Month: March 2018

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

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 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