Pure Curiosity with Iris McAlpin

Pure Curiosity with Iris McAlpin

This podcast explores the curious nature of being human, and what it takes to be mentally healthy in our modern world.

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    Dr. Alex Abramovich on LGBTQ+ Youth Homelessness, Suicide Prevention & Mental Health

    Dr. Alex Abramovich and I were brought together in honor of Canada's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health's campaign "Not Suicide. Not Today." to discuss one of the most vulnerable populations: LGBTQ+ youth. LGBTQ+ youth, and in particular trans youth of color, are at a disproportionately high risk of homelessness, discrimination and suicide. Dr. Abramovich is working on the front lines with shelters, and conducting research to support both the mental and physical wellbeing of LGBTQ+ youth. In this interview we discuss the role families play in homelessness, as well as transphobia, coming out, and the joys of living authentically. It was such a pleasure to speak with Alex and learn about his personal journey and work, and I know you'll enjoy it as well!   

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    Hayden Dawes on Color Blindness in Mental Health & The Illusion of Certainty

    A few months ago I read an article titled An Invitation to White Therapists by Hayden Dawes, and immediately wanted to invite him onto my podcast. In the article (which I highly recommend reading) he unequivocally calls out problematic behavior and attitudes he's observed in the White mental health community, but in a way that shows his commitment to communal healing and grace. In all of our interactions I've been struck by his humility, dedication to living authentically, and his playfulness. These are qualities I think our world could use more of, so I'm very excited to share this conversation with you! As usual we cover a wide range of topics, from coming out in the Catholic Church to embracing the free fall of uncertainty. I hope you'll listen all the way to the end for some gems on the vulnerability of anger and it's value for transformation. 

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    Wangui Wanjiru on Emotional Colonization & the Neuroscience of Racism

    In this episode I am joined by clinical psychologist Wangui Wanjiru and we cover a LOT of ground, from "pretty privilege," to the narcissistic abuse inflicted upon Black people in societies all over the world. I originally reached out to her to discuss emotional colonization and her work in mental health in Kenya, but with the protests unfolding in the US, we ended up primarily discussing what's happening here. I hope you'll listen to this longer episode in its entirety, and that you'll appreciate learning from Wangui as much as I did. There is much to learn. 

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    Brad Kammer on Managing Helplessness, Uncertainty & Anxiety During a Global Trauma

    Feelings of helplessness, uncertainty and anxiety are being felt globally right now, and for good reason. We're experiencing a collective trauma. Most of us have never faced something quite like COVID-19 before, and it's only natural to be feeling unsettled. Thankfully there is also a possibility of using this experience to build greater resilience both individually and collectively. In this episode, NARM Master Therapist Brad Kammer joins us to help guide us through these uncharted waters. He serves up some important doses of reality along with a message of compassion, hope and healing.  I truly hope this will be of service to you.

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    Victoria Welsby on Fatphobia, Body Politics & Self-Acceptance at Any Size

    In this episode, Victoria Welsby (a.k.a. Fierce Fatty) and I dive deep into body politics, eating disorder recovery, and the critical importance of fat activism in our society. Fat people are discriminated against in almost every area. They don't make as much money in the workplace, they are blamed for their own health issues by medical professionals, and they're frequently denied treatment for eating disorders. This bias is based on extremely flawed ideas about what makes a person fat (e.g. lack of willpower, etc.), and outdated, lazy science about dieting, health and weight. Victoria is incredibly insightful, and she brings a wonderful sense of humor and levity to these otherwise challenging topics. 

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    Preston Smiles on Conscious Relationships & Men's Emotional Health

    A lot of my content focuses women's issues because it's what I can speak to best, but I'm really passionate about the mental health of all genders. Speaking with Preston about the male experience of relationships, trauma, health and emotion was a real treat for me. He brings so much energy and authenticity to his work, and I appreciate his no filter style. We definitely get into some potentially triggering and controversial topics here, but I hope anyone in a relationship with a man, either as a friend, parent, or partner will listen to this with an open mind. 

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    Pure Curiosity: Brad Kammer on Healing Complex Trauma

    This podcast was difficult to title, because it covers so much ground. Brad Kammer talks to us about connection, community, shame, fear, love, sexuality...he basically covers the range of human experience from both a clinical and personal perspective. His extensive work in the field of trauma, and the depth of understanding he possess around the healing process, make this episode feel especially important. Brad is my teacher in the certification program for the NeuroAffective Relational Model (NARM), and from day one I knew I wanted to have him on the podcast. He is insightful and heartfelt, and I believe this podcast will leave you with a sense of hope for our collective healing. 

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    Pure Curiosity: Dr. Daniel Howard on Climate Change & How to Heal Our Planet

    If you're anything like me, growing concerns about carbon emissions and news about the state of our planet are leaving you feeling alarmed. In the murky waters of fake news and misinformation, it can be difficult to parse out what concerned citizens and consumers need to be doing about it. Enter Dr. Daniel Howard, energy and environmental engineer. He has generously gifted us an hour of science-backed information, practical steps we can all take, and a heartfelt perspective on this planet we call home. In many ways I think this is the most important issue facing humanity today, and I hope you will take his words to heart. 

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    Pure Curiosity: Shawn Alex Nemeth on Childhood Trauma & The Power of Forgiveness

    In this episode of Pure Curiosity, Shawn Nemeth, a coach, speaker, and founder of the Chester Street Foundation, discusses his triumph over a traumatic and abusive childhood. We discuss the importance of taking responsibility for our recovery, the magic of forgiveness, and the healing power of sharing our stories. Shawn generously shares with us important scientific research as well as his heartfelt personal testimony.

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    Pure Curiosity: Dr. Sandra Aamodt on Why Diets Make us Fat

    Several years ago I read an article in the New York Times by Dr. Sandra Aamodt that made me feel like it was Christmas morning. It was the first time I had seen a legitimate scientist say authoritatively that dieting is completely counterproductive, and in many cases damaging. This was something I knew already, after years of bulimia and yo-yo dieting, but no one had ever articulated the principles I discovered in my own path to healing so well. When her book Why Diets Make us Fat came out, I rushed to buy it, and I think it is a truly groundbreaking book. I couldn't recommend it more highly, and I was thrilled that Dr. Aamodt was willing to join me for this podcast! I am a huge fan of hers, and can't wait to see what she creates in the future!

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