Podcast – Ep. 67 – Sustainable Life Satisfaction – Dr. Jennifer Guttman

One of the big things that so many of us seek in life is simply the desire to feel good, to feel happy. We want that feeling of being totally relaxed, not a care in the world…or the high of something exhilarating that gives you such a rush of being on top of the world.  There’s nothing wrong with those feelings, the problem is, it’s just not something that typically happens every day.

Everybody wants to feel good and not dwell on struggles in life. To wake up each day expecting something great to happen in our lives, and then if it doesn’t, we’re dissapointed. Or maybe you’re okay with not expecting something great to happen, you just hope that nothing bad happens.

It’s a roller coaster way to go through life, so many ups and downs, highs and lows, and unrealistic expectations that we have for ourselves. When it comes right down to it we have to ask ourselves, “how has this worked out of for me so far?” am I truly experiecing all that life has to offer, am I actually embracing life for what it is with an open mind, taking in each experience for what it is, and using it as a learning tool for the future?

How exactly do we figure out how to do that, how we find a way to live a satisfying sustainable life, with the ability to embrace the great days, ride out the low days, and take each experience in with an open mind?  And how does that fit into your life if you’re a trauma survivor?

If you’re asking yourself those questions right now, then my chat with clinical psychologist and motivator, Dr. Jennifer Guttman might be just the ticket for you.

When you read her mission statement, you can’t help but intrigued about the possibilities of what her Sustainable Life Satisfaction can do: To use my experience, expertise, voice and pen to help people realize there is “a path to sustainable life satisfaction through a belief in your inherent lovability.” “Sustainable Life Satisfaction” SLS® is based on theories that I have researched and developed from cognitive-behavior therapy and refined over my 20 years of interaction with clients. My brand of therapy and therapeutic success is based on the precept that the majority of people do not have an inherent belief in their likeability or loveability…With life satisfaction comes an ability to conquer inner fears of inadequacy and the profound discovery and trust in your “inherent loveability.

Since the summer of 2016, Dr. Guttman has been featured as a Contributor and/or has written articles in over twenty nationally recognized publications and blogs including; The Washington Post, Redbook, Reader’s Digest, The Hill, Family Education, and Thrillist, among others. She has talked about a wide range of subject matter, from health/wellness, relationships and dealing with adolescent issues to coping with divorce.

The focus of our chat is on those 6 techniques, and Dr. Guttman gives some insight on each one, what they mean, and the benefits of applying each technique to your life.

-Starting is Easy, Closing is Hard: Learning the importance of closing tasks-not just starting. It’s imperative not just to start, but to also finish and close
-Decision Making: Feeling confident in decision-making, without fearing mistakes or ramifications improves self-confidence and in turn improves chances for “closing.”Br>
-Facing Fears: Do not be afraid to be afraid. Use your fear as positive motivation to propel and compel you to move forward.Br>
-Reduce People Pleasing Behaviors Avoid situations of co-dependency and enmeshment. Learn to live an authentic life without living in “service” of others. Watch people pleasing behaviors which secure feelings of indispensability while averting fears of abandonmentBr>
-Avoiding Assumptions: Avoid making assumptions about what other people think or feel about you. Your actions should be based on fact and not assumptions. Making decisions about how to proceed in a given situation based on guessing instead of facts is a

Podcast – Ep. 66 – 7 Steps to Move Forward in Healing from Trauma, with Svava Brooks

Even with all the knowledge in the world, all of the awareness, the training, the therapy, you aren’t immune to finding yourself in a spot where you just can’t seem to get to the next step. You know how you want to feel, but actually getting to a place where you can embrace and actually live that feeling, is something totally different.

That’s why when I came across a recent article that my good friend, coach, and incredible advocate, Svava Brooks, had written, I knew I wanted to bring her back on the podcast so we could talk about it.

Svava is a is a survivor of child sexual abuse and the co-founder of a nationwide child sexual abuse prevention and education organization in Iceland called “Blátt áfram.”  She is also a certified instructor and facilitator for Darkness to Light Stewards of Children, as well as a certified Crisis Intervention Specialist, a certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator, a BellaNet Teen support group facilitator, a Certified TRE® Provider, and an Abuse Survivor Coach.

