Podcast – Ep. 74 – Chip Fisher, the alternative to traditional treatments for Anxiety, Depression, and Insomnia

If you’re anything like me; someone who’s suffered with anxiety, depression, insomnia, and perhaps you also live with PTSD, then you’ve likely tried many, many different types of treatments. Everything from supplements and medications, to oils, meditation, holistic approaches, and much more. The list is seemingly endless, as is the frustration of exploring so many options to try and find what works for you, even if it’s only some of the time.

If you do live with any of those mental health challenges, or know someone who does, this alternative to traditional treatments might be something you consider exploring. My guest on this episode of the podcast is Chip Fisher, President of Fisher Wallace Laboratories, based in New York, a medical device company that specializes in a wearable device to help with Anxiety, Depression, and Insomnia.

Designed collaboratively by world-class engineers and doctors, the Fisher Wallace Stimulator® uses proprietary waveforms to gently stimulate the brain to produce serotonin and other neurochemicals responsible for healthy mood and sleep. Proven safe and effective in multiple published studies, the device is cleared by the FDA to treat depression, anxiety and insomnia.*

As Chip explains, In 2001, renowned addictionologist Martin Wallace, PhD, CCN, CAd, was unable to find any means of coping with the depression that brought him to a standstill in the aftermath of eight hours spent trapped in a building at Ground Zero on 9/11. In 2002 he discovered the Stimulator, originally created by brilliant engineers Saul and Bernard Liss, and used it to successfully treat his depression.

Wallace and Fisher met not long after at a business conference, and Chip was so impressed with the lack of side effects and the incredible results that using this product produced, that he began using it himself and still does today.

You can read more about the story of how this device came to be, and the science behind it, over at https://www.fisherwallace.com

One of the things that I was most interested in, was how survivors of trauma might benefit from using the Fisher Wallace Stimulator.  As is often the case with trauma survivors and those living with PTSD, the brain’s normal functions of stimulating the production of and regulating neurochemicals such as serotonin, cortisol, and dopamine, is hampered. As a result, living with hypervigilance, anxiety disorders, insomnia, as well as other mood disorders is all too common.

This device using patented technology to gently help the brain begin to resume its normal duties in this manner, and as a result countless patients have experienced life changing results.  You can also check out his Ted Talk, in which he reveals some of the science and history behind the development the Stimulator.

As he explains, this device is painless, and most patients experience nothing more than a slight tingling sensation if anything at all. It can be used at home, while traveling, virtually anywhere, and see results without any serious side effects.

In addition, Chip himself lives with Depression and Seasonal Effective Disorder, so he knows first hand some of the struggles that the users of this device live with each day. He too tried countless traditional methods to help with his symptoms, including talk therapy and traditional drugs, but mostly found that they did little to help and some of the medications had severe side effects.

By taking proven technology that originated in 46 A.D., with a physician using a Torpedo Fish to help treat Migraines and Gout, has developed into state of the art technology that can be combined with many digital health applications to help treat some of the most detrimental mental and physical health conditions in modern history.

If you’d like to learn more, check out FisherWallace.com for device information, pricing, clinical trials, and more. Thank you again Chip for coming on the Beyond Your Past Podcast and for the research that your company is doing to help those who struggle in the areas of Anxiety, Depression, and Insomnia.

-Matthew Pappas, CLC, CPNLP










All conversation and information exchanged during participation on the Beyond Your Past Podcast, on BeyondYourPast.com, and BeyondYourPastRadio.com is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing on these podcasts or posted on the above mentioned websites are supplements for or supersedes the relationship and direction of your medical or mental health providers.


Podcast – Ep. 73 – Lisa Tobe, The diagnosis & challenges of DID and Complex Trauma

If you live with any type of mental health challenge, or know someone who does, you know what a struggle each day can be. No matter what you deal with each day, you have learned, and continue to learn to adapt to what faces you. You make your way through life, one step at a time, building up your resilience along the way. Gaining confidence, perspective, and self-compassion in the face of tremendous adversity that not everyone can understand.

However, before we can begin to live, learn, and adapt, we first have to figure out what it is that’s going on inside our minds and bodies; the diagnosis.

That’s a challenge all to itself, and one that can unfortunately take years or even decades to assess correctly. Unfortunately for so many that is all too often the case; misdiagnosis or no diagnosis at all leads us with endless amounts of unanswered questions about who we are and why we are the way that we are.

