SuperPsyched © with Dr. Adam Dorsay
By SuperPsyched ©
SuperPsyched © is a podcast dedicated to supercharging your life with the best in Psychology Education. Each episode contains fun, fascinating, high-quality psychological content gained from interviewing top experts inside and outside the field of psychology. SuperPsyched © gives you tools to get you more of in life as well as gentle warnings to help you avoid things you don’t. See you there!
The content on © SuperPsyched is for informational use only and not intended to diagnose or provide any type of healthcare treatment.
The content on © SuperPsyched is for informational use only and not intended to diagnose or provide any type of healthcare treatment.
#145 Getting Out of Your Way and Getting More Love By Knowing Your Parts | Toni Herbine-Blank, MFT
As you might imagine, the most talked about topic in my office is relationships. To paraphrase a great quote, relationships are one of life’s biggest predictors of our happiness… or misery. Yet, as we all know, relationships can be super challenging, and they tend to require practice, humility, resilience, and learning. Worse still, we can easily get in our own way and sabotage our love connections by using our voices in ways that we think will protect us, only to discover that we’ve actually broken a bridge rather than strengthened it. Fortunately, relationship therapy has come a long way, and many thought leaders have helped move the ball forward with exceptional insights and tips. One of the most inspiring models for relationship therapy I’ve ever seen comes from the field of Internal Family Systems, also known as IFS. At first, understanding IFS may seem daunting but, by the time you’re done with this episode, I’m confident you’ll have a good basic grasp of the model and how it can help you in your relationships. My brilliant guest, Toni Herbine-Blank, MFT (https://toniherbineblank.com/), is a relationship therapist who found a way to weave the IFS model in a way to help couples connect more fully. She calls the model Intimacy From the Inside Out (IFIO), and I love it. She is also the co-author of two books on how to perform this type of relationship therapy and she trains therapists all over the world in this model. So, listen in, as Toni and I talk about how to get out of your own way to enjoy Intimacy From the Inside Out! Book Link: https://tinyurl.com/pvjsf2tw
January 31, 2023
#144 Why Donuts Have Holes & When Less Is More | Leidy Klotz, Ph.D.
Quick question—when you do math, what’s easier for you: addition or subtraction? For most of us, I’m guessing the answer is addition. While you may think it’s because we learn addition before subtraction, another part of the answer is less apparent. For our survival, we have evolved to seek more and we have an aversion to the idea of less. Yet, all of us know that less truly can be more. When is that true? When is that not true? How can we override our tendencies to acquire when it’s not good for us? And, related to less being more, why do donuts have holes? My expert guest answers these, and many other questions related to the science of less being more. Leidy Klotz, Ph.D. (https://www.leidyklotz.com/) is a professor at the University of Virginia’s Schools of Engineering, Architecture, and Business where he’s part of an initiative merging the fields of engineering AND behavioral science. He’s also the author of a book I loved called Subtract: The Untapped Science of Less. Thought leaders of all types love the book, including SuperPsyched guest, Dr. Barry Schwartz, who said, “Subtract is simply brilliant.” So, listen in as Leidy and I have an engaging and user-friendly conversation about the untapped science of less. Book Link: https://tinyurl.com/436pt7th
January 24, 2023
#143 The Case for Spiritually Intelligent Leadership (Regardless of Your Spiritual Beliefs) | Yosi Amram, PhD
I have the pleasure of working with many leaders in Silicon Valley. And among the things that are discussed in my office, the quality of leadership shows up a lot. Stories emerge when leaders are kind and inspirational. And, of course, stories emerge in toxic ways when leaders are unkind, unconscious, or even bullies. I have taken great interest in how leaders step into their roles. Not only does it impact the people in their company, but their actions may have ripple effects that go far beyond the walls of the enterprise they serve and into the homes of employees and local communities. Over the last several decades, I think most of us have come to understand the impact that leaders emotional intelligence can have on our collective performance and individual wellbeing. And that is why I am so glad to host my friend and colleague, Dr. Yosi, Amram (https://intelligensi.com/). Yosi has been a leader in various capacities throughout his career. He has been the CEO of two publicly traded companies, he has taught at Stanford graduate school of business, and in addition to being a licensed psychologist and an executive coach, he has a Harvard MBA and an MS in engineering from MIT. Indeed, Yosi is the right person to talk to us about spiritual intelligence and how it can impact leadership regardless of one’s religious leanings. Yosi’s and other research has shown that the qualities of spiritual intelligence have a tremendous business payoff in terms of organizational productivity, team morale, employee commitment, as well as financial performance. Most impressive, it can be implemented by anyone even if they are atheists. In fact, spiritual leadership qualities and intelligences are not at all dependent on one’s religious leanings and you will hear how and why that is the case. Also promising is that research shows Spiritual Intelligence contributes to many other domains of functioning beyond leadership that I believe matter to us all, including satisfaction with life, quality of life, better self-care, general health, happiness, work productivity, job satisfaction, and resilience to name just a few. So, if those measures are important to you—and I’m guessing they are—then listen in as Yosi and I discuss the compelling case for spiritually intelligent leadership.
January 17, 2023
#142 - The Secrets of Reading People | Blake Eastman
If you could have the magical power to read people, what they were thinking and feeling, would you want that ability? I imagine it’d be a mixed blessing. There are times when we really want to be able to read people better. And… there may be times when ignorance is bliss! Regardless, it is important to improve our skills at following cues, reading nonverbal behavioral patterns, and finding relevant ways to factor in context to better understand people, as you’ll soon hear. My guest, Blake Eastman (https://www.nonverbalgroup.com/), describes three focal points of his life as: poker, psychology, and nonverbal behavior. He has taught at the college level, he has played poker professionally, and he’s coached professional poker players on how to read people to increase the likelihood of winning. I am certain you will find him and his subject fascinating as I did! So, listen in as Blake shares his expertise with me on reading people.
January 10, 2023
#141 Work, Parent, Thrive | Yael Schonbrun, PhD
There are no two ways about it. Parenting is hard. Add a full-time job to the mix and the pressures of modern life and, wow! It’s a miracle we can do it at all. How can we balance all of life’s pressures, and be the best parents for our most precious beings, our children? And how can we do it and remain kind to ourselves? To answer these and many other related questions, I’m calling on one of my newest friends, Dr. Yael Schonbrun (https://yaelschonbrun.com/). Yael is a psychologist in private practice, an assistant professor of psychology at Brown University, and the host of a podcast on which I recently guested called Psychologists Off the Clock. She has also written a book I loved called Work, Parent, Thrive: 12 Science-Backed Strategies to Ditch Guilt, Manage Overwhelm, and Grow Connection. Wharton Professor and bestselling author Adam Grant said, “As a working parent, it will save you more time than it takes to read.” So, listen in as I converse with Yael, who shares how we can work, parent, and thrive! Book link: https://tinyurl.com/4rdnkcka
January 03, 2023
#140 New Year's Aspirations with AJ Jacobs & Me
All right, dear listeners, New Year’s is upon us and, if you’re like me, you may be thinking about your resolutions! And, if you’re like me, at some point you may have written out too many resolutions—or created too high a bar to reach within those resolutions—and found that few of them were actually carried out. I decided to take a look at those resolutions and consider a potentially more effective way to write them. I’m talking about aspirations for growth instead of the rigidity of resolutions paired with small and reasonable improvements. At least, that is the topic of this episode with my very special guest and friend of the podcast, New York Times, best-selling author, AJ Jacobs (https://ajjacobs.com/)! AJ is the author of great books like My Year of Living Biblically, The Know-It-All, and, most recently, The Puzzler. All are must-reads and I’ve read many of his books two or more times! This is AJ’s third visit, and upon reflection, it is because he represents so much of what this podcast is all about from a values perspective. The values he seems to live by and rock in his life are the same ones I attempt to embed in my own life and certainly the drivers for this podcast. You’ll hear what they are but, to give you an advance on the four values which are: fun, curiosity, drive for excellence, and kindness. And these are the perfect fuel, I believe, for New Year’s Aspirations! So, sit back and listen in as AJ and I have a jam session on New Year’s Aspirations. The Puzzler: https://tinyurl.com/4bdewhuf
December 25, 2022
#139 The Anatomy of Anxiety Made Simple | Ellen Vora, M.D.
To be human is to experience anxiety. To some extent, our survival requires it. Unfortunately, anxiety can more frequently impede our living more than it helps. Many times, we try to stuff it away, hoping to deny its existence, which doesn’t really work. As one of the biggest contributors to psychology, Carl Jung, once said, “What we resist persists" …and tends to get worse.” So, my friends, it’s up to us to deal with this bugger. While there many ways to deal with it, some are more helpful than others. How can we best attend to our anxiety? What are some simple lifestyle changes we can make that can reduce the negative impact it has on us? And how can we actually listen in to our anxiety to see what it might tell us? Fortunately, I know just the person to ask these and so many other questions about anxiety! Dr. Ellen Vora (https://ellenvora.com/) is a Columbia University Medical School-educated psychiatrist who works in Manhattan. She’s the author of a book I devoured called The Anatomy of Anxiety about which Publisher’s Weekly said, “Readers struggling with anxiety would do well to seek out this first-rate primer." I wholly agree. What’s more, Ellen creates a compelling argument that anxiety isn’t merely brain disorder but a whole-body condition and she addresses anxiety through that lens. So, listen in as Ellen and I look at the Anatomy of Anxiety. Book Link: https://tinyurl.com/5cdvwef4
December 20, 2022
#138 Sport Psychology Can Improve Your Life | Dr. Jonathan Fader
Even if you’re not an athlete, sport psychology can positively change your life. Years ago, when I came upon a textbook on sport psychology, my first thought was “Hey, this could be used in every area of life.” The fact is, living has an abundance overlapping principles with sports and achieving your dreams—inside or outside sports. As you might imagine, when I was introduced to Dr. Jonathan Fader (https://jonathanfader.com/), a clinical psychologist who specializes in sport psychology, I was over the moon excited to interview him. Most people call him Fader, and he works with entire teams and players in Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, as well as with the heroes in the Fire Department of New York, Rockstars and actors, and people of all walks of life, including heavy hitters in business. And the principles of sport psychology inform his work with all of them. He is also the author of a book I absolutely adored, called Life as Sport that I highly recommend, and he co-authored a book on motivational interviewing with former guest, Dr. Stephen Rollnick, also amazing and highly-recommended called Coaching Athletes to Be Their Best. So, listen in as Fader and I converse, and he unpacks how sport psychology can improve your life. Book Link: Life as Sport https://tinyurl.com/ypy4nmcb Coaching Athletes to Be Their Best: https://tinyurl.com/mr3m8hjx
December 13, 2022
#137 The Mind of a Cat | Dr. Kristyn Vitale
It will come as no surprise to my regular listeners that I love exploring the bond between pets and people. My life has been vastly improved by pets and I’ve seen the same effect of pets on countless people. Recently, I watched a deeply engrossing Netflix original documentary called The Mind of a Cat. When I watched it (and went nuts for it like a teenager at a rock concert) I knew I needed to contact one of my favorite stars of the movie, Dr. Kristyn Vitale. Kristyn is a professor at Unity College in Animal Health and Behavior. She is a frequent contributor to major media outlets like National Geographic and the New York Times, and she’s a prolific researcher. And the findings of her research suggest that cat behavior is far more complex than we may have ever imagined. If you have you ever wondered what is going on in the mind of your cat, or how to best connect with your feline friend, these and many other compelling questions will be answered. So, listen in as Kristyn and I discuss the mind of a cat.
December 06, 2022
#136 Motivational Interviewing: Helping People Find Their True North | Dr. Stephen Rollnick
Have you ever been given incredibly good advice, but didn’t follow it? I’m guessing that, for most of us, the answer is a big yes! It may have been because we weren’t ready to implement that advice. It may have also been because the advice came from someone else. The fact is, we listen to ourselves more than we listen to others. With that in mind, how can someone from the outside be most helpful? One of the best answers is an approach called Motivational Interviewing. Motivational Interviewing has long informed how I work. And it is, indeed, an honor to host the co-creator of this scientifically validated approach to counseling. Dr. Stephen Rollnick is a giant in the field of psychology. Along with his colleague, Dr. Bill Miller, he co-created Motivational Interviewing, and it has gained international acclaim for its effectiveness in helping people change undesired behaviors. As you’ll hear, it’s a bit like a Jedi mind trick for the good: by listening deeply to a person, learning their agenda, the helper can assist in figuring out what is true for the other person, and the person ends up being guided by their own truth. As you’ll also hear, it’s not just for counselors. It can be done by parents with their children, and managers with people who report to them. In fact, my previous guest from episode #126, African American musician Darryl Davis, who helped over 200 men out of the KKK, uses a similar communication style. So, listen in as Steve and I talk about Motivational Interviewing and how it can help you help people get in touch with their best agendas and find their true north.
November 29, 2022
#135 Gratitude Episode | Adam Dorsay, Psy.D. Solo
Well, dear listeners, Thanksgiving is upon us, and what better topic to dive into, than gratitude! Not so long ago, gratitude was kind of considered a “woo-woo” topic but, these days, hard, science and brain imaging shows otherwise. We now have hard evidence that it is good for our minds, our bodies, our moods, and its effects can boost the moods of significant people in our lives (whether or not they are practicing these skills!). So, listen into this short episode on a skill that can yield big results in your life. It is my hope that you will find a way to instill a gratitude practice on the regular that goes beyond the Thanksgiving holiday. And, as always, I am so grateful to you for listening, and will do my best to continue to provide useful content. Happy Thanksgiving!
November 22, 2022
#134 Mastery Secrets: Tiny Tweaks that Get You from 94% to 97% | Elliot Roe
Many of us grew up with the idea that we’ve got to spend a lot of time improving on our areas of weakness. While that may be true, and certainly important at times, research indicates that we can get an even greater return on our investment of energy when we improve in areas where we are already strong. Yet, have you ever noticed it’s easier to get from absolute beginner to 80% mastery than it is to get from 94% to 97%? That first 80% is way easier than the last 3%! What does it take to excel? What are the obstacles that frequently get in the way? And how do we transcend those obstacles to get to our very best during our lifetimes? Fortunately, I know just the guy to ask! Elliot Roe is a world-renowned performance coach and hypnotherapist who has devoted over 14,000 hours to helping people perform at the top of their games. He has worked with superstars who are at the very top of their game internationally: professional athletes, professional card players, giants in business, and other people searching for excellence in the areas that matter to them. He will reveal secrets about what it takes to get to the best of your abilities. So, listen in as Elliot and I discuss the secrets and tiny tweaks that can get you from 94% to 97%.
November 15, 2022
#133 Understanding Stigma & How to Handle It | Dr. Stephen Hinshaw
Among the most painful of human experiences is feeling rejected. In fact, the brain can't tell the difference between social rejection and physical pain: MRI images show that rejection hits the same parts of our brains that physical pain hits. The fact is, we are social animals, and we feel the impact of social interactions quite deeply. And for those who are stigmatized, ostracized, shunned, or rejected by society, the pain can be chronic, intense, and may have profound effects. And stigma transcends the person who’s stigmatized; even family or others who in any way connected with the stigmatized person are often stigmatized. This is an important issue, and I am so glad to welcome back my highly esteemed colleague and previous SuperPsyched guest, Dr Stephen Henshaw. Many of you remember him from the episode on ADHD and girls. Steve is also the author of a profound a memoir called Another Kind of Madness in which Steve shares the story of his family and his father’s struggle and stigmatization as he dealt with mental illness. Steve is a UC Berkeley & UC San Francisco School of Medicine Distinguished Professor of Psychology, and he was recently inducted into the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences. So, please listen in as Steve and I unpack the phenomenon of stigma and how we can best deal with it.
November 08, 2022
#132 Leveraging Intelligence from Our Animal Side | Beth Anstandig, MFT
There's a great quote from James Joyce: “Mr. Smith lived a short distance from his body.” As you'll hear in this interview, we have evolved over the centuries to distance ourselves from our bodies. That makes us very different from the other animals who reside on this planet. In so doing, we have become estranged from a lot of data that could serve us: when we are tired, we might not listen and engage in a difficult conversation instead of taking a nap and put and important relationship at risk. When we are hungry, we might not listen, and fill our bodies with something fast, easy, but in no way nourishing. Or we might forgo eating entirely and, while “hangry,” make a bad decision. Or, how many times have we neglected our bodies when they've needed to move and instead, sat through a meeting or power through an email only to give less than our best selves? Animals don't tend to do that. Instead, they tend to listen to the cues of their body and respond to those cues. What can we learn from our animal neighbors to help us be more human? Fortunately, I know just the person to ask! Beth Anstandig is a licensed psychotherapist in private practice in Northern California. She’s also the author of a tremendous book called The Human Herd. I loved this book and Kirkus Reviews said it’s a book that can, “improve readers’ emotional health and leadership skills” and that it’s a “thought-provoking look at ways of dealing with the stresses of life.” So, listen in as Beth and I talk about leveraging intelligence from our animal side.
November 01, 2022
#131 Time Optimizing Tools & Strategies | Nick Sonnenberg
Regardless of who you are or where you live, one thing all 7+ billion of us on earth have in common is the restriction of time. None of us has more than 168 hours a week. And yet, how we use that time can be the difference maker in the quality of our lives. Do we ever take time to reflect and ask ourselves, “How am I allocating my time?” Or, “Might there be a better way of doing some of my daily tasks?” My guest, Nick Sonnenberg (www.comeupforair.com), is a former Wall Street-based high-frequency algorithmic trader. He has a master’s in financial engineering from UC Berkeley and he is the CEO and co-founder of Leverage (www.getleverage.com), a company that helps businesses maximize their time and efficiency so that they can focus on what matters to them. He is also the co-author have a great book of called, Idea to Execution as well as the author of an upcoming book called, Come Up for Air, releasing in February 2023. We talk about time management and tools that help us in business and our personal lives so that we can all focus on what matters to us. We also touch on the importance of properly taking a break and looking at time in a non-linear fashion—and you’ll soon understand just what he means by that! So, listen in, as Nick and I geek out to tools and ideas for managing time.
