Beyond Well · Jan. 13, 2020

The Beauty of Being a Misfit and the Reality of Depression

FEATURING: Sheila Hamilton, Lidia Yuknavitch
TAGS: Depression, Homelessness, misfits

Lidia Yuknavitch gives voice to so many people who are marginalized, including people who suffer from trauma and debilitating depression.

By Sheila Hamilton

This show was originally released in March of 2019.

We’re thrilled to Re-visit Lidia Yuknavitch. The author of nine books, including The Chronology of Water, The Small Backs of Children, The book of Joan, and the Misfits Manifesto. Lidia’s Ted Talk, The Beauty of Being a Misfit has been viewed 2,862,000 times. We think she has something to share about how telling and retelling your story can help re-frame traumatic experience.

Beyond Well · Jan. 10, 2020

Dave Dahl, The Killer Breadmaker Gets Real

FEATURING: Sheila Hamilton, Dave Dahl
TAGS: Bipolar, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Mental Illness

Dave Dahl speaks openly about his ongoing management of depression and bipolar disorder and the excruciating climb back from a manic episode that nearly ended his life.

By Sheila Hamilton

Dave Dahl’s sometimes rocky path to recovery has been brutally public. He’s the icon behind Dave’s Killer Bread, a company he sold for $275 million dollars cash in 2015. His highly publicized breakdown prior to the sale made national headlines.

But, as Dave honestly recounts in this interview, recovery is never a straight line. And access to quality, evidence-based, and timely care has never been more important for people in a mental health crisis. Dave’s experience speaks to the importance of making sure that when in crisis, people have a place to go. Many Oregonians don’t.

Here’s one opportunity that would create more access to inpatient services. You can help make that happen:


Beyond Well · Jan. 6, 2020

From Lost To Found After Losing A Parent

FEATURING: Cheryl Strayed
TAGS: Grief, Psychology, acceptance, loss

We start 2020 with a look back at a few of our favorite shows from 2019. This show was originally released in March 2019. It features special guest Cheryl Strayed.

By Sheila Hamilton

We are starting 2020 by taking a look back at a few of our favorite shows from 2019. This show was originally released in March of 2019. It features special guest Cheryl Strayed.

The message of Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Trail has helped millions of people process grief in a new and profound way.

In this episode of Beyond Well, Sheila Hamilton and Dr’s Brian Goff and Jenna LeJeune talk about the potential of bouncing forward after loss, and of grieving from a place of honesty and self-compassion.

Beyond Well Science · Jan. 2, 2020

Community Medicine and the Power of Social Healing

FEATURING: Sheila Hamilton, Dr. Bob Drake
TAGS: Community Health, Diversity, Employment, Equality, Mental Health, Psychiatry

Dr. Bob Drake’s experience as a psychiatrist and later employment specialist led him to believe employment may be the most powerful predictor of success in people with mental illness.

By Sheila Hamilton

Dr. Bob Drake prefers to be called Bob, a nod toward his belief in community medicine and the power of social healing. Drake’s experience as a psychiatrist and later employment specialist led him to believe employment may be the most powerful predictor of success in people with mental illness.

Dr. Drake set up IPS Works, matching people with mental illness with meaningful work. The organization now has more than a thousand satellite offices across the country.

Related Links:

Beyond Well · Dec. 30, 2019

Seeing Beyond Labels

FEATURING: Sheila Hamilton, Mike Schmidt
TAGS: Criminal Justice, Homelessness, Jails, Mental Illness

Mike Schmidt, a candidate for Multnomah County District Attorney, speaks out.

By Sheila Hamilton

Mike Schmidt is running for Multnomah County District Attorney with one of the most multi-dimensional views toward the criminalization of the mentally ill we’ve ever heard. Mike’s experience as an inner city school teacher informs his sense of justice and rehabilitation.

