Episode 119: How to Build Emotional “Teflon” & Resilience in Kids

In this episode, I explain how we can help our kids to find and keep their emotional resilience, and how to create a “Teflon” for the hardships that they face, like loss, bullying, correction, and personal life storms. I explain how building secure attachment fits into that resilience. I also discuss how to help kids […]

Episode 118: Understanding Helicopter Parenting & What Style of Parenting Works Better

In this episode, I am joined by my wife, Meg, as we discuss what  helicopter parenting is and what it isn’t. I explain the 4 commonly labeled styles of parenting, and we introduce a new parenting style that I’m excited to share with you, and which can help you focus your parenting efforts with greater […]

Episode 117: How to Do a Self-Check for Mental & Emotional Health

In this episode, I explain why people fear and avoid addressing mental health. I explain the key questions that we can each ask ourselves so we can determine whether our state of mind warrants additional support from a therapist or physician. And I explain why there IS hope and a solid and clear path forward […]

Episode 116: Why Men Are Stronger with Emotions

In this episode, I discuss a popular YouTube episode I heard online that describes the world trying to make men soft and weak and brainwashed with emotion and emotional sensitivity. I discuss that popular mentality, and I explain the reality of emotional intelligence. I make the case for how emotion makes men, and women, even […]

Episode 115: Parenting High-Emotion Kids

In this episode, my wife, Meg, & I talk about parenting high-emotion kids. We discuss origins of our kids’ emotional outbursts, how our own reactions can calm or elevate those emotions, and the role of empathy in our parenting response. We’ll dispel myths about emotion and offer hope for any parent who struggles — because […]

Episode 114: Keys to Undoing Loneliness

In a recent study, loneliness was declared a public health epidemic. In this episode, I summarize the main points of this study and I discuss how to foster deeper connection despite ongoing feelings of loneliness. I explain why we need to heal our attachment to ourselves, how to achieve the self-clarity this requires, and why […]

Episode 113: Why Try Therapy? Q&A About How Therapy Works

In this episode, my producer, Richie T. Steadman, joins me to ask me the questions people often want to know about what therapy is, how it works, and what to expect. I talk openly about how to choose a therapist, how to bring a reluctant loved one to therapy, when to do therapy and when […]

Episode 112: The Gift of Reconciliation

In this episode, I discuss the concept of reconciliation— what it means and why it’s worth it. I describe the difference between proactive and reactive responses to emotion, why reconciliation is actually a gift, and how to extend empathetic invitations to restore connection. Give it a listen! Enjoy the show ? Don’t miss an episode, […]

Episode 111: 7 Invisible Signs of Anxiety & Depression

In this episode, I discuss how depression and anxiety often may slide under our radar, in those we love, and even in ourselves, and why that happens so often. I explain the importance of emotional fluency to mental health, how to ask meaningful questions when our loved ones may be hurting, and 7 signs of […]

Episode 110: The Secret to Repairing Trust

In this episode, I’m discussing how to rebuild and repair trust that has been broken. Through several family and parenting examples with teens, I describe how these principles apply to intimate partnerships and other close relationships. I discuss common patterns of repair that ultimately backfire, and how to effect organic change and foster maturity in […]

Episode 109: A Framework for Resolutions

In this episode, I introduce a framework to effectively guide healthy goal and resolution making, no matter when we get started on our goals. I discuss 4 key framework elements that allow us to focus on process and measure true, lasting growth. Then I’ll dig into the whys behind our significant need for emotional fluency […]

Episode 108: Couples Communication: Struggles & Solutions

In this episode, my wife Meghan joins me as we discuss common communication struggles in long-term committed relationships. We talk openly about our own communication pitfalls, our personal relational needs, and our varying processing styles. Then we’ll discuss how to harness vulnerability and why empathy is the best path for reaching meaningful solutions. Give it […]

Episode 107: How to Undo Black & White Thinking Patterns

In this episode, I chat about “black and white thinking,” or thinking in extremes. I discuss why we slip into patterns of polarized thought, and I give practical steps that can help us change these patterns. Give it a listen! Enjoy the show ? Don’t miss an episode, follow on And subscribe via

Episode 106: How to Beat the Comparison Game

In this episode, I discuss why we play the comparison game, the many types of comparison we fall into, and how we can do better. I explain four underlying lies that accompany self-comparison and then give four key tools to free ourselves from its grip and feel true joy in our lives. Enjoy the show […]

Episode 105: Mom Guilt & the Power of Empathy

In this episode, my wife joins me to talk about mom guilt and how empathy helps both partners undo it. We discuss the thought patterns that can lead to spiraling, how to validate each other’s struggles, and the role of empathy as we seek to help our partner feel through their overwhelm. Give it a […]

