The Psych Central Show is an award-winning, weekly podcast that approaches psychology and mental health in a casual and accessible fashion. Listen as our hosts speak candidly with experts to break down complex topics in simple and understandable ways.
The Psych Central Show is hosted by Associate Editor Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales. Learn more about them here.
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Episodes of the Psych Central Show
Psych Central – and many other places – has a group of therapists who answer questions online. Two of them join us to answer questions about what they do. In this episode, you’ll learn how they got involved with this endeavor, the process of how the questions are received and answers are given, and how the therapists approach inquiries that involve unfamiliar cultures. They also talk about the most common questions they receive, some of the most disturbing ones they’ve had to answer, and the concerns they have when giving certain replies.
The National Council for Behavioral Health is made up of health care organizations across the United States, committed to the concept of all Americans having access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords every opportunity for recovery. In this episode, Dr. Joe Parks, Medical Director for the National Council, shares facts and opinions on many topics, including the use of telepsychiatry, the homeless crisis, and the shortage of psychiatrists. He also addresses the questions of why there are so many individuals with schizophrenia in prison and how we can get all people the same quality of care, no matter their financial situation.
Many employers provide health benefits to their workers that go above and beyond the typical medical insurance. This may take the form of incentive programs for improving health, discounts on fitness centers, or employee assistance programs (EAPs) that provide various health-related services. But there’s a new star on the health horizon called LifeSpeak. This is an entire wellness platform that employers can make available to employees, giving them free, anonymous access to an enormous library of health information, discussion forums, and even live interaction with health experts on a variety of topics, including a great deal related to mental health.
Social anxiety is more common than most of us realize. Around 80% of us have experienced it at some point in our lives. In this episode, Dr. Ellen Hendriksen shares her insights into social anxiety, including how it is experienced by different sorts of people, and how we can reduce its impact on us. She explains about safety behaviors and how they can work against us in overcoming anxiety, as well as addresses specific anxious behaviors, such as avoiding eye contact. As she explains, a little social anxiety isn’t anything to worry about. It’s when social anxiety causes us to avoid certain situations or interactions that we should be concerned.
Keith O’Neil lived with undiagnosed bipolar disorder throughout his NFL career, including his final year with the Indianapolis Colts as they won the Super Bowl in 2006. After his diagnosis, Keith became an advocate, starting the 4th and Forever Foundation, which is dedicated to assisting those living with and affected by mental health conditions, through programs that raise awareness, promote education and fund research to alleviate mental illness. Keith tours the country, speaking to high school students. He shares with us his secret to getting through to them, and the single most frequent question they ask. He also speaks candidly about writing his book and about the people in his life who helped him, both before and after diagnosis.
More and more apps are showing up that are geared toward mental health. One such app is called, simply, “Happy.” This simple to use app allows a user to speak with a “giver” (an emotional support individual) to discuss whatever happens to be troubling the user. In this episode, we speak with the company’s CEO, who explains how the app works, the vetting process of the givers, and plans for the future of the app. The importance of emotional support is also discussed, as are specifics on how the app works, including how a user is matched with a giver.
Pete Earley returns to talk more about mental health advocacy and lots of other things. He tells of how he came to co-author a book with Jessie Close and talks of his days writing his own spy novels and several books with former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich. He also shares stories from his days as a reporter with the Washington Post, including being part of a “special” squad of reporters. Pete shares some information on some of his forthcoming books and projects, and finally, he advises everyone of what we can do to help advocate for mental health in our own ways.
Pulitzer finalist and former Washington Post reporter Pete Earley joins for the first of two shows. Pete talks about his popular blog and how he worked to make it more balanced than the average blog. He also speaks of the many obstacles and excuses he encountered in getting treatment for his son’s bipolar disorder, which led him to write the book, Crazy: A Father's Search Through America's Mental Health Madness. Also discussed is how “seriously mentally ill” is such a subjective diagnosis and why it seems that some mentally ill individuals can only receive treatment if they commit a crime.
After years of being bullied in school and having to eat alone – often not even in the cafeteria – Natalie Hampton decided to do something to help others in similar situations. She created the Sit With Us anti-bullying app, which allows a user to locate a table in their school’s cafeteria where they will be welcome, so that no one needs to eat alone. In this episode, Natalie explains how the app came to exist, and how it’s being used by more than just schools. Additionally, she offers her views on why bullying is so prevalent in some schools. Hosted by Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales.
