Prof. Paul Gilbert OBE

Paul Gilbert (@ProfPaulGilbert) is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Derby and Consultant Clinical Psychologist at the Derbyshire Health Care Foundation Trust. He has researched evolutionary approaches to psychopathology for over 35 years with a special focus on shame and the treatment of shame based difficulties.

He is the founder of both the founder of Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) and Compassionate Mind Training (CMT), and in 2006 he established the Compassionate Mind Foundation in 2006.

Paul has written and edited 20 books and in March 2011 he was awarded an OBE.

In today’s episode we explore the concept of compassion and it’s importance in both clinical practice and in our everyday lives, whether compassion is an inherent trait or something that can be cultivated, how compassion is bound up with shame and self-criticism, and how we can learn to be more compassionate towards ourselves.


This episode has 11 minutes of bonus content! Subscribe for as little as $2 /month to gain access to this and other exclusive content.

Related Links

The Compassionate Mind Foundation – Promoting an evolution and neuroscience informed approach to compassion

Book Recommendations


Image courtesy: El Payo

Andy Fisher

Andy Fisher is a scholar, author and registered psychotherapist from Eastern Ontario, with expertise in both Buddhist Psychology and Ecopsychology.

Andy sits of the editorial board of the journal “Ecopsychology“, the only peer-reviewed journal that places psychology and mental health in an ecological context to recognize the links between human health, culture, and the health of the planet, and also teaches a certificate in ecopsychology along with Craig Chalquist and Linda Buzzell-Saltzman at the Pacifica Graduate Institute.

He is lead author of “Men and Healing: Theory, Research, and Practice in Working with Male Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse” and the book which forms the basis of today’s discussion, “Radical Ecopsychology: Psychology in the Service of Life”.

In today’s episode we discuss the relatively new field of ecopsychology which explores the relationship between human beings and the natural world through the lens of ecology and psychology.

We explore how human beings have become alienated from nature and why this matters, the difference between ecopsychology and plain old conservation politics, to what extent capitalism helps or hinders our relationship with the natural world, and if and how it’s possible for both individuals and civilisation as a whole to reconnect with nature.


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Related Links – Andy’s website

What Is Ecopsychology? – Good introductory blog post by Andy

Ecopsychology Year-Long Training Program

Men and Healing: Theory, Research, and Practice in Working with Male Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse – Andy’s book (Free PDF version)

Book Recommendations


Image courtesy: Dennis Jarvis

David Pickup, LMFT

David Pickup, LMFT (@davidpickupmft) is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, and Reintegrative Therapist with a clinical practice in Addison, Texas.

As well as being a member of the American Psychological Association, and the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, David is a Board member for both the Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity, and the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH).

In today’s episode we discuss the difference between reintegrative therapy and gay conversion therapy, whether or not homosexual feelings are innate or the result of socialization or trauma, how reintegrative therapy supposedly works, the quality (or lack thereof) of studies supporting these kinds of therapies, and whether or not therapies addressing homosexual feelings should be banned.


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Related Links

David Pickup, LMFT – David’s website

Sexual Orientation, Controversy, and Science – In-depth 2017 report by J. Michael Bailey

Journal of Human Sexuality – the official publication of the Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity (ATCSI)

Psychiatry Giant Sorry for Backing Gay ‘Cure’ – New York Times article on Robert Spitzer

Man who worked as top ‘conversion therapist’ comes out as gay – Guardian Story on David Matheson

Book Recommendations


I feel compelled to add here that I’m only recommending the “Preventing Homosexuality” book because the author, Joseph Nicolosi, is kinda the godfather of this sort of therapy, so it might prove an interesting, if not particularly scientific, read.

Image courtesy: karendesuyo

Joe Strike

Joe Strike (@JoeStrike) is an artist, writer, and producer based in New York.

He is the author of “Furry Nation: The True Story of America’s Most Misunderstood Subculture” which won the the 2017 Ursa Major Award for Best Non-Fiction Work and is all about the history of furry fandom and how becoming a Furry transformed his own life.

Joe’s “fursona” Komos is the co-star of Komos & Goldie, an ongoing superhero comic co-created and written by Joe and British fur Oliver Coombes, and made the cover of Huck magazine in December 2017 for an arts and culture story on the furry lifestyle.

In today’s episode we explore the subculture of furry fandom and the people who like to dress-up as their anthropomorphic animal alter-egos.