October 25, 2022
#130 Beastie Boys: Their Profound Teachings | Dr. Adam Dorsay Solo
The Beastie Boys made a huge splash nearly 36 years ago with their breakthrough album, Licensed to Ill. It was a moment in time that served as something of a dividing point in music history; they showed the world what could be done with drive, creativity, levity, and a skilled DJ. At the time, they were wild, loud, rude, and obnoxious. Had I been told that one day I would think of the trio as an empathic and philosophically profound crew of men, I would have laughed. But not now. Recently I watched the Apple TV special, Beastie Boys Story, directed by the great Spike Jonze. It was so good, I watched it three times! I have taken notice of, truly, how deep their thinking has been, and how they have evolved as musicians and people. There are at least three virtues that these men rock in life at least as hard as they rock their music: authenticity, flexibility, and interpersonal intelligence. And they serve as teachers, demonstrating how to step more fully into those virtues. Listen in to this short solo to hear more!
October 18, 2022
#129 Dr. Marion Nestle | A Fascinating Life in Food Studies & Food Politics
We literally cannot survive without food. And yet, until 1996, Food Studies as an academic discipline wasn’t even a thing until my guest, Dr. Marion Nestle (https://www.foodpolitics.com/), founded the department and program at New York University where she remains professor emerita. Dr. Nestle has been a pioneer in studying nutrition, public health, and she has been a courageous advocate for human rights as they relate to Food. In fact, she is widely considered one of the nation’s most important authorities when it comes to food and food politics. She has published dozens of important articles relating to food and health research and 12 books, including her latest, a memoir, called Slow Cooked. I loved the book as did legendary food expert, Alice Waters, who describes Marion, whose Ph.D. is in molecular biology, as “one of the nation's shrewdest thinkers.” In addition to her world-class science acumen, she’s also a pure delight as a person! So, join me as Dr. Nestle—yes, like the verb “nestle” and not like the food company—and I talk about a life in food studies and food politics. Book Link: https://tinyurl.com/szkyrv6d
October 11, 2022
#128 Making Strangers Laugh | Comedian Raj Sharma
Many of us can make our friends and family laugh. But as comedian Billy Eichner recently noted, it is really hard to make a group of strangers laugh. And that is the task of every working comedian. They get up on stage in a strange city in a strange venue with strangers in the audience. Sometimes they hit. Sometimes they bomb. But regardless of the result, the successful ones get back up and do it again to face an uncertain reality at each performance. Comedians need to read the room, have incredible control over their bodies and minds, and rely on so many variables to do their work. Even the same material at the same club on two different nights can have a different effect. I’m in perpetual awe and so grateful to comedians for what they give us. Perhaps the greatest gift of comedians is that they give people joy, laughter, and a temporary reprieve from day-to-day struggles and pressures One of the greatest bringers of joy and laughter I have come across, in some time is my guest, Raj Sharma (https://www.therajsharma.com/). Raj is a veteran comedian who has been described by veteran SNL legend, Daryl Hammond, as “The freshest voice in comedy.” Raj has performed all over the world and in virtually every state in the US. As you will hear, he is a fascinating and incredibly fun person. We get into his personal story as well as how he attends to his craft. So, listen in as Raj and I geek out to making strangers laugh.
October 04, 2022
#127 The Science of Stuck | Britt Frank, MSW, LSCSW, SEP
Among the least pleasant experiences in life is feeling stuck. That stuck feeling comes in multiple forms and we've all felt themes and variations of it. Even Dr. Seuss wrote about it in his book that is often given as a graduation gift, Oh the Places You'll Go. If you've read it, you might remember the part about being in the stuck place he called the “in between place” which he also describes as excruciating. So, even Dr. Seuss agrees: being stuck sucks. And I can only hope he would have said, “Being stuck sucks. It sucks in a house with a mouse, and it sucks on a boat with a goat.” And if we were able to step outside the overwhelming experience of feeling stuck, we might ask these questions: What does being stuck actually mean? What are some common pitfalls that lead us to being stuck? And, of course, what are some good ways out of being stuck? Fortunately, I know just the person to ask! Britt Frank, LCSW, is a psychotherapist in private practice and the author of a highly readable and wisdom-packed book called The Science of Stuck. I absolutely loved this book and I am not alone. Former SuperPsyched guest, Dr. Richard Schwartz, who is the creator of one of the most important systems of psychotherapy, called Internal Family Systems, said, “In this lively, well-written book, Britt Frank adds her compelling voice to this movement toward listening to rather than avoiding or fighting with what is making you stuck.” I so enjoyed being with Britt and I’m confident you will love learning from her. So, listen in as Britt and I talk about the science of stuck. Book Link: https://tinyurl.com/26hp7uje
September 27, 2022
#126 A Black Musician Who Helped Hundreds of Men Get Out of the KKK | Daryl Davis
In my last episode, I explored the topic of how minds change. In this episode, we take that theme from the abstract and academic to the real and extreme. Recently I learned about a modern hero. When I first heard about him, my jaw dropped. The story of this man was one of the greatest things I had ever heard and I'm so grateful that he agreed to meet. Daryl Davis (https://www.daryldavis.com/) is an African American piano player who has played with the best of the best—we’re talking BB King, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, and other household names. He’s an author, an actor who you may have seen on HBO’s The Wire, and a martial artist. But most incredible, he is a man who has singlehandedly befriended men in the KKK and other white supremacy groups and, over time, assisted them in thinking through their decisions. As a result, he has helped over 200 men out of that life. He has been written about extensively and he’s given a well-watched TED talk and there’s even a great documentary about him called Accidental Courtesy that you can purchase on Amazon Video. You will love learning from this extraordinary man. So, listen in on how a black musician skillfully helped 200 men get out of the Klan. TED Talk Link: https://tinyurl.com/3t9dxazd
September 20, 2022
#125 How Minds Change | David McRaney
We humans like to be right about things. As you’ll hear in this episode, our self-image and our perception of being trustworthy to others can feel threatened when our thinking is questioned. After all, within our own brains, our thought processes make perfect sense—at least to us—so how could we be wrong? And, outside of our own brains, we’ve all had the painful experience of failing to sway someone’s opinion even when the facts and data are clearly on our side. Why are minds so difficult to change? What are the cognitive biases that may get in the way of us thinking something through? And how can we override these tendencies to make better decisions and live fuller lives? Fortunately, I know just the guy to ask! David McRaney (https://www.davidmcraney.com/) a journalist, a self-described psychology nerd, and a self-delusion expert. He has written many books describing how our brains work (and how they don’t) including his bestselling book with a super cheeky title “You Are Not So Smart.” His most recent book, “How Minds Change” is a very important contribution to psychology and I am not alone in my high-regard for David. Publisher’s Weekly writes, “McRaney makes a convincing case . . . and backs it up with what science has to say about ‘replac[ing] old ignorance with new wisdom.’” So, listen in has David and I talk about how minds change. Book Link: https://tinyurl.com/2p99retk
September 13, 2022
#124 Children & Trauma | Melissa Goldberg Mintz, Ph.D.
A struggle for any parent is seeing their child in pain. Even when the pain is small, we have an impulse to fix that pain. And when the child’s pain is extreme, that impulse can skyrocket. Yet, as any parent can attest, there’s only so much help can provide which can leave us feeling helpless. How can we be most helpful even when we can’t fix things? How can we differentiate between adverse experiences that will be short-term versus ones that may linger and cause harm long-term? Fortunately, I know just the woman to ask these and many other questions to help our children through adverse situations! Dr. Melissa Goldberg Mintz is a clinical psychologist with expertise in treating children who have experienced trauma. She’s also the author of an important book called Has Your Child Been Traumatized?: How to Know and What to Do to Promote Healing and Recovery. So, listen in as Melissa and I talk about how to help your children through adversity and trauma. Book Link: https://tinyurl.com/hzzsd8vn National Child Traumatic Stress Network: https://www.nctsn.org/
September 06, 2022
#123 Bringing Levity & Empathy to Serious Situations: Lessons from a Pediatric Oncology Nurse | Marc Bader, RN
We all know the cliché that laughter is the best medicine. In addition to laughter, research suggests that levity and empathy are also great medicines. One of the best testing grounds I can imagine for considering the value of levity and empathy would have to be the pediatric oncology department. For the children and for the parents, the challenges faced there can be simply overwhelming. What's it like to work in the pediatric oncology department? What skills are most useful in helping the children and parents who are facing some of the heaviest burdens imaginable? And how might bringing empathy and levity be a part of serving those patients and parents as they deal with these burdens? As it happens, I know just the guy to ask! Marc Bader is a registered nurse who works in a pediatric oncology department in Silicon Valley. As you will hear, Marc is the embodiment of kindness, compassion, the desire to help, and one of the finest transmitters of levity I have ever known. He will share with you his method for helping people in their darkest hours. And, I expect you will glean from Marc various ways you can rock these skills in your personal and professional lives when you want to assist people who are in difficult places. So, listen in as Marc and I talk about bringing levity and empathy to serious situations.
August 29, 2022
#122 Girls & ADHD | Dr. Stephen Hinshaw
When I was a child, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder was a term that was hardly known by laypeople. Over the past few decades, the condition also known as ADHD, has garnered so much notice that it now appears to be a household term. And yet, much remains misunderstood about ADHD… including the topic of this episode: how it relates to girls. Indeed, many girls and women have this condition but are overlooked and untreated. What are challenges that are unique to girls with ADHD? How does it present differently in girls from how it presents in boys? And, most importantly, what can be done to assist girls who are contending with ADHD in their lives so they can live more fully? Fortunately, I know just the guy to ask: Dr. Stephen Hinshaw (https://www.stephenhinshaw.com/) is a world-renowned clinician, a distinguished professor, and a major researcher on ADHD. He teaches at UC Berkeley and UCSF medical school and has written many books including his most recent, Straight Talk about ADHD in Girls: How to Help Your Daughter Thrive. This is a book that has been described as a “must read,” from members the scientific community as well as from parents who are trying to help their children with this condition. So, listen in as Steven and I talk about ADHD in girls and how to assist them in thriving. Book Link: https://tinyurl.com/53h7jw99
August 23, 2022
#121 Sustainable Happiness at Work | Dr. Emma Seppala
As a Silicon Valley-based psychologist, I frequently hear from my clients about their work woes. These woes are often the result of companies who erroneously subscribe to harsh techniques in trying to bring out the best in their employees, which is in line with the old cliché “The beatings will continue until morale is increased.” Not surprisingly, that doesn't work. Harsh practices may yield short-term benefits. Yet, creating positive workspaces appears to improve virtually all measures of long-term results. And while some people may lionize harsh practices or consider positive practices to be fuzzy, the science doesn't lie; implementing positive work practices is good business. Thankfully, many companies are noting this to the benefit of all stakeholders, including at least two major high-tech companies where I’ve served as a resiliency consultant. And that is why I am so excited to share with you my interview with this wonderful guest. Dr. Emma Seppälä is a professor at Yale School of Management. She also serves as the Science Director at Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research Education and is the author of a book I absolutely adored called The Happiness Track. I am not alone in my appreciation of Emma and her work. I wholly agree with Susan Cain, the author of Quiet, who said Emma’s work, “not only teaches us how to thrive in our chosen profession, but how to stay true to ourselves.” So, listen in as Emma and I geek out to the research about what really makes us thrive at work. Link to her book, The Happiness Track can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/2enxbpmj Link to her Harvard Business Review article, Proof That Positive Work Cultures Are More Productive can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/rusrt6u8
August 16, 2022
#120 Community: How & Why to Create It | Jon Levy
Anyone familiar with my work knows I care a lot about friendship and relationships. As it turns out, one of the biggest predictors of our health is the quality of our relationships and our sense of community. Sadly, for many of us, our sense of community is on the low end these days. Historically, we tended to grow up in a community, years later, settle down in that community, and then had generations of our offspring in that same community. These days, many of us are living far away from where we grew up, and it’s not uncommon to have moved several times in between. All of that movement paired with the busyness of modern life can place a strain on relationships and community. Since community is so important to our happiness and overall health, how can we create it? Fortunately, I know just the guy to ask! Jon Levy (https://www.jonlevytlb.com/) is a behavioral scientist specializing in human connection, trust, and influence. He is the author of the New York Times Best Seller You’re Invited: The Art & Science of Connection, Trust and Belonging. It is a book I enjoyed so much, I listened to it twice. He’s also the founder of Influencers, the secret dining experience and private community of over 2,500 industry leaders including Nobel laureates, Olympians, celebrities, executives, royalty, and more. As you will hear, I loved geeking out with Jon about community, why it’s important, and how to create it. We also hit on various scientific studies that impact how we live, and life hacks to increase the likelihood of living better. So, listen in as Jon and I talk about creating communities to improve the quality and possibly the length of our lives. Book link: https://tinyurl.com/yndeh3uv
August 09, 2022
#119 Bartender Wisdom | Matthew "Zeke" Zeka
Baseball legend Yogi Berra had some of the all-time best quotes. Although he has been gone for nearly a decade, Yogi-isms are plentiful and are still thrown around for their hilarity and brilliance. One of his quotes relates perfectly to this episode: “You can observe a lot just by watching.” Bartenders tend to observe a broad range of human experiences. They see people living fast, loud, full of celebrations, fights, and all kinds of regrettable decisions. They also see a side of our human experience featuring heartache, people questioning life’s meaning, and experiencing many shades of depression. And that’s why I have wanted to interview a bartender to get a unique weigh-in on psychology. My opportunity presented itself when I was on a hiking trail in Colorado and bumped into Zeke. Zeke is a 19-year veteran bartender and his lighthearted, friendly, and philosophical vibe felt perfect for an episode that I’m confident you’ll love. So, listen in as Zeke and I have a lively talk about bartender wisdom.
August 02, 2022
#118 The Unselfie | Michele Borba, EDD
If I asked you what leads to success, what would you say? I imagine most of us think about schooling, work experience, and the quality of our social networks. But there are other things that really matter here. Research reveals a huge predictor of success is empathy, and that is the subject of this episode. As you will hear, empathy has an abundance of positive outcomes that improve our work lives, personal lives, and our overall health. Yet, sadly, there is an ongoing empathy crisis today and research is showing that the skill of empathy is dwindling in the face of social media and the overwhelming abundance of information today. Thankfully, help is here! Dr. Michelle Borba (https://micheleborba.com/) has been described by CNN as “[The] go-to parent expert,” and by the Today Show as “The Mommy Whisperer.” She’s the author of several books including, UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World. I loved her book as have numerous luminaries, thought leaders, and book reviewers at the highest levels. I am so grateful that you will have the pleasure of learning about empathy with Michele as she outlines why empathy matters and how to cultivate this game changing skill. Book Link: https://tinyurl.com/4s4ncacs
July 26, 2022
#117 Winning with Underdogs: Hiring People with Disabilities | Dr. Gil Winch
A large percentage of the population is under-employed but wants to be a part of the workforce. I’m talking about people who have disabilities of all kinds. Although in some parts of the world there are discrimination laws aimed at protecting them, many are overlooked even though they would be perfectly qualified to be a part of the workforce they are trying to enter. What can be done? I know just the guy to ask and you’ll get to hear from him shortly! Dr. Gil Winch (https://gilwinch.com/) is an organizational consultant and the founder of CY, an outsourcing services call center and for-profit business staffed and managed primarily by previously unemployed, severely disabled people and other marginalized populations. He’s also the author of a great new book called Winning with Underdogs, due in September. So, listen in as Gil and I talk about winning with underdogs by hiring people who might be overlooked, but shouldn’t be. Book Link: https://tinyurl.com/5cvnu5r6
July 20, 2022
#116 This Is Us & Summer Break | Adam Solo
Summer is here and Season Two of SuperPsyched is a rap! I will be taking a brief break and, in all likelihood, return in late July or early August. To cap season two, I thought I would give a tip of the hat to one of the greatest TV shows in recent history: This Is Us. As a psychologist, I was taken by the show because so much of a human experience was captured in just six seasons. Please note: if you haven't seen the show, there are no spoilers here. All you will hear is a psychological analysis of this superb show as well as why you should consider watching it! Later this summer, I will be excited to begin Season Three and I promise some great episodes coming your way!
June 28, 2022
#115 Be Here Now: Yondr CEO Graham Dugoni shares why he founded a company creating phone-free spaces
A few months ago, my family and I plus about 20,000 other people went to see a live comedy event. What made it so unusual was that none of the 20,000 of us had our smart devices available. Instead, those devices were locked away in magnetic pouches required by the venue. The result? We, and everyone we talked to, agreed that the tech-free show was a superior experience. Simply put, we connected better with the comedian—who we had paid to see—and felt less distracted by cameras and the lights of the smart devices we had not paid to see. On the drive home I decided to get in touch with the CEO of the company to have a conversation about the psychology behind the product. That CEO, who is named Graham Dugoni, was happy to meet and gave a great interview as you’ll hear. His company called Yondr (https://www.overyondr.com/) has been gaining popularity at live events with both the attendees and artists. It’s even being used successfully at schools to the benefit of teachers and students. Yondr’s motto, “Be here now,” is on-point and may even be a tip of the hat to the brilliant thinking of Ram Dass. Graham is very philosophical and thoughtful and we talk about how he came up with the idea for Yondr as well as the costs that unwanted technology has had on our attention spans. So, listen in as Graham and I have a lively conversation about our attention and how to temporarily shut down unwanted technology.
June 22, 2022
#114 Exercises for Your Brain | Susan Krauss Whitbourne, PhD, ABPP
The human brain is the most complex structure known in the entire universe. Yet, despite its incredible power, its capacity declines with the passage of time. What can we do to keep our brains in tip-top shape as we age? Fortunately, there’s a lot we can do! And a lot of it is quite simple, as you will hear in this interview with a true expert, Dr. Susan Krauss Whitbourne. Susan is a professor of psychology at University of Massachusetts, Boston. She is one of the pioneers in the study of adult aging and the author of multiple psychology textbooks used in colleges and graduate schools around the globe. Susan shares methods for keeping our brains in shape using various approaches, including our diet, exercise, games, and even how to orient our thoughts. So, join Susan and me as we talk about user-friendly ways to keep your brain healthy and strong.