In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales welcome Dr. Gleb Tsipursky to look at why some people hold their opinions, despite factual evidence to the contrary. In addition to explaining the reasons why some people ignore facts, the show offers suggestions on how to go about changing the mind of someone who does this, using the EGRIP approach. He also gives examples of how we can become more evolved thinkers, ourselves. Dr. Tsipursky also encourages the hosts to sign the Pro-Truth Pledge, a commitment to truth-oriented behavior. (Spoiler: they both already had!)
In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales discuss the potentially disastrous effects of mental illness on romantic relationships, especially those in which one individual has a mental illness and the other does not. Drawing from their own failed marriages (two each), Gabe and Vincent talk about the role mental illness played in the ending of the relationships, including when they were undiagnosed or diagnosed but with little or no treatment. Gabe also shares advice for those in such relationships on how to minimize the impact of mental illness on the relationships themselves, based on his successful third marriage.
In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales talk with Lisa Klein, director of the powerful documentary about suicide, The S Word. Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. Nearly everyone has lost someone to suicide, whether a family member, friend, coworker, etc. Despite this, we don’t talk about it enough. In this episode, the director speaks of why she chose to make this film and how it affected her personally. Additionally, she talks about some of the stories that didn’t make it into the movie, the diverse perspectives featured, and more.
In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales talk about friendship. Specifically, why we find it so much more difficult to make friends as adults than when we were young. Among the points covered is the fact that not everyone has the same definition of “friend.” Also discussed are the various pools of people available to us as friends and the ways in which we meet them. Most pertinent, though, is the major difference in how children and adults tend to determine who is worthy of being a friend. (Hint: kids might have a better grasp on it.)
In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales welcome Psych Central CEO and founder Dr. John Grohol to discuss marijuana and its potential benefits for treating various types of mental illnesses, from major depression to bipolar disorder. Dr. Grohol explains why there has been so little research in this field and why it will be quite some time before a significant body of data is accumulated. Also discussed is the question of why many people seem to believe cannabis is a “miracle drug,” and which age group should be most careful about the use of marijuana (or any mind-altering substance).
In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales tackle Christmas. Specifically, how to survive it. For all the wonderful aspects of holidays, they are not without stressful aspects, especially for people who live with anxiety or depression. In this podcast, you’ll learn about some specific triggers that can make the holidays stressful, and how to mitigate or even avoid them. Such triggers include being alone over the holiday, false expectations we seem to have, toxic people, and the stress that comes along with our bank statements. Listen in to hear some helpful suggestions, and have a safe and happy holiday season.
In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales discuss online counseling. Joining them is Haesue Jo of BetterHelp.com, which offers online counseling and is also the sponsor of The Psych Central Show.
In addition to answering specific questions about Better Help, the conversation discusses how online counseling differs from in-person therapy, what types of issues are (and are not) good fits for this type of counseling, and what someone can expect from this kind of service. Also discussed is why some people are still skeptical of online therapy (or other types of virtual medical services) and why they shouldn’t be.
In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales welcome Jessie Close, sister of acclaimed actress Glenn Close.
Jessie shares the story of her son’s diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, followed by her own diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Spurred by a desire to make people more aware of the stigma surrounding mental illness, Jessie reached out to Glenn for help.
The result was the founding of Bring Change to Mind, a nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging dialogue about mental health, and to raising awareness, understanding, and empathy.
Jessie tells of the making of the incredible public service announcement, directed by Ron Howard, and featuring Glenn, Jessie, and Jessie’s son, Calen.
In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales welcome as their guest, Rachel Star, a stunt girl and YouTube sensation who lives with schizophrenia. Rachel had schizophrenia as a child but was not diagnosed until her early twenties. She describes what it was like as a child and the moment she realized that the things she saw weren’t seen by others. Later in life, as an early adopter of online media, she began posting videos of herself doing outlandish things. The videos became quite popular, even being studied in classes at universities! And yes, she talks about being set on fire.
In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales discuss the pros and cons on “retail therapy,” the practice of shopping solely for the purpose of making ourselves feel better. They discuss the many benefits of such purchases, while also warning of the dangers of “comfort purchases.” Gabe warns especially of such purchases when in the manic phase of disorder, leading to hyperspending. Each of them share personal stories of their own purchases, both large and (comparatively) small. Other items discussed are oniomania, why we feel a “need” for retail therapy, window shopping, and some unexpected fringe benefits of retail therapy.
In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales, inspired by the TV show, Kevin Probably Saves the World, discuss how exactly one would go about choosing a small number of people to help them rule the world. They discuss many of the different factors that should be considered when choosing the composition of a group, including the balance between the sexes, races, ideology, skill sets, and more. It also touches on nepotism, cronyism, and other personal biases, and examines the ways in which we come to agreements and reach decisions as a group.