Ep 27: Alcohol and the Brain with Dr. Lara Ray

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN CUTTING EDGE RESEARCH ALCOHOL USE?

ARE YOU CURIOUS HOW LONG TERM ALCOHOL USE CHANGES THE BRAIN?

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT THE GENETICS AND NEUROSCIENCE OF ADDICTION?

THEN JOIN US FOR AN INTERVIEW WITH DR. LARA RAY, DIRECTOR OF THE UCLA ADDICTIONS LAB.

In this episode, Dr. Diana Hill talks with Dr. Lara Ray about the neuroscience of alcohol and addiction. Dr. Ray is a full professor in the Clinical Psychology Program at UCLA with academic appointments in the UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior and the UCLA Brain Research Institute. Dr. Ray’s laboratory combines experimental psychopharmacology with behavioral genetic and neuroimaging methods to look at the mechanisms underlying addictive disorders and apply these insights to treatment development. Today we get to talk about your brain on alcohol! 

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Ep 26: Our Psychology on Nature

DO YOU WONDER WHY NATURE IS THE ULTIMATE MULTIVITAMIN?

ARE YOU CURIOUS HOW NATURE IMPACTS YOUR COGNITION, MOOD, AND EYE HEALTH?

DO YOU WANT TO UPGRADE YOUR WALKING EXPERIENCE FROM "BLAH" TO "AWE"?

THEN JOIN DIANA AND DEBBIE IN THIS EXPERIENTIAL WALK THROUGH THE PSYCHOLOGY OF NATURE!

As media and technology increasingly dominate our lives, we are spending less time in nature.  This lifestyle change may be impacting not only are well being and physical health but also our cognitive abilities. Take a walk with Drs. Diana Hill and Debbie Sorensen while listening to this episode investigating 6 benefits of nature on your wellbeing, how ecotherapy is integrated in Eastern medicine, and Diana's top 10 strategies to get more nature today! 

Before you head out, take the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule to score your mood. Take it again when you return and learn how nature impacts you!

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Ep 25: Resilience: Bouncing Back After Difficulty

HAVE YOU FACED DIFFICULT OR STRESSFUL LIFE EXPERIENCES? 
DO YOU WONDER WHY SOME PEOPLE SEEM TO "BOUNCE BACK" AFTER LOSS OR TRAUMA? 
DO YOU WANT TO LEARN ABOUT RESEARCH ON RESILIENCE IN CHILDHOOD AND ADULTHOOD? 
ARE YOU LOOKING FOR WAYS TO PROMOTE RESILIENCE IN YOUR OWN LIFE? 

Trauma, loss, childhood adversity, tragedy. Life can be hard, and anyone who lives long enough will face difficulty at some point. People respond to life’s challenges in a variety of ways; sometimes people have a really difficult time after stressful life events, and some seem to “bounce back” more easily. Most of us are capable of being at least somewhat resilient, and eventually adapt to even the hardest of circumstances. How do we do that?

In this episode, Dr. Debbie Sorensen and Dr. Rae Littlewood will take a look at what psychology research has to say about resilience. We’ll look at what resilience is (and isn’t), highlight some interesting psychology research, and offer research-based suggestions for promoting resilience when life gets hard.

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Ep 24: Choosing Both: Straddling Meaningful Career and Parenthood with Dr. Yael Schonbrun

HAS YOUR PROFESSIONAL IDENTITY CHANGED BY BECOMING A PARENT?
DO YOU STRUGGLE BALANCING AN AMBITIOUS CAREER WITH AN ENGAGED FAMILY LIFE?
ARE YOU CURIOUS HOW YOU COULD "CHOOSE BOTH" A FULFILLING CAREER AND MEANINGFUL HOME LIFE?