The mother of three children, Svava has dedicated her life to ending the cycle of child sexual abuse through education, awareness, and by helping survivors heal and thrive.  She is a certified facilitator for Advance!, a program created by Connections to restore authentic identity.  Every week she writes about healing after trauma on her blog, and also leads a discussion forum on Child Sexual Abuse Healing and Recovery online.

During our podcast together, Svava and I discuss that recent blog post, in a very in-depth and powerful way. As you’ll hear when you listen, each step builds upon the other and each has a direct effect on the other as you move forward.  Being able to apply these principles in your own healing journey, and actually embody and live each one, is crucial to moving forward.

The 7 steps to help you get unstuck and move forward in healing from trauma:

-Establish Safety.  Figure out what makes you feel safe. This is your first priority.
Develop Courage. Eventually, your willingness to heal will develop into courage, as you take more and more healthy risks.
Create a Mindfulness Practice. Connecting with your body is essential for healing. As abused children, we learned the toxic skill of disconnection.  Mindfulness will help you reconnect.
Express Your Emotions.  Learn how to identify, listen to, feel, and express your emotions in a healthy way. All of them: the good, the bad, and the ugly!
Change Your Negative Beliefs. You created these toxic beliefs as a way to survive an abusive childhood. But you’re an adult now. Change your story (beliefs) to what benefits your adult life.
Practice Self-Care, Self-Love, and Self-Compassion. Put yourself first on your To-Do list.  Every day, find a way to lovingly care for and celebrate yourself.
Build a Support System. You can’t do this alone. Healing doesn’t work that way. Surround yourself with nourishing friends who support your healing goals, and a safe place to practice your new way of thinking/feeling/being.

You may still be saying to yourself, ” but how do I apply these my life?” or “I’ve tried similar steps before but it just doesn’t work”

Check out the show and find out Svava’s insight into all of these incredible steps!

Be sure and subscribe on your favorite podcasting app and leave a review!

Podcast – Ep. 65 – Mental Health Advocacy and living with Bipolar Disorder, with Kelly Aiello

Kelly Aiello joins me for a chat about these very topics; living with Bipolar Disorder, being a Mental Health advocate,  and the importance of “telling it like it is” when it comes to living with mental illness.

Kelly is a contributor for The Mighty as well as blogger, student, wife, artist and activist. She writes primarily about mental health issues and has currently returned to school to study neuropsychology. She has bipolar type I disorder and borderline personality disorder, and lives with her husband and way too many cats in Toronto, Canada. You can learn more about her by visiting KellyJAiello.ca , including her upcoming novel and maybe send her a message and find out just how many cats she has 🙂

I originally connected with Kelly on a roundtable discussion coordinated by our mutual friend, author, and advocate Rebecca Lombardo.  After that talk, I knew that I wanted to bring her onto the Beyond Your Past Podcast, to learn more about her life and advocacy work.

Kelly shares openly about her life and struggles with Bipolar Disorder, and paints the picture in a very real, authentic way. She talks about the particular spectrum, or level, that she lives with and also the difficulty that she experienced in finally getting the proper diagnosis.

We also discuss, is that not every person fits nice and neatly into one of the 4 defined categories. Therein lies the struggle, even with someone who is knowledgeable, in getting the proper diagnosis. Similarly to Dissociation, you don’t always have the symptoms of just 1 particular type of Bipolar Disorder. As Kelly shares, it can take years to get the right treatment plan in place; and that’s an incredible struggle for the person going through it and for those that help support them in their healing journey.

We also talk about her work in advocacy and the importance of sharing what really happens in daily life. Living with a mental illness has become quite a mainstream topic these days, which is good in some ways and not so good in others. The awareness is always a good thing; I think most of us would agree that anything that helps destigmatize mental health challenges is a positive.

One of the problems is though that you can’t always put a positive spin on it; which is what some of the advocacy groups that Kelly has tried to work with, attempt to do. The tough days when you struggle to get out of bed, to get a shower, and go to work when you’d rather just stay in bed or curl up in a ball in the corner of your room waiting for the emotional struggle of a trigger to pass. Being a survivor of trauma and living with Bipolar or any other mental illness isn’t about something positive all the time..it’s many times just about just trying to make it through the day.

When you share in this real and vulnerable way, you reach an audience that would otherwise feel like they are completely alone.