My guest on this episode of the Beyond Your Past Podcast, Lisa Tobe, talks about her struggles with being diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) and Complex Trauma.

Lisa is a Executive Director of Wildflower Consulting, LLC. – partnering with clients to design, facilitate, and evaluate policy, system, and environmental strategies that improve public health.

During our chat, we discuss topics including:

  • The challenges she faced in getting the diagnosed at 27 years old, and the years leading up to the diagnosis that included a hospital stay.
  • The depression, and suicidal thoughts that plagued her for years before she was able to get a proper diagnosis.
  • Triggers and Flashbacks associated with PTSD and Complex PTSD.
  • How writing helped facilitate healing and understanding of her alters.
  • The power of sharing stories with yourself on a clinical level.
  • Her memoir and starting a non-profit to help women who have survived all types of violence.

I always find it so amazing that during a simple conversation on a podcast, you realize you have so much in common with someone. This show with Lisa was no different, especially when she talks about learning about her particular type of DID and how similar that is to Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (DDNOS), which is what I am recovering from.

There is safety and validation among survivors and those who get what it means to live daily life with these types of challenges. It’s a testament not only to the resilience of the human spirit, but the willingness to reach out and share and help others who struggle.

Thank you again Lisa for coming onto the show, I look forward to talking with you again once your book is published.

If you’d like to learn more about Lisa, her story, or about her non profit for women survivors of violence, you can email her at lisatobe.consulting at gmail.com or at Wildflowerllc.org

I hope you’ll consider leaving a review and rating Beyond Your Past on iTunes, Google Play, iHeartRadio, or your favorite podcasting app!

-Matthew Pappas, CLC, CPNLP


Podcast – Ep. 72 – Author and Survivor, Larry Ruhl

There’s a certain type of kinship that exists between survivors of childhood trauma. It’s certainly not something that anyone would wish for, and definitely not the most desirable of circumstances in which to strike up a friendship, but none the less when you meet a fellow survivor, there is often this connection that allows the conversation to flow as if you’ve been friends for years.

It’s not only a mutual respect for one another, but a feeling of just “getting it”, by knowing where the other is coming from. Even though your stories are different, the feelings are often very similar if not the same.

I’ve found out first hand through my own healing journey, that survivors are some of the most compassionate, kind, and understanding people that you will ever meet. They know what it’s like to live through hell and find a way to keep fighting. To use their story to help inspire others, and to help give a voice to those who are still silenced.

That is certainly the case with my guest on this episode of the Beyond Your Past Podcast, as I talk with author and survivor, Larry Ruhl.

Larry’s book, Breaking the Ruhl’s, is his story as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Throughout the book he faces the challenging questions. “Is it truly possible to move through the shame I carry every day? Can I have a full life without depending on mind-numbing drugs and alcohol? And the most difficult question of all: Do I tell? But how do I tell? Who do I tell? What happens if I do tell?”

Larry Ruhl serves as a board member for Taking Back Ourselves, which facilitates weekends of recovery for female survivors of sexual abuse, and is a registered speaker with the RAINN network (Rape Abuse Incest National Network). He previously served as a board member at Male Survivor. He also spoke at colleges and retreats to increase awareness of sexual abuse against men and boys. Today he shares his story publicly to spread awareness and to help others shed the shame and stigma associated with sexual abuse. He graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), with a degree in Display & Exhibit Design, and worked as a creative director at a textile firm for ten years until opening his own home furnishings/interior design business in 2004. He works as an artist and designer in the Hudson Valley.

During my chat with Larry we cover topics including:

  • This memoir is so personal and the story is so painful. How did you find the strength to share your story? Did writing it help you heal?
  • When did you first realize that what was happening in your household was not only not normal, but was physical, emotional, and sexual abuse?
  • You talk about how you’ve found a way to forgive your parents, but that you’ll never forget what happened. Can you speak to that?
  • You’re no longer in contact with your parents, but you are close with your sister, who still lives with them. Can you talk about how you decided to move forward with this book?
  • Now that the book has been released, how has it impacted your healing journey, your relationships, and your life as a whole?

Larry shares openly and vulnerably about his life and struggles, and offers such hope and encouragement during our conversation that you can help but be inspired by his bravery and the bravery of all who speak out and refuse to be silent.