June 15, 2022
#113 Terry Real, LCSW | Building a Loving Relationship & Overriding Impulses that Interfere
Research indicates that the biggest predictor of happiness—at least for most of us—is the quality of our relationships. And yet, so much of how we’re wired can get in the way of good relationships. Things like pride and stubbornness. When we lean on those, we may erroneously conclude that we should be harsh and teach our partner a lesson. Spoiler alert: you'll hear from the expert on this episode that harshness is never a good idea even though it may feel right or even vindicating. So, since these skills are not taught in schools, how do we go beyond our knee-jerk responses and thrive as a couple? Fortunately, I know just the guy to ask! Terry Real (https://terryreal.com/) is an internationally known psychotherapist and a best-selling author who has written some of the most important books contributing to the field of individual and couples psychotherapy. His latest book is called Us: Getting Past You and Me to Build a More Loving Relationship. Consistent with his incredible work, Terry brilliantly cuts to the core of how our brains work and shows how we can better use those brains in our relationships. Lori Gottlieb, Esther Perel, and even Bruce Springsteen (who wrote the foreword) love this book and I believe you will too. And I’m confident you’ll be captivated listening to Terry who is a superior storyteller and the embodiment of kindness, wisdom, and strength. So, listen in as Terry and I talk about how to get past the stumbling blocks and how to find our way back to US. Book Link: https://tinyurl.com/3vdfwkh4
June 07, 2022
#112 Lori Gottlieb, MFT | Part Two of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone
Have you ever had such a great conversation that you simply had to have more time? Silly question, I know! We've all had that. One of mine recently was with my guest Lori Gottlieb during her superb interview for episode 104 about 8 weeks ago. After we spoke, I said, “There’s so much more I’d like to ask you!” Fortunately, she was game, so later that same afternoon, we recorded this episode! As you’ll hear, she shares about how she and her colleague, Guy Winch, created their stellar podcast, Dear Therapists, as well as more about her well-cultivated thoughts on therapy. And, a brief refresher on Lori: she has a thriving psychotherapy practice in Los Angeles. She’s authored multiple books including, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, which has sold over one million copies. In addition, her TED talk is magnificent and has millions of views. And she has a TV show in the works! I can’t say enough about Lori, and I hope you’ll listen to both episodes. You’ll see why she has been such an international sensation. So, listen in on a bit more from a psychotherapy thought leader, Lori Gottlieb, on this PS edition!
June 01, 2022
#111 How to Fix a Broken Heart | Guy Winch, Ph.D.
Heartbreak is a painful part of life. When we’re in it, it can be all-consuming, exhausting, and overwhelming. And to be sure, the skill to attend to it is not typically taught in school. But what is heartbreak and how does it affect us? Why does the heart actually hurt when we’re in it? And what can be done to fix a heart that’s broken? Fortunately, I know just the guy to ask, and his name happens to be Guy! Dr. Guy Winch (https://www.guywinch.com/) is an internationally renowned psychologist, the author of multiple superb TED talks, and the co-host of a podcast called Dear Therapists with his brilliant colleague and fellow SuperPsyched guest, Lori Gottlieb. He’s also the bestselling author of several books, including How to Fix a Broken Heart. I loved this book as have thought leaders like Esther Perel, who said the book was, "Well researched and deeply practical. How to Fix a Broken Heart provides the validation, comfort, and hope anyone who is heartbroken desperately needs." So, listen in as Guy and I talk about How to Fix a Broken Heart. Book link: https://tinyurl.com/5ncy7anh
May 25, 2022
#110 Transcending Trauma | Frank Anderson, MD
Trauma sucks. And, to varying degrees, we’ve all experienced it. Research shows that its effects can impact and disturb developmental phases of life. Studies of transgenerational trauma show that trauma can even have negative consequences for future generations of people who aren't even born yet. What is trauma? How does it impact our lives? What can we learn from its impact? And how can we heal trauma and perhaps become even stronger afterward? Fortunately, I know just the guy to ask! Dr. Frank Anderson (https://www.frankandersonmd.com/) is a Harvard educated physician who is known across the globe for his brilliant contributions to the study and treatment of trauma and PTSD. He is one of the most important teachers and contributors to the development of Internal Family Systems, a state-of-the-art treatment for trauma, eating disorders, and many other conditions. He is also the author of a book I loved called Transcending Trauma. I am not alone in my love for this book or Frank’s work. Luminaries like Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk said, “This is a wonderful book that should be read by anyone who wants to lay down the burdens of past trauma and those who seek to accompany them on this journey.” As you will hear, Frank is a total delight, full of levity, brilliance, and kindness. He walks the talk and he has benefited personally from the same therapy he provides as have countless numbers of people. So, listen in as Frank and I have an info-packed, fun—yes, fun—and unfiltered conversation about Transcending Trauma. Transcending Trauma book link: https://tinyurl.com/5n9ah6k2
May 18, 2022
#109 The Science of Connecting & Playing Well with Others | Eric Barker
Sigmund Freud once said, “Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness.” Whether or not you agree, love and work are certainly a big deal. On any given day, much of what crosses our minds falls under the headings of love and/or work. And that’s why I’m so excited to speak with my guest, Eric Barker (https://www.bakadesuyo.com/), who is a thought leader and an expert on the topics of love and work. Eric consumes vast quantities of research, interviews top thinkers in various fields, and writes beautifully about his findings. He has over 300,000 regular subscribers to his Barking Up the Wrong Tree newsletter largely dedicated to answering: what does it take to succeed in love and work? His second book drops this week, and it is called Plays Well with Others: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Relationships is (Mostly) Wrong. Like all of Eric’s work, his new book is thought-provoking and well-researched. I’ve been a fan of Eric’s for years; I love his books and newsletter as do prominent thought leaders like Daniel Pink and David Epstein. Eric puts conventional wisdom to the test but employing science and answers questions like: Does love really conquer all? Can you judge a book by its cover? Is a friend in need truly a friend indeed? (And what does that actually mean?) So, listen in as Eric and I examine, what it takes to connect, be a good friend, to love well, and to play well with others. Book Link: https://tinyurl.com/bdhp84k8
May 11, 2022
#108 A Teen Talks About Teens | Zach Gottlieb
Last September, I read a brilliant piece in TIME Magazine by an inspired high school sophomore. The title was It’s Time For Boys To Talk About Emotional Health. I read it with my teenage sons, and it resonated deeply. It certainly makes sense that the article hit because, while children can take instruction and feedback from grownups, research suggests that there are instances when they listen more deeply to the voices of their peers. In over 100 episodes of SuperPsyched, all my guests have been adults. I decided it was time to change that when I invited the brilliant author of that article, 16-year-old Zach Gottlieb (https://talkwithzachofficial.com/), to join me. As you’ll hear, Zach took action to assist his peers with his phone: he created a flourishing Instagram community and a website—both called Talk With Zach. Through these efforts, Zach is actively helping teens engage other teens and talk about real things, taking the stigma out of mental health, and providing relief by sharing various useful resources to teenagers who feel overwhelmed. I seriously wish Zach and Talk With Zach was around when I was in high school! So, listen in, as Zach and I talk about what is happening today with teens and ways we can all help out. TIME article: https://time.com/6094333/boys-emotional-health/
May 04, 2022
#107 AJ Jacobs | How Games, Puzzles, and Other Mind-Benders Improve Our Brains and Ourselves
Puzzles have a long history and are loved by millions of people worldwide. The New York Times crossword alone attracts 20 million people daily. And puzzles come in multiple forms: jigsaws, mazes, manipulable objects like Rubik’s Cubes, and even puzzles that require teams like escape rooms and scavenger hunts. Why do we love puzzles? Can they make us smarter? If so, how? Can they improve our mental or physical well-being? And might there even be a case for them making us better people? These and so many other questions will be answered by my most delightful guest, journalist, lecturer, and, my friend, New York Times best-selling author, AJ Jacobs (https://ajjacobs.com/)! AJ captured my attention nearly 20 years ago when I read his first major book, The Know-it-All, in which he put himself through one of his many self-imposed challenges. That time he read the entire 33,000-page Encyclopedia Britannica in one year and wrote about his insights. Subsequently, as a human guinea pig, he has put himself through many experiments including one in which he lived according to the rules of the bible outlined in The Year of Living Biblically. As a result of these experiments, he has become one of the most curious, open-minded, and creative thinkers I have ever met. What’s more, he has the gift being able to write intellectually stimulating and simultaneously hilarious material! His latest book just dropped and is called The Puzzler: One Man's Quest to Solve the Most Baffling Puzzles Ever, from Crosswords to Jigsaws to the Meaning of Life. I absolutely loved it! In it, AJ went deep into more than a dozen different types of puzzles learning their history, and writing about the challenges and insights he encountered. AJ has been consistently lauded by literary critics, thought leaders, comedians, and people from all walks of life. Gretchen Rubin, the author of The Happiness Project, described her experience reading the book in words that resonated with me, saying “Even though I’ve never attempted the New York Times crossword puzzle or solved the Rubik’s Cube, I couldn’t put down The Puzzler.” This is AJ's second visit to the SuperPsyched podcast, and I am over-the-moon delighted to host him and for you, my listener, to be the beneficiary of this extraordinary man’s heart and brain. So, listen in as AJ and I have a lively conversation about becoming smarter and, possibly, better people through puzzling. Get The Puzzler here: https://tinyurl.com/mt23vzar
April 27, 2022
#106 Sustainable Change in Exercise & Diet | Michelle Segar, Ph.D.
I'm going to guess that, like me, you have written out some resolutions or aspirations at some point. Perhaps it was New Year’s or a birthday and it related to exercise, diet, or some other area of importance to you. And that, like me, you had fun writing those resolutions—especially imagining how incredible life looked in your mind’s eye as you imagined the benefits of those realities coming to life. And, I'm going to take another guess that like me, you have experienced disappointment or worse when, despite the great intentions of the resolutions, at least one of them failed to hold. What gets in the way of us claiming our best lives? And what can we do to increase the chances of making our lives consistent with our aspirations? Fortunately, I know just the person to ask! Dr. Michelle Segar (https://michellesegar.com/) is an award-winning, NIH-funded researcher at the University of Michigan with almost thirty years studying how to create sustainable changes in healthy behaviors that can survive in the real world. Her research is widely recognized as relevant and pragmatic. She is also the author of two great books on psychology and performance, including her latest, The Joy Choice: How to Finally Achieve Lasting Changes in Eating and Exercise. In a user-friendly and relatable way, she unpacks the stumbling blocks that most of us experience as we aim for better habits as well as the science on how we can make positive and sustainable changes in our lives. So, join Michelle and me as we talk about how to finally achieve the lasting changes we deeply desire. Book Link: https://tinyurl.com/bdfme76n
April 20, 2022
#105 Eco-Anxiety and One Green Thing You Can Do | Heather White
A common theme that shows up on SuperPsyched relates to the importance of naming things. When we don’t have a name for a stressor, it tends to be even more distressing. You may have even heard me say that you need to “name it to tame it.” And that is why I am pleased that there is a working name for an anxiety that has perplexed many people living in the modern world in the face of climate change. I’m talking about what is called “eco-anxiety.” Many of us feel overwhelmed by eco-anxiety and understandably ask, what can we do? Thankfully, I know just the person to ask! Heather White is an attorney by training who has taught at Georgetown University Law Center but who now devotes her efforts to a non-profit organization she founded called One Green Thing (https://www.onegreenthing.org/). She wrote a book, also called One Green Thing, with a foreword by Erin Brockovich that I thought was superb. Heather suggests that each of us—like members of an orchestra playing our unique instruments—can do something to reduce climate change based upon our unique strengths and personality styles. There’s even a questionnaire on her website that will help you identify your skills and personality relative to climate change, and what you can do to help. Doing so may reduce anxiety and help the planet now and for future generations. And, as always, the content on SuperPsyched is for informational purposes only and not intended to diagnose or provide any kind of healthcare treatment. For that, please consult your doctor. So, listen in as Heather and I talk about eco-anxiety and one green thing each of us can do. Link to Heather's book One Green Thing: https://tinyurl.com/c4uc5d8u Greta Thunberg TEDx Talk: https://tinyurl.com/mr2n5c46
April 13, 2022
#104 Lori Gottlieb, MFT | Part One of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone
One way to ensure that we are living, and I mean truly living, during this lifetime, is to live an examined life. By that, I mean living consciously with the humility to examine what’s going on, how we’re living, the choices we’re making, and the unconscious drivers that may lead us down the wrong roads. A good method to deal with this, of course, is through psychotherapy. I am so grateful for my years that I have invested in examining my own life, and for the benefits I’ve received from this service I also provide. One of my favorite stories of engaging therapy comes from a highly esteemed colleague, Lori Gottlieb (https://lorigottlieb.com/). Lori is one of the most well-known therapists in the world today. She has a thriving psychotherapy practice in Los Angeles, she’s the author of multiple books including one with over a million copies sold, her TED talk is magnificent and has millions of views, she writes a column in the Atlantic, and her podcast, Dear Therapists, with Guy Winch, is top-notch. And, like all of us, she is human. She has had her own existential crises during which she recognized she needed her own therapy, a process she details extensively in her brilliant book, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. This is a book that has received spectacular praise and is packed with wisdom, goodness, and it is so unputdownable that I have listened to its audio version twice. It provides profound psychological truths and, in captivating story form, shows the internal struggles we all experience when we are thinking about starting our own psychotherapy. To add a layer of richness, Lori courageously describes her own process of being in psychotherapy and from the vantage point of a highly seasoned therapist. What gets in the way of us seeking our own therapy? What gets in the way of us asking for what we want? What are some of the pain points as we grow even as we attain some of the results we have been seeking? These and so many other questions are answered in this captivating interview. So, listen in as Lori and discuss that nagging feeling of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. Book Link: https://tinyurl.com/ycksn9d4
April 06, 2022
#103 Influence is Your Superpower | Zoe Chance, Ph.D.
From 1 to 10, how would you rate yourself as an influencer? Would you like to improve your strength in this area? And, imagine the people in your life who have been positive influencers. How do you hold them in your mind? What qualities do they have in common? Whether or not you think you are an influencer, you are. And whether or not you think you are influenced by others, you are as well. And, fortunately, when it comes to influence, we can all improve our skills at exerting it and noticing how we are influenced. One of the best people on the planet with whom to discuss this important topic is my new friend, Dr. Zoe Chance (https://www.zoechance.com/). Zoe is one of the most powerful and likable people I’ve ever met. She is a researcher and a professor of the most popular course taught at Yale School of Management on the topic of influence. She is also the author of a book I absolutely loved and have recommended extensively called Influence is Your Superpower: The Science of Winning Hearts, Sparking Change, and Making Good Things Happen. I am not alone in my love of Zoe’s work and scores of luminaries like Adam Grant and Daniel Pink have endorsed this brilliant book that I believe will make you smile as you get smarter. Zoe’s work is not about influencing through manipulation or blindsiding people. Rather, it is about helping people access their authentic truths and reaching their goals through kindness and collaboration. So, listen in, as Zoe and I have a lively talk about how to rock your superpower of influence. Link to her book: https://tinyurl.com/hnvn2w9w
March 30, 2022
#102 The Parenting Tips Everyone Needs | Jessica Lahey, JD
Parenting is a tough gig. We love and adore our children and, yet, there are so many aspects of their lives over which we don’t have control. Our instinct is to want to protect them from the impacts of failures and their bad choices -- all while keeping them physically and mentally and healthy. We intellectually know that protecting our children too much isn’t good for them, either. So, how do we navigate these conflicting imperatives? Two of the best books I have recently enjoyed on parenting come from the brilliant woman interviewed in this episode. Jessica Lahey (https://www.jessicalahey.com/) is the author of The Addiction Inoculation and the Gift of Failure. The New York Times Book Review, Publisher’s Weekly and many well-regarded thought leaders hold her work in the highest regard and for good reason: she has identified and provided user-friendly solutions for much of what challenges modern children and parents daily. So, listen in as Jess unpacks the parenting tips everyone needs! Addiction Inoculation: https://tinyurl.com/25f7wcv7 Gift of Failure: https://tinyurl.com/2p9bf8rx
March 23, 2022
#101 Overriding Social Comparison | Ronald Siegel, Ph.D.
Imagine that you've just come back from running your first half marathon. Imagine further that you’re not a natural runner and that the half marathon took you months of preparation. You feel excited to share the news on social media when, lo-and-behold, you see a post of a friend that reads, “I just finished my 3rd Iron Man Triathlon.” You think, “Damn. I ran 13.1 miles, and my friend swam a few miles, biked 100, and then ran 26.2… and for the third time.” Suddenly, you feel bad about something that had felt so good just minutes before. You’ve engaged in social comparison, and that’s something all humans do. How can we enjoy who we are, what we do, and so much of what life has to offer when our brains go into social comparison and make us feel worse? Fortunately, I know just the guy to ask. Dr. Ronald Siegel (https://drronsiegel.com/) is a professor at Harvard Medical School, a psychologist, and best-selling author who just wrote a must-read book called The Extraordinary Gift of Being Ordinary: Finding Happiness Right Where You Are. Ron explains how our brains can both harm us or serve us and how to regain control over the default programming in very user-friendly ways. The book has been widely loved by luminaries in the field of psychology and readers of all walks of life. So, listen in as Ron unpacks how to override the brain’s tendency toward social comparison. Ron's Book: https://tinyurl.com/98zt6bmv
March 16, 2022
#100 Why Mentors Matter | Dr. Adam Dorsay, Solo Episode
I can hardly believe it—we are at episode number 100! And, for this special mile-marker, I thought I would do a solo on a topic I care about deeply: mentorship. One of the biggest difference makers in my life (and nearly every awesome guest’s life on the SuperPsyched Podcast) has been mentorship. Nearly everyone I have spoken to has acknowledged a mentor who fundamentally changed their lives and helped them propel to the space they now occupy. What is a mentor? What are the potential benefits of having such a person in your life? How can you find one? And how might you benefit from becoming a mentor? I address these and many other questions in this solo episode… I even share two very personal accounts of my own relationships with mentors. So, please, listen in and perhaps you’ll come to appreciate your mentors more deeply, or start a mentor relationship of your own. (Photo is of Adam and his academic mentor, Dr. Allen Greenberger. It is in his memory and Martin Doerner's that this episode is dedicated)
March 09, 2022
#99 Better Parenting with Self-Compassion | Dr. Susan Pollak
Parenting can be tough. To be sure, there are external challenges like when our children behave in ways we don’t like. But there are also internal challenges—like when we beat up on ourselves as we undertake this enormous task. And when we beat up on ourselves, it tends not to be good for our children. What if there was a way to be kinder to ourselves and simultaneously be better parents? Turns out, there is, and my guest is the perfect person to help us unpack the playbook for better parenting through self-compassion. Dr. Susan Pollak (https://www.drsusanpollak.com/) is a psychologist and the cofounder at the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion at Harvard Medical School/Cambridge Health Alliance. She is also the author of a book I loved called Self-Compassion for Parents. So, listen in as Susan masterfully explains how to be kinder to ourselves and to our children. Buy the book: https://tinyurl.com/m5h8ut85
March 02, 2022
#98 Addictions & The Craving Mind | Judson Brewer, MD, PhD
Our brains cause us to crave many things. It might be material like a new car. It might be an experience like a vacation. It might be advancement like a promotion at work. And, of course, it might be a substance like sugar or alcohol. For too many of us, this craving can lead to addiction and we can begin to feel as though the addiction controls our very lives. Why do we become addicted to things that are bad for us? What do all addictions have in common? And, how can we get back in the driver’s seat in our lives and regain control over our addictions? Fortunately, I spoke with the right guy to answer these and any other questions you’ll want answered! Dr. Judson Brewer is a world class psychiatrist, neuroscientist, and a bestselling author of several books including one we’ll draw from in this interview called The Craving Mind. Jud earned a doctorate in medicine as well as a PhD in immunology, and he is a professor at Brown University Medical School. He gave a TED talk with over 10 million views on how to break a bad habit and he’s developed apps to assist people in gaining control over their craving minds. I’m confident you’ll love learning from Jud as I did on this episode as we talk about our craving minds and how to handle them. Jud’s TED Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-moW9jvvMr4 The Craving Mind Book: https://tinyurl.com/2k5r6h4v
February 23, 2022
#97 Anger: How to Deal with it & Why We Feel this Misunderstood Emotion | Dr. Ryan Martin
Anger is a basic human emotion and none of us is immune. Even the most levelheaded of us can lose our cool. We can experience road rage. Anger at injustice. And we can experience it as we grieve. Yet, as natural as it is, anger can be extremely harmful. It can cause damage to our bodies, hurt our relationships, and it can hijack our brains causing us to act impulsively with potentially disastrous outcomes. But what exactly is anger? Why does it exist? And, given how big the stakes are for this inevitable emotion, what are some tips for dealing with it? These questions—and so many more—will be covered in this interview with internationally recognized anger expert, Dr. Ryan Martin. Ryan is a Professor of Psychology and an Associate Dean at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. He’s also the author of a book I absolutely love called Why We Get Mad. He also has a well-watched TED talk on the subject and he draws on over 20 years of research and study of this misunderstood emotion. So, listen in as Ryan and I have a lively talk on anger and how to best deal with it.