Episode 104: Productivity—What It Is & What It Shouldn’t Be

In this episode, I discuss true productivity and how it relates to creating more meaning in our lives. I tackle cultural assumptions of what productivity is and redefine productivity as it relates to emotional health and happiness. I also give four key factors for harnessing our effort so that it pays off better and sustains […]

Episode 103: How to Feel Capable—Even When It Seems Out of Reach

In this episode, I discuss how we can find our hope, even in the face of overwhelm and emotional strain. I mention why our emotions matter, where our power and control really lie, and how to tap into that power to realize the exceptional capacity we already have. Give it a listen! Enjoy the show […]

Episode 102: Explaining Bipolar & Borderline

In this episode, I’m joined again by Dr. Michael Voss as we discuss the realities and misconceptions of two often-mislabeled diagnoses: Bipolar Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder. We explain the core realities of both diagnoses, including origin, effective treatment strategies, and tips for family members. Give it a listen! Enjoy the show ? Don’t miss […]

Episode 101: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

In this episode, I’m joined by board-certified psychiatrist Dr. Michael Voss as we talk about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: what it is and what it isn’t. We discuss signs & symptoms of OCD, as well as effective medical and therapeutic treatments, and we distinguish between Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Obsessive Compulsive Personality, three […]

Episode 100: The Dangers of Mental Health Self-Diagnosis

For this 100th episode, I discuss why we need to be more cautious when it comes to self-diagnosis of mental health conditions. I discuss why teenagers can be particularly susceptible to mislabeling (and why that matters), why misdiagnosis impacts our ability to empathize, and how mental health in social media can create polarized thinking patterns. […]

Episode 99: Feeling Invisible & How to Feel Seen

In this episode, I discuss the experience of feeling invisible and how we can change it for ourselves and others. I explain why it’s so common to feel unseen, suggest three ways in which we can help ourselves feel seen, and explain the importance of intentionally reaching out to those around us. Give it a […]

Episode 98: The Science of Gratitude

In this episode, I chat with Dr. Ken Parnell about current research on the science of gratitude. We discuss the wide-reaching psychological benefits of gratitude, the role of gratitude in emotional & physical intimacy, and why flexibility is a pillar of psychological health. Give it a listen! Enjoy the show ? Don’t miss an episode, […]

Episode 97: Grief, Loss, & Meaning

In this episode, I’m joined by Monica, as we talk about grief & her journey. We discuss the many emotional sides of grief; how to navigate life & mitigate triggers associated with grieving; what to say (& what not to say) to support loved ones who carry the weight of loss; and where to find […]

Episode 96: Talking Our Kids Through Disappointment

In this episode, I tackle how to talk our kids through the inevitable disappointments they will face. Watching our children suffer is never easy, no matter what age they are. I discuss common survival patterns parents fall into & why these patterns backfire. Then I outline a 6-step response pattern that will not only build […]

Episode 95: How to Be Direct without Being Reactionary

In this episode, I discuss how to speak out about important issues without falling into the pitfalls of being reactionary. I make a distinction between being direct & being blunt, I discuss the importance of allowing for redemption in our relationships, and I explain why empathy allows us to speak truth to each other in […]

Episode 94: How to Develop Closeness with Yourself & Others

In this episode, I’m talking about relationships: with others and with ourselves. I discuss 3 tools for bringing ourselves into better focus, and then I touch on the unintended distancing we create through people-pleasing and how we can invite closer relationships with the people around us. Give it a listen! Enjoy the show ? Don’t […]

Episode 93: Transitions & Vulnerability

In this episode, I discuss how exercising vulnerability can help us better manage difficult transitions we face in life. I explain the power of willful vulnerability and owning our emotional experiences, how to effectively deal with multiple stressors at once, and the importance of giving ourselves grace throughout our process. Give it a listen! Enjoy […]

Episode 92: Parenting Neurodiverse Children

Spoiler Alert! Despite the title, this episode applies to ALL of us as parents and connectors. In this episode, I chat with Callie about her experiences as a parent of multiple neurodiverse children. She describes the varied ways in which her children received their diagnoses, her role as a parent, and the effects of such […]

Episode 91: Undoing Emotional Triggers & Healing Addiction-The Waterfall Metaphor

In this episode, I explain the waterfall metaphor as a way to frame our feelings and empower better emotional wellness. I discuss the realities of addiction & how to heal our many kinds of survivalistic coping methods, how to effectively undo emotional triggers, and why treating emotions as our allies lies at the core of […]

Episode 90: FOMO & How to Get Past It

In this episode, I’m talking FOMO, the Fear of Missing Out, and how to utilize our time—and our summers—to our best advantage. I discuss the many consequences of a FOMO-infused culture, including varied ways in which it has affected my own life, and I outline how intentional connection can help us move past the anxious […]