Psychological research suggests that pursuit of meaning in both work and parenting is the cornerstone of happiness. However, the act of straddling an ambitious career and being a parent can be overwhelming and destabilizing. Often working parents are left feeling that they are not meeting up to expectations in either role. In this episode, Dr. Diana Hill interviews clinical psychologist Dr. Yael Schonbrun on the concept of "choosing both." Dr. Schonbrun is an assistant professor at Brown University where she specializes in working with new parents and couples. She is also a mother to three young boys. Dr. Schonbrun has written on the psychology of straddling professional goals and an engaged family life in the New York Times article “A Mother’s Ambitions”  and blogs on the topic for Psychology Today. Dr. Schonbrun’s book is forthcoming.

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Ep 23: Women's Hormones and Mood Part 2

ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT THE EMOTIONAL CHALLENGES OF PREGNANCY AND HAVING A NEW BABY? 

DO YOU WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY?

ARE YOU WONDERING WHETHER YOU OR A LOVED ONE NEEDS PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT TO DEAL WITH PRENATAL OR POSTPARTUM ADJUSTMENT?

Having a baby is an incredible experience but it also comes with many challenges. In this episode, Dr. Rae Littlewood is joined by special guest Dr. Liza Mermelstein for Part 2 of our series on Hormones and Mood. This episode focuses on understanding the influence of hormones in trying to conceive and in prenatal and postpartum adjustment. Join in to learn about prenatal and postpartum depression and anxiety and what is recommended for self-care and psychological intervention. 

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Ep 22: Women's Hormones and Mood with Dr. Liza Mermelstein

ARE YOU CURIOUS ABOUT HOW HORMONAL FLUCTUATIONS IMPACT YOUR MOOD?

DO YOU WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BIOLOGY OF PMS AND HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF DURING DIFFERENT TIMES OF IN YOUR CYCLE? 

DO YOU WORRY THAT YOU OR A LOVED ONE MIGHT BE SUFFERING FROM A MORE SEVERE FORM OF PMS CALLED PMDD?

Hormonal fluctuations play a significant role in mood changes throughout a woman's lifespan. In this episode, Dr. Rae Littlewood is joined by special guest Dr. Liza Mermelstein to share information about the relationship between mood and estrogen, provide guidance in differentiating between depression, PMS, and PMDD (prementrual dysphoric disorder), and review self-care and treatment options. We also touch on the relationship between estrogen fluctuation during perimenopause and increased risk for depression during this transition. Stay tuned for part 2 to learn more about hormones and mood in relation to trying to conceive and prenatal and postpartum adjustment. 

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Ep 21: Fostering A Connected Partnership

DO YOU WANT A SECURE, ACCEPTING ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIP?

ARE YOU CURIOUS ABOUT HOW YOUR ATTACHMENT STYLE IMPACTS YOUR PARTNERSHIP?

HAS YOUR RELATIONSHIP ERODED OVER TIME?

LISTEN UP TO LEARN HOW TO DEVELOP A TRUSTING AND LASTING ROMANTIC BOND.

Secure romantic attachments are associated with health, resilience, and well-being. In this episode, Drs. Diana Hill and Debbie Sorensen discuss how our attachment style influences the erosion or stability of our relationships. Dr. Hill presents strategies from Sue Johnson's Emotionally Focused Therapy that will help you identify the problem cycles in your relationship, increase acceptance and close connection with your partner, and work towards forgiving injuries.

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Ep 20: Phones, Games, and Screens: Sustainable Technology Use

DO YOU COMPULSIVELY CHECK YOUR PHONE?

DOES SOCIAL MEDIA MAKE YOU STRESSED AND LIVING IN FOMO?

DO YOU WORRY ABOUT TECHNOLOGY IMPACTING THE NEXT GENERATION'S ABILITY TO RELATE TO ONE ANOTHER?

STAY TUNED (ON YOUR PHONE OF COURSE) FOR THIS IMPORTANT EPISODE ON TECHNOLOGY!

In 2007, Apple introduced the iPhone and our lives changed dramatically. Technology and phone use have rapidly taken over our daily tasks and social lives. In this episode Drs. Diana Hill and Debbie Sorensen will explore psychological research on why technology is so addictive and how overuse can negatively impact our sleep, attention, relationships, and physical health. We will give personal accounts and strategies for a more balanced and sustainable approach to tech.

