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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WhateverWorks Season 3
WhateverWorks is back for season 3 and we’ve gone international! This season we bring you stories of therapy from the United Kingdom, Israel, the United States, and of course our home base in Canada. This season of WhateverWorks is sponsored by JaneApp.
Visit JaneApp for more information on how you can bring your mental health practice online.
Season 3 Episode 1: Psychedelic Assisted Psychotherapy
Episode 1 will take you on a trip through Helena’s experience with psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. This burgeoning therapeutic modality differs from place to place depending on state or provincial laws. Some of the hallucinogenic substances most commonly used in this type of therapy are LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, and MDMA. If you’ve ever had questions about what it’s like to engage in this type of therapy Helena just might have the answer for you.
Season 3 Episode 2: Group Art Therapy
There are certain stories that we tell ourselves about events in our life that seem to pop up in our minds at the most inconvenient times. Maybe it’s that embarrassing time in gym class, a ‘sorry’ that was meant to be said but never said, or a breakup that went awry. These little novellas of torture can keep us up at night or worse, can stop us from living the life we were meant to live.
Helen was trapped in a story about what it means to be successful as a career woman. She and her therapist traced the origins of this story to the tragic loss of her mother at a young age and only then were they able to author a different telling of what success really means.
Season 3 Episode 3: EFT Tapping
American poet, Andrea Gibson said, “When your heart is broken, you plant seeds in the cracks and you pray for rain.” Heartbreak, especially romantic heartbreak can be such an intense experience that it causes physical symptoms. It is only logical then that Devorah would find healing in the physicality of EFT Tapping.
EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) was developed in 1995 by Gary Craig. It combines elements of exposure therapy, cognitive therapy, and acupressure. The research is growing in this multimodal approach to psychotherapy and Devorah has an experience to share with me.
Season 3 Episode 4: EDMR
Cathy’s journey to therapy after a long series of traumas was guided by her Christian faith. EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a technique that has been found to be highly effective for survivors of trauma; the challenge that Cathy posed to her therapist was reprocessing so much trauma. Cathy’s unshakable faith, in both her spiritual guide as well as her therapist, helped to anchor her in the process of healing.
Season 3 – Episode 5: Beyond the Bars
I have an extraordinary story to share with you. You can read the full details of this incredible story on the National Registry of Exonerations website.
In 1989 in New York State a 15-year-old girl was sadly found raped and murdered on a November day after going missing during the school day. Her then 16-year-old classmate, Jeffrey Deskovic spent 16 years behind bars on fraudulent conviction charges that were later overturned with DNA evidence that proved he was not the perpetrator.
With the help of the Innocence Project, Jeffery received compensation that not only helped to provide the psychotherapy supports he needed, including EMDR after his release, but helped him to attend law school and become a member of the New York State Bar Association. Jeffrey launched his non-profit organization the Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice, which fights wrongful convictions and assists those exonerated.
WhateverWorks Season 2
Season 2 features great stories of unique and interesting psychotherapies told from the perspective of the person who experienced positive change. This season we’re sponsored by the JaneApp!
Season 2 Episode 1: Group Art Therapy
I’m dropping episode 1 early before the rest of the episodes coming out this month. I wanted to start season 2 with my own experience with group art therapy that helped me come to terms with my hidden shame of experiencing post partum depression. Check out https://cpmhc.ca/ to find out more about the Canadian Perimental Health Collaborative.
Note: This episode mentions thoughts of suicide. If you or someone you know is contemplating self-harm or suicide please call:
Crisis Services Canada (1-833-456-4566 or text 45645)
Season 2 Episode 2: Gestalt Therapy
Brandon speaks with me his experience with Gestalt Therapy; a therapy that centers on the present state of body and mind. Brandon explores the client-therapist dynamic and through acknowledging the present, growing together through their shared experience. For more information on Gestalt Therapy, check out: https://gestalt.on.ca
Season 2 Episode 3: Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy
Alex recalls a moment of revelation with a past abusive relationship that was unearthed in therapy. He describes the non-judgmental and gentle way his therapist spoke to him, always bringing his awareness to his body. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy was a way in which he could reprocess his trauma in a safe and transformative way.
Note: This episode discusses childhood sexual abuse. If you or someone you know is in need of crisis services, Crisis Services Canada has a 24/7 hotline: Call 1.833.456.4566 | Text 45645
Season 2 Episode 4: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Shannon invites me into her experience with something we may all be feeling right now, health anxiety. Through the use of cognitive restructuring exercises, Shannon was able to apply learned skills to distorted thoughts directed at her health and wellbeing. Hear how her learned skills have helped her get through the pandemic.
Season 2 Episode 5: Relational Therapy
When Victoria thought about dating she never thought it could so greatly be impacted by her early childhood relationships with her parents or caregivers. It was by chance she began seeing a relational therapist who helped her explore her emotional life through the relationships she holds dear as well as the relationships she has yet to have.
WhateverWorks Season 1
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.
Season 1 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.
Season 1 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.
Season 1 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.
Season 1 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.
Season 1 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.