Kelly also shares some tips and insight on what she’s learned in the areas of self-care, which also equates to self-love, as you’ll hear her explain.  She talks about the importance of setting up a schedule in advance, that you can refer too on a day that you struggle, so you’re prepared ahead of time and have a plan in place to take care of yourself and celebrate each win that day.

Be sure and check out BeyondYourPast.com for more information about Anxiety and Survivor Coaching, as well as more podcasts and blog posts.

Don’t forget to subscribe on your favorite podcasting app, and leave a review of the show! I’d would totally appreciate it 🙂

Matthew Pappas, CLC – BeyondYourPast.com

Podcast – Ep. 64 – Tools and Insight on living with PTSD, with author and survivor, Alexis Rose

If you’re trying to conquer a traumatic past, and you live with PTSD and Dissociation, then you’ll likely be able to relate to my guest on this episode of the podcast, Alexis Rose.

Alexis Rose began her remarkable healing journey in 2009. Sparked by a family tragedy she began to piece together, for the first time, a personal history of abuse and trauma. Supported by her spirituality and writing, as well as family and friends, she has profoundly grown and changed over the years.

While learning to live with the effects of her trauma, and working with the deficits caused by PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder), she has co-authored three inspirational books. Her memoir, Untangled, speaks to the courage, resilience, and triumph over her unimaginable hardship. Her newest book, If I Could Tell You How It Feels is a series of essays and poems about living authentically with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Alexis is an experienced speaker on the topics of living with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.  She is also an active blogger who writes about PTSD, Mental Health, and Trauma, with a bit of poetry sprinkled in along the way. She is passionate about bringing awareness to help break the stigma of living with a mental illness, particularly PTSD.

She shares with us some of those skills, and elaborates more on how they helped her then, and still today as she lives with PTSD:

Reach out to family and friends who are safe.
Learn to be vulnerable in your authentic self.
Distraction can make us feel guilty, but it’s necessary in healing; color, draw, go for a walk in nature.
Bilateral stimulation, that part of journaling helps keep you grounded in a big way.
Sometimes you just aren’t going to be ok…that’s ok.
Grounding skills

Join us on the show as we discuss these tools, more about her journey as a survivor, and how it came to be that she would write her memoir.

Be sure and follow Alexis Rose on Facebook  and her blog, A Tribe Untangled.

If you’d like to share your story as a survivor of trauma, just contact me anytime!

Be sure and follow Beyond Your Past on your favorite podcasting app, and leave a review, I

would so appreciate it! Thank You!!

Podcast – Ep. 62 – Voice for the Silenced

My guests for this episode of Beyond Your past, are Dawn Compton and Amanda Schrader, two incredible women who are survivors themselves, and their story is sure to encourage you as listen to them share. Their passion for helping survivors of childhood sexual abuse and any type of trauma, is inspiring, and I’m honored to help them share their message and the work they are doing in their local community on behalf of child advocacy.

Dawn and Amanda contacted me through the blog, and wanted to come on the podcast and talk about their mission to help establish a child advocacy center (CAC) in Jones County, Mississippi, and also to spread the word about their upcoming book, and just to share their stories as survivors and best friends.

These two ladies originally met at backyard Bible club about 18 years ago, and then were reunited when Amanda came to work as an RN in Jones County, and discovered that Dawn also worked at the same hospital as an RN. The two reconnected and have been best friends ever since. During their time together they discovered that each had a past that involved being abused as children, and now they have teamed up with a mission to spread awareness for childhood trauma and create resources in their local community for other survivors.

Their story is incredible and one that will both inspire and encourage you. I know for me personally, every time I talk to Dawn and Amanda, I’m filled with so much encouragement because these two women are so driven and passionate about helping children. They’ve taken it upon themselves to be the voice that they never had as children.

In addition to their individual stories as survivors, we talk about:

1. What is Voice for the Silenced and how was it started?
2. The child advocacy center.
3. When is your book, Nursing the Wounds, going to be available?
4. What’s ahead in the future, a second book?

If you’d like to learn more about Voice for the Silenced, please check out their Facebook page and consider signing their petition for a Child Advocacy Center in Jones County, Mississippi.

– I hope you’ll subscribe to the podcast and consider leaving a review! 🙂

Podcast – Ep. 61 – Overcome your traumatic past by rewriting your story, with Rukshana Triem

My guest on Ep. 60 of the Beyond Your Past Podcast, is Rukshana Triem, and she is certainly no stranger to trials and tribulations that come from a childhood full of trauma.

