and tips on dealing with OCD and related mental disorders. You can watch Julia’s TED talk here:
August 12, 2020
Sarie Taylor is a trained psychotherapist and coach who found herself going from attending university and travelling the world, to being hospitalised with severe anxiety. Sarie now helps others completely transform their relationship with stress and anxiety and fall back in love with life, as she did, in a fraction of the time, all through the understanding of three basic principles first described by Sydney Banks, a welder from Scotland who experienced a spontaneous and profound spiritual enlightenment: Mind, Thought and Consciousness.
August 5, 2020
What is Dyslexia?
Broadcaster John Offord chats to Dean Bragonier, the founder of NoticeAbility — a nonprofit changing the world for students with dyslexia. Bragonier is passionate about dyslexia not only because he wants to end the isolation and pain of kids who are excluded from our education system, but because he sees dyslexia as a gift. He will tell anyone who will listen about the fact that 35% of entrepreneurs are dyslexic. To watch Dean’s Ted talk “The True Gifts of a Dyslexic Mind”, click here:
August 4, 2020
Neurodiversity – the new normal
Broadcaster John Offord chats to Siena Castellon, an award-winning advocate for neurodiversity, an author, a student and the founder of the ‘Neurodiversity Celebration Week' – to talk about what being neurodivergent means to her. Siena classes herself as a ‘maths and physics nerd’ and claims her dog is the cutest dog in the world. Siena is also neurodiverse: She is autistic, dyslexic, dyspraxic and has ADHD. Please see:
August 4, 2020
Tourette’s Syndrome
Broadcaster John Offord chats to Aidy Smith, an award-winning TV presenter and journalist on living with Tourette’s Syndrome, a neurological disorder characterised by repetitive, stereotyped, involuntary movements and vocalisations called tics.
August 3, 2020
Everything you need to know about Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
Broadcaster John Offord chats to Michael Neenan, former Associate Director of the Centre for Stress Management and Centre for Coaching, Blackheath. Michael works in private practice as a cognitive behaviour therapist and coach. He is the author (with Windy Dryden) of Life Coaching: A Cognitive Behavioural Approach.
August 2, 2020
What is Schizophrenia?
Broadcaster John Offord chats to Rachel Star Withers, an entertainer, speaker, video producer, and schizophrenic. She has appeared on TV shows including: MTV’s “Ridiculousness,” “TruTV,” “America’s Got Talent” and is the host of "Insanity with Rachel Star" on Amazon Prime. She grew up seeing monsters, hearing people in the walls, and experienced intense urges to hurt herself. Rachel creates videos documenting her schizophrenia and lets others like her know they are not alone and can still live an amazing life. She has written Lil Broken Star: Understanding Schizophrenia for Kids and a tool for schizophrenics, To See in the Dark: Hallucination and Delusion Journal. See here for more details:
July 30, 2020
What is Dyscalculia?
Broadcaster John Offord, chats to Rebecca Heyes, managing director of The Inclusive Learning Academy, which provides dyslexia and dyscalculia assessments. Dyscalculia is a specific and persistent difficulty in understanding numbers which can lead to a diverse range of difficulties with mathematics. It will be unexpected in relation to age, level of education and experience and occurs across all ages and abilities. See here for more details about Rebecca:
July 30, 2020
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy
Imagine a kind of evidenced based therapy to heal from trauma without talking about it? Recent studies have taken place that show brain images have changed before and after EMDR therapy as well as showing clinical improvement and marked reductions in the Post traumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale Score (PDS). In this fascinating episode, Broadcaster, John Offord chats to Psychotherapist, Timothy Meyer to help break down EDMR and how this modality of therapy is used to identify and overcome past traumatic experiences. For more details about Tim, please see: Produced by
July 24, 2020
Soap actress on living with Bipolar Disorder
Natasha Naomi Rea, who has appeared in Coronation Street and Emmerdale, hopes to tackle mental health stigma with her book Me, Myself and Bipolar Brenda. The #speakoutlikeBrenda campaign has seen former Corrie actress Catherine Tyldesley, Emmerdale's Joe Gill, Samantha Giles and Lisa Riley and Game of Thrones star John Bradley turn extracts from Natasha's book into powerful monologues. See for more details.  Produced by
July 23, 2020
Autism in Women
Broadcaster, John Offord chats to 44 year old, Susan Hodgkinson who has a dual diagnosis of ASC (Autism Spectrum Condition) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).  You can find support here: Podcast produced by
June 29, 2020
An actress living with Bipolar disorder
Have you ever looked back on your life, and wished you could speak words of comfort and wisdom to your younger self for those times when life really tests you? April Kelley has done just that. In her wonderfully candid letter, she revisits a period in her life full of change – understanding that she is bisexual, and being diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. You can find out more about April here: You can find support here:
June 26, 2020
Mother & Son on ADHD
A conversation between a mother and son on living with Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  In this special episode, Broadcaster, John Offord chats with psychotherapist, Ruth Williams and her son, film student, Peter (who was diagnosed with ADHD at a young age) on living with ADHD as an adult. Ruth Williams is specialist Psychotherapist who works with neurodiverse clients, including people with ADHD. You can find out more about 'Aspire Autism Consultancy' which was founded by Ruth Williams and Deborah Wortman here: Produced by
June 19, 2020
Bipolar Disorder & Creativity
Broadcaster, John Offord chats to Swedish painter and printmaker David Sandum about depression and Bipolar Disorder. An author as well an artist, David wrote a memoir about his challenges with mental illness: I’ll Run Till the Sun Goes Down: A Memoir about Depression and Discovering Art.  You can find out more about David here: You can find support here: Podcast produced by
June 15, 2020
Autism & Counselling
Broadcaster, John Offord chats to psychotherapists, Ruth Williams and Deborah Wortman about the issues which typically bring autistic people into therapy and outline ways in which therapists can support neurodiverse clients.  We include information about adult diagnostic pathways and the potential benefits for those who decide to pursue a diagnostic assessment.  We explore the nature of relationships with neurodiverse partners and chat about what help is out there for people who may experience relational and communication difficulties.  Produced by
June 6, 2020
What is Asperger's Syndrome?
Broadcaster, John Offord chats to YouTuber, Tom Henley about living with autism. This podcast was inspired by a documentary produced by Tom called "Aspergers In Society" which you can watch here: Podcast produced by
May 14, 2020
Growing up queer with Asperger's
Broadcaster, John Offord chats to college student Austin Houck about coming to terms with his sexuality and accepting that he has Asperger's syndrome. This podcast was inspired by an article written by Austin which you can read here: Produced by
May 14, 2020
The Covert Narcissist
Broadcaster, John Offord chats to Debbie Mirza, author of The Covert Passive Aggressive Narcissist and Dr Robin Rise, a clinical psychologist about covert narcissism. After listening to the podcast, you can take a free quiz that will help you know if you are dealing with a covert narcissist on
May 3, 2020