Episode 89: 6 Ways to Build & Keep Momentum in Life

In this episode, I discuss how to move our lives forward in small, actionable steps that help us build and keep momentum. I chat about the importance of asking deeper questions & living by process, how to feel on purpose & get out of survival/superficial mode, and what true courage looks like. Give it a […]

Episode 88: When Extended Family Dynamics Affect Your Kids

In this episode, I discuss how to explain difficult (perhaps even impossible) extended family dynamics to your kids without throwing them into the fray. I explain the difference between reactivity and proactivity, how to avoid weaponizing our emotions, and why it’s so important to model emotional fluency for our kids, even in the midst of […]

Episode 87: Adapting to Challenges by Leaning into Them

In this Father’s Day episode, I’m joined by Kolette Hall, co-author of the book, Messy Victories, to discuss her powerful story of married life and parenting with her quadriplegic husband, Jason Hall.  We chat about the book that she and her husband wrote, and she describes from her own powerful experience how each of us […]

Episode 86: Reevaluating Our Estranged Relationships

In this episode, I discuss how to navigate relationships that may have gone sour over time or circumstance. I make a case for dismissing our internalized guilt, I discuss the role of empathy in boundary-keeping, and I give two key questions to ask yourself when faced with communicating through strained family relationships. Give it a […]

Episode 85: Shedding Self-Destructive Paradigms

In this episode, I’m joined by singer/songwriter Cheri Magill to discuss letting go of destructive paradigms. We chat about undoing emotional fears, the importance of self-compassion, and how to model healthy emotional habits for our children. Give it a listen, and be sure to check out Cheri’s new album, Songs from My Backpack! Enjoy the […]

Episode 84: Self-Sabotage & How to Avoid It

In this episode, I discuss self-sabotage— what it is and how to root it out. I explain how to identify emotional triggers, the value of sitting with our emotions, and the importance of giving ourselves room to grow into healthier patterns. Give it a listen! Enjoy the show ? Don’t miss an episode, follow on […]

Episode 83: Parenting Adult Children

In this episode, I chat with Jeanne about the inherent struggles of parenting adult children. We discuss the challenges of mentoring in this phase of parenting, how to make space for the lives and choices of our adult children even when they may not reflect our long-held expectations, and the hope and empathy that comes […]

Episode 82: Forgiving the People We Don’t See

In this episode, I discuss how to forgive those with whom we have limited or no contact. I review the staircase to forgiveness, explain how to effectively engage in empathy for long-term healing, and discuss how to take back our emotional control in healthy, meaningful ways. Give it a listen! Enjoy the show ? Don’t […]

Episode 81: What Is Gaslighting?

In this episode, I discuss gaslighting—what it is, and what we can do with it. I explain the history of the term itself, how to recognize this kind of emotional abuse in a relationship, and I give tips for restoring relational balance and emotional health. Give it a listen! Enjoy the show ? Don’t miss […]

Episode 80: The Teen Boy Perspective

In this episode, I chat with fifteen-year-old Noah about his perspective on the teen experience. We discuss the effects of social media, the importance of friends and finding your passions, and how to be humble, even when we don’t want to be. As a child of divorced parents, Noah also gives excellent insights for both […]

Episode 79: When Disappointment Runs Deep

In this episode, I discuss how to cope when even the anchors in our lives get pulled, leaving us floundering and overwhelmed. I give four tips to endure such jolting experiences, to find peace despite uncertainty, and to allow emotions to inform, rather than overwhelm, your thoughts. Give it a listen! Enjoy the show ? […]

Episode 78: Parenting Teen & Tween Girls

In this episode, I’m joined by therapist Kate Alcamo to discuss how parents can help their teen & tween daughters thrive. We discuss how to create open lines of communication, tips for establishing healthy body image, and why learning to embrace short-term discomfort can lead to long-term benefits in our children’s lives. Give it a […]

Episode 77: How to Prevent Relationship Regret

In this episode, I chat about what makes and breaks a relationship and how to avoid common pitfalls. I discuss codependency vs. effective dependence, the healing power of vulnerability, and the real meaning of love in lasting relationships. Give it a listen! Enjoy the show ? Don’t miss an episode, follow on And subscribe via

Episode 76: Parenting Myths & Finding Meaning

In this episode, I debunk several parenting “untruths,” including the prevailing idea that “more is better” in the parenting world. I discuss various popular parenting myths and their realities, explain effective emotional processing with kids, and discuss how to develop an attachment-based parenting style that focuses on true, lasting meaning. Give it a listen! Enjoy […]

Episode 75: Emotional Paralysis & How to Get Unstuck

In this episode, I’m discussing emotional paralysis and how to free ourselves from feeling stuck, regardless of our circumstances. I discuss five underlying needs that feed into emotional paralysis, how to fill those needs, and the importance of tapping into our emotions to give our lives deeper context and meaning. Give it a listen! Enjoy […]