Rukshana is former refugee from Mozambique who came to the United States in 1990s. She overcame childhood sexual abuse during her time in the refugee camp and is now an advocate for parents and child care providers to support them on their healing journey. She is also the C.E.O of her Women’s Lifestyle coaching business where she helps women overcome their rough past and create their beautiful life through Nature Retreats and online coaching programs and communities.

Rukshana holds a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Human Development and worked as an Early Childhood Teacher, Trainer, Mentor, Social worker, and now a Lifestyle Coach for women.

When she’s not working she’s spending time with her husband, her girls who are currently in college, and volunteering taking women on outdoor adventures, including hiking and backpacking.

During our time on the podcast, Rukshana and I discuss things such as:

Some of the past of living in the refugee camp, and the trauma that she endured, and how she uses those experiences to help others overcome their past?
How did she change her story from Trauma to Success?
When did you get to the point that you said its time to change your story from Victim to Victory?
How did her journey lead into a career in entrepreneurship?
What she would like to share with others who are stuck in their old story?
How long did this journey take to heal the Trauma, and what other steps did she take to heal her wounds?

For more information on the podcast, or if you’d like to be a guest on the show, please head over to BeyondYourPast.com/Podcasts and contact me.

Please consider subscribing and leaving a review on itunes or your favorite podcasting app!

Matthew Pappas, CLC

Podcast – Ep. 60 – Living with severe dissociation and DID, with guest Erin Fado

Dissociation, a topic that has fascinated me as much as it’s frustrated me ever since the first time I ever learned what in the world it even was.  For all of the research I’ve done on this topic, it never ceases to amaze me how the brain takes over during trauma to remove us from being fully present in order to protect us.  Of course, long after the trauma has ended, the effects can still linger on.

I can remember sitting in a therapists office years ago, when I first came to terms with the fact that I was a survivor of trauma. She caught me staring out into space, while looking right at her. She noticed when I would tune out during a conversation that was particularly troubling for me to have. Even when the topic wasn’t anything particularly difficult to discuss, the ease with which I transitioned out of being fully present to “never never land” was a clear sign of Dissociation.

Some time ago I reached to guest blogger and friend, Erin Fado, to see if she wouldn’t mind coming on to do a podcast and share her experience of living with dissociation and dissociative identity disorder.

Erin has written extensively on SMP and on her own blog, You Will Bear Witness, about her experiences of being a survivor of trauma and now living with dissociative disorders. She uses her experiences to help validate others and encourage survivors to keep fighting; to never give up on themselves.

Erin joins us from Australia, where she is now medically retired after working as a Professor of Sociology and lecturer at the University of Wollongong in Sidney.  She lives with her husband in the countryside, and undergoes extensive EMDR therapy to help with her DID.

Some of the topics that Erin and I discuss on this episode of the Beyond Your Past Podcast:

What is dissociation?
Do you usually go to the past, present of future:?
How long does it tend to last for?
Is it usually triggered by something?
How does dissociation impact your everyday life?
Have you found treatments/solutions useful?

Be sure and subscribe to the podcast on itunes, buzzsprout, spreaker, stitcher, or your favorite podcasting app…and if you could be so kind as to leave a review, that would be awesome!

Matthew Pappas, CLC

Podcast – Ep. 59 – How Self-Esteem is affected by Childhood Trauma – with Claire Cappetta

In this episode of the podcast, I’m honored to be joined by my friend and colleague, Claire Cappetta.

Claire is a Coach, Author, and Speaker, specializing in areas such as helping you break free from the pain of abuse, overcoming guilt, gaining self-confidence, setting and maintaining healthy boundaries, and discovering the authentic you.

Her books include, A broken Ring, a journey from abuse. Stalking Liberty, Are you safe? and her latest release, Rekindle Your Inner Sparkle: An Alternative Way to Heal from Trauma and Abuse. You can find all of her books on amazon, and her website, https://www.clairecappetta.co.uk/.