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Ep 19: Keeping Children Safe from Sexual Abuse with Feather Berkower

ARE YOU A PARENT OR CHILD PROFESSIONAL WHO IS COMMITTED TO KEEPING CHILDREN SAFE? 

DO YOU WANT PRACTICAL STRATEGIES FOR REDUCING THE RISK OF CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE? 

ARE YOU UNSURE HOW TO TALK TO CHILDREN ABOUT THEIR BODIES? 

EMPOWER YOURSELF TO HELP PREVENT CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE BY LISTENING TO THIS IMPORTANT EPISODE!

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and adults can take steps to reduce the chance that their children will experience sexual abuse. In this important episode, Dr. Debbie Sorensen interviews Feather Berkower, renowned expert on sexual abuse prevention and co-author (along with Sandy K. Wurtele) of the book Off Limits: A Parent’s Guide to Keeping Kids Safe from Sexual Abuse. Feather Berkower is the founder of Parenting Safe Children, and has trained over 100,000 children, parents, and professionals in her popular workshop, Parenting Safe Children, which empowers adults to keep children safe from sexual abuse.

In this episode you will learn:

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Ep 18: Appetite Awareness Training with Dr. Linda Craighead

DO YOU OVEREAT, CHRONICALLY DIET, OR FEEL LOSS OF CONTROL OVER FOOD?

HAVE YOU LOST CONNECTION WITH YOUR BODY'S INTERNAL SIGNALS OF HUNGER AND FULLNESS?

DO YOU WANT TO EAT AS NATURALLY AS YOU DID AS A CHILD?

THEN LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE WITH DR. LINDA CRAIGHEAD ABOUT APPETITE AWARENESS TRAINING!

Appetite Awareness Training (AAT) is a method of self monitoring developed by Dr. Linda Craighead to teach individuals how to tune into internal signals of hunger and fullness and use this heightened awareness to make conscious decisions about eating. Unlike dieting or monitoring calories/food, which increase preoccupation with food, AAT teaches you how to use your appetite cues and mindful eating to reestablish a normal relationship with food.

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Ep 17: Sports Psychology

WHAT IS SPORTS PSYCHOLOGY AND HOW DOES A SPORTS PSYCHOLOGIST WORK WITH ATHLETES?

WHAT UNIQUE PROBLEMS ARISE IN ATHLETES, AND HOW DOES A SPORTS PSYCHOLOGIST ADDRESS THEM?

IN THIS EPISODE YOU WILL LEARN ALL ABOUT SPORTS PSYCHOLOGY FROM PERFORMANCE EXPERT DR. ELIZABETH BOYER.

Sports psychology, broadly known as performance psychology, addresses issues around optimal performance, developmental and social aspects of sports participation, and systemic dynamics in teams. In this episode Dr. Elizabeth Boyer of Northwest Performance Psychology will define sports psychology, answer questions about confidentiality and team dynamics, discuss the impact of injury on athlete's mental health, and explore the development and treatment of eating disorders in athletes.

In this episode, you will learn:

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Ep 16: Embodiment (Part 2)

ARE YOU IN YOUR BODY?

DO YOU WONDER WHAT IT MEANS TO BE "EMBODIED" AND HOW IT IS LINKED TO YOUR MENTAL HEALTH?

ARE YOU READY FOR AN EXPERIENTIAL EPISODE WHERE YOU CAN PRACTICE EMBODIMENT RIGHT NOW?

THEN GRAB YOUR BODY AND JOIN US!

Much of our day is spent processing our external world and ignoring the sometimes wild and sometimes subtle internal world. In this episode Dr. Diana Hill and Dr. Debbie Sorensen will continue to explore the concept of embodiment--awareness of your body from the inside. We will draw from the lessons of Dr. Bo Forbes and Katy Bowman to experience how entering our bodies can support mental wellbeing and psychological flexibility. Dr. Hill will guide Debbie Sorensen (and YOU!) in experiential exercises to explore embodied awareness. 

In this episode you will EXPERIENCE:

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OTC Psych
Ep 15: Embodiment (Part 1)

ARE YOU IN YOUR BODY?

DO YOU WONDER WHAT IT MEANS TO BE "EMBODIED" AND HOW IT IS LINKED TO YOUR MENTAL HEALTH?

ARE YOU READY FOR AN EXPERIENTIAL EPISODE WHERE YOU CAN PRACTICE EMBODIMENT RIGHT NOW?

THEN GRAB YOUR BODY AND JOIN US!

Much of our day is spent processing our external world and ignoring the sometimes wild and sometimes subtle internal world. In this episode Dr. Diana Hill and Dr. Debbie Sorensen explore the concept of embodiment--awareness of your body from the inside. We will draw from  the lessons of Dr. Bo Forbes and Katy Bowman to explore how entering our bodies can support mental wellbeing and psychological flexibility. Dr. Hill will guide Debbie Sorensen (and YOU!) in experiential exercises to explore embodied awareness. 

In this episode you will learn:

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Ep 14: Mindful Parenting

WHAT IS MINDFUL PARENTING? 

DO YOU WANT TO LEARN MORE STRATEGIES AND RITUALS TO SUPPORT MINDFUL PARENTING?

WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH SAY ABOUT MINDFUL PARENTING'S EFFECTIVENESS?

JOIN US FOR A PRACTICAL AND THEORETICAL CONVERSATION ABOUT PARENTING WITH CONSCIOUS AWARENESS.

There are diverse ways to be an effective parent. In this episode Dr. Rae Littlewood and Dr. Diana Hill discuss Parenting with Mindfulness and Awareness.

Dr. Littlewood explores 5 dimensions of Mindful Parenting:

  1. Listening with full attention
  2. Nonjudgmental acceptance of self and child
  3. Emotional awareness of self and child
  4. Self-regulation of the parenting relationship
  5. Compassion for self and child
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Ep 13: Healthy Aging and the Brain

ARE YOU WONDERING HOW YOUR BRAIN WILL CHANGE AS YOU AGE?

DO YOU WANT TO TAKE STEPS NOW TO KEEP YOUR BRAIN HEALTHY AS LONG AS POSSIBLE?

ARE "BRAIN GAMES" WORTH THE TIME AND MONEY?

WE'RE HERE WITH RESEARCH-BASED TIPS ABOUT STAYING SHARP AND HEALTHY AS YOU AGE!

In this episode, Dr. Debbie Sorensen and Dr. Rae Littlewood discuss aging, the brain, and the mind. They explore recent psychology research about whether “brain games” are an effective way to boost brain power, and offer tips for what you can do now that might help preserve cognitive functioning as much as possible into later life.

In this episode you will learn:

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Ep 12: Annual Life Review

DO YOU MAKE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS THAT FEEL LIKE YET ANOTHER TO-DO LIST?

DO YOU TEND TO FOCUS MOSTLY ON GOALS AND THE BIG ACHIEVEMENTS THIS TIME OF YEAR?

DO YOU WANT TO REFLECT BACK ON THE PAST YEAR IN A MORE MEANINGFUL, SELF-COMPASSIONATE WAY?

WOULD YOU LIKE TO SLOW DOWN AND BE MORE CONTENT IN YOUR DAILY LIFE?

Many people take time to reflect when a new year starts. But sometimes New Year’s resolutions can be a set-up for more self-criticism and longer to-do lists. In this episode, Dr. Rae Littlewood and Dr. Debbie Sorensen discuss a process for reflecting on the past year that will help you to move from self-evaluation and criticism toward contentment. Looking more closely at moments of contentment, relishing success, and cultivating compassion are strategies that can help you to clarify your values and choose where to focus your attention in 2017. 