February 16, 2022
#96 Self-Compassion: The Simple, Scientifically-Demonstrated Super Power of Speaking Kindly to Yourself | Dr. Chris Germer
Throughout the day, we engage in self-talk. That voice we hear—our own—is normal and at the heart of our thoughts. Sometimes the voice is kind. Sometimes it’s neutral. And sometimes it’s quite mean and we beat up on ourselves. Some of us may even admit to being quite skilled at beating up on ourselves. Why do we do this? Is it helpful? Spoiler alert: not so much. Turns out when our self-talk is filled with criticism, we tend not to perform at our best. It’s as if we go through life with a bunch of haters booing in our ears. That can bring on feelings of shame, increase anxiety, and make us less loving toward others. Wouldn’t it be cool if we could opt for a gentle, wise, loving voice? How about the loving, encouraging voice we might use on a friend? And what would happen if we could tune into that encouraging voice and make that the inner voice we listened to more frequently throughout the day? Spoiler alert: lots of good stuff! The science overwhelmingly supports practicing self-compassion as being good for our minds, bodies, relationships, and our abilities to perform at our best. As you will hear in this interview, self-compassion was hardly studied 20 years ago. Fortunately, in recent years, it has been under the microscope thanks to the pioneering work of two amazing people, one of whom is the guest on this interview. Dr. Chris Germer (https://chrisgermer.com/) is a psychologist in private practice who also teaches at Harvard Medical School and to audiences worldwide. He has authored several books, including The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion, which Library Journal lauded as one of the Best Consumer Health Books in 2009. In this interview, he generously shares his expertise on how to practice self-compassion and the benefits it will play in your life. So, listen in, as Chris and I talk about why and how to practice the simple, scientifically-supported superpower of speaking kindly to yourself called self-compassion. And, as always, the content on SuperPsyched is for informational purposes only and not intended to diagnose or provide any kind of healthcare treatment. For that, please consult your doctor. https://centerformsc.org/
February 02, 2022
#95 Behind the Scenes with an Emmy Award-Winning TV News Reporter | Scott Budman
I have always wondered what it would be like to be a TV news reporter. I imagine that if you aren't one yourself or don’t have a close relationship with one, you may have wondered as well! Fortunately, I know just the guy to pull back the curtain and share what it’s like. Scott Budman is an Emmy Award-winning news reporter who’s served as a Silicon Valley tech and business reporter as well as anchor for NBC Bay Area since 1995. He has covered an incredible range of news — including some of the most captivating stories, many that you’ll remember — and transmitted them all over the globe. Scott reveals what his day-to-day life is like, the ups and downs, the intensity of the work, and the skills he brings to his job in order to be one of the most respected news reporters in the business. So, listen in as Scott meets with me from inside the NBC studios and talks about the world of a TV news reporter.
January 26, 2022
#94 Energize: Tools to Increase Your Energy | Dr. Michael Breus
Wouldn’t you love to have more energy? I believe that’s on every living person’s wishlist. Energy can feel like that elusive fountain of youth that we thirst for to hydrate our soul. But there’s a problem: we seek energy replenishment in the wrong ways. Pursuing energy, we reach for coffee, energy drinks, or food but, even if those methods provide temporary relief, we still come up short after a few hours. What if I told you that in 30 days, you could have more energy? Would you be skeptical? Would you also be interested? I was very interested and when I learned that a SuperPsyched guest, Dr. Michael Breus, had written a book on the topic, and I invited him back for another interview. Michael is widely considered one of the top sleep experts in the world and in 2020, we met for episode #10, The Science of Sleep. Recently, he leveraged his knowledge of sleep and restoration and teamed up with Soul Cycle founding instructor, Stacey Griffith, in authoring a book called Energize! Go from Dragging Ass to Kicking It in 30 Days. The book lays out personalized, scientifically-researched plans to increase our energy and, as it turns out, it’s way easier to obtain than you might think. I loved the book and have begun implementing the recommendations in my own life as have people like Ariana Huffington who said, “If you're sick of feeling tired and burned out, this is the book for you!” So, join Michael and me as we explore the science behind increasing your energy. And, as always, the content on SuperPsyched is for informational purposes only and not intended to diagnose or provide any kind of healthcare treatment. For that, please consult your doctor. Link to book: https://www.amazon.com/Energize-Dragging-Ass-Kicking-Days-ebook/dp/B08YK37P5Y/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3D095Y2473YHC&keywords=energize+breus&qid=1642395030&sprefix=energize+bre%2Caps%2C200&sr=8-1
January 19, 2022
#93 Gratitude Letter
There is an exercise practiced in the well-researched field of positive psychology (aka the science of happiness) that consistently yields a huge improvement in mood. It is easy to do, and I wish everyone in the world would write at least one gratitude. It’s my hope, too, that everyone receives a gratitude letter! In this solo episode, I explain the why, what, and how of gratitude letters. It's short! And that's to save you time as you begin to write your gratitude letter immediately after the episode (wink, wink!).
January 05, 2022
#92 Reflections on 2021
For the last episode of the year, I decided to do a solo. It's something of a retrospective of 2021 and it's also a tip of the hat to stepping into courage in the face of fear. Fear is a prerequisite to courage. And since courage is a prerequisite to a life well lived, I openly share some things that scared me in 2021, and how I responded. Wishing you a very Happy New Year—one filled with happiness, fun, meaningful connection, and one in which you rock your courage!
December 30, 2021
#91 Scam Protection: Advice from a World Class Investigator | Julie Jones (formerly Clegg)
Spam calls. Email account hacking. Telephone scams. Yeah, while the Internet Age has come with lots of good stuff, it’s also come with real headaches. How can we protect ourselves against people and organizations who want to exploit us? And, for those of us in the Sandwich Generation—people sandwiched between two vulnerable groups—our children and aging parents, how can we safeguard our loved ones? To answer these and other questions about shielding ourselves from scams, I spoke with Julie Jones, also known by her former name, Julie Clegg. Julie is a licensed investigator with over 20 years of experience on the police force in England. She’s an intelligence expert on the UK reality TV series Hunted and Celebrity Hunted and she’s taught investigative skills and procedures in over 20 countries. She’s also the founder and CEO of Human-i Intelligence Services (https://www.human-i.org/) and the author of a book called How to Become a World Class Investigator. So, join Julie and me as we discuss protecting ourselves and loved ones from scammers.
December 22, 2021
#90 A Pilot's Life: The View from the Cockpit | Captain Dan Jacobson
Ever since I was a child, I have been fascinated by airplanes and pilots. How in the world do those massive chunks of metal called airplanes fly? And what’s it like to fly one? Fortunately, I know just the guy to talk about all things involving being a commercial pilot. Dan Jacobson has spent his career as a pilot and has flown for many years as a captain with United Airlines. As you’ll hear, he loves his work and is able to speak candidly about what it's like to fly millions of miles in the cockpit with the joys as well as challenges including flying after 9/11. So, join Dan and me as we explore the life of a commercial pilot.
December 14, 2021
#89 The Imagination of a Novelist - Max Gross
Have you ever wondered what it takes to write a great work of fiction? To create a world of characters never before seen or heard, perhaps in a place that doesn’t even exist except in the mind of the author? Recently, I read such a book and found myself asking, “How in the world did the author do that?” Fortunately, that same author, Max Gross, agreed to be on the podcast. His book, The Lost Shtetl, was published last year and is an immersive, unputdownable book about an imaginary Jewish town called Kreskol. In the year 2020 Kreskol had survived the Holocaust and World War II without being discovered and, as if it had been hermetically sealed, was unchanged and unaffected by the passage of time for centuries. It is simultaneously hilarious, heartbreaking, and because it was so well thought out, Max made it entirely believable. It received rave reviews from media outlets as diverse as USA Today, Vogue, and Kirkus Reviews. It was also widely loved by my book club and has become one of my favorite novels. So, join Max and me as we explore the world of a fiction writer and how an entirely new world emerges from the writer’s mind.
December 08, 2021
#88 How to be Heard | Julian Treasure
I remember being in 8th grade science class. The teacher asked me to go home, close my eyes, and listen deeply for two minutes, and then to write down everything I heard. Have you ever done that? If not, I recommend you give it a try. What shows up is utterly mind-blowing and reminds me of an idea from Ferris Bueller, who noted that “life moves pretty fast and if we don’t pay attention, we might miss it.” As it turns out, if you want to feel more alive, it’s important to listen. And if you want to be heard, the answer is the same: we must listen, according to my expert guest. Bestselling author, Julian Treasure (https://www.juliantreasure.com/) has given 5 TED talks about listening and being heard that have been viewed over 100 million times. His messages clearly resonate with people and for good reason: he’s brilliant. As you’ll hear in this interview, Julian has an unusual ability to notice important things that most of us overlook but need to pay attention to. His book called “How to Be Heard” is one of the finest communication books I have encountered, and I am not alone. Dozens of luminaries have endorsed it including audio expert, Bernie Krause who said it is “clear, powerful, and fun,” and “the go-to resource for learning how to listen and express ourselves in ways that can only enrich our lives.” So, listen in as Julian and I have a conversation about how to be heard. https://www.moodsonic.com/ https://www.thesoundagency.com/about-us/
December 01, 2021
#87 Improving Through Improv | Rick Andrews
The latest episode contains skills that can provide levity and improve relationships and are right on time for the holidays! As we come together with family, it's all about improv and our ability to build on whatever is happening in the room in real-time. Improv isn't just on stage or about being funny, as you'll learn. Years ago, I took improv classes and was initially terrified. My fear vanished when I learned the goal wasn't to be funny but to be present and to be able to “yes, and” (an awesome skill you'll learn in this episode). It was a blast and taught me tons about life. The skills I gained were immediately useful to me both personally and professionally. In fact, here’s a great article that explains how it can boost a crucial life skill of helping us improve our ability to tolerate ambiguity: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1871187119302470 Because of improv’s ability to help us live more fully, I simply had to dedicate an episode to it. And I found the perfect person to interview: Rick Andrews. Rick is an adjunct professor at Columbia University where he teaches acting to MFA students and he’s been a performer and instructor of improv for over 20 years. Yes, he is very funny. More importantly, he helps people improve their listening, public speaking, leadership, professional innovation, and so much more. You will hear Rick explain what improv is, what it’s not, you'll get a sense of how it's done, and you'll even hear a live improv exercise featuring me and Rick! So please, listen in and learn how to improve life through improv.
November 24, 2021
#86 The Psychologist Who Was a 9-11 First Responder | Francine Toder, Ph.D.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of September 11, 2001. It is a date of heartbreak and tragedy and, if you’re of an age allowing you to remember it, it is a date that likely holds a specific spot in your memory. We remember it because of deeds that are some of the worst of what humans can do. In the days following, however, there were heroic deeds representing some of the best of what humans can do. It was an honor to speak with a psychologist who decided to use her skills to bring healing to people at the epicenter of the destruction in New York City. Dr. Francine Toder is a psychologist, author, and a professor of psychology who lives in the San Francisco Bay area and who originally hails from New York. As you will hear, she felt compelled to volunteer to provide her therapy skills wherever they could be used in the aftermath of 9/11 in her hometown. Her days were surreal, long, and deeply meaningful. Also, like many 9/11 first responders, Francine’s health took a huge hit years after her service when she was diagnosed with lung cancer. Fortunately, her health has been restored allowing her to share her gripping and important story. So, join Francine and me as we talk about the experiences of a psychologist who was a first responder after 9/11.
November 17, 2021
#85 Behind-the-Scenes with a Modern Teacher | Zack Sleep
Imagine the people who have most influenced your life. I speculate that at least one teacher should be on that list. Teachers are so important in our lives and their teachings go beyond the subject of the class they teach. They can be role models. They can teach us how to think. They can bring out our best. And so much more. Yet, on average, we take classes from teachers, and we move on without really knowing who they are, or how hard they’ve worked. What compels a person to teach? What’s it like to be in front of the class? And what has it been like to teach during COVID? These, and many other questions, are answered by my guest, Fifth Grade Teacher, Mr. Zack Sleep. Mr. Sleep earned his master’s degree in education at the University of Pennsylvania, and he has brought his passion for teaching to Vietnam, Northern Philadelphia, and where he now teaches in Silicon Valley. He also created an after-school program called The Young Detectives, an immersive mystery-solving experience in which children employ the cognitive processes of learning to crack codes, assessing alibis, and synthesizing evidence. I have witnessed Mr. Sleep’s brilliance in real time. I am a fan of his work, and you will hear why I positively had to interview him. So, listen in as Mr. Sleep and I talk about the behind-the-scenes world of the modern teacher.
November 10, 2021
#84 Unlearning Your Pain | Howard Schubiner, MD
Chronic pain can seriously alter the quality of a person’s life. And, sadly, chronic pain is prevalent in the United States with more people suffering from it than the total diagnoses of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease combined. When the source of pain can be diagnosed and treated it is a relief. Yet, far too many people have pain without a diagnosable, treatable, physical root cause of their pain. Their experiences can be lonely, which can cause or exacerbate symptoms of depression and anxiety. Why are so many people suffering and what can be done? And how might psychologists be able to help? On this episode, you will hear answers to these questions from physician Dr. Howard Schubiner, Clinical Director and co-founder of the Freedom From Chronic Pain program (https://www.freedomfromchronicpain.com/). Freedom From Chronic Pain is a structured, online pain management program that has been effective for people suffering from various types of pain, including: back pain, migraines, fibromyalgia, and many others. Howard is also the author of several books for both laypeople and professionals, including a very popular self-help book called Unlearn Your Pain. He has also authored over 60 publications in scientific journals and has been consistently named one of the best physicians in the United States. So, please join Howard and me as we discuss how to unlearn our pain. Unlearn Your Pain: https://www.amazon.com/Unlearn-Your-Pain-process-reprogram-ebook/dp/B0743ZJMYP/ref=sr_1_4?crid=10Y0JP439Z9JD&dchild=1&keywords=howard+schubiner&qid=1635487660&s=books&sprefix=howard+schub%2Caps%2C228&sr=1-4
November 04, 2021
#83 Why You Eat What You Eat | Rachel Herz, Ph.D.
Among the needs all 7 billion of us on the planet have in common is our need to eat. Food allows us to survive, thrive, and it can bring immense pleasure. However, how things taste and what we like is unique to us all. But despite our uniqueness, there are certain trends. For example, we order tomato juice on airplanes at a far greater frequency than we do on land. Why is that? And have you ever noticed you can have an entirely different experience of taste depending on how a food or drink is presented, where they're consumed, the type of music that’s playing in the background, and even based upon the color of the plate it’s served on? These will all be addressed on this episode. Dr. Rachel Herz (https://www.rachelherz.com) is a neuroscientist, a professor at Brown University, and a world-leading expert on the psychological science of smell. She is the author of several books including one on smell called, The Scent of Desire. Another book of hers called That’s Disgusting, and it takes a scientific look at repulsion. Her most recent book explores the science behind our relationship with food and is called, Why You Eat What You Eat. I loved the book and couldn’t stop smiling as I devoured the audio version. And I am not alone—it was listed among the “Best Food Books of 2018” by The Smithsonian and The New Yorker and has been praised high and low by the press and thought leaders. So, join Rachel and me as we explore a journey of the senses and Why You Eat What You Eat! Link to her book Why You Eat What You Eat: https://www.amazon.com/Why-You-Eat-What-Relationship-ebook/dp/B06XH3D8VF/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=rachel+herz&qid=1635354607&sr=8-2 To find out more, go to: https://www.rachelherz.com
October 27, 2021
#82 When Your Team Loses | Adam Dorsay, Psy.D. SuperPsyched Solo
Last week, I watched as my beloved San Francisco Giants lost in the final game of the Division Series to their rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers. It was heartbreaking. Afterward, I found myself thinking, “Why squander a heartbreak?” So, I decided to make an episode dedicated to the psychological principles that outline what happens when a person is a sports fan and their team loses. And, while the content appears rather San Francisco-centric, the principles apply to any team you love! This 15-minute solo episode is about the following: looking at being a sports fan and loss, some of the problems with our memory and biases as they pertain to being a fan, a plea to expand the definition of “winning,” and the types of thinking that can interfere with the enjoyment of watching and playing sports. As bonus, I share an answer to this question: why don’t we like watching sports when they’ve been pre-recorded? (The answer comes from Harvard professor, Dr. Daniel Gilbert, and I’m quite confident that it’s not the answer you expect!) It's my hope and belief that you will come to appreciate being a sports fan in a new way after hearing this!
October 20, 2021
#81 Loveletter to the Bee Gees | Adam Dorsay, Psy.D. SuperPsyched Solo
This week, I thought I would share my own thoughts in a solo episode about psychology through my feelings about the Bee Gees and disco. As you will hear over the next 10 minutes, due to peer pressure and my low level of conviction at the age of 12, I repressed my love for this band and the genre of music. It turns out that many people experienced the same thing around this time concerning disco and the Bee Gees. So, I thought it was a good idea to share my own experience and how it relates to social psychology, conformity, and other psychological phenomena.
October 13, 2021
#80 Being an Ally to Asian Americans | Sherry Wang, PhD
An artifact of our brains is a default mode that may nudge us toward being bystanders and toward conforming. While that feature may have been important to our survival at one point, it inhibits us from standing up for justice. Social psychology experiments that look at conformity and the bystander effect provide stark reminders of these facts. To override our brain’s tendency to stay quiet in the face of injustice and, instead, to choose to be an ally and an upstander may require thought, preparation, and education. Speaking to the importance of standing up for our fellow humans, Holocaust Survivor, Eli Wiesel once said, “The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.” He also said, “Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” And that is why I feel compelled to discuss this important topic to better understand the experiences of being Asian American, the subtle and covert racism they face, and how we can all be better allies. This is a topic that understandably incurs anger, sadness, and urgency, and you can hear these throughout the interview. And, my guest, Dr. Sherry Wang is a great person to help us know what we need to know on this topic. She is a licensed psychologist, researcher, an anti-racist educator, and a professor of psychology at Santa Clara University. Since the start of COVID-19, she has been featured, cited, and interviewed in the media on the topic of anti-Asian racism, xenophobia, and cross-racial coalition-building. So, join Dr. Wang and me as we talk about being allies to our Asian American brothers and sisters.
September 29, 2021
#79 Infidelity: Nearly Everything We Should Know About It | Britney Blair, PsyD, CBSM, AASECT CST
Infidelity: Nearly Everything We Should Know About It Britney Blair, PsyD, CBSM, AASECT CST Our primary romantic relationships tend to occupy most sensitive places in our hearts. Because of this, the aftermath of an affair can be profoundly painful and even traumatizing. And yet, affairs are not uncommon as you will hear in this episode. What can be done to prevent an affair from happening? And how can a person—or the couple—recover afterward? The expert I chose to answer these and other important questions related to infidelity is Dr. Brittany Blair. Dr. Blair is a clinical psychologist and is board certified in both sleep and sexual medicine. She is a sought-after speaker at venues around the globe and well published in the areas of sleep and sexual medicine both for the academic and popular press. Dr. Blair on the faculty at The Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine and the Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer of Lover (https://www.lover.io/), a digital platform designed to resolve sexual problems and optimize sexual wellness. So, join Dr. Blair and me as we discuss infidelity prevention, recovery, and nearly everything else a person should know about it.
September 22, 2021
#78 We Do: Tools for Sustainable Love Relationships | Dr. Stan Tatkin
What is the biggest predictor of our happiness? According to a study conducted for over 80 years at Harvard, it is love. Full stop. But our brains can go to fear and other places that interfere with sustainable, loving relationships. While our brains have evolved to ensure we continue to multiply and increase the population of our species, those same brains haven’t simply evolved to improve long-term relationships without some assistance. Fortunately, my guest, Dr. Stan Tatkin (https://www.thepactinstitute.com/), has the assistance all of us need! Stan is a couple therapist, a neuroscientist, and a UCLA Medical School clinical professor who has studied how our brains function and malfunction when it comes to love. His latest book, We Do, is easily one of the finest books I have ever read on relationships. Stan brilliantly weaves neuroscience, Attachment Theory, and so many other research-driven findings into a user-friendly and comprehensive model of how we love. His model called PACT, which stands for “Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy,” can improve anyone's love life in dramatic and unforeseen ways. So, join Stan and me as we talk about how you can increase your happiness through improving your long-term love relationship.
September 08, 2021
#77 Keeping Your Heart Open During Stressful Times | Len Felder, PhD
On any given day, we’ve got tons of information coming at us—and much of it is negative—so we can easily feel overwhelmed. And when we are overwhelmed, we can become numb making it difficult to keep our hearts open to family, friends, and life in general. Some of us may even believe that keeping our hearts open is a bad idea. Yet, when our hearts are closed, we can lose so much of the richness of life. How can we keep our hearts open so that we can experience life fully while being mindful of how to protect ourselves? Here to answer that question is a person I have considered a teacher for many years. Dr. Leonard Felder is a psychologist in private practice in Los Angeles and the author of several excellent books including his most recent, Keeping Your Heart Open: How to Overcome the Things That Make Us Numb, Cynical, or Burned Out. Len is a great teacher and a very seasoned psychologist. His books have sold over 1,000,000 copies and he has been a frequent guest on major media outlets including the Oprah Winfrey show. So, listen in as Len and I have an openhearted and lively conversation about keeping our hearts open.
September 01, 2021
#76 Barbecue: The Sensual World of Black Smoke | Adrian Miller
What is it about the beautiful smell of barbecue smoke? I adore it and I am not alone. It seems to hit a deep, primal nerve within us. Its allure may summon our inner cave dweller. Or it may remind us of camping, holidays, cookouts, or other positive memories. For my guest, Adrian Miller (www.adrianmiller.com), it also taps into roots of his African American heritage. And I am so excited to have him on my podcast. Adrian is a legitimate Renaissance man. After graduating Stanford, he got his law degree from Georgetown, became a special assistant to President Bill Clinton, became a certified barbecue competition judge, won a James Beard-award for his scholarship as an author of one of his several books, and, as a deeply spiritual man, he serves on the Colorado Council of Churches. I was particularly interested in his latest book, Black Smoke, which Kirkus Reviews describes as an “essential reader for history buffs and barbecue lovers alike.” So, join Adrian and me as he reveals the psychological, historical, cultural, and technical aspects of barbecue.
August 25, 2021
#75 The Empathy Edge | Maria Ross
You know that feeling when someone really gets you? And I'm sure you also know the vastly different experience of not feeling understood or being with someone who appears tone deaf to who you are. Empathy is a big part of the difference, and it matters. Empathy is fundamental, learnable, and it is one of the skills that defines us as people. And yet, empathy is a commonly misunderstood skill. I am so happy to have an empathy expert to provide clarity and show us how to grow it and to explain how it will improve our lives. My guest, Maria Ross, is a brand strategist, TEDx speaker, and an author who has written a must-read book called The Empathy Edge. Simply put, her book shines a light the importance of empathy in our personal lives and in the workplace. Indeed, this one trait can be the difference maker for whether a relationship or company succeeds or fails. Business luminaries love her book and one sums up the lion’s share of accolades by saying it’s “a must-read for every manager and executive.” I agree wholeheartedly and would add it’s a must-read for every person, regardless of their work. So, join Maria and me as we discuss the difference-making human superpower that is empathy.
August 18, 2021
#74 Understanding Japan Through Baseball | Robert Whiting
With the Tokyo Olympics on people’s minds, I thought it would be good to have at least one episode focused on Japan, a country I love. I had the incredible pleasure of living there for nearly three years. It was a place of endless fascination for me. It was also a place where I could learn more deeply about psychology itself because it was so culturally different from my home in the United States. It allowed me to question phenomena I took for granted and, doing so, it gave me greater insight into this experience of being human. One of my great teachers—at least through his writing—was my guest on this episode, Robert Whiting (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Whiting). Bob has written several books on Japanese baseball that describe Japanese culture by how the game is approached in Japan. His books have been read regularly in academic institutions, governmental institutions, and at least two sitting US presidents have read his books to better understand their important ally. The San Francisco Chronicle described one of these books as not only one of the best baseball books ever but “one of the best-written sports books ever.” I agree. And while I have read many books about Japan, his most recent, Tokyo Junkie, is one of the best books on Japan I've read. It chronicles his fascinating 60-year relationship with the city of Tokyo, as it grew from a post-war city to its present state of an international economic hub. He also shares stories about his relationships with famous wrestlers, baseball players, politicians, and even members of Tokyo’s crime syndicate. So, listen in as Bob and I talk about living as an ex-pat in Tokyo as well as how one can understand Japan far better by understanding how it approaches baseball.
August 12, 2021
#73 A Good Apology | Dr. Molly Howes
I was recently on vacation and reading a psychology magazine. Yeah, I am such a psychology geek that I enjoy reading about it even when I’m relaxing by a pool! An article that captured my attention was one on how to apologize well. I kept thinking about it long after I finished the article, so I looked up the article’s author, Dr. Molly Howes, and found she has written a great book on apologies. As soon as I got home, I read her book and contacted her for the interview that you’ll hear in a few minutes. In the book, Dr. Howes describes the four steps on delivering a good apology. It's such a crucial topic. Whether at work or at home, it’s our relationships that truly matter. And the ability to apologize is a skill all of us will inevitably need. So, knowing how to apologize can make the difference between a great relationship and a lost relationship. My guest, Dr. Molly Howes, is a Harvard-trained clinical psychologist who has written the ultimate guide with clear examples of how and how not to apologize in her book, A Good Apology. The book has been hailed by the press and luminaries in psychology like Dr. Edward Hallowell who describes it as “The definitive book on how to make an apology that actually matters,” and Dr. Chris Germer, who echoes my own thoughts by saying, “I hope the whole world reads this book.” So, join Molly and me as we engage in a lively and informative conversation about the essential skill of apologizing.
August 04, 2021
#72 A Manual for Thinking | Dr. Matthew Prull
I just upgraded my MacBook to iOS 11.5. I’m told it will deal with bugs that the last upgrade couldn’t. Meanwhile, my brain and the brains in all of us haven’t really had an upgrade for about 35,000 years. Despite all the incredible strengths of this version of our brains, there are plenty of bugs including issues with memory, biases, and other shortcomings. But what’s exciting is if we are aware of those bugs, we can make far better use of what we have. To walk us through this insight, I called on my friend, Dr. Matthew Prull. Matt is a cognitive psychologist and a professor at Whitman College. His extensive research on how our brains work—and how they don’t—is widely published. You will appreciate Matt’s ability to convey complex information in a very understandable and user-friendly manner. And a funny side note: Matt and I were in the same high school garage band, Café of Regret! He was an incredible guitarist, and we touch on the fact that, long after I had left the band, they kept going and even once opened for A Flock of Seagulls! He describes that event using certain cognitive psychological terms that will help you better understand your brain. He also describes a fascinating finding called the Reminiscence Bump that explains why the music of our teens may have a stronger emotional hit than other music. So, listen in as Matt and I have an entertaining and information-packed discussion to help you with your very own Brain Owner’s Manual!
July 29, 2021
#71 Midsummer Break
Hello, Dear Listeners! It is summer 2021 and I am taking a bit of a break from releasing new episodes but here is a brief update on the podcast including some exciting news: SuperPsyched has been nominated as a finalist for a 2021 Sharecare Award! Listen in for more info and expect a new and regular batch of episodes coming in the forthcoming weeks!
July 16, 2021
#70 My Adversity is My Advantage | Blake Leeper
I love it when I meet someone who positively changes my view of the world. One of those people is the guest on this episode, Blake Leeper. Blake was born without legs. And he would go on to play sports of all kinds—baseball, basketball, and he would ultimately become one of the world’s fastest runners. How fast? So fast that several of Blake’s 400-meter runs have been among the fastest ever recorded! Blake has experienced adversity of all types including those far beyond the physical. And he consistently responds to adversity with wisdom, determination, clarity, and positivity. Blake shines brilliantly as a role model of how a person can respond to life’s challenges. So, listen in, as Blake explains what he means when he says, “My Adversity is My Advantage.”
June 16, 2021
#69 Finding Meaning with Age | Jerry Shapiro, Ph.D.
For many of us, a peculiar aspect of being human is the erroneous belief that we are exempt from certain rules of life. One of those rules is aging. So here’s my confession about how I thought I was exempt: it took me forever to accept the fact that I needed reading glasses. Somehow, I believed my eyes were meant to remain the eyes of a teenager and every time I’d ask to borrow some readers, my wife would lovingly remind me to embrace reality and carry glasses. My guest, Dr. Jerrold Shapiro (https://jerroldleeshapiro.com/), is a psychologist, author, and professor of psychology at Santa Clara University. He has written extensively about existential psychology, fatherhood, group therapy, and couples therapy. He has been interviewed on multiple media outlets including the Oprah Winfrey Show. And without a question, Jerry is one of the most beloved professors I have ever known and with good reason: he is supremely knowledgeable and relates his knowledge with massive doses of levity, relatability, and kindness as you will hear in this interview. His latest book, Finding Meaning, Facing Fears, explores how to feel empowered around aging and has been described as “a must-read for everyone beyond the age of 45.” So, listen in as Jerry and I talk about finding meaning as we age.
June 09, 2021
#68 How Netflix Helps Us Decide | Netflix VP Product, Todd Yellin
I’m guessing that, like me, you have a Netflix account. And, like me, you may have wondered, how does it know what I will like? With more than 200 million households and over half a billion viewers in 190 countries, Netflix has become an international phenomenon. Part of the company's success has been its ability to advise us on what we will like by suggesting titles. And in this interview, you’ll hear that the company scraps traditional marketing and demographic information when making its predictions of what we will like. Instead, the company uses sophisticated, objective measures to determine what it will suggest and it doesn’t factor our age, gender or other typically-used data when rendering its recommendations. And someone who knows how Netflix does what it does is the company’s Vice President of Product, Todd Yellin. Todd has played a significant role in Netflix’s success for the past 15 years and was part of the team that created the original algorithms to predict how we will rate a title we haven’t ever seen. Todd is one of the most compelling people I have known. In addition to being an executive, Todd is a great storyteller and filmmaker. As a cinephile and TV geek who is fascinated by how people make decisions, I found talking with Todd and getting to know how Netflix operates to be a total delight. So, listen in as Todd and I talk about how Netflix helps us decide.
June 02, 2021
#67 Adam's Solo
The month of May was the one-year mark for SuperPsyched! I thought I would honor this anniversary with a short, behind-the-scenes look at SuperPsyched so far. In this 9-minute episode, I talk about how the podcast started, what goes into creating an episode, and other questions I am frequently asked. Thank you so much for listening, I am positively SuperPsyched to continue making episodes for you.
May 26, 2021
#66 James Doty, MD | Into the Magic Shop, Compassion, and Near Death Experiences
What is real magic? My guest’s story starts with Jim, a boy who loved magic tricks. Jim was from a small town and poor. His family life was challenging. One day, he went to a local magic shop in search of new tricks. Upon entering, Jim was greeted by the mother of the owner who offered to teach him real magic in addition to the tricks that were being sold there. This real magic came in the form of various exercises in meditation, self-compassion, and visualizations about a future that he began to imagine. My guest, Dr. James Doty, has done a lot with his life since he left his small town! He is a highly-regarded neurosurgeon. He is also the director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University School of Medicine. In addition, he’s the author of a beloved book called, Into the Magic Shop, that describes an extraordinary story featuring his humble past, his relationship with his mentor, Ruth, and the exercises she taught him that played a huge part in catapulting him huge to success. I loved Jim’s book and I’m not alone. His Holiness, the Dalai Lama said, “This book tells the remarkable story of a neurosurgeon's quest to unravel the mystery of the link between our brains and our hearts.” So, listen in as Jim and I talk about the real magic of compassion, near death experiences, visualizing, and unraveling the mystery between our brains and hearts.
May 19, 2021
#65 Let’s Geek Out to Coffee | Dr. Shawn Steiman
I'm going to take a guess: you are probably like me and love coffee. This wasn't a huge stretch on my part because you are listening to this episode! Coffee has been a major industry for hundreds of years. And it has contributed to cultural, philosophical, and technological changes as you will hear in this episode. I am so delighted to have Dr. Shawn Steiman as a guest. Shawn holds a PhD in horticulture from the University of Hawaii and virtually all of his classes pertained to the cultivation of coffee. So, as verified by Shawn, he basically has a doctorate in coffee. He is also the sole author on three books about coffee and the co-author of a comprehensive book on coffee that is called, Coffee: A Comprehensive Guide to the Bean, the Beverage, and the Industry. I learned a lot and you will too, about a favorite hot beverage and how it changed the world. Listen in as Shawn and I geek out on coffee and look at it from every fascinating direction imaginable.
May 12, 2021
#64 Fulfillment at Work | Mary Beth Shewan, MS, MCC
According to a 2018 Gallup poll, at least two out of three Americans either are not engaged or are actively disengaged from their work. This is a big deal—especially because, for many of us, work comprises approximately a third of our waking hours. Imagine feeling disconnected and unfulfilled by something you spend one-third of your waking hours on! In fact, I’m sure it's a reality for a large portion of my listeners, so I believe this episode may be helpful. This topic is also a very personal issue to me. Many of you know I am a latecomer to my dream job as a psychologist. I spent nearly two decades in jobs that were not my life’s work before engaging in a risky move to change careers. I am so happy I did. It is my hope that this episode will encourage you either to find more meaning in your current work or to consider looking for work you love. My guest on this episode has spent more than 10,000 hours coaching people; a very large portion of which has been assisting people with their careers. Mary Beth Shewan, MS, MCC (https://wholelifecoaching.com/) is an internationally renowned coach and the creator of a program called Invent Your Own Career. We discuss the common themes and struggles around careers as well as how to increase the likelihood of feeling fulfilled in this important area of life. So, listen in as Mary Beth and I have a lively and information-packed conversation on Fulfilment at Work.
April 28, 2021
#63 Befriending Failure & Frustration | Dr. Luke Reynolds
Failure. I think it's safe to say that virtually all of us hate it. And yet, it appears to be the price of admission to doing just about anything great. The road from having an idea all the way to having a fantastic result is rarely a smooth one. Ask any super successful person about their failures and struggles along the way and, if they’re forthcoming, I am confident they will have stories for you! The great author who was rejected by dozens of publishers before finding someone to take her on. The singer who’s told he has no talent only to become a music star later in life. I imagine you’ve heard stories like these, but do you let them into your heart to inspire you to tolerate your own frustration and failure? I'm delighted that Dr. Luke Reynolds (https://lukewreynolds.com/) is joining us for this episode. Luke is a professor of Education at Endicott College. He is also the author of several books including Fantastic Failures: True Stories of People Who Changed the World Falling Down First. Luke is no stranger to frustration and failure, and he describes many of his own as well as some of the failures of the biggest stars on the planet. So, put on your seat belt and listen in to this lively and inspiring conversation about befriending frustration and failure!
