Search results for: bullying

Overcoming the Effects of Childhood Bullying, and Developing Resilience – Ep. 120

If you know what it feels like to be bullied, things like resiliency, self-compassion, and developing trust aren’t words you would use to describe yourself at the time, most likely. From my own personal experience, I can tell you that I would never have looked at myself and use words even close to that. If anything, “victim, sadness, frustration, worthless, and hopeless” better suited me during the worst times of my experiencing with being bullied.

If we’re being real here, it wasn’t just during the darkest times but rather those feeling permeated my entire being all the time. It’s how I saw myself when I looked in the mirror, even on the good days. That’s what bullying does, it takes over your entire existence and you feel like you are what others have labeled you, you are what they have done to you, and who are you to think otherwise. Especially as a young child or teenager, your experience in this world and your view of it is largely determined by your home life and the events that happen to you.

So if you’re constantly on the defensive, and being the victim of senseless acts of cruelty, it takes a toll which can carry over well into adulthood.

melissa-wilson-grass-is-greener-podast - guest on beyond your pastI’ve talked about this subject on previous podcast episodes and with guest bloggers over on Surviving My Past, and I now have the opportunity again to explore the effects of bullying and how we can overcome that trauma and work towards being the person we want to be, not the person we think we can only ever be.

My guest, Melissa Wilson, is a survivor of bullying and is now a Certified Coach, working with clients who have experienced bullying, and other forms of abuse and childhood trauma to help them get unstuck and move forward toward their goals and dreams. She is also a podcast host of, “The Grass Gets Greener Podcast” where she talks with survivors, professionals, and everyday people who have a story to share and ways to help inspire you to not give up even in the wake of a traumatic past.

I had the pleasure of being on Melissa’s podcast a few months back, where I shared some of my survivor story of childhood sexual abuse and bullying, and how I’ve been able to work through those experiences. I hope you’ll consider checking it out and sharing it with someone who might benefit from it.

The Grass Gets Greener represents hope and optimism. Sometimes you may feel as if other people have a better life than you, that the grass is greener on their side of the fence, so to speak. Well, this site is here to provide you with inspiration and support to help you overcome the effects of what you experienced that can make you feel this way. This site is here to help you become the person you are meant to be. To show you how the grass gets greener for you!  

During our chat together, Melissa shares the experiences of bullying that she endured and how it affected her life:

  • How and when the bullying began for her in school, when she was the new kid and experienced both physical and emotional abuse from classmates.
  • She shares how the teachers in her school did nothing to stop it, and this helped fuel the fear of reaching out for help from her parents, due to fear of making the situation even worse. Her silence was the only thing she could control.
  • Five years after the bullying stopped, she was finally able to tell her parents, receive the support she needed, and start to pick up the pieces.
  • You’ll learn how those experiences she endured help fuel her to learn more about herself, study Psychology, and how the effects of being bullied last well into adulthood.
  • The importance of reaching out and telling someone when you need help, and how staying silent keeps you stuck and perpetuates the idea that you do not deserve help.
  • We discuss the skills that Melissa developed to aid in her healing journey, and how even though she still struggles at times with the after effects, life is so much better because of putting in the hard work of education and healing.

Be sure and check out Melissa’s Podcast, The Grass Gets Greener, over on her website, and available wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts. If you’re interested in working with Melissa Wilson as your coach, drop her a line, she’d love to hear from you.

Please consider sharing this post and podcast with someone who might need it, and don’t forget to subscribe on your favorite podcasting app.









All conversation and information exchanged during participation on 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. 55 – Understanding the long term affects of bullying, with Alan Eisenberg CLC

When we think about bullying, the immediate effects include, but are not limited to, low self-esteem, lack of self-confidence, isolation, depression, loss of trust; but it’s important to also realize that the effect that bullying has on our brain and our body, goes far beyond the short-term.