We trace the the origins of furry fandom, how furries develop their “fursona” and design their fursuits, the psychological motivations behind the lifestyle, and how much, or how little, furry fandom is related to sex and sexuality.

This episode has 11 minutes of bonus content! Subscribe for as little as $2 /month to gain access to this and other exclusive content.

Related Links – Joe’s website – Homepage for the “Furry Nation” book

Komos & Goldie – Tumblr page – the internet’s largest online gallery for furry, anthro, dragon, brony art work and more

Book Recommendations


Image courtesy: Spirou333

Prof. Todd Shackelford

Todd Shackelford (@TKShackelford) is Distinguished Professor and Chair of Psychology at Oakland University.

Together with his wife Viviana he is co-director of the Evolutionary Psychology Lab, leading a team of researchers seeking a deeper understanding of human sexual psychology and behavior by studying issues such as jealousy and infidelity, intimate partner violence and homicide, and human sperm competition and sexual conflict.

Todd is the Editor of the journal “Evolutionary Psychology”, Associate Editor of the journal “Personality and Individual Differences”, and he is also the editor of a number of books, the most apt of which today being the “The Evolution of Violence” and “The Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Perspectives on Violence, Homicide, and War”.

In today’s episode we explore the evolutionary psychology of violence, in particular the sorts of violence that, on the face of it at least, appear to run counter to the Darwinian drive for survival and replication such as infanticide, spousal abuse, and suicide.

Along the way we also tackle the subject of “toxic masculinity”, dodgy statistics, the benefits of watching other men have sex with your wife, rape fantasies, and BDSM.


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Related Links

Todd K. Shackelford – Evolutionary Psychology Lab

Evolutionary Psychological Science – Todd’s Facebook Page

Why Can’t We All Just Get Along? Evolutionary Perspectives on Violence, Homicide, and War

Book Recommendations


Image courtesy: Paul Keller

Prof. Eric Schwitzgebel

Eric Schwitzgebel (@eschwitz) is Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Riverside, whose research explores the connections between empirical psychology and philosophy of mind, especially the nature of belief; the inaccuracy of our judgments about our stream of conscious experience; and the tenuous relationship between philosophical ethics and actual moral behavior.

He is the author of “Perplexities of Consciousness” and co-author, with psychologist Russell T. Hurlburt, of “Describing Inner Experience? Proponent Meets Skeptic“.

He also maintains a weekly philosophy blog at “The Splintered Mind“.

In today’s episode we discuss the nature of introspection and Eric’s contention that we can never reliably grasp the true nature of our inner selves.

We explore the inadequacies of our imaginary, emotional, and visual experience, the implications of these shortcomings for things like happiness and mental health, and whether or not introspection is something we can learn to do better.

This episode has 11 minutes of bonus content! Subscribe for as little as $2 /month to gain access to this and other exclusive content.

Related Links

Eric’s homepage at UCR

The Splintered Mind – Eric’s Blog

A Theory of Jerks and Other Philosophical Misadventures – Pre-order

Book Recommendations


Image courtesy: SpankyNew

Prof. Peter Smith

Peter Smith is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the Unit for School and Family Studies at Goldsmiths University of London, a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, the Association of Psychological Sciences, and the Academy of Social Sciences.

He is the recipient of a number of awards including the 2015 William Thierry Preyer award for Excellence in Research on Human Development, and the 2018 Student Wellbeing and Prevention of Violence (SWAPv) Award.

Peter is an Honorary Member of the European Antibullying Network, and of the Anti-Bullying Alliance in the UK.

He is the author of of number of books including “Understanding School Bullying: It’s Nature and Prevention Strategies”, and most recently “The Psychology of School Bullying” as part of the Routledge “Psychology of Everything” series.

In today’s episode we examine the causes and motivations for bullying, whether the stereotypical image of the bully as cowardly brute and the victim as lonely misfit hold any truth, the long term effects of bullying on both the victim and the perpetrator, the uncomfortable conclusions of some studies which claim that bullying can be beneficial, and what needs to be done to prevent and deal with bullying in schools.

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Related Links

Ditch the Label – International anti-bullying charity

Annual Bullying Survey 2018 – Ditch the Label

Anti-Bullying Alliance – United against bullying

Childline – A counselling service for children and young people in the United Kingdom provided by the NSPCC (Tel: 0800 1111)

Youthworks – Developing Anti-Bullying Guidance and an online Toolkit for the government of Wales

Fatherlessness, Poverty and Crime – United Families International

How an Absent Father Affects Boys and Girls Differently – Freakonomics

What does the scholarly research say about the well-being of children with gay or lesbian parents? – Cornell University

Book Recommendations

Image courtesy: Tiomax80

Dr. Charles Strozier

Dr. Charles Strozier is a Professor of History and the founding Director of the Center on Terrorism at John Jay College at City University of New York, a trainer and supervising analyst at the TRISP foundation in New York, and a practicing psychoanalyst in New York City.

He is the author of numerous books including two psychological studies of Abraham Lincoln, “Until The Fires Stopped Burning” and a book based on in-depth interviews with World Trade Center disaster survivors, “Apocalypse: On the Psychology of Fundamentalism in America”, and “The Fundamentalist Mindset: Psychological Perspectives on Religion, Violence, and History”.

In today’s episode we take an experimental leap into the realm of social and political psychology by exploring the topic of fundamentalist thinking from both a religious and secular perspective, and why each and every one of us have the potential to fall prey to it.


This episode has 12 minutes of bonus content! Subscribe for as little as $2 /month to gain access to this and other exclusive content.

Related Links – Confidential Psychotherapy in New York City

Book Recommendations


Image courtesy: shando.

Dr. Joanne Cacciatore

Joanne Cacciatore (@dr_cacciatore) is an Associate Professor at Arizona State University in the School of Social Work and a counselor specializing in traumatic losses, most often the death of a child.

She is the founder and president of the international nonprofit organization, the MISS Foundation, providing counseling, advocacy, research, and education services to families experiencing the death of a child, and co-founder of the Selah Care Farm, the world’s first ever care farm dealing exclusively with traumatic grief.

As well as having her research published in a various peer reviewed journals she is the author “Bearing the Unbearable: Love, Loss, and the Heartbreaking Path of Grief” which won the 2017 Indies Book of the Year Award in self-help and made it into Oprah’s Basket of Favorite Things!

In today’s episode we discuss traumatic grief, and more specifically the experience of losing a child. Joanne shares her own experience of losing her baby daughter, and how this fuelled her desire to help other families going through the same.

Along the way we discuss how losing a child affects the family dynamic and issues such as blame, the importance of grieving rituals, the DSM 5’s misguided approach to grief, and how family and friends can best support a loved one dealing with such an unbearable personal tragedy.

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Related Links

Center for Loss and Trauma – Joanne’s main website

Dr. Joanne Cacciatore’s Facebook Page

The MISS Foundation – A community of compassion and hope for grieving families

Selah Care Farm – The world’s first care farm dedicated to helping those enduring traumatic grief

The National Organisation of Parents of Murdered Children – For the families and friends of those who have died of violence

The Compassionate Friends – Supporting family after a child dies

Book Recommendations

Image courtesy: Paul Sableman

Dr. Vincent J. Felitti

Vincent Felitti is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at University of California, San Diego, and the founder of the Department of Preventive Medicine for Kaiser Permanente, where he served as the chief of preventive medicine for 26 years, during which time his department provided comprehensive medical evaluations to 1.1 million individuals, becoming the largest single-site medical evaluation facility in the western world.

Dr. Felitti has also served on advisory committees at the Institute of Medicine and the American Psychiatric Association.

But he is perhaps most famous for being co-principal investigator of the world famous Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study, a long-term, in-depth, analysis of over 17,000 adults investigating how our emotional experiences during childhood relate to and possibly influence our physical and mental health as adults.

In today’s episode we discuss the history and origins of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study, how childhood trauma can later manifest as physical illness such as cancer and heart disease, why things like obesity and smoking are often protective reactions to childhood trauma, how people with an ACE score 6 or higher have a 5000% greater risk of suicide, and how doctors and mental health professionals can better care for people suffering the consequences of childhood trauma. 

This episode has 10 minutes of bonus content! Subscribe for as little as $2 /month to gain access to this and other exclusive content.

Related Links

ACEs Connection – the most active, influential ACEs community in the world.

ACES Too High – a news site that reports on research about adverse childhood experiences, including developments in epidemiology, neurobiology, and the biomedical and epigenetic consequences of toxic stress.

Book Recommendations


Image courtesy: Linus Eklund