April 21, 2021
#62 - Compassion @ LinkedIn and The Full Body Yes | Scott Shute
What does it take for a company to thrive? I know this is a broad question but, up until recently, if you had said increasing safety, compassion, and mindfulness in the workplace, you might have been laughed out of the room. Fortunately, there has been growing evidence that these are characteristics of great companies that achieve growth, reduced attrition, and increased engagement from their employees. The guest on this episode knows a lot about how to improve a company’s success through these measures. Scott Shute is an engineer by training who has worked at the executive level at top companies including LinkedIn where he has been employed as both the VP of Global Operations as well as his current role as the Head of Mindfulness and Compassion Programs. Scott has also written a superb new book that will soon hit the market both in print and in audio called The Full Body Yes. I enjoyed it thoroughly! Scott brilliantly combines the science of happiness and achievement with real stories from his work life and his personal life. The wisdom found on the pages of this book can easily improve one’s life at work and at home and I'm grateful to Scott for having written it. So, listen in as Scott and I have an engaging and user-friendly conversation about LinkedIn, mindfulness and compassion programs, and his great book The Full Body Yes.
April 07, 2021
#61 Raising an Organized Child | Damon Korb, MD, FAAP
As parents we are tasked with many responsibilities: from the basics of making sure our child is fed all the way up to thinking about their distant future. But the linchpin that connects much of our child's future success is the topic of today's interview: being well-organized. As it turns out, a child's ability to be organized may predict all kinds of good things including future success, self-regulation, confidence, and even generosity. Thankfully, my guest reveals that getting our children more organized is easier than we might believe. Dr. Damon Korb (www.devminds.com) is a practicing developmental and behavioral pediatrician and founder of the Center for Developing Minds in Los Gatos, CA. Dr. Korb is president of the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics and an adjunct clinical instructor at Stanford University Medical Center. He has written an outstanding, user-friendly book called Raising an Organized Child (https://amzn.to/393VQkZ). I loved the book and I am not alone. Publisher’s Weekly notes that it is a “supportive guide that parents and children alike can profit from as they grow together." If you have children this episode is a must! Please, listen in as Damon and I talk about raising an organized child.
March 24, 2021
#60 Life After Auschwitz: Choosing to Keep an Open Heart | Dr. Edith Eger
Dr. Edith Eger is one of the most impressive people I have ever met. Edie was born in 1927 in Hungary. In her teens, she was an Olympic-level gymnast but, because she was Jewish, was not allowed to participate on the Olympic team. Shortly after, she and her family were sent by cattle train to the Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp. In addition to losing her mother and her father there, she endured a version of hell that few of us could ever know. Nearly 15,000 Jews from her town were killed in the Holocaust; Edie was one of just 70 to survive. Afterward, she made it her mission to live life with an open heart. She moved to the United States with her husband, raised three children, and worked first as a factory worker and later as a teacher. And then, with the encouragement of Dr. Viktor Fankl, a fellow Auschwitz survivor and author of Man’s Search for Meaning, she earned her doctorate in clinical psychology at 50 years of age and became a licensed psychologist. She is the author of two bestselling books, The Choice and The Gift, and both chronicle her experiences at Auschwitz, her life afterward, and her work as a psychologist. I consider them two of the finest books I have read, and I am hardly alone. The New York Times Book Review writes, “I can’t imagine a more important message for modern times. Eger’s book is a triumph, and should be read by all who care about both their inner freedom and the future of humanity.” Sadly, the people who survived the Holocaust are dying and their voices become scarcer by the day. This makes this episode all the more precious. It is my sincerest hope that you will be as positively affected by Edie as I have been. And do you remember how I mentioned that Edie was an Olympic-level gymnast? Neither Auschwitz nor age has been able to take that away from her and, to this day at an age north of 90 years old, she concludes all of her presentations and public talks with a kick.
March 10, 2021
#59 The Examined Life with Guided Autobiography | Dr. Bonnie Bernell
Each of us is unique; there has never been anyone exactly like us and there never will be again. One of the greatest risks we face in life is living day-to-day without any reflection on who we are, what we've done, where we've been, and what really matters to us. Enter Guided Autobiography, a brilliant system of capturing who you are. Guided Autobiography was developed by USC Professor James Birren and is described as a system that captures our lives through writing, sharing, and preserving life stories and experiences. Today’s guest, Dr. Bonnie Bernell, is a psychologist, author, professor, and she is 2019’s Recipient of the Distinguished Contribution to Psychology Award from the California Psychological Association. Bonnie is also a seasoned Guided Autobiography facilitator. Through this approach, she has midwived stories and unexpected and unclaimed parts of people’s lives that might have gone undiscovered without this powerful tool. Bonnie’s forthcoming book, co-written with Dr. Cheryl Svensson, is called Treasures that Matter, and it uses the Guided Autobiography protocol and is addressed to the psychologically curious person around aging. On a personal note, and as you will learn in this interview, Bonnie has been a dear friend and one of my most important mentors. You will be learning from someone I consider a true master. So, listen in as Bonnie and I have a lively and user-friendly conversation about Guided Autobiography, and I expect it will enrich your lives.
March 03, 2021
#58 The Stanford Prison Experiment, Heroism, and the Plight of Young Men | Dr. Philip Zimbardo
We like to think of ourselves as good people. When we see or hear about injustices, most of us think we would do the right thing whether it would be defying authority in order to help people or by demonstrating courage under challenging circumstances. And yet, studies and history reveal that we often do nothing, conform with brutality, or comply with authority. It appears that the line between doing good versus doing evil may be thinner than any of us would prefer to imagine. My guest, Dr. Philip Zimbardo has taught psychology at Stanford University for over 50 years and was the author and lead researcher of the internationally famous Stanford Prison Experiment. The results of the study, which is now a landmark in social psychology, suggest that otherwise psychologically healthy people can behave badly under the right circumstances. Dr. Zimbardo has done deep research into the evil humans can perform and, more recently, he has done a 180 and become an important voice in studying its opposite: heroism. His Heroic Imagination Project (www.heroicimagination.org) uses scientific research to teach us to harness our abilities to act heroically and override any innate biases that might cause us to conform or to be bystanders rather than upstanders. The program has garnered tremendous praise and has been implemented into training programs at police departments, public schools, and other organizations. So, listen in, as Dr. Zimbardo and I discuss the good and evil that humans are capable of doing and how to call upon our better selves under stress.
February 24, 2021
#57 ADHD: Strengths, Challenges & Advice | Lara Honos-Webb
We hear a lot about ADHD these days. And yet, there are misconceptions about what it actually is and what a person can do if they are diagnosed with the condition. What may surprise people is that there can be many great gifts that often accompany ADHD. My guest, Dr. Lara Honos-Webb (www.addisagift.com), is a psychologist in private practice in Walnut Creek, CA, and she specializes in the study and treatment of ADHD in both adults and children. She has written many highly-acclaimed books about ADHD. The School Library Journal said that her work provides a “clear and stimulating guide for teens to sharpen their ability to control their thoughts and actions.” I am a fan of Lara and I just listened to the audio version of her book called Brain Hacks. I found it to be a superb compendium of easy-to-implement tips on boosting any person's brain whether ADHD is in the mix or not. In this interview, Lara goes into depth about what a person can do if they or someone they love has an ADHD diagnosis. I am so grateful to Lara for her work and for joining me on this interview, and I am confident you will learn a lot from her as she shares her incredible gems.
February 18, 2021
#56 Your Hidden Genius | Michael Gelb
All of us live with what could be described as treasure chests of genius just waiting to be discovered. The question is how can you find those treasures? My guest, Michael Gelb is one of the world’s leading authorities on the application of genius thinking and could be considered the Indiana Jones of finding people’s treasures. And, as you’ll hear, he has done so much in his life! He once taught Mick Jagger to juggle. You’ll also hear how to discover the gifts that can make your life truly vital and full of delight. Michael is the author of 17 books including, How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci, a book that provides superb prompts to find your genius and ideas for being creative like Da Vinci. I have been a fan of Michael’s work for well over a decade and have read many of his books. His real-world solutions have helped me immensely. In this episode, you’ll receive great tips from a true master of tapping into your unique treasures. So, listen in as Michael and I have a user-friendly discussion about finding your hidden genius.
February 09, 2021
#55 Annie Duke | Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts
Our decisions are one of the biggest factors determining the quality of our lives. We make as many as 35,000 decisions every day; most are unconscious or small, like “When will I get out of bed?” and some can be big like “Who will I marry or where will I go to college?” And, when you think about it, every conscious decision we make is essentially a bet: it is a bet that we will be happy we made that decision. And yet, as humans, we have many biases that may inhibit good decision making. For example, shocking as this may sound, we tend to change facts in order to accommodate our beliefs when it should be the opposite: we actually need to be able to change our beliefs in order to accommodate new facts. Making matters worse, we generally don't have good systems in place to analyze our decisions to get better at making similar decisions next time. My guest on this episode is a true expert when it comes to decision making. Annie Duke has nearly finished her doctorate in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania but it gets way more interesting. She has also made high stakes decisions for many years as one of the most successful professional female poker players of all time. She has also authored several bestselling books including, Thinking in Bets, which has been hailed by the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and by luminaries in business like Marc Andreessen. Annie provides keen and actionable insights into how we are blind to our decision-making processes and real-world solutions to improving this crucial skill. So, listen in as Annie and I have a conversation about thinking in bets.
February 03, 2021
#54 Unapologetically Ambitious | Shellye Archambeau
What does it take to create success on your own terms? I know that’s a massive question. We all recognize predictable skills to increase the likelihood of that success like clarity, discipline, habits, mindset, and navigating relationships. Yet, there can be a chasm between what we know intellectually and what we put into regular practice. I had the pleasure of speaking with, Shellye Archambeau, an exemplar of excellence who has lived the best practices of leadership as a CEO, senior executive, and board member at multiple high profile high-tech companies. Shellye was named the second most influential African American in IT by Business Insider magazine and she is the author of a book that serves as a roadmap to successful leadership. The book is called Unapologetically Ambitious: Take Risks, Break Barriers and Create Success on Your Own Terms, and it was named a Best Business Book of 2020 by both Fortune and Bloomberg. Silicon Valley venture capitalist, Ben Horrowitz, said of her book, “If your goal is to be a truly great leader of men and women, you have found your guide." I agree so much so that I have read this book several times. I find Shellye’s wisdom, humanity, and ability to convey her world-class experience in an actionable fashion, simply phenomenal. Among the elements of success unpacked are the importance of mentorship and finding your cheerleaders. Shellye’s voice is so strong and clear that, as I read her book, I felt her becoming both a mentor and a cheerleader to me! So, join Shellye and me as we have a lively and informative discussion about how to create success on your own terms.
January 27, 2021
#53 Relationship Roadmap | Padma Gordon
Our education system provides many incredible resources and yet, there is no class on how to be in a relationship. And, when we think about all of what life has to offer, the quality of our relationships repeatedly shows up as one of the most important. I would like to petition that the class exist and, if there were such a class, I would nominate this episode’s guest to be one of the instructors! Padma Gordon (www.padmagordon.com) has written an outstanding book that serves as a roadmap of highly implementable skills to improve your chances of having a great relationship. Her book, Being Together: Practical Wisdom for Loving Yourself and Your Partner, is now available in print and on audio. It has a five-star average on Amazon and, New York Times bestselling author, Marci Shimoff whose expertise includes relationships said of Padma’s book, “I’m grateful to gain a new perspective and tools, and to be gently reminded about how to be fully present for myself and my partner.” I loved my conversation with Padma, I learned a lot, and I'm confident you will too. So, listen in as Padma and I have a user-friendly and lively talk about the roadmap for a healthy relationship.
January 21, 2021
#52 Your Brain On Ice Cream | Amy Ettinger
To put it mildly, 2020 has been a challenging year. I decided the best way for SuperPsyched to cap it was with the sweetest invention known to humanity: ice cream! Ice cream could practically be considered a psychoactive substance: it’s been used by the military to soothe soldiers after trauma and, of course, it has been a tried-and-true post-breakup remedy for many broken hearts. The best person to walk us through the psychological and sociological factors of this frozen treat is Amy Ettinger (http://amyettinger.com/). Amy is a journalist and the author of a book called The Sweet Spot. The Wall Street Journal called her book, “A surprisingly serious, impressively thorough treatment of ice cream’s cultural significance, fabrication, economics and history, not to mention its effect on human brain chemistry.” As for me, I enjoyed the book so much that I listened to it twice and I loved the conversation I had on this episode with Amy. If you like ice cream, I am confident you will too! So listen in as Amy and I have a lively and informative talk about your brain on ice cream.
December 30, 2020
#51 Difficult Political Conversations | Dr. Tania Israel
Regardless of our political leanings, I think we can all agree on at least one thing: we are living in polarized times. Many people are avoiding friends and family and even losing those relationships due to political leanings. Which leaves us with a big question: what can we do? Enter the great Dr. Tania Israel (http://taniaisrael.com/)! Tania is an exceptionally well-regarded professor of psychology at UC Santa Barbara and the author of a timely book called “Beyond Your Bubble: How to Connect Across the Political Divide, Skills and Strategies for Conversations That Work.” The book has received huge amounts of praise from the New York Times, The Washington Post, and the American Psychological Association has put it in its LifeTools Series. Tania provides much needed levity as well as serious structure for this heavy topic throughout the book and our interview. I love her brilliant roadmap for conversation in what she calls The Flowchart That Will End All Political Conflict in Our Country (you can find the link for it at the bottom of the shownotes). In the meantime, listen in as Tania shares her wisdom and practical tools to help you connect with people who think outside your bubble. Dr. Tania Israel, who has asked me to call her Tania, welcome to SuperPsyched! http://taniaisrael.com/beyondthebubbleworkshop/dialogue-flowchart/
December 15, 2020
#50 Marci Shimoff | Happiness Habits
I’m a happiness geek and by that, I mean I’m obsessed with research and lifehacks that help increase happiness. Even the name of my podcast, SuperPsyched, is an outshoot of that obsession. And that's where today's guest comes in! I am delighted to introduce transformational teacher and happiness expert, Marci Shimoff (https://happyfornoreason.com/about-marci/). Marci is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of multiple books. In fact, at one point, she had three books in the top-5 of the New York Times Bestsellers list. Marci’s books have sold over 13 million copies including a wonderful book called Happy for No Reason. Marianne Williamson describes Marci as “one of the most compelling people I've ever known,” and I agree. I could have talked with her for hours. Marci is the real deal, and she does the work. Marci has personally tested and implemented habits that have increased her happiness and I believe you can do the same. She shares several of those habits including a new favorite of mine called “The Appreciation Game.” So, listen in as Marci and I engage in a lively discussion about happiness habits.
December 08, 2020
#49 The Thoughtful Judge | Honorable Judge Julia Alloggiamento
Many years ago, I served on a jury. I was transfixed by how smoothly the court operated. Every person involved appeared to be at the top of their game. However, most impressive to me was the judge. As a student of how people think, I couldn't believe how quickly and precisely the judge was able to render complex decisions. I was also awestruck by the incredible presence and attention the job requires for long periods of time. To this day, I consider the cognitive skills required for a judge to be a superpower. So, dear listener, I felt compelled to interview a judge to learn more about how they think. And you are about to listen to a true great! The Honorable Judge Julia Alloggiamento has served on the Bench for nearly a decade after she was elected in 2010 and was sworn in to Santa Clara County Superior Court in 2011. She has presided over misdemeanors, drug treatment court, and felony criminal trials. In addition to being an extremely learned and thoughtful person, Julia strikes me as an exemplar of humility, kindness, and integrity. So, listen in as Julia and I explore what it takes to be a judge and how a judge thinks.
November 30, 2020
#48 Responsibility as Fuel for Theatrical Excellence | Hershey Felder
Have you ever met a true Renaissance person? I mean someone who engages in so many diverse and creative projects that it boggles your mind? For me, Hershey Felder (https://www.hersheyfelder.net/) is such a person. He is an internationally-acclaimed, pianist, playwright, actor, singer, and director. A 2014 American Theatre profile said Hershey was "in a category all his own." Hershey specializes in one-person performances where he plays the piano, sings, and transforms himself into the greats of music, including Frederic Chopin, Ludwig van Beethoven, Claude Debussy, George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, and many other timeless masters! What’s the secret to his over-the-top excellence? He tells me it’s deep thought about the project. He also cites a profound sense of responsibility to all stakeholders of his productions: the audience, the theater company, and absolutely everyone involved. Hershey has made his plays available online for purchase online during COVID and, simply put, they are mesmerizing. I’ve never seen anything like his shows—I feel smarter and a sense of deep satisfaction after watching them and I recommend that you check them out. In addition to being a genius of creativity and performance, Hershey attributes much of his learning to his highly-accomplished wife who was the first female Prime Minister of Canada, Kim Campbell. So, listen in as Hershey and I talk about his secret ingredient for excellence: responsibility.
November 09, 2020
#47 Sex, Teens, and Everything in Between | Shafia Zaloom
Sex and teens. The topic can be super uncomfortable, overwhelming, and even scary to both parents and adolescents. If you’re a parent or a guardian of a teen, this episode is a must. So much has changed on the sexual landscape. There’s porn, hookup culture, social media, and so many other influencing factors. How do you talk to your adolescent to keep them safe and making good decisions? What do they need to know? What do you need to know? Fortunately, here to answer these questions and so many more, is one of the top experts in the world, and a woman who has my utmost respect. Shafia Zaloom (www.shafiazaloom.com) is the author of Sex, Teens, & Everything in Between. I loved this book as did my wonderful psychologist wife, and we are not alone. The creators of the hit Netflix series, Big Mouth, Nick Kroll and Andrew Goldberg, do their best to make the show hilarious, but they also consult with Shafia to make the show accurate and instructive. They’ve said that her book, “perfectly encapsulates her mission at the cutting edge of sex education: teaching adolescents how to become people of integrity with regard to sex and relationships.” So. listen in as Shafia and I have a candid and highly informative discussion about teens and sex.