In this episode you will learn:

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Ep 11: Flourish in the New Year (Part 2)

DO YOU WANT TO TRANSFORM YOUR HEALTH IN THE NEW YEAR?

ARE YOU LONGING FOR A MORE MEANINGFUL, ENGAGED, AND CONNECTED LIFE?

ARE YOU READY TO MOVE FROM SURVIVING TO THRIVING?

THEN JOIN US FOR PART 2 OF OUR 2 PART SERIES ON FLOURISHING!

Recently the field of psychology has been shifting away from medical models of pathology toward models of wellbeing. Positive psychology researcher Dr. Barbara Fredrickson defines "flourishing" as living "within an optimal range of human functioning, one that connotes goodness, growth, and resilience." In Part 2 of Flourishing, Drs. Diana Hill and Debbie Sorensen will continue with the last 4 principles of Flourishing: 

4. Promote sleep

5. Generate self-compassion

6. Practice social connection over social comparison

7. Embodiment in the Present Moment

In this episode you will learn:

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Ep 10: Flourish In the New Year (Part 1)

DO YOU WANT TO TRANSFORM YOUR HEALTH IN THE NEW YEAR?

ARE YOU LONGING FOR A MORE MEANINGFUL, ENGAGED, AND CONNECTED LIFE?

ARE YOU READY TO STOP LANGUISHING AND START FLOURISHING?

THEN JOIN US FOR OUR 2 PART SERIES ON FLOURISHING!

Recently the field of psychology has been shifting away from medical models of pathology toward models of wellbeing. Positive psychology researcher Dr. Barbara Fredrickson defines "flourishing" as living "within an optimal range of human functioning, one that connotes goodness, growth, and resilience." In this episode, Drs. Diana Hill and Debbie Sorensen will outline 3 of 7 principles for flourishing:

1. Live by your values

2. Hold your thoughts lightly

3. Eat and Move nutritiously

Next week we will explore the remaining 4 principles for flourishing:

4. Promote sleep

5. Generate self-compassion

6. Practice social connection over social comparison

7. Embodiment in the Present Moment

In this episode you will learn:

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EP 9: Children's Emotions: Understanding and Responding to Your Child's Feelings

ARE YOU UNSURE OF HOW TO RESPOND TO A CHILD OR TEENAGER’S EMOTIONAL EXTREMES?

DO YOU REACT TO YOUR CHILD OR TEENAGER’S EMOTIONS IN WAYS THAT ARE NOT HELPFUL?

DO YOU WANT TIPS FOR HOW TO FOSTER EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE IN YOUR CHILD?

BEING A PARENT CAN BE A CHALLENGE, AND WE’RE HERE TO HELP!

In this episode, Dr. Debbie Sorensen and Dr. Diana Hill explore how children and teenagers are different from adults in terms of emotional development. We discuss some techniques, drawn from neuroscience and parenting research, that can help parents and caregivers respond to children’s emotions in ways that foster Emotional Intelligence. And we discuss ways to slow down in the moment and respond to children from a place of values and wisdom.

In this episode you will learn:

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Ep 8: Mind Body Baby with Ann Bracken

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN LEARNING HOW TO APPLY THE LATEST TECHNIQUES FOR SELF-CARE IN COPING WITH INFERTILITY?

WHAT IS THE PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACT OF INFERTILITY AND INFERTILITY TREATMENT?

HOW DO YOU NAVIGATE RELATIONSHIPS ALONG THE INFERTILITY JOURNEY?

In this episode, Dr. Rae Littlewood interviews Ann Bracken, author of the book Mind, Body, Baby: How to Overcome Stress and Enhance Your Fertility with CBT, Mindfulness, and Good Nutrition. With an approach that puts mind body health at the heart of fertility, this easy-to-follow guide provides clear strategies to overcome emotional stress, improve relationships, communicate with fertility consultants, and support individual and couple wellbeing. We discuss how mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) skills can be used to reduce the stress and anxiety associated with fertility problems and to improve communication and support for the individual and the couple on the fertility journey.

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