Episode 74: Boundaries & Burnout

In this episode, I discuss boundaries and their role in mitigating feelings of resentment and burnout. I explain how to know when boundaries are necessary, the fears we often face in setting boundaries, and how facing those fears and recognizing our own needs can actually draw us closer to those we love. Give it a […]

Episode 73: Short & Sweet Valentines Tips

In this episode, I discuss 6 tips to make your Valentines Day more meaningful, regardless of your budget or personal situation. I’ll chat about connection and vulnerability, the true meaning of romance, and how to better see each other three-dimensionally and with grace. Give it a listen! Enjoy the show ? Don’t miss an episode, […]

Episode 72: Suicide & Self-Harm

In this episode, I’m joined by Dr. Michael Voss to discuss the realities of self-harm and suicide, and how families and friends can best help those who suffer. We discuss the underlying motivational structure of self-harm, the complexities of suicidality and its relationship with self-harm, the many resources available and when to seek such resources, […]

Episode 71: Talking to Kids about Pornography

In this episode, I’m joined by sex therapist Braxton Dutson to discuss how to address pornography with kids and teens. We chat about when and how to start sexual conversations, what not to do, and how to seek real understanding, even in the midst of the most awkward or difficult sexual questions. Give it a […]

Episode 70: Riot & Understanding

In the wake of a tumultuous year and a difficult new year, I discuss how to bridge the divide with the many people around us who think differently than we do. Rather than distancing ourselves from our neighbors, family, and friends, I discuss the importance of reaching out, acknowledging the good, and loving anyway. Extending […]

Episode 69: Solving our Struggles BETTER by Seeing Them for What They Are

In this New Years episode, I discuss the problems in our lives and relationships that we may have mislabeled. I talk about how to recognize what is beneath our struggles that upset us, the process of how to better address them, and how seeing ourselves 3-dimensionally can help us get out of our own way […]

Episode 68: Even Astronauts Have Feelings

In this episode, I chat with Lincoln, my 9 year-old son, about his take on big emotions and living our best lives. We discuss how he manages those big emotions, how parents can help kids open up, and what it means to feel loved. Prunes, moms escaping to closets, and astronauts might also sneak into […]

Episode 67: Just Keep Swimming

In this episode, I discuss ways in which we can retake control of our emotional lives, even if we feel trapped in our current situations. I chat about the power of nostalgia, identifying our needs in order to better meet them, and the importance of being intentional with our time and connection. Give it a […]

Episode 66: Anxiety and Depression Q&A

In this episode, I ask my brother, psychiatrist Dr. Michael Voss, all about the medical side of anxiety & depression diagnosis. We discuss the relationship between therapy & medication to address anxiety/depression, how to recognize common experience vs. clinical diagnosis, what’s happening in the brain & how anxiety/depression medication works, and the immense hope and […]

Episode 65: Blended, Mixed, & Happy

In this episode, I chat with content creators Chelsie & Bedford Dort about the complexities that come with being a blended, mixed family in the social media spotlight. We discuss the realities and struggles of marriage (& remarriage with kids), the power of loving anyway, and how to stay focused on the people who matter […]

Episode 64: Kicking the People-Pleasing Habit

In this episode, I discuss the realities of people-pleasing—where it stems from and how to curb it in healthy ways. I mention root issues that often result in people-pleasing, how to distinguish between real compassion/empathy & unhealthy patterns, and tips for undoing self-sabotaging habits while also nurturing greater connection with those we love. Give it […]

Episode 63: How to Forgive Ourselves (Even When We Don’t Want To)

In this episode, I’m talking about how to be patient with our own growth curve and push against the brutal thought patterns we often inflict upon ourselves. I discuss how to aim for the right stars, real ways to forgive ourselves, and how focusing on healthy process will lead to the meaningful, lasting outcomes we […]

Episode 62: Adjusting to an Ordinary Life

In this episode, I discuss how to find personal fulfillment, regardless of whether we succeed or fail in our own personal checklists. I identify three core means of measuring our ultimate life meaning, how to pair ambition with outcomes that we can’t control, and the value in our attempts to make lemonade out of the […]

Episode 61: Empathy 2.0

In this episode, I discuss how to take empathy to the next level in our relationships and daily interactions. I explain how loving people as if they were in crisis can guide us to love better, and I outline three categories of empathetic living that will help us to “become empathy” at our core. Give […]

Episode 60: Dating After 30- Part Two

In this episode, I chat with Rachel about staying hopeful in the dating process. We discuss tips for online dating profiles, the importance of slowing down, and how to keep from becoming jaded while remaining true to our authentic selves. Give it a listen (and share with the single people you love)! Enjoy the show […]

Episode 59: The Art of Measured Advocacy

In this episode, I discuss how to lean into political and other difficult conversations without sacrificing our personal relationships. While many of us vacillate between lashing out and remaining silent, I discuss the importance of inviting measured conversation, how to hold to a platform without injuring the opposition, and why empathy will allow us to […]

Episode 58: Juggling a Full Plate (or three!)

In this episode, I chat with mom & entrepreneur Vanessa Quigley about juggling multiple responsibilities in the midst of the hectic pace of life. We discuss crafting a narrative that matches our best selves, the struggles of maintaining connection in the midst of stress & overwhelm, and how to let our imperfections be part of […]

Episode 57: Self-Care & Couples Relationships

In this episode, I chat with LMFT therapist Janey Komm about the role of self-care as a means for greater connection. We discuss what healthy self-care looks like; the importance of finding, maintaining, and meaningfully sharing our own personal voice; and how rediscovering ourselves and our relationships can help us find the connection we’ve always […]

Episode 56: How to Assess Our Own Emotional Health

In this episode, I explain how we can check in on our own emotional health— what to ask, what to consider, and how to find emotional stability despite unsteady circumstances. I discuss the importance of hope, how willful vulnerability can give space for meaningful empathy, and why the healthiest method of controlling our life may, […]

Episode 55: How to Talk to Kids about Sex

In this episode, sex therapist Braxton Dutson and I discuss healthy ways in which parents can address sexual topics with kids and teens. We discuss age-appropriate ways to talk about sexual topics, how to tackle sexuality in media, and the importance of connection and curiosity to help us stay calm in even the most difficult […]

Episode 54: Exiting the Echo Chamber

In this episode, I discuss strategies for engaging in civil discourse about emotional topics, specifically when it comes to political and other charged conversations. I discuss how to be principled without being rigid, passionate without being reactive, and how we can grow in empathy for others while holding fast to both our principles and our […]

Episode 53: Navigating Life’s Transitions

In this episode, I chat with friend and fellow therapist Jen Fairbourn about how to face difficult life transitions in healthy ways. We discuss how to help teens and adult children navigate life changes, healthy methods of managing our own perspectives in the midst of seemingly impossible life shifts, and how empathy and connection can […]

Episode 52: Divorce & Co-parenting

Navigating divorce is hard enough, and doing so with kids in the mix is even more heart-wrenching and complicated. In this episode, I discuss how to help children feel safe in the midst of trauma, cooperative vs. parallel co-parenting, the importance of setting healthy boundaries, and healthy ways to stop swinging the passive/aggressive pendulum. Give […]

Episode 51: The Art of Disappointment

In this episode, I discuss how to overcome the fear of feeling deeply in order to better navigate the lose-lose situations we invariably experience in life. I explain how to feel through our disappointments in order to become less reactive, less impulsive, and ultimately, more emotionally fluent with ourselves and those we love. Give it […]

Episode 50: Impostor Syndrome & Happy Podcast Birthday!

It’s been a year since we launched, so my wife joined me in this episode to talk about imposter syndrome and following our passions. We chat about how to rewrite our negative personal narratives, the importance of giving ourselves permission to be human, and the essential relationship between true feeling and success. Give it a […]

Episode 49: How to Help When a Loved One Flounders

In this episode, I discuss how to best help struggling loved ones without destroying our own emotional well-being in the process. I outline how to engage our empathy, face emotions proactively, and inspire real, lasting change in those we love. Give it a listen! Enjoy the show ? Don’t miss an episode, follow on And […]

Episode 48: The Emotional Underpinnings of Disordered Eating

In this episode, I’m joined by Catherine Brown, a writer and eating disorder survivor, to discuss emotions, responses, and hope for healing from disordered eating. We chat about the emotional basis of eating disorders, effective ways to reach out to friends and family who struggle, and how to help our teenage children better navigate their […]

Episode 47: How We Really Can Make Emotions Our Ally

In this episode, I discuss how to channel our emotions and allow them to inform us, regardless of how difficult they may be. I recognize the reality and prevalence of depression and mood disorders, explain how to honor our emotional experience without letting our emotions drive us, and give my definition of what true joy […]

Episode 46: Dating after 30

In this episode, I’m joined by Dave, a friend and colleague, to chat about navigating singlehood in a world built for pairs. We discuss the inherent challenges of maintaining visibility and authenticity, becoming our best selves regardless of relationship status, and the benefits of improving our emotional vocabulary to allow ourselves to be vulnerable. Give […]

Episode 45: How to Develop Resilience in the Face of Disappointment

In this episode, I get personal while discussing resilience in the face of extreme disappointment. Through my own experience, I discuss three tips for developing personal resilience, why holding still poses an even greater risk than gently stepping forward, and the power that comes with allowing ourselves to feel our emotions more fully. Give it […]

Episode 44: The Many Sides of Fatherhood

In this episode, I’m joined by James to chat about his varied life experiences as a son, a father, a single dad, and now a stepfather. We discuss James’s difficult experiences with his own father, navigating divorce as a dad, and how to stay grounded in what’s most important, even when life knocks you sideways. […]

Episode 43: Meeting Your Partner’s Needs (& Getting Your Own Needs Met)

In this episode, I’m talking healthy expectations for meeting needs in a relationship. I discuss the importance of willful vulnerability, how to distinguish between needs and deal-breakers, and how to be perfectly engaged, even without perfect circumstance. Give it a listen! Enjoy the show ? Don’t miss an episode, follow on And subscribe via

Episode 42: Depression & Anxiety in Marriage Relationships

In this episode, I’m chatting again with Ty about how his experiences battling depression & anxiety & finding help have shaped his recent marriage. We discuss vulnerability & communicating emotion, how to approach depression & anxiety as a couple, and why going through the fire can actually make your family & relationship that much stronger. […]

Episode 41: Communicating with Empathy

In this episode, I discuss how to foster greater empathy in our conversations and interactions. I’ll outline the steps needed to ultimately effect healthy communication even when we disagree, how to be proactive rather than reactive emotionally, and how to let empathy be our vehicle as we seek to better understand and move forward together. […]

Episode 40: PTSD—It’s Not What You Think

While PTSD is often associated with combat or horrific life experiences, trauma and its effects in our lives are, in fact, much more common than we realize. In this episode, I’m joined by Dr. Sean Davis to discuss the definition of trauma, its widespread impacts, the power of acknowledging our own vulnerability in the midst […]

Episode 39: The Myth of Perfection

n this episode, I address what perfectionism is and isn’t and how to mitigate unhealthy effects of perfectionism in our lives and the lives of those we love. I’ll discuss red flags, the power of unconditional empathy, and how fueling passions can help foster a healthier connection to self and allow us greater peace and […]

Episode 38: The Impact of Women

In this Mother’s Day episode, I’m joined by Andrea Reeve & Brittany Richman, co-creators of The American Moms website, to talk about the incredible—yet all-too-often overlooked—impact of women in families, society, and the world. We chat about influential American women in history, how their lives relate to the experience of women today, and the extraordinary […]

Episode 37: Marriage & Motherhood

As we lead up to Mother’s Day, we’re chatting this week with Tara Carson, founder of The Dating Divas website, about marriage, parenthood, and her own infertility journey. We discuss self-care, the emotional underpinnings of libido, and the importance of making time for your partner, especially when you’re thick in the throes of parenthood. Give […]

Episode 36: Finding Balance in Stormy Times

In this episode, I’m joined by Sherry, a mother and photographer currently balancing home, work, and school life. Together we’ll talk about balance, dark moments, finding self-worth despite the sometimes terrible storms of life, and how such moments can shape our decisions and help us better see who we truly are. You won’t forget this […]

Episode 35: Too Much Together-Time???

How close is too close? Whether it’s the proximity of quarantine, empty-nest syndrome, or job shifts, more time together does not always equal more connection with our partner. In this episode, I discuss the relational importance of traditions and feeding nostalgia, how to lean into our own core emotions and those of our partner, and […]

Episode 34: Money & Marriage

Studies show that couples fight at least three times a month about financially-related issues. In this episode, I discuss how to make finances a unifying factor in marriage, rather than a divisive element. I’ll describe unhealthy communication patterns couples often fall into, how to avoid such patterns, and how to use empathy to make both […]

Episode 33: Battling Anxiety & Depression

In this episode, Ty, a former client, shares how he recognized, faced, and ultimately overcame his personal battle with anxiety and depression. We discuss the connections between emotional health and self-motivation, why vulnerability and emotion are a worthwhile risk, and how facing our struggles head on can ultimately help us find our voice. Enjoy the […]

Episode 32: Creativity Amid Crisis

In this episode, I’m joined by Phil & Julie Berry, both award-winning creative professionals, to chat about the power of creativity in the midst of the struggles of life. We discuss their creative journeys, what often keeps us from reaching our creative goals, and how to foster creative drive without sacrificing our most important relationships. […]

Episode 31: How to Live by Intention, Rather than Scrambling for Results

How do we best gauge our success when our world is in upheaval? In this episode, I tackle the question of how to focus on process and intention, rather than results. I chat about the things we can and can’t control, what it means to live by connection, and why doing so will ultimately lead […]