I can remember back when I was in late elementary school, and all the way through the end of middle school, I suffered from all of those things in my life, and a few others. Not only was my self-esteem shot and the very thought of going to school each day caused my anxiety to sky-rocket, but I think one of the worst things that I experienced was a feeling of complete loneliness. I felt like there was something wrong with me since I seemed to exist only to be an outlet for others aggression.  That kind of intense pressure on a child or young adult causes serious emotional developmental problems, and likely was one of the reasons that I spent a good deal of time in a learning disability center in school. Looking back, I am grateful to those teachers who helped me, but at the time it also served as yet another target on my back.

Even now as an adult and able to take care of myself, I’m not immune to the pangs of childhood trauma memories that surface when I read about a child who’s been beaten up at school, or suffers from bullying at the hands of a sibling.

This topic has become main stream in the last 10 years or so, with advocacy sites and anti-bullying programs readily available to most anyone who has an internet connection, yet even with all of this access and awareness, this problem still exists. Let’s not forget, that with the onset of social media, cyber bullying has taken this problem to an entirely new level. In the US alone, 28% of U.S. students in grades 6–12 experienced bullying, and in a single large study, about 49% of children in grades 4–12 reported being bullied by other students at school at least once during the past month, whereas 30.8% reported bullying others during that time.*

Unfortunately, victims of bullying are 7 to 9 percent more likely to consider suicide, according to a study at Yale University**. In addition, children as young as 6-8 years old have taken their own lives as a result.*** 

Those statistics are staggering, which why it’s so important for us understand the long-term effects of bullying and how we can not only help ourselves, but also help others who have experienced this type of trauma. Make no mistake, being bullied is a form of trauma.  

To help understand how these effects can last well into adulthood, and how to cope and recover, I wanted to talk to an expert and share not only his experiences of being bullied but also his amazing journey of recovery and the work that he’s doing now to help educate youth and their families on this important problem. My good friend and fellow life coach, Alan Eisenberg, recently sat down with me for a chat on this topic, and that is the focus of this episode of the Beyond Your Past Podcast.

Alan is the founder of, and organization who’s dedicated to helping those who suffer from the long-term effects of bullying (Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or C-PTSD) to find the help they so desperately need by providing media, materials and support for their recovery.

Be sure and check out the rest of the blog post over on

If you’d like more information on working with a certified life coach, or if you have questions about how working with a life coach might be right for you… go for it and schedule your free intro session! Always remember, You Are Worth It, and there is hope for moving forward from what holds you back.

Preventing Burnout in Trauma Recovery – Ep. 128

Raise your hand if you’ve heard this before, “pace yourself so you don’t burnout”. Or how about, “take your time, what’s the rush?”

I’m pretty certain I’m not the only one who is literally sitting here in my chair with my hand raised right now. That kind of advice is timeless and applies virtually any aspect of your personal or professional life. Sure there are times when you are up against a deadline and need to work more quickly, but in many cases, deadline or not, finding ways to pace ourselves and work an issue more efficiently is usually to our benefit in the long run.

Recovering from childhood sexual abuse, narcissistic above, emotional neglect, bullying, or any type of childhood trauma is not something you can rush through. It’s a long process, full of ups and downs, struggles and triumphs, and virtually every emotion you can imagine.

One of the things I struggled with during intense times of healing was the concern of doing too much, too fast, and overextending myself without doing proper self-care. I was all in on my healing, which is not a bad thing at all, but at the same time, I often neglected the signs that I was approaching burn out or at the very least the signs that I just needed to ease off the throttle a bit.

The more I healed, the more I learned, and the more I wanted to keep going. That’s not to say there weren’t times when I just wanted to quit, because believe me those were quite plentiful as well. Still though, I was inspired and driven to learn about trauma recovery and how it affected me and what I could do to help myself. My therapist warned on more than a few occasions to take breaks and not “live, eat, and breath” this stuff so much. Hindsight is 20-20, and if only I knew then what I know now…

This episode is a look back at a previous podcast episode, #27,  released back in 2017, and is one where I’m reflecting on this very topic of burnout in trauma recovery.