I’m so honored to have had the opportunity to talk to this incredible survivor and I look forward to bringing him back on the podcast in the future to talk more about his story.  Thank you again Larry for your book, your message of hope, and your continued desire to reach those all who have survived the trauma of abuse.

You can purchase, Breaking the Ruhl’s on Barnes & Noble and on Amazon. Be sure and follow Larry on Twitter & Instagram, @LarryRuhl

-Matthew Pappas, CLC, CPNLP







All conversation and information exchanged during participation the Beyond Your Past Podcast, on BeyondYourPast.com, and BeyondYourPastRadio.com is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing on these podcasts or posted on the above mentioned websites are supplements for or supersedes the relationship and direction of your medical or mental health providers.

Podcast – Ep. 71 – Mental Health Megacast, Catching up and Moving Forward

Welcome back to our self-proclaimed, Mental Health Megacast, a semi-regular round table discussion with 3 mental health advocates and survivors who are trying to find our way through recovery.

There is some debate as to which episode we are actually on, since each of us have our own separate podcasts, and to that end also number our episodes differently. So technically for me this is episode 71, however I believe it’s actually episode 8 of the Megacast, but overall it’s really episode 80 in the grand scheme of all podcasts of various types done to date since I started talking about my survivor journey online in this format.

So there, hopefully I haven’t completely confused you, but then again I’m not sure I didn’t confuse myself…there’s something to be said for simplifying your life that’s for sure  🙂

Anyways, just in case you aren’t familiar with the Megacasts, you can check out past episodes here, and also on cohorts platforms as well….

To that end, the Megacast is creation of the collaborative brain powers (more or less) of Wes from AudioRising.com and Mike from MikesOpenJournal.com, and myself.  I encourage you to check out and follow them online and through your favorite podcasting platform. Each of these has a tremendous message to share and an inspiring and unique way in how they go about it.

In this episode, we do a bit of catching up before diving into some more specific topics. As you’ll see, we have a lot of fun and regardless of the between shows, we’re able to pick up where we left off. That’s the beauty of this collaboration, not only is it a mutual respect and admiration for each others work asMikes Open Journaladvocates, but also the struggle and subsequent resiliency that comes with battling our own pasts.

I’m truly grateful for the opportunity to get together with these guys and share what’s going on in our lives, but also to talk about the tough topics as we see them through our own eyes; the eyes of 3 dudes who have been through hell and back and continuously fight as we not only continue to heal but also hopefully validate and inspire others in the process.

To that end, we hope you enjoy this latest episode as we not only catch up and banter back and forth a bit, but also lay the ground work for what might just be our most controversial topic yet for our next espisode…

Be sure and follow Wes on Twitter @WesA1966 and Mike @Mike_Douglas_ & Open_Journal_  …oh and don’t forget to follow and subscribe to all of our shows on your favorite podcasting app!

-Matt Pappas, CLC, CPNLP





All conversation and information exchanged during participation the Beyond Your Past Podcast, on BeyondYourPast.com, and BeyondYourPastRadio.com is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing on these podcasts or posted on the above mentioned websites are supplements for or supersedes the relationship and direction of your medical or mental health providers.

Podcast – Ep. 70 – Artist and Survivor, Sarah Jane shares her story and Mere Objects

One of the things that I tried to embrace from early on in my own survivor journey, was how I could use this experience to somehow help myself, and others. Now, I get that now everyone feels that way or even if they do, are able to embrace such an idea, but I firmly believe that for those that can, it’s life changing not only for the survivor themselves but for those they impact, knowingly or otherwise.

Finding a way to come to terms with a traumatic past and somehow use that as a learning experience and a way to encourage others is truly extraordinary. To be able to see ourselves in a new way, and embrace what we’ve been able to overcome, is something truly empowering. It’s certainly not easy, not by a long stretch, but the rewards go far beyond what we can likely imagine during the tough times of dealing with our own past.

Sarah Jane - Mere Objects - Guest Podcast on Beyond Your PastMy guest on this episode of the Beyond Your Past Podcast, Sarah Jane, embodies the dedication, determination, resiliency, and creativity that we can all appreciate. Even for those of us who aren’t artistically gifted, seeing someone like Sarah Jane use her talents to help bring hope and encouragement to other survivors, is remarkable.

Sarah first reached out to me after seeing a tweet that I made, looking for podcast guests, and after conversing with her through email and checking out her website, I knew I wanted to bring her on as a guest to the show. Anytime I can help someone share their story, it reminds me of the people early on in my journey that helped give me a voice. I know how powerful doing that is, how much healing can come from opening up in a vulnerable way.

Sarah Jane is the founder and creator of Mere Objects, an ongoing participatory artwork honoring people who have experienced sexual violence. Her dedication to giving hope and validation to other survivors, using her own talents and gifts in a selfless way, is inspiring to not only myself but to all who take part in Mere Objects.

As she writes on her website: The world around me inspires both intense curiosity and profound reverence. My creative responses include site-specific and collaborative works as well as sculptural pieces and mosaics. I am particularly interested in creating art that speaks across cultural, religious, or economic differences.

I’ve worked as a university professor, art program manager, and gallery coordinator. I currently live and work at the Grünewald Guild, an intentional arts community in the Cascade Mountains of Washington state.

During our chat, we talk about topics such as:

  • Her own history in an abusive relationship, including experiences of sexual violence, financial abuse, gaslighting, being denied medical care, and being a rape survivor.
  • Ways her family & friends inadvertently pressured her to stay in that relationship by placing them on a pedestal as the “perfect couple” and refusing to believe her when I began to reveal the abuse.
  • How church leaders pressured her to stay by emphasizing a narrative of “marriage is hard” and the importance of wives submitting to their husbands.
  • How her friends and current partner have come alongside her in her healing with incredibly faithful presence, patience, kindness, compassion, and generosity.
  • How that healing gave birth to a participatory art piece, Mere Objects, that offers space for others to tell their stories, and to bear witness for one another.
  • What she’s learned in the past 18+ months of working on Mere Objects: the astonishing number and diversity of people affected by sexual violence, the depth of our wounds and the fierceness of our resilience, and the incredible healing power of truth-telling and bearing witness.

As we talked on the podcast, I was just so inspired by Sarah Jane. Her willingness to openly talk about her struggles not only in the midst of the trials, but even now as she continues to process and heal from that trauma.

You’ll want to listen through to the very end, as she shares some final words of validation and encouragement, and a light bulb moment that came to her during the podcast…I’m telling you my friend, I got chills listening to her share!

Thank you again Sarah Jane for the pleasure of talking with you. I consider it an honor to call you a friend and fellow survivor. I’m looking forward to checking out Mere Objects when it comes close to my area, and also submitting something to the project myself.

If you’d like to learn more about Sarah Jane and Mere Objects, please check out MereObjects.org , and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

-Matthew Pappas






All conversation and information exchanged during participation the Beyond Your Past Podcast, on BeyondYourPast.com, and BeyondYourPastRadio.com is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing on these podcasts or posted on the above mentioned websites are supplements for or supersedes the relationship and direction of your medical or mental health providers.


Podcast – Ep. 68 – Viewing your inner world differently, the Internal Family Systems Model, with Beth Rogerson, Ph.D

When you think about how you view yourself, your inner world…what comes to mind? Is it compassion, kindness, self-love, and contentment…or do things like, self-criticism, shame, broken, and hopeless come to mind?

For so many. those positive views seem like a pipe dream; something we wish we could do but yet never feel like are achievable because of the past. We see others who exhibit those qualities, or we think that they do, and that leads to even more shame, blame, and resistance to change because “we could never be like that, we’re too broken”.

How you view yourself, your inner world has a profound influence your life as a whole, and how you see others. Your romantic relationships, your job, friends, even what you do for fun can all be influenced by our view of what we’re capable of and what we think we are worthy of trying to achieve.

Beth Rogerson has dedicated her life to helping others see their true inner self with a different lens. A lens that allows you view your inner world differently, giving you opportunities to not become overwhelmed by the emotions that flood your mind and your life on a daily basis.

Beth has a Ph.D. in Counseling and is licensed in the United States as a Marriage and Family Therapist and Counselor, and has completed training with The Center of Self Leadership with Internal Family Systems therapy, and the Gestalt Institute in Cleveland, Ohio.  Residing  in Stockholm, Sweden,for most of the year, she provides individual and couples counseling services over a video-conferencing service as well as in person.

She’s also the creator of her own incredible podcast, The Therapy Spot, which is dedicated to people like you who want to help your Self and live a better, more balanced life.  I had the privilege of being on The Therapy Spot podcast in April of 2018, discussing Anxiety and Trauma Recovery.

During her time on Beyond Your Past, Beth and I discuss the Internal Family Systems model, which was developed by Richard C. Schwartz, Ph.D (1995), which describes your inner world as being like a family.  It’s a gentle kinder view of your inside world.  A new frontier for you to know your self differently, and connecting kindly with respect toward yourself  from the inside out.

The basic idea is that we have a family of parts inside of us as well as an abundance or self energy.

Self is best described in qualities.  It has the qualities of Calm Curious Compassionate Clarity Confidence Connection Courageous and Creative. The 8 C’s   We all have them within us, but they can get blocked when our parts take over and we feel, act, or react only from a part or parts of ourselves.

Beth sees the Internal Family Systems model of therapy really as a lens we can all have.  It is like putting on a new pair of glasses and not even knowing you couldn’t see until you see better. I want others to have this lens.  It is not a secret.

The IFS lens of viewing our own personality is that we are multiple in how we think and feel and all these different ways of thinking and feeling are different aspects or parts of ourselves. The nature of our personality is to have different parts with our Self as the leader of our system, however, problems happen when one parts gets to strong or large and hijacks our system and we have a dictator.

We talk more about the Internal Family Systems model and how the IFS approach to personal development teaches you how to cultivate your Self Qualities for greater happiness.The 8 Self qualities are:


We cover these 8 qualities, the IFS model, and much more, so be sure and check out the show and also don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review!

-Matthew Pappas, CLC

Guest, Beth Rogerson, Ph.D. – BethRogerson.com

All conversation and information exchanged during participation the Beyond Your Past Podcast, on BeyondYourPast.com, and BeyondYourPastRadio.com is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing on these podcasts or posted on the above mentioned websites are supplements for or supersedes the relationship and direction of your medical or mental health providers.

Podcast – Ep. 63 – Kristin Walker – CEO, Podcaster, Survivor – Using her Voice in Advocacy

Kristin Sunanta Walker is the CEO of the technology consulting firm, everythingEHR, and the founder of the Mental Health News Radio Network. She’s also a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, and an advocate for survivors of childhood trauma. She has interviewed leaders in the behavioral health community such as CEO’s of technology companies, counselors, best-selling authors, and global experts in the field of Behavioral Health. Her show is downloaded in over 171 countries and continues its reach with inspiring guests from every corner of the world.

Kristin is on the board of several organizations within Behavioral Health as well as the subject matter expert regarding EHR technology. Multiple strategic partnerships and speaking engagements about childhood sexual abuse, narcissism, and behavioral health technology keep her traveling schedule extremely full as well as being a sought after guest on other popular podcasts.

If that name sounds familiar, it’s because my podcast, Beyond Your Past, is also on the MHNR Network, and I thought it would be great to chat with my friend and amazing advocate, Kristin, so she could share her story of being a survivor, her struggles and triumphs along the way, and of course about how and why she started this amazing platform for mental health and advocacy podcasters.

Podcasting is something that Kristin is passionate about, and even though the MHNR Network now has over 20 active podcasts and many more waiting in the wings, it didn’t start out like that. It started with her having a vision of just needing to get her story out there, to start talking about not only her past and the things that she struggles with, but to shed light on advocacy as a whole. She knew that she had to start talking about it; silence was no longer an option.

So she got a mic and started her own podcast, talking to anyone and everyone who would want to share. Over time and utilizing her connections in the business world, her own “1 woman show” blossomed into the MHNR Network. A place to give her a past, and healing, a voice, and where other people who had a similar vision could come together with a common goal of Advocacy.

During our chat, we cover several topics in a very open, vulnerable conversation:

How old were you when you were sexually abused?
How did that make you view men?
How has that affected your interpersonal relationships?
What were the circumstances around you telling and how old were you?
What people can you remember that helped you through this?
How did your past of being a childhood trauma survivor inspire you to start MHNR?
What is Mental Health After Dark?

It was a wonderful time chatting with my friend and fellow advocate, and I’m honored to share that with you now. I hope you’ll consider checking out her show, and as many of the other amazing podcasts on the network. It’s through using our voice, and sharing, that we can make a difference in our own journey of healing and in the lives of countless others.

Check out Mental Health News Radio Network and learn more about Kristin Walker by following her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn

Matthew Pappas, CLC