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. Don Vaughn on The Social Dilemma, Free Will & The 2020 Election

    In this episode of Pure Curiosity, Neuroscientist Dr. Don Vaughn weighs in on The Social Dilemma, and answers a very important question: can technology help us overcome tech addiction? It might sound counterintuitive, but he offers a very compelling argument. We also discuss his research on empathy, and address the age old question of free will. Lastly we review the findings of his latest polling technology, which predicted a much closer race than any other national poll. Dr. Vaughn is, in my opinion, one of the brightest minds out there. I'm always interested in and impressed by his analysis of complex issues, and I believe you will be as well. 

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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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    Pure Curiosity: Jake Heilbrunn on Transforming Anxiety into Passion

    Jake Heilbrunn was suffering from crippling anxiety before embarking on a life-changing trip to South America. His experience during his travels connected him to his passion for helping others, so when he returned he began speaking and writing about his journey. Jake is now an extremely accomplished public speaker, author and mental health advocate, helping young people all over the world find their passions and overcome their fears.

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    Pure Curiosity: Natalie Ginsberg on MDMA Assisted Psychotherapy, Psychedelics & a New Paradigm of Medicine

    When most people hear the term "psychedelic" it tends to conjure up images of tie dye and Woodstock at best, and people winding up homeless or losing their minds at worst. The media backlash after the 60's, and the war on drugs did a great job distorting the public's conception of these substances. What if I told you that despite what you may have heard, psychedelics may be the world's most powerful tool for healing trauma and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder? That over 60% of people could be completely PTSD free after just 3 sessions? The research being done at the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is showing us just that.

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    Pure Curiosity: Coach & Author Joie Seldon on Mastering our Emotions

    Even though we've had them our entire lives, emotions confound just about all of us at times.  Joy, anger, sadness, fear...they can seemingly come out of nowhere, and often defy logic.  Thankfully, there are people like Joie Seldon who have made it their life's work to help us navigate choppy emotional waters with grace and understanding.  In this podcast, we discuss emotions on many different levels and at multiple scales.   Joie offers helpful tangible examples, and practical exercises from her practice as a coach and work as an author.  If you have emotions--and if you're reading this, that's you--you'll benefit from Joie's wisdom!

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    Pure Curiosity: Dr. Adam Gazzaley on Digital Medicine and the Future of Mental Health

    What if you could play a fun, intelligent, self-adapting video game to treat your ADHD or depression? What if a psychiatrist's office was no longer just a place to get pills, but a place to lay back and immerse yourself in a Virtual Reality treatment environment? It sounds like science fiction, but neurologist/neuroscientist Dr. Adam Gazzaley is working to make these things a reality. In this episode of Pure Curiosity, Adam describes his cutting-edge research and the future of digital medicine, including the development of what will likely be the world's first prescribable video game! The future is very bright indeed.

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    Pure Curiosity: Stephen Pfleiderer - An Interventionist's Take on Addiction & Recovery

    Over 20 million people over the age of 12 struggle with addiction in the United States alone (and that doesn't even include tobacco). Despite its prevalence, addiction is still considered taboo, and the stigma attached remains strong. As with most things that are kept under wraps, there are a ton of misconceptions about addiction and recovery. In this podcast I speak with Stephen Pfleiderer, a recovered addict, recovery coach and interventionist in San Francisco, and he shares his thoughts on these complex issues.

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    Pure Curiosity: Jamie Thompson on Partnership, Boundaries and Working From Home

    In this episode Jamie Thompson teaches us about boundary setting, accountability, and managing romantic partnerships while building a business or working from home. Whether you are in a romantic partnership, a business partnership (or both), work for yourself, or think you might in the future, this conversation will be relevant for you.

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    Pure Curiosity: Dan Stover on Emotional Intelligence, Passion and Purpose

    Intelligence comes in many forms, and until somewhat recently, emotional intelligence has been vastly underrated. In this episode of Pure Curiosity, Dan Stover and I discuss what it takes to increase emotional intelligence, tell the truth to ourselves and each other, and live a more purposeful life. He also shares fascinating stories from his time working with Suicide Prevention and Homeboy Industries.

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    Pure Curiosity: Aaron Frank & Michael Garrett on Artificial Intelligence & Psychedelic Medicine

    In this episode of Pure Curiosity we discuss the future of humanity. In particular we talk about Artificial Intelligence as being a mirror that reflects back to us both the light and dark sides of who we are. AI is a powerful tool that simultaneously solves problems and creates new--and some might say bigger--challenges. We also discuss the role of spirituality and psychedelic medicine in this new future, and how they could play an unexpected and pivotal role in righting the ship.

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    Pure Curiosity: Dr. Sahib Khalsa on Float Therapy, Anorexia & PTSD

    This week’s episode of Pure Curiosity is all about float therapy.  Dr. Sahib Khalsa and his colleagues at the Laureate Institute for Brain research have been studying the impact of floating on mental health disorders from PTSD to Anorexia, and the results are very promising.  While trials are still in early phases, this is an important step toward understanding how this 63 year old treatment could impact modern mental health.  Not sure what floating is?  You’re not alone!  Floating has only recently become more widely known, with athletes like Steph Curry endorsing it.  To learn more about it, and how it might help you, listen in! About Our Guest: Dr. Sahib Khalsa Director of Clinical Studies, Laureate Institute for Brain Research Assistant Professor, Oxley College of Health Sciences, University of Tulsa Volunteer Faculty Member, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oklahoma ​Dr. Khalsa’s laboratory studies the heart-brain connection. Our research explores three main questions: (1) How do we feel our heartbeat? (2) Is there dysfunctional cross talk between the heart and brain in psychiatric and cardiovascular illnesses? (3) How can we develop new treatments that re-establish a functional dialogue between the heart and brain? He has published over 40 papers and abstracts, and has received research funding from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), the NIH/National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS), and the Mind and Life Foundation.   For more on Dr. Khalsa and the Laureate Institute, visit http://www.laureateinstitute.org/.

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    Pure Curiosity: David Burns on Flow, Hustle Addiction and Somatic Awareness

    In the first episode of Pure Curiosity, I talk to my friend and spiritual business coach David Burns.  We cover a wide range of topics from workaholism, to flow states, to the importance of body awareness…just to name a few. While we do encounter a few audio issues in this podcast, it’s lack of perfection certainly doesn’t take away from the quality of wisdom David shares.  If you are interested in finding more balance, presence and success in your life and/or business, this one is for you! About Our Guest: David Burns helps entrepreneurs and business leaders stop working themselves to death, through the replacement of false belief systems, habit repatterning, and shadow integration. He’s worked with Fortune 50 executives, solopreneurs, startup founders and sales teams, and is currently working on his first book about the next generation of business, titled “The Business Monk.” He’s a passionate meditator and student of intimacy work, a former addict, and a cellist. Go to TheBusinessMonk.com for more on David.

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