Month: May 2018

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 and Mike from, 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, and 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 , and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

-Matthew Pappas






All conversation and information exchanged during participation the Beyond Your Past Podcast, on, and 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. 69 – HeatheVoices 2018 Conference Experience

I recently had the privilege of attending the HealtheVoices 2018 Conference, in Chicago. It was an incredible event where advocates representing over 40 mental and physical health communities came together for 3-day weekend of collaborating, education, and networking.

It was my first time attending an event like this, and to be honest I really didn’t know what to expect. I did my research, watched videos, and checked out past event information, but still you never know until you get there right?

I’m so grateful to Janssen Pharmaceuticals for the honor of being one of the mental health advocates there, representing Anxiety and Trauma Recovery. So, I decided what better what to share some of my experience at the conference than to do a podcast about it. Since, hey I’m a podcaster right! 🙂

Thank you to everyone at Janssen who organized this amazing weekend, I’m so humbled and honored to have had the pleasure of attending. I learned so much, made new friends, and even met a few people that I already knew!

The staff, the event organizers, the sponsors, and of course all of the amazing and dedicated advocates that I met have left a lasting impact on my life. I left feeling inspired and encouraged, realizing that we all have so much in common, even if our platforms are different. Our common goal of raising awareness, providing resources and encouragement and information to people just like ourselves, who need it now more than ever.

We’re all living the experience for which we advocate for, pouring our heart and souls into this labor of love of doing all we can to help others while on our own journey. I’m not ashamed to say that I am a survivor, a recovering anxiety sufferer, and someone who is right there feeling all the pain and frustration in the trenches of recovery.

Going to this conference was like feeling at home with 122 people that I’d never met before in my life. That’s the beauty of this event, everyone is there to learn, share, and encourage one another and to be reminded that none of us are ever alone on this journey of healing and recovery.

I look forward to hopefully being invited back in 2019 to HealtheVoices!

-Matt Pappas, Coach, Podcaster, Advocate.

Please consider leaving a review and subscribe on your favorite podcasting app.  🙂

Janssen paid for my travel and accommodations for the event; my opinions are my own.


All conversation and information exchanged during participation the Beyond Your Past Podcast, on, and 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. –

All conversation and information exchanged during participation the Beyond Your Past Podcast, on, and 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.