The WhateverWorks Podcast
Your Guide to the (Surprisingly Weird and Wonderfully Effective) World of Psychotherapy
On WhateverWorks, Talia Singer, PhD, a Registered Psychotherapist, Art Therapist, and Mental Health Nurse, explores the wide, weird and wonderful world of psychotherapy. From art therapy to traditional psychological counselling — and everything in between — join Talia as she explores the myriad practices that help people improve their psychological well-being.
Each episode of WhateverWorks is edited by David Conroy and Jason Ball. The original theme music in this podcast, Universal Donor, from the album, Hopeful Monster, is written and produced by Jason Ball.
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What makes for good therapy? Is it the therapist or the type of therapy? Perhaps it’s the most affordable option out there. Or maybe it’s an unexpected and profound moment with a skilled helper. Join me as I talk to people who’ve experienced these moments with sometimes unusual and unconventional therapy techniques; Some may be familiar to you, but some are long forgotten.
WhateverWorks Episode 1: Sand Tray Therapy
Sam tells me about the unexpected moment she stood up to her mother with the guidance of her therapist. Sand Tray or Sand Play therapy is a type of expressive arts therapy that uses sand to represent the vastness of our unconscious mind. In her therapy, Sam was able to recreate a complex and challenging relationship in her life using figurines placed carefully in that sand, and finally, bury the fears of her past.
WhateverWorks Episode 2: OEI
Fatima talks about her decision to try Observed Experiential Integration (OEI) therapy after experiencing a home invasion. OEI is based on the neurological principals of our body’s response to stress. Essentially, Fatima was able to reprocess her trauma using this very sensory style of therapy. In OEI the therapist and the client are actively engaged in creating new ways for the client to move forward from a terrible experience.
WhateverWorks Episode 3: Psychoanalysis
Gloria didn’t set a goal of curing her lifelong symptoms of IBS when she first decided to go to therapy, but that is exactly what happened when she went to see a psychoanalyst. Psychoanalysis is often taught as a history lesson in the study of psychology with no indication that it’s a viable, dare I say, contemporary, and evidence-based therapy that involves a very deep relationship over a long period of time with a skilled listener.
WhateverWorks Episode 4: The Bonnie Method of Guided Imagery and Music
Kathleen, a musician and music therapist, shared with me a piece she wrote about her experience of safety and hope when she participated in a workshop on the Bonnie Method of Guided Imagery and Music (GIM). This style of therapy uses carefully curated pieces of music that are chosen to evoke a deep state of relaxation and consciousness in the participant. Throughout a GIM session, the client communicates with their therapist the images that come to their mind. Kathleen found herself transfixed by an image of a blue butterfly, guiding her, and showing her she’s not alone.
This episode features music by Kevin MacLeod, Anne van Scholhorst, Colin Carr, and the Orion String Quartet, used under the Creative Commons Attribution license. Additionally, Kathleen’s original piece titled, Blue Butterfly Improvisation, is featured throughout this episode.
WhateverWorks Episode 5: Psychodrama
For the final episode of Season 1 of WhateverWorks, I wanted to cover a group therapy method; Psychodrama.
Denise and I have been friends for about 15 years. In that time she’s always inspired me with her experiences in psychodrama. Psychodrama is an action-method, expressive arts therapy, that harnesses the power of the group in therapy to dramatize key moments for the purpose of catharsis and ultimately, healing.
Denise had such a moment in her group therapy and she’s ready to share it.