November 06, 2020
#46 Whole Foods CEO & Founder's Approach to Conscious Leadership | Carter Phipps
It takes a lot to be a leader. It takes more to be a great leader. And it takes an incredible commitment to be an outstanding leader. What is that thing that can make the difference? While there are many qualities that contribute to being a great leader, possibly the most salient is being incredibly aware or conscious. And that's where this episode’s guest comes in. Carter Phipps wrote a book called Conscious Leadership with two other authors, one of whom was Steve McIntosh, and the other was John Mackey, the CEO and founder of Whole Foods. I loved the book and I’m not alone. Forbes said it is based on the leadership John Mackey “used to reach the top of the business world—and do plenty of good in the process.” Conscious Leadership serves as user-friendly text that is easy to implement to improve leadership from the top all the way down. It appears that the intention of this book is not merely to boost those who are at the top but to positively impact all stakeholders within an organization. Carter has written another book called Evolutionaries and hosts a podcast called “Thinking Ahead.” He has a deep understanding of conscious leadership and Following the ideas he shares may positively influence attrition, morale, external perception, and a host of other important factors of well-being of any organization.
November 02, 2020
#45 From 49er to Physician | Dr. Milt McColl
I love stories that blow my mind and this interview contains a few: imagine going to Stanford, playing football there for four years and after graduation, getting recruited to the San Francisco 49ers and, on the same year, entering medical school at Stanford! Wait, what? Starting with the 49ers and entering medical school at the same time? How is that possible? My guest, Dr. Milt McColl, played football in the NFL primarily for the 49ers winning two Super Bowl Rings alongside Joe Montana. After practice and during the offseason, he attended classes at Stanford Medical School, earning his MD over the course of several years. After graduating, he opted to work in the corporate sector and he was very successful. However, when he was 55 years old, he realized had some unfinished business: he had never completed a residency and specialized. Milt took a huge pay cut, began his residency program that year with residents, the majority of whom were young enough to be his children. He completed his residency when he was nearly 60 and now specializes in family medicine and he continues work in medical technology as well. So, join Milt and me as we discuss the focus and hard work that leads to excellence in three distinctly different worlds. Dr. Milt McColl, who has asked me to call him Milt, welcome to SuperPsyched!
October 30, 2020
#44 District Attorney Jeff Rosen | Leading with an Open Mind
When you think of great leadership, what qualities come to mind? Three qualities are consistently at the top of my list: integrity, the ability to think flexibly, and the desire to serve others to the best of one’s ability. My guest on this episode is the embodiment of all three. Santa Clara County District Attorney, Jeff Rosen, is the elected Chief Law Enforcement Officer for the sixth-largest county in California with a population of 1.8 million people. He was elected to the position in 2010 and his philosophy of leadership and justice is informed by truly diverse sources that he will unpack during this interview. Jeff also shares his life hacks and habits that allow him to cultivate his mind and to care for his body so that he can give the people the best he has to offer. And, for those of us who don’t serve as high-profile elected officials, we can still apply his best practices to our own lives. So, listen in as Jeff and I have a lively and informative discussion about leading with an open mind.
October 26, 2020
#43 Swimming 3x Around the Globe & Lung Cancer--Lessons Learned | PH Mullen
Swimming can be meditative and yet, it can also be quite a lonely sport. As my guest says, when we are underwater, we are in a state of sensory deprivation. We cannot hear much, smell much, feel much, taste much, or see much. Instead, we are left to our thoughts, emotions, and sometimes, our pain. It is a sport in which we are up close and deeply personal with our psyches. And, whether we swim or not, we can all learn a lot about life from this episode’s guest. On this episode, we look at long distance swimming and what it can teach us. And there is hardly anyone more suited to describing the sport than PH Mullen. PH estimates that in his life he has swum over 75,000 miles—that is three times the circumference of the planet! He swam the legendary English Channel and did so in a very fast time. He also swam the world's longest swimming race at about 89 kilometers. PH is also a best-selling author. He wrote Gold in the Water, which was praised by the New York Times and named one of the Best Sports Books of 2001 by the London Times. The book explores the experiences of two male breaststroke swimmers who trained side-by-side and who ultimately competed against each other in the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics. The book describes virtually every aspect of the sport as well as how much physical and mental preparation it all takes. Again, even if you’re not a swimmer, the life lessons apply to us all. If that wasn't enough, PH has also survived lung cancer and he had a significant portion of his right lung removed. He had only a 19% chance of survival and, 16 years after his diagnosis, he is thankfully doing very well. These days PH does Ironman triathlons at 7,400 feet to prove to himself that he’s still got it. So, join PH and me as we learn how he thinks and the life hacks that have made a difference in going the distance.
October 23, 2020
#42 The Benefits of Long Distance Walking: Going The Distance Part 1 | Mark Walker
If you’ve ever gone on a long car trip, you may have seen some cool things. But what’s it like if you do that trip at three miles an hour by foot? My guest on this episode has actually walked from his home in Northern California all the way to Chicago—a full 2,100 miles and, for the step counters, that’s 4.2 million steps! He has also walked from his home to Mexico and several other extreme distances. And, no joke, his name is Mr. Walker—or, less formally, Mark Walker (http://walkerwalk.com/). In addition to being a very nice man, Mark is a retired executive who worked in high tech in Silicon Valley. After a successful career and seven patents to his name, he got into walking and fell in love with it. In this interview, he will describe some of the moments along the road that include surprises, delights, fears, and beauty as well as the psychological benefits he has derived from his relationship with this sport that he calls a hobby. Mark is definitely on to something good and on this episode and the one following it, we’ll look at going the distance with physical activity. Studies show that moving our bodies through cardio, being in the sun, and surrounding ourselves with nature—formally known as biophilia—can reduce anxiety, depression, and increase our well-being on multiple levels. Of course, you don’t need to go to the lengths that Mark has but his story serves as a good reminder that better physical and mental health is just outside our doors. So, join Mark and me as we have a fun and informative talk about the benefits of going the distance! SuperWalker, Mark Walker, welcome to SuperPsyched!
October 19, 2020
#41 Dr. Barry Schwartz | The Paradox of Choice
Imagine you are on your way to a special occasion at a restaurant you’ve always wanted to try. It’s a fancy place that required booking months in advance, so you won’t be returning soon. When you arrive and see the menu, there are many items that love to order. Then, the waiter arrives and shares the daily specials. All of them sound incredible! After careful consideration of the spectacular options, you decide on your order. But, this was not an easy decision and many attractive options had to fall by the wayside. But you enjoy your meal. That is, until you see two of the items you didn't order going to another table and, lo and behold, they look even better than what you ordered! Afterward, you’re disappointed to realize you remember more about what you didn't eat than what you did. My guest on this episode is Dr. Barry Schwartz, a New York Times bestselling author of several books including The Paradox of Choice. Barry was a psychology professor at Swarthmore College for decades and he now teaches at UC Berkeley Haas School of Business. I have been a big fan of Barry’s work for years and what he describes in The Paradox of Choice are several well-researched but counter-intuitive psychological realities including the fact that when we have too many options, we tend to hate the process of decision making, may make poor decisions, or make no decision at all. I recently learned that my Grandpa Ben, who owned a dress shop for over 50 years, understood this truth. Although he did not have much conventional education, he was very smart. When a customer entered his shop, he offered only three dresses that he thought would best match the customer. Somehow, my grandpa knew that more options would overwhelm them and would reduce the chances of a sale. In this episode, Barry will describe a host of fascinating findings that will improve your understanding of the invisible forces that guide our judgment and our decision-making processes. In addition to his books, Barry has had several excellent and well watched TED talks that have garnered millions of views and I recommend those as well. But for now, join Barry and me as we have a lively, fun, and fascinating discussion about the paradox of choice. https://www.ted.com/speakers/barry_schwartz https://www.swarthmore.edu/profile/barry-schwartz
October 16, 2020
#40 AJ Jacobs | Life as an Experiment
At some point in our lives—perhaps in science class—most of us have run an experiment. But how many of us have used ourselves as experimental subjects in our own studies? My guest on this episode, New York Times Bestselling author, AJ Jacobs (www.ajjacobs.com), has conducted experiments with himself as the subject numerous times and he writes about them in hilarious and often profound ways. For example, here are some of the experiments he describes in his outstanding books: · In a quest for superior knowledge, he read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica. Yes, all 32,000-plus pages! · In a quest for superior health, he spent a year delving into a large number of health fads to find out if they were helpful. · In a quest to better understand religion, he spent a full year trying to live by the strict rules of the Bible and to the letter. · In a quest to better understand gratitude, he ventured out to thank the more than 1,000 people who were responsible for providing his morning cup of coffee. That meant tracking down and thanking the growers of the coffee beans in South America, the makers of the coffee cup, the people who kept rodents out of the coffee itself, and so many otherwise-invisible people who contributed to his morning cup. · And in a quest to find the interconnectedness of humanity all over the globe, AJ attempted to create the largest family reunion gathering ever by contacting thousands of people distantly related to him through DNA tests. In this interview, AJ unpacks the many benefits of having an experimental life mindset. It can increase curiosity causing you to think differently and more flexibly. It can keep you physically healthier. And it can certainly give you great ideas to improve your life in unexpected ways. On a personal note, I have read all of AJ's work and I am a huge fan. As it happens, I am not alone. His work has garnered scores of overwhelmingly positive reviews, and one that really resonates with me comes from People Magazine that stated AJ’s work is, “Both laugh-out-loud funny and enlightening.” I am thrilled to have AJ as a guest and I'm sure you will find this to be a highly informative and entertaining exchange about the benefits of life as an experiment. www.viacharacter.org
October 12, 2020
#39 Cults: What You Need to Know | Daniel Shaw, LCSW
Cults…they’re scary, predatory, and life-sucking. Perhaps you know someone who was in a cult. These days, with loneliness at an all-time high, our basic human desire to feel connected and belong can make us vulnerable. Pair that with the nefarious and novel ways cults can reach out through the Internet, we are more threatened than ever by their presence. Truly, anyone can be a victim of a charismatic, malignantly narcissistic, and delusional leader. HBO’s documentary series, The Vow, is one of many shows that go into great depth showing us that smart, well-intentioned people can be manipulated badly. Knowledge is power and my expert guest on this episode, Daniel Shaw (www.danielshawlcsw.com), is the perfect person to teach us about cults. For many years, he was a member of a cult and, fortunately, he found his way out. Today, Dan is a highly-regarded author, psychoanalyst, clinical supervisor, and teacher. His brilliant book, Traumatic Narcissism, has been described by a colleague at Harvard Medical School as a “must-read for any of us who have worked with victims of traumatizing narcissists or been their victims ourselves.” So, listen in as Dan and I have a lively and informative discussion about cults and what you need to know. https://www.icsahome.com
October 09, 2020
#38 Trauma Treatment | Dr. Mark Forman
Have you ever noticed that even though childhood was a long time ago, on some level, it feels like it was yesterday? In some cases, we recall positive experiences. In others, we remember our hurts and, even worse, our traumas. On this episode, we will be talking about trauma and some ways you can help reduce its harmful effects. Dr. Mark Forman is a psychologist and the author of a book called “The Monster’s Journey” that details both clinical aspects of trauma as well as Mark's own personal experience with it. Mark’s idea to use themes of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey and, instead, transpose a monster, is profound and he will explain what that means and how it can be helpful to anyone who has experienced trauma. On a personal note, I have collaborated with Mark on various projects over the years. I have been impressed with Mark’s clinical skills as well as his ability to articulate useful ideas that people can put into their own lives to improve their healing processes. So, join Mark and me as we delve into healing trauma through his lens, also known as the Monster’s Journey. You can find the Monster’s Journey here: https://www.amazon.com/Monsters-Journey-Trauma-Connection-ebook/dp/B08DHPDRGR/ref=pd_sim_351_1/141-9914724-7762615?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B08DHPDRGR&pd_rd_r=581f392b-b979-445c-9d4d-379d47b45e4c&pd_rd_w=iufuq&pd_rd_wg=M9NQk&pf_rd_p=37f7dfa1-8c4e-4106-9502-a190ed3a2f4f&pf_rd_r=7MKNEA35SJ9DN7EYPDD4&psc=1&refRID=7MKNEA35SJ9DN7EYPDD4 Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Quiz: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/03/02/387007941/take-the-ace-quiz-and-learn-what-it-does-and-doesnt-mean
October 06, 2020
#37 How Dogs Think | Dr. Gregory Berns
Have you ever wondered what a dog was thinking? I know I have and, amazingly, today's guest has some answers. Dr. Gregory Burns (http://gregoryberns.com/) is a neuroscientist who holds both a doctorate in medicine as well as a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering. He is a professor of psychology at Emory University and has found a way to comfortably place dogs in a functional MRI machine to discover what areas of their brains are active in the face of various cues. His book, How Dogs Love Us, is a Wall Street Journal Bestseller and it has been heralded by multiple media outlets, including the Boston Globe, which said it “explains why our two species have lived together so long and happily.” As for me, I say it is utterly fascinating and highly recommended to anyone who loves dogs or is curious about their behavior. So join Greg and me as we have a lively and highly informative conversation about how dogs think.
October 01, 2020
#36 The Pet-Human Bond | Carol Novello
The expert on this episode is the perfect person to explain how and why pets are so good for us. Carol Novello was CEO of Humane Society Silicon Valley and now serves as CEO and founder of an organization called Mutual Rescue (https://mutualrescue.org/). Simply put, Carol is amazing. She earned a Harvard MBA, worked for years in the corporate sector, and then pivoted to devote her life to addressing the pet-human bond. She is the author of a fantastic book called “Mutual Rescue” and she has studied how the pet-human bond is reciprocal and her book has a huge bibliography corroborating her work. And on her Mutual Rescue website, she shares films that clearly show the measurable impact pets have had in their humans’ lives. So join Carol and me as we have a lively discussion on how the pets we rescue end up rescuing us right back.
September 29, 2020
#35 Rockstar Life: What's it Like? | Greg Camp, Former Guitarist of Smash Mouth
Ok, I’ll admit it—I spent a lot of my youth fantasizing about being a Rockstar. You know, singing with the car stereo and imagining being on stage...it was my dream. I’m guessing I wasn’t alone. I imagine you too have probably fantasized about being a rock or pop star at least once in your life. But what’s it actually like to be a Rock star? What goes into writing major hit songs? As it happens, today’s guest knows firsthand, and he is super generous and straightforward in sharing his story. Greg Camp is best known as the former lead guitarist and primary songwriter for Smash Mouth. He wrote All Star, Walking on the Sun, Then the Morning Comes, and nearly everything Smash Mouth released leading to sales in the millions and bringing Smash Mouth to gold and platinum status causing them to tour all over the globe. Although Greg left the band some time ago, music and sound remain front and center in his life. He continues to write brilliant music for himself, other musicians like the Jonas Brothers and Chainsmokers, and for movies. You can find links to some of these in the Shownotes and I highly recommend you give them a listen. In the meantime, listen in as Greg and I have a lively, fun, and intimate discussion about life as a Rock star. https://www.instagram.com/greg_camp_music/?hl=en https://music.apple.com/us/album/closer/1530166981?i=1530166984
September 24, 2020
#34 Forgiveness: Why & How to Do It | Dr. Frederic Luskin
There are lots of misconceptions about forgiveness. What is it and what is it not? Why is forgiveness an important skill and how do we get good at it? And what if we believe we can’t or don’t want to forgive? These, and many other questions, will be fielded by one of the world’s leading experts in the study and the science of forgiveness. Dr. Frederic Luskin (https://learningtoforgive.com/about/) is a clinical psychologist and the Director of the Stanford Forgiveness Project at Stanford University where he also lectures at its School of Medicine. Fred is also the author of a best-selling book called “Forgive for Good,” which was heralded by Publisher’s Weekly as a “solidly researched and convincing guide,” and he teaches forgiveness all over the world. Fred has taught forgiveness in places as diverse as Northern Ireland, Sierra Leone, as well as New York City after the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11. So, join Fred and me as we have a lively and informative conversation about how to forgive and what’s in it for you if you do.
September 22, 2020
#33 Knowing Your Parts | Dr. Richard Schwartz
Have you ever done something and then afterwards asked yourself, “Why the heck did I do that?” It can be as if we have an angel and a devil on our shoulders giving us good advice and bad. What if we actually thought of ourselves as having several different parts within us rather than just the two? Some of those parts we like, and some we don’t. For those that we don’t, it can be like a nasty game of whack-a-mole with yourself to try to pat down those parts and even suppress them. If you can relate, then welcome to the human race—we all do it and we all have various parts within us; parts we like and parts we don’t. The important thing is to get to know these parts, to get curious, and not just pretend they aren’t there by keeping them out of sight and out of mind. You may ask, how do I get to know these parts? And, exactly why is that important? Thankfully, we have just the man to answer these questions and to describe the therapy he has created around that idea. Dr. Richard Schwartz (https://ifs-institute.com/about-us/richard-c-schwartz-phd) who goes by the name Dick, is the father of a form of psychotherapy called Internal Family Systems, which is also known as IFS. IFS provides methods for us to know our parts and be more in control of our lives. IFS has gained international recognition for its effectiveness with a host of mental health conditions including, to name just a few: PTSD, depression, anxiety, phobias, and substance abuse. It’s even been shown as effective with various physical conditions including rheumatoid arthritis! Dick is a luminary in psychology and easily one of the best-known people in the entire field today. He explains how IFS can help us know our parts and why that is such a crucial thing for us all. So, listen in as Dick and I have a lively and user-friendly exchange about knowing the parts that make you YOU.
September 18, 2020
#32 Happier@Work | Lissa Minkin, VP of People & Workplace at Tile
What does it take to be a great employee? And if we zoom out, what are practices that companies can use to help employees flourish? These, and other questions are answered by my expert Human Resources guest who is the ideal person to address them. Lissa Minkin is VP of People and Workplace at Tile (https://www.thetileapp.com/en-us/about-tile). She has played instrumental roles at several companies including eBay and Facebook and has helped the growth of every company she’s touched. Lissa is passionate about her work, a great implementor and sustainer of healthy corporate culture, and fiercely loyal to the people she serves. Also, full-disclosure, I am a shareholder at Tile where Lissa now works, and that had nothing to do with my selecting her as a guest. I chose her because I have known her work for well over a decade and have been a fan of the healthy practices she promotes in the workplace and I believe listeners will benefit. So, join Lissa and me as we have a lively and user-friendly conversation about being happier at work.