Episode 30: What to Do When Teen/Adult Kids Go Off the Rails

Watching our teen (and adult) kids make unwise decisions or face intense struggles can be heart-wrenching, frustrating, and even embarrassing. In this episode, Dr. Sean Davis joins me again to discuss the best ways to help lift the burdens our kids carry and how a focus on the fundamentals can help us better see the […]

Episode 29: How to Fight Well

Conflict is an inevitable part of life, even within the healthiest relationships. In this episode, I point out red flags, explain the difference between healthy fighting and abuse, give tips to help kids feel safe amidst parental conflict, and outline the core relationship principles that will not only help us fight with our partner in […]

Episode 28: Pop Music & Relationships

We’re shaking things up this week with an episode discussing pop music and relationships. I’m joined by Rich & Celeste Davis, hosts of the Marriage Theraoke Podcast, a podcast that analyzes relationship messages in pop songs and then rewrites the songs accordingly. We chat about how their podcast came to be, how popular music can […]

Episode 27: How to Find, and Be, a Good Partner

In this episode, I discuss dating from multiple angles, from tips for online dating, to building trust with a partner, to the most important questions to ask before making a long-term commitment. Whether you’re single, just starting out, or in a committed relationship, this episode will help you recognize and cultivate healthy patterns of emotional […]

Episode 26: Crafting Questions for Connection

In this episode, I discuss how to craft questions that inspire real connection with those around us. I’ll chat about the kinds of questions that help others feel safe, the importance of paying attention to the comfort levels of those around us, and how real empathy speaks louder than perfect execution. Give it a listen! […]

Episode 25: The Seasons of Marriage

In this Valentines week episode, I’m joined again by Dr. Sean Davis as we discuss the life of a marriage. Research points to the fact that most long-term marriages follow a “seasonal” pattern. We chat about what each season looks like, how to recognize the transitions, and what we can do to better feel peace […]

Episode 24: Identity Awareness

As Valentines Day approaches and reminds many of us of what we lack, we’re focusing this week on some of the single most important aspects of who we truly are, regardless of our relationship status. We’ll dig into what our self-worth truly entails, how to identify and cultivate our true selves, and how to better […]

Episode 23: Keeping Childhood Magical

That truly is the question for many young parents these days. In this episode, I’m joined by Katie T. Christiansen, founder of Preschool Inspirations, to discuss whether preschool is really necessary, emotional wellness for the littlest ones in our lives, and how even the most exhausted parents can still make childhood magical. Give it a […]

Episode 22: How to NOT Raise Entitled Kids

Whether we’re talking about our own kids or our neighbors’ kids, entitlement has become a buzz word these days. In this episode, I explain what entitlement is, where it stems from, and I offer parents hands-on tools to help their kids avoid it—or more accurately, to develop beyond it, regardless of what age their kids […]

Episode 21: Body Image & Intimacy

In this episode, I chat with Dr. Sean Davis, a leading researcher in the field of marriage & family therapy, about the links between physical and emotional self-image and how they show up in our most intimate relationships. We chat about the importance of emotional connection and how such openness can help us draw closer […]

Episode 20: A Resolution to Connect

Happy New Year! In this episode, I make a case for having Connection be your 2020 theme. I talk about the importance of process over outcome, how to better connect with yourself (and not just through self-care!) and how to connect better with those you love. Give it a listen! Enjoy the show ? Don’t […]

Episode 19: Hope in the Trenches

In the last episode of 2019, I chat with author J. Scott Savage about finding hope even in the trenches of our lives. A master storyteller, Savage draws on his personal and career experience to remind us that failure is not the end of the road, but rather a necessary bend in it. Don’t miss […]

Episode 18: How to Be Emotionally Vunerable—and Still Function

In this episode, I tackle the topic of facing our unfaceable emotions—the overwhelming waves of grief, hurt, discouragement, or whatever else that seem like they will drown us if we give them space in our everyday lives. I explain where so much of this fear comes from, why survival is normal but may be unhealthy […]

Episode 17: The #MOMGUILT Episode

Buckle up, because this episode is for every parent, grandparent, or guardian who has ever experienced the oh-so-familiar guilt of not being enough, not doing enough, or not starting your child’s therapy fund (thanks to your own mistakes!) early enough. We’ve ALL felt it. Where does it come from? When is it justified? How do […]

Episode 16: Through the Eyes of a Marriage Therapist

In this episode, I chat with marriage therapist Dr. John Brailsford about compassion and vulnerability, when it’s most meaningful for a couple to get help, and how to know when you and your partner are headed in the right direction. Give it a listen! Enjoy the show ? Don’t miss an episode, follow on And […]

Episode 15: Real Bonding (Even with Extended Family!) at the Holidays

In this episode, I discuss how to make holiday time together with family and friends mean more than just time. We want to share memories, we want to build bond. But sometimes all we actually share is space. I explain how to build connection during our holiday gatherings, even if our friends and family don’t […]

Episode 14: When Marriage Gets Rocky

No relationship is perfect, and even the best marriages face rocky periods. In this episode, I chat with Richie, a former client, about his experience in a former marriage. We talk codependency, unhealthy patterns, how to come back to the table and find healing (there is hope!), and how to heal even if the marriage […]

Episode 13: How to Forgive When Hurt Runs Deep

In this episode, I discuss how we can get closer to our partners and loved ones by bringing forgiveness to the equation. We all talk about it, we ask for it, but we don’t always know how to actually forgive, especially when our hurt runs deep. I explain what is, and what isn’t, forgiveness. And […]

Episode 12: How to Cope with Toxic People

As the holidays approach, I discuss how to navigate the complicated, messy, and at times, toxic relationships that we often face: be they family, work, or community-based. I discuss how to better understand ourselves, as well as the people we may find ourselves struggling to love, and I give tools for staying true to our […]

Episode 11: What to Do When Kids Go to Extremes

In this episode, I discuss hands-on tools for talking with our kids when they have big emotions and when they go to extreme statements and threats because of those emotions. We don’t have to be afraid, and there really are meaningful things we can do to help. I discuss what to say to our kids […]

Episode 10: Intentional Parenting

In this episode, I interview Sarah, a therapy client and single mom who has learned through hard experience how to be there for her kids when circumstances are hard. We discuss how we can CARE for our kids without CARRYING their emotions. We talk about making self-care intentional. And we discuss respecting the emotions of […]

Episode 9: Parenting Difficult Teens

In this episode, I discuss the necessary pieces to getting our teens to HEAR us and to WANT to connect, rather than just hearing that we are upset, that we are right, and that they’re the problem. I discuss how empathy requires no mutual agreement on a topic in order to function well. And I […]

Episode 8: Parenting Matters

In this episode, I chat with Nikki Harmon, a gifted LMFT Therapist, about some of the things that matter most when it comes to parenting. We talk shame and emotion and how to be the calm at the center of our children’s storms. Give it a listen! Enjoy the show ? Don’t miss an episode, […]

Episode 7: The Betrayer Without a Face

In this episode, I talk with an actual client couple (whose voices have been altered to protect confidentiality). In this month of discussing addiction, they explain their journey of healing from pornography addiction as a couple. It’s powerful stuff—the perspective of a couple who has found their connection again—and healing that lasts. Give it a […]

Episode 6: The Secrets of Secret-keeping

In this episode, I respond to an emailed question from a listener named Patrick. This month’s episodes hover around the topic of addiction and how to address it. As Patrick is dealing with his own addiction to pornography, he wonders if he should tell his partner, or if he should address it on his own. […]

Episode 5: The Roots beneath Addiction

In this episode, I discuss the roots beneath addiction and addictive behavior. Though typical episodes are 20 minutes long, due to the importance of this topic, today’s episode is about 30 minutes. I explain why the root of addiction is found in attachment, how we can use that lens to more deeply understand our loved […]

Episode 4: We’re in This Life Together

In this episode, I talk with a psychiatrist, who helps people heal mental and emotional illness with medicine. He answers commonly-asked questions and addresses what people often worry about when it comes to getting help. He discusses whether medication really works, and how we can better understand the clinical help that is available to us. […]

Episode 3: Why Couples Therapy?

In this episode, I talk with an actual client couple (whose voices have been altered to protect confidentiality), and they discuss how they knew they needed therapy, what it was like, and how it helped their relationship heal. Give it a listen! Enjoy the show ? Don’t miss an episode, follow on And subscribe via

Episode 2: Empathy As a Currency

In this episode, I respond to an emailed question from a listener, Thomas, who wants to know why he struggles to want therapy. I explain both the normalcy of getting help and the strength we can gain by using empathy to build safety and connection. Give it a listen! Enjoy the show ? Don’t miss […]

Episode 1: The Case for Attachment

Welcome to the podcast! In this episode, I briefly introduce myself and explain how our behaviors are preceded by our emotions and needs. We’ll chat about how this is the roadmap for both understanding ourselves and our loved ones, and for setting the stage for real change. Enjoy the show ? Don’t miss an episode, […]

The Emotion Ally Podcast is a bimonthly podcast that will give you direct access to a therapist in a personal, raw, and relevant way. Join me for 20-30 minutes each episode as I discuss ways to improve emotional health, strengthen relationships, and turn your emotions into a strength and asset to your life. I’ll discuss important issues I often address with my clients; answers to questions sent to me by listeners; you’ll hear interviews with clients and real folks, talking about real-life issues and how to solve them; and interviews with professionals who can meaningfully offer advice from their field. Listen in and subscribe!

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