Claire joins us to talk about the following topics:

-How childhood trauma affects our self-esteem
-How growing up with a narcissistic parent can affect our ability to cultivate healthy relationships and healthy boundaries.
-Sharing some of her story as a survivor
-Her new course – Rekindle Your Sparkle after abuse – A step by step course to regain your self-esteem from a narcissistic relationship.
Her involvement with the new Clarified Lifeline device and app, – Understanding your bio-metrics it will alert emergency services for help if you are in a life-threatening situation, record and time stamp what is happening around the wearer. It is waterproof up to 30 feet and will vibrate to let you know your alarm has answered and help is on its way. Understanding your bio-metrics it will alert emergency services for help if you are in a life-threatening situation, record and time stamp what is happening around the wearer. It is waterproof up to 30 feet and will vibrate to let you know your alarm has answered and help is on its way.

The app contains Meditation, Mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to help you stay calm and lessen potential PTSD and anxiety. We are designing this with Libby Seery, a London Harley Street psychotherapist.

Thank you again Claire for joining me on the podcast. I look forward to having you on the show again in the future.

For more information on the Beyond Your Past Podcast, or Beyond Your Past Life Coaching, head over to BeyondYourPast.com and check out the blog, and other content…and claim your free 1 hr coaching session!

Matthew Pappas, CLC

Podcast – Ep. 58 – My experience with Guillain Barre Syndrome, When daily life, completely changed.

In this episode, I take on a topic that has never been discussed before here on the podcast. I’m not even sure there’s been much said about it on podcasts at all, period.

Today i’ll be sharing with you an experience that has recently changed my life, one that took me from the status quo, going about my business to a complete pause. This recent health concern, and really scare if we’re being honest here, took everything that I had been doing in life, and all of the plans that I’d been working on for the last few years and made me reassess a great many things about my life.

As you’ll hear, what I thought was nothing more than a chest virus or some kind of flu like symptoms, turned into a possible stroke diagnosis, then possible Bells Palsy, finally winding up with a week long hospital stay and a diagnosis of Guillain Barre Syndrome.

In the midst of all the things that were going on in life at the time:
Life Coach working with clients
Working on a new book
Working a full time day job
Being a parent
and many other things that occupied my time, the events of the last 6 weeks have made me realize a great many things.

Join me on the podcast as I talk about the events leading up to the diagnosis, what life was like then and what it’s like now. The fire, the passion, the desire for all of those things is still there, and will always be, but the importance of taking better care of myself in the process, and drawing closer to my creator has been monumental.

It’s my hope that this podcast will reach you with a message of hope and encouragement, and validation that you are not alone, in your struggles in life.

Thanks so much for listening and please consider leaving a review and a rating on itunes, soundcloud, or whatever podcast platform you enjoy listening on 🙂

Matthew Pappas, CLC

Podcast – Ep. 57 – Laura Corbeth – Psychological Abuse – My Courage to Tell

For my guest on this episode of the podcast, Laura shares some of her story about one woman’s struggle to overcome a childhood of abuse at the hands of her cruel, bullying brother. Laura is an author and survivor,  currently living in Ontario, Canada with her husband of twenty-two years, her twenty-year old son and two rescued dogs. She is a successful entrepreneur, and passionate about her business and an avid animal lover. 

When I was first contacted by Laura about coming on the show, I checked out her website, MyCourageToTell.com, and was immediately interested in learning more about this amazing survivor and her book, My Courage to Tell, Facing My Childhood Bully and Reclaiming My Inner Child. Her story is exactly what the podcast is all about, talking with people who’ve overcome incredibly difficult circumstances and are now using their story to help inspire others.

Laura shares with us her inspiration for deciding to end her silence and write about her personal story; memories of this abuse remain deeply buried until an aunt dies in Manhattan, leaving an estate that Laura must settle with her estranged brother. As she tries to administer the estate, she is plagued by symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Suppressed memories start to rise to the surface as Laura begins to remember, and she now realizes that she has to face a childhood of psychological and physical abuse.

Laura and I cover topics including:

Can you share what kind of bullying you had as a child?
Where were your parents when all this was going on?
Can you talk about psychological and emotional abuse and how harmful it is?
What is psychological abuse?
What will a child experience who has been abused psychologically?
How did you work out your PTSD symptoms?

Check out the full post over on Beyond http://beyondyourpast.com/coaching-blog/

If you enjoy these podcasts, I hope you’ll consider rating my show in itunes or your favorite podcasting app and leaving a review. That would be so awesome!

-Matthew Pappas, CLC