September 16, 2020
#31 Hypnosis: How Can it Help Me? | Dr Jeffrey Zeig
When you hear the word “hypnosis,” what do you imagine? Perhaps you imagine a well-dressed doctor with a heavy Viennese accent with a pocket watch swinging back and forth. Perhaps you imagine a person on stage entertaining an audience. But what really is hypnosis? And how can it help us lead healthier and more fulfilling lives? These questions and more will be answered by my guest, Dr. Jeffrey Zeig (www.jeffreyzeig.com), who is one of the world’s top authorities on hypnosis. Jeff has trained people in clinical hypnosis in over 40 countries, he has practiced hypnosis for thousands of hours over the past 40 years, and he has authored multiple books on the topic. In addition, Jeff was the direct protege of Dr. Milton Erickson who, in my estimation, was the most important person in the advancement of hypnosis. Jeff is the founder and Director of the Milton Erickson Foundation, as well as the architect of one of the most well-attended international conferences of psychotherapy called The Evolution of Psychotherapy, and he works as a psychologist in Phoenix, Arizona. We will address questions like: what can hypnosis do for me? Who should I see if I want to receive hypnotherapy? And what criteria are important in selecting a professional? It is my pleasure to bring Jeff to you as we have a lively and user-friendly conversation about hypnosis.
September 10, 2020
#30 Rwandan Genocide - Life After Tragedy | Dydine Umunyana
What does it take to survive and ultimately thrive after horrible trauma? Today’s guest, my friend, Dydine Umunyana, was a young child in 1994 during the Genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda. She is a woman who has faced and dealt with severe trauma. Yet, she found healthy ways to ultimately return to a place of love, trust, and safety. How did she do that? We will find out. Her book, Embracing Survival, is excellent, and has been described as “an important contribution to our understanding of trauma and healing after unbearable brutality and loss.” Dydine speaks all over the world about her experiences about how she has come out of the worst experiences imaginable and how she now can bring out the best in herself and in others. So, join Dydine and me as we have a candid conversation about life after genocide.
September 03, 2020
#29 Drs. Harville Hendrix And Helen Hunt | Getting the Love You Want
Relationships with our significant others are often hard and even scary. What if there was a technology that could change all of that? The good news is that my guests, Dr. Harville Hendrix and Dr. Helen Hunt (https://harvilleandhelen.com/) have created that technology and it’s called “Safe Conversations.” (https://safeconversations.com/) I use this technology to help couples in my practice and I do the same in my personal life. Their classic book, “Getting the Love You Want,” which has sold over 4 million copies is one of the finest tools I have ever seen, and their work has made them internationally famous. Harville has been on the Oprah Winfrey Show 17 times and is such a favorite of hers that, upon her retirement, one of his episodes made it to the top-10 list of her all-time favorite shows. These are the people I believe you will want to learn from. My wife, Aurianne, who is also a psychologist, joined me at a 3-day workshop with Harville and Helen and we think the world of them and their Safe Conversations technology. So, listen in as Helen, Harville, and I talk about Safe Conversations and ways to supercharge your relationship in ways that can help you get the love you want.
August 28, 2020
#28 Boundary Setting | Reclaiming Your Life with Nancy Levin
Boundaries—we all have trouble with them at times. And for some of us, we are so unaware of our own role in how people treat us, we may go our entire lives not really living by our own rules or expressing what’s important to us. Here to shed a light on taking back our lives through boundary setting is Nancy Levin (https://nancylevin.com/), a Master Coach and bestselling author of several books including her latest, Setting Boundaries Will Set You Free. Dr. Christiane Northrup has said, “This book could save your life.” In addition to her writing, Nancy served as the Event Director at Hay House for over a decade, and now runs Levin Life Coach Academy. Nancy offers in-depth coaching and training programs designed to support clients in making themselves a priority and setting boundaries that stick. So listen in as Nancy and I have an energetic, entertaining, and user-friendly conversation on Reclaiming Your Life through Boundary Setting.
August 21, 2020
#27 Alex Katehakis | Erotic Intelligence
When it comes to sex, how smart are you? Do you know what it takes to create a good sex life? If you would like to become more erotically intelligent, this episode is for you and my guest has the answers. Dr. Alexandra Katehakis (www.alexkatehakis.com) is a certified sex therapist who serves as the Director of the Center for Healthy Sex in Los Angeles. She is the author of Erotic Intelligence and many other books on sexuality both for professionals and the general public. In this episode, Alex shares concrete and practical information that can help people improve their sex lives. I am confident you will glean lots of new and useful information in this user-friendly and informative interview!
August 17, 2020
#26 David Kessler | Finding Meaning Through Grief
First the bad news: grief is inevitable. Now the good news: you can learn skills to grieve well. David Kessler, who has been described as the world’s foremost expert on the topic, is interviewed and he shares some of his tips on how to deal with this part of life. I am confident you will want to listen to this episode and learn from him. In addition to owning www.grief.com, he has received high praise from sources as diverse as The New York Times and Mother Theresa. David is blessed with wisdom and levity and he breathes new life into learning what we all need to know about grief.
August 12, 2020
#25 How Wisdom Can Help Us During Times of Uncertainty | Michael Meade
Why do we need wisdom in our lives? And how can it help us during times of uncertainty? Dr. Michael Meade can help answer these big questions. He is a renowned author, scholar of mythology, anthropology, and psychology. The New York Times has said he writes “brilliantly” and that “He is a master.” A luminary in the field described his work as, “Magical and profound, unlike anyone else one is likely to encounter,” and that he is “one of the greatest living teachers of our time.” Michael doesn’t just work with his head but he also works with his hands and feet to build a world of justice, understanding, kindness, and connection. He is the founder and director of Mosaic Multicultural Foundation (https://www.mosaicvoices.org/), a nonprofit network of artists, activists, and community builders that encourages greater understanding between diverse peoples. On a personal note, I have been learning from Michael’s wisdom since the 90’s and his work has helped me immensely both professionally and personally. So, join Michael and me as we do a deep dive into how wisdom can help us during times of uncertainty.
August 05, 2020
#24 Golden State Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr | Winning Through Competition, Compassion, Joy, and Mindfulness
What psychological skills does it take to play at one’s best in the NBA—even contributing to winning five NBA Finals? What leadership skills does that same person need to go on to coach his team to five NBA Finals—winning three of them? What team building skills are needed? Listen in to this compelling conversation with one of the most successful NBA coaches and players of all time, Golden State Warrior Coach and former NBA star, Steve Kerr. Much of what is discussed transcends sports and applies to success in all aspects of life. Article on profanity and honesty: https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/faculty-research/publications/frankly-we-do-give-damn-relationship-between-profanity-honesty Link for Strengths (Values in Action) Survey: https://www.viacharacter.org
July 31, 2020
#23 Storytelling and Psychology 2 | Joel ben Izzy
This is the second part of how storytelling impacts our psyche. Joel ben Izzy the perfect person to share his insights, wisdom, and the travails of his own life that allowed him to write one of the finest books (and one I give to clients regularly), The Beggar King. You can find Joel and learn about his work here: https://www.storypage.com/
July 27, 2020
#22 Storytelling and Psychology 1 | Joel ben Izzy
Storytelling is a hugely important part of being human. Telling stories and listening to stories can be healing. And the guest of this two-part episode is internationally-renowned storyteller, Joel ben Izzy. Joel is a great storyteller and a total pleasure. Time just flies when I’m with Joel and I think you’ll find it to be the same and very meaningful. You can find Joel and learn about his work here: https://www.storypage.com/
July 20, 2020
#21 The Unexpected Advantages of Autism | Dr. Temple Grandin
This episode is about the unexpected strengths of autism. My guest, Dr. Temple Grandin (www.templegrandin.com), has written many best-selling books on autism and her life, one of which was made into a film starring Clare Danes as Temple. The film was described by the New York Times as “The best biopic in a very, very long time.” Temple has received multiple major awards and recognitions including Time Magazine’s 2010 annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Often misunderstood, autism is, broadly, a Neurodevelopmental phenomenon that affects the way people experience the world. It affects every aspect of a person’s development, but processes, behaviors and sensory functioning. Our understanding of autism has improved, and research has revealed underlying strengths of autism. One of the insights I have gleaned from this interview and my preparation for it is that having an autistic person on a team can be a huge advantage. They often notice things that neurotypical people miss. Note, there would be no Star Trek without Spock. Yet, in spite of these advances in research and advantages of autistic people, many of them are not receiving the services and understanding that they need.
July 13, 2020
#20 Sex: Keeping it Hot Longterm | Dr. Pat Love
Are you in a long-term relationship and longing for greater sexual passion? If so, you’ll want to listen to this episode! Dr. Pat Love is an internationally-recognized expert, best-selling author, and a masterful therapist who has specialized in helping couples rekindle their passion and love. Dr. Harville Hendrix has said of her work, “Every couple wanting to deepen or save their relationship should read it.” With humor, intelligence, and useful tips, Dr. Love delivers big in this episode.
July 09, 2020
#19 Sexual Fluidity and Sex Minorities | Dr. Ritch Savin-Williams
Our vocabulary for describing sexual identity has expanded and today’s guest, Dr. Ritch Savin-Williams, is the perfect person to discuss this important phenomenon. Ritch is Professor Emeritus of Developmental Psychology at Cornell University and he has written ten books on adolescent development, including Mostly Straight: Sexual Fluidity Among Men. Publishers Weekly has described his work as “An excellent resource.” Please listen in as Ritch helps us to understand sexual fluidity in today’s culture.
July 06, 2020
#18 The MindBody Code: How Our Thoughts Impact Everything | Dr. Mario Martinez
Today’s guest, the great Dr. Mario Martinez, is a top expert on how thoughts impact our bodies, our success, and our longevity. Mario is a clinical neuropsychologist who researches how cultural beliefs affect health and longevity. He has conducted worldwide studies on large numbers healthy centenarians—that is, people who are 100 years or older—and found that only 20 to 25% can be attributed to genetics. The rest is related to how they live and the cultural beliefs they share. Mario is also the author of the bestselling book The MindBody Code: How to Change the Beliefs that Limit Your Health, Longevity, and Success which, quite simply, is a must-read. Through research, he explains out how to biohack our immune system with our thoughts. In addition, Mario has worked extensively with National Geographic as well as luminaries like Dr. Deepak Chopra and Dr. Christiane Northrup who interviewed him on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. Check out Mario’s fantastic work at https://www.biocognitive.com.
July 02, 2020
#17 Treasures of the Unconscious | Dr. James Hollis
Have you ever noticed that in the scariest movies only part of what’s happening is revealed? The more that’s left to your imagination, the scarier it becomes. The same idea is true with what we hide from ourselves. That can make the process of self-discovery seem scarier than it needs to be. When we expend energy hiding from ourselves, we miss out on the richness of the Unconscious. And why is that important? Because most of what motivates us is unconscious. And to paraphrase the great psychoanalyst Carl Jung, if we don’t come to know this large part of ourselves, it will drive us, and we will feel as if we have no say in how things turn out. This episode is near and dear to my heart. Many years ago, I was reading a book by today’s guest and thought, “I feel like I’m listening to Yoda. I’m hearing the words of one of the wisest people I’ve ever come across…it would be a huge gift to have a cup of tea with him.” And that is exactly what you’ll be getting today, a gift from one of psychology’s deepest thinkers and I recommend you pour yourself a nice cup of tea as you listen in. Dr. James Hollis received his training at the Jung Institute in Zurich, Switzerland, and he has been a licensed Jungian analyst for almost forty years. He is in private practice in Washington, D.C. and is the author of sixteen truly fantastic books. I like to think of Jim as being an expert detective of the unconscious and this episode reflects his ease at navigating this mysterious area of our lives. I invite you to view the teaser for his film at: https://www.documentary.org/project/soulheal and to consider making a tax-deductible donation to this important non-profit project.
June 29, 2020
#16 The Science of Happiness | Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar
For this interview on the Science of Happiness, I had the privilege of an in-depth conversation with one of the world authorities on the subject, Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar (http://www.talbenshahar.com/). Tal is an author and lecturer and he taught two of the largest classes in Harvard University’s history, Positive Psychology and The Psychology of Leadership with over 1,400 students in a class. That was 20% of the entire undergraduate population! Today, Tal consults and lectures around the world to executives in multi-national corporations, the general public, and at-risk populations. The topics he lectures on include leadership, happiness, education, innovation, ethics, self-esteem, resilience, goal setting, and mindfulness. His books have been translated into more than twenty-five languages, and have appeared on best-sellers lists around the world. Tal is a serial entrepreneur, and is the co-founder and chief learning officer of Happiness Studies Academy, Potentialife, Maytiv, and Happier.TV. An avid sportsman, Tal won the U.S. Intercollegiate and Israeli National squash championships. Today, for exercise, he swims, dances, and practices Yoga. He obtained his Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and B.A. in Philosophy and Psychology from Harvard. Some other sites relating to our conversation: http://sonjalyubomirsky.com/ https://crucibletherapy.com/about/david-schnarch https://www.oliversacks.com/
June 25, 2020
#15 The Science of Awe | Dr. Jonah Paquette
Have you recently felt down, anxious, or out of touch with why we are here? If so, you are not alone. Today’s episode is about a surprisingly easy way to feel happier and more connected to life. And how you do it is tapping into the experience of awe and wonder. Science shows overwhelming evidence that tapping into this feeling is one of the most protective and healthful things we can do for our body and our mind. But what exactly is awe? And how do we quantify it let alone explain what it is and how it can help? My guest, Dr. Jonah Paquette, explains it to you in this episode. Jonah is a clinical psychologist, international speaker, and author. He is the author of Real Happiness, a self-help book in which he distills the key findings in the field of happiness research and offers user-friendly tools to achieve lasting well-being. His second book, The Happiness Toolbox is a research-based self-help workbook and it provides easy-to-use handouts and worksheets designed to increase happiness and life satisfaction. His newest book, Awestruck, explores the science of awe, and how moments of wonder benefit our physical and emotional health. Dr. Paquette is a psychologist at Kaiser Permanente in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he serves as the Assistant Regional Director of Mental Health Training. Spanning 20 medical centers and consisting of nearly 200 mental health trainees, it is the largest non-governmental training program in the United States. In addition to his clinical work and writing, Dr. Paquette offers training and consultation to therapists and organizations on the promotion of happiness and conducts professional workshops around the country and internationally. He is also a frequent media contributor, having been featured regularly in print, online, and radio outlets. Dr. Paquette’s clinical experiences have spanned a broad range of settings, including Veterans hospitals, community mental health clinics, college counseling centers, and his current work at Kaiser Permanente. For more information about Jonah and his work, please visit www.jonahpaquette.com.
June 22, 2020
#14 The Psychology of Pet Loss | Dr. Betty Carmack
Have you ever loved or been loved by a pet? Have you ever lost a pet? If so, it was likely a big loss. For several years, I served as a pet loss counselor at the Humane Society. I have never seen so many tears before or since. And I’m not surprised: pets give so much to us, especially, the unconditional love we so need. Right now, we are in the midst of Shelter in Place with COVID and for many of us, everything can be a bit harder, including pet loss. I thought it would be a good time to talk to the best person I know when it comes to pet loss, my mentor, Dr. Betty Carmack. Betty is Professor Emerita at the University of San Francisco School of Nursing, who has worked with pet loss since 1982. She initiated and led the monthly pet loss support groups at the SF/SPCA from 1982 to 2015. In addition to working with individuals grieving the death of their companion animals, she has worked with the staff of humane societies, veterinary hospitals and animal care organizations. She has authored articles in both the professional and lay literature, presented at numerous professional conferences, and engaged in research related to pet loss. She is the author of the book Grieving the Death of a Pet. Her work was inspired by the accidental death of her beloved dog, Rocky, in 1979, and her recognition of the need to have support available to those struggling with the loss of their beloved animal companions. Deciding when to put a pet down can be an incredibly hard and painful decision. In the event that you have an ailing pet and need help in assessing if it is time to consider saying goodbye to your pet, here is the link for the Quality of Life Questionnaire by Dr. Alice Villalobos,: https://www.aplb.org/resources/quality-of-life_scale.html
June 18, 2020
#13 The Psychology of a Former Neo-Nazi | Arno Michaelis
I have a grim statistic to report: over the past four years, the number of hate groups operating across America has risen to a record high of over 1,000 in total (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/20/us/hate-groups-rise.html); this is more than a 30% increase since 2016. Prior to that, the groups’ numbers were rapidly declining. When you hear about white supremacists, Neo Nazis, or other hate groups, have you ever asked yourself, “How in the world do they think that way?” What could compel people to join a hate group? And, after joining, is there any hope that someone can leave a life of hate? Today we have a guest who can give us insight into the answers to these questions and more because of his unique experience. Arno Michaelis is a former Neo Nazi who, in the 80’s and early 90’s, was a leader of a worldwide racist skinhead organization. He was even the lead singer of a hate metal band that sold over 20,000 CD’s. In a 180-degree turn around, Arno now works tirelessly to educate the public about hate and hate groups. and tries to help get people out of hate groups of all kinds. Arno and I have worked together to provide education at both Facebook and Digital Ocean, and I have come to know him well. He is regularly interviewed by the national media to provide his valuable insight into the activity of hate groups and he assists organizations including Against Violent Extremism (http://www.againstviolentextremism.org/), The Forgiveness Project (https://www.theforgivenessproject.com/), Search For Common Ground (https://www.sfcg.org/), and Parents for Peace (https://www.parents4peace.org/). He is also the author of My Life After Hate (https://medium.com/@arnomichaelisIV) and the co-author of the Gifts of our Wounds (http://giftofourwounds.com/). On a personal note, Arno has had dinner with my family and has spoken to my book club. I have experienced him as a man of great integrity, transparency, and kindness who has reinvented himself in ways that I find both stunning and inspiring. So, please listen in as Arno Michaelis and I do a deep dive into the psychology of a former Neo Nazi.
June 15, 2020
#12 Music and the Psyche | Sea Stars Kurt Baumann & Katie Gray
This episode explores music and the psyche with two of the most gifted musicians I’ve ever heard. Ethereal and contemplative, the music of Katie Gray and Kurt Baumann, collectively known as Sea Stars (https://seastars.bandcamp.com/), have been seen nationally on the Today Show with Hoda Kotb and around the globe. Kurt and Katie are married and work both together and apart in their artistic and musical ventures. Katie (www.katiegray.com) writes and records her own music and has been a guest vocal with groups such as Band of Horses (live on Jimmy Kimmel) and has worked with numerous artists including Ani Difranco. Kurt performs and records with his band The Burned (www.theburnedmusic.com), was the founder of the band Kan’Nal and has recorded and toured with electronic super hero Adam Freeland. Here are some links to listen further: Live on The Today Show - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrorsNKVxIs Mind over Matter - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oLtL_S3Fng The Maker - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpMvZE07ixM
June 08, 2020