Beyond Well Science · Dec. 28, 2019

The Pharmacological Load on Foster Children

FEATURING: Dr. Jennifer McLaren, Dr. Erin Burnett
TAGS: ADHA, Anger, Depression, Foster Children, Impulsivity

A fascinating look at the trend toward over-drugging in America, especially concerning the country’s most vulnerable children.

By Sheila Hamilton

As many as forty percent of foster children are on multiple medications.

Dr. Erin Burnett and Dr. Jennifer McLaren study, research, and question whether the medications are necessary and whether the families and prescribing doctors are interested in a lower pharmacological load on children’s bodies.

Beyond Well · Dec. 23, 2019

Let’s Drop the “Self” in “Self-Care”

FEATURING: Dr. Jenna LeJeune, Dr. Brian Goff
TAGS: Self-Care

Dr. Brian Goff and Dr. Jenna LeJeune debate the nature of self-care and whether the notion of self care has a negative impact on people’s lives.

By Jenna LeJeune

If you listened to today’s episode on self-care you now know my dirty little secret — I really hate the concept of “self-care.” I know I’m not supposed to say that as a therapist, especially not here in Portland where people take their self-care regimes very seriously. But, it’s true; my name is Jenna and I don’t like self-care.

While there are several things I find problematic about the concept of self-care, the main difficulty I have is that framing certain behaviors as “self-care” sets us up for failure. ​By singling out your “self” from all the other selves (loved ones, critters, others in your life) that you care well for, you are setting up an unhelpful distinction between “me” versus “them.”​ If self-care is distinct from other-care then that distinction forces us to try to balance those competing and apparently distinct sets of behaviors. Someone is always going to be on the losing end of that balancing act.

You don’t say “I really need to carve out time for ‘daughter care’” or “dog care” or “spouse care” or “friend care.” Hopefully caring well for all those people/critters is just how you interact with them. So why should it be any different for your self? ​You don’t need to carve out any special self-care time for yourself if being caring is just how you interact with your self.

Instead of trying to ensure that we are caring well for ourselves by highlighting the distinction between “me” versus everyone else, I encourage people to do the opposite. I work with people on developing ways to to ​start seeing themselves as part of the common humanity that they (hopefully) care well for.​ In other words, I encourage people to drop the “self” part of self-care and instead focus on moving towards ​a more holistic value of caring well for all those they are in relationship with.​ And you know who you spend the most time in relationship with? Your self! So be sure to include her in the group of people you are caring well for.

One concrete tool you can use to develop this skill is ​Lovingkindness Meditation (LKM)​ , or as it is also called Metta Meditation. In LKM, the task is to ​practice seeing all beings as being a part of a common humanity and intentionally responding to all beings in that group with kindness and care, regardless of whether that person is a loved one, someone you have difficulty with, yourself, or someone 1⁄2 way around the world.

So, go ahead and treat yourself to that massage or that weekend away. But if what you want is to care well for yourself in a more ongoing and sustainable way, why not commit to 10-15 minutes every day for two weeks of LKM? Just like anything else, it takes some practice. But the data show that just ​two weeks of daily LKM ​can have profound effects that last long after you have stopped meditating. If you’re interested in giving it a shot, ​you can find several free guided LKM recordings here:

Beyond Well Science · Dec. 19, 2019

A Guide to Understanding Institutionalized Mental Healthcare

TAGS: Documentary, Institutionalization, Mental Illness, State Hospitals, film

Lucy Winer’s personal experience of being committed to Kings Park as a teenager drew her to stories of the running of state hospitals before de-institutionalization.

By Sheila Hamilton

Lucy Winer is a director and producer known for the documentary Kings Park: Stories from an American Mental Institution and the creator of Unlocked, a video library and curriculum for researchers, students and professors of psychiatry and psychology.

Lucy’s personal experience of being committed to Kings Park as a teenager in the late 1960’s drew her to the stories of other patients, the caregivers, the doctors, and even the law enforcement officers involved in the running of state hospitals before de-institutionalization.

Beyond Well · Dec. 16, 2019

Triggering and Safe Spaces

FEATURING: Dr. Jenna LeJeune, Dr. Brian Goff
TAGS: Diversity, PTSD, Safe Spaces, Triggers

I care much more about people ​being s​afe than I do everyone ​feeling s​afe. And yet, in our culture today, we seem to have this backwards.

By Jenna LeJeune

I care much more about people ​being s​afe than I do everyone ​feeling s​afe. And yet, in our culture today, we seem to have this backwards.

While we, as a country, stubbornly refuse to take action on things that would decrease the violence and actual harm that is perpetrated, especially to marginalized populations, we are increasingly treating painful feelings or thoughts as dangerous or harmful.

“Trigger warnings” abound, reinforcing the idea that certain feelings are dangerous and must be avoided. What are meant to be “safe-spaces” turn into echo chambers, shutting down any diversity of perspective or thought. And while I choose to believe that these attempts started with good intentions, the data coming out suggest that they may actually be doing more harm than good.

Research coming out of Harvard University​ suggests that trigger warnings may actually result in increased anxiety and increased stigmatizing beliefs (including self-stigma) around certain groups of people. These findings are consistent with the general premise of Lukianoff and Haidt’s thought-provoking and controversial best selling book ​The Coddling of the American Mind.

One of the main concerns I have with this trend is that it has a strong potential to backfire. We are shutting down dialogue in a way that doesn’t allow for the opportunity for repair or understanding. We are increasing the “us” versus “them” divide and in doing so we lose valuable allies. In striving to create “safe spaces” we end up creating more segregated, homogenous spaces.

We, of course, all feel most comfortable around people who we perceive as being “like us”, that think like we do, believe in what we do, share similar life experiences, or even look like we do. So if the aim is to make sure I “feel safe,” I’m ultimately going to close myself off to anyone who differs from me. And in the end, the people that will be most harmed are not those in power, they will be the most marginalized voices in our community thereby perpetuating more actual threat and harm.

Rather focusing on creating spaces where we all ​feel ​safe, what would happen if we focused on engaging with one another from a place of openness and respect, where we welcomed and embraces a diversity of thought, perspective, life experiences, and beliefs? In doing so we are almost certainly going to step on each others’ toes. We are going to say or do things that are painful to others. But if we are willing to remain engaged even while we feel that pain, we allow for the possibility of healing and learning.

If you’re interested in learning more about how discourse might, in the end, create more actual safety than silencing does, I’d encourage you to check out the resources at the ​National Institute for Civil Discourse​ and ​the Center for Nonviolent Communication​.

Beyond Well · Dec. 13, 2019

The Pitfalls and Privilege of Helping People in Crisis

FEATURING: Sheila Hamilton, C. Lamar Frizzell
TAGS: Hospitals, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Psychiatric Care, Psychiatry, Psychology

Sheila talks with C. Lamar Frizzell about the enormous pressure facing psychiatric hospitals due to an explosion of people in crisis.

By Sheila Hamilton

C. Lamar Frizzell, CEO of Cedar Hills Hospital, has worked in the field of behavioral healthcare for over 20 years.

Most recently, Frizzell held a similar role at Willow Creek Behavioral Health located in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Frizzell brings practical experience as a line-staff member and is educated in the fields of both Mental Health and Divinity

In this interview, Sheila talks with Frizzell about the enormous pressure facing psychiatric hospitals because of an explosion of people in crisis. There are never enough beds, care is complicated, and psychiatric doctors and nurses are in short supply.

Frizzell’s personal history growing up in a home where mental health problems were abundant informs his compassion and empathy for people in crisis.

Beyond Well Newsletter

Additional videos, extended ask the doctor, after show notes, links to info on anxiety, depression, PTSD, OCD, suicide prevention, living with loss, managing grief, better sex, bossing up, and thriving in a changing workplace.

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.