It’s a good reminder for myself, and perhaps something to consider for you too, that the risk of burnout in healing from childhood trauma, or any type of trauma, is real but there are ways to help ourselves avoid this while still moving forward. After wall, we don’t want to quit and undo all the hard work that we’ve put in.

With my co-host, Joanne Cipressi doing some traveling right now, this was a great time to launch this little project of re-releasing some previous episodes. Many of these older episodes are during the early stages of the podcast, and consist of me just sitting down and talking through my survivor journey.

I hope you’ll enjoy this look back at my thoughts on how I dealt with this, by working through it in my head and with my therapist at the time. And remember, there is no time table in healing except the one you place on yourself. Give yourself the opportunity to heal at a safe pace and embrace the process, because the destination of healing truly is the journey itself.

If you’d like to be a guest for an upcoming episode of the podcast, we’d love to hear from you.

-Matthew Pappas, CLC, MPNLP


All conversation and information exchanged during participation on 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.

Listen to the Cry of a Child, Barbara Joy Hansen Shares her Story and her Faith – Ep. 122

This podcast and my first blog, Surviving My Past, began as a way for me to help tell my survivor story. A story of experiencing childhood sexual abuse, emotional neglect, and bullying, which began between the ages of 5-10 and lasted into early high school. While this podcast has evolved into all types of survivor stories and now features guests to help inspire and encourage you, there will always be a special place in my heart for survivors of trauma and I’m always truly honored to help any survivor share their story and end their silence.

My guest on this episode of the podcast, Barbara Joy Hansen, shared her story on my blog previously and continues to find new ways to inspire, educate, and encourage survivors to embrace healing, release the toxic self-shame, and find hope through faith.

Long before #MeToo & #ChurchToo, I lived with a silent scream for 40 years; having experienced sexual, emotional, verbal, psychological & spiritual abuse. I now choose to use my voice to help others with broken wings to break free from shame. I am a pastor’s daughter who has risen above generational curses with my voice! 

God has raised me from the ashes to give hope to deeply wounded & broken people including drug addicts & prisoners, as a result of my own inner soul healing. I recognize that lack of response on the part of churches when abuse strikes families of faith. I work with church leaders to help equip them to respond to the challenges they face today. 

Grieving my tremendous losses, I wrote my memoir, Listen to the cry of the Child, where I share how victims of abuse often conceal their pain as they carry their scars. Chained as prisoners of their past, many hide in secrecy, afraid of the consequences of revealing the horrors of childhood experiences. On the surface, they may seem carefree and happy, yet inside, a festering wound exists. The only road to freedom from this prison requires confronting the past and revealing its pain in the light of God’s love.

My story has been featured on The Dr. Oz Show, CBN Asia, radio stations, and many websites and blogs, and I am also a regular co-host of the Stop Child Abuse Now radio show, sponsored by the National Association of  Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (

During my chat with Barb, she shares deeply about her faith and the way God is using her and her husband to change the lives of countless survivors:

  • Barb tells her story of surviving sexual, emotional, psychological, and spiritual abuse, and why she decided to write a book about her experiences. This is a very emotional story as you’ll hear in her own voice how she survived and ultimately continues to overcome the effects of abuse.
  • Her advocacy work recently took her to the Philippines as a humanitarian aid worker for two months. You’ll hear a detailed account of the villages she visited, the people she met, and the work they did to help children, families, churches, and inmates in prisons.
    • She shares how her message of faith and hope was received, and the lives that were changed as a result of her message and work.
  • We talk about the opportunities to tell her story on TV, Radio, and other media outlets, and how her faith continues to open up doors for her to share her message of hope and healing for survivors.

Barb’s story is one of deep sadness for the experiences she endured as a child, but also a story of hope, inspiration, and encouragement as she continues to be a beacon of light for survivors of trauma; sharing her story and how her faith has raised her out of the ashes and transformed her life.

To learn more about Barb, be sure and follow her on Twitter @BobbieJoyHanse1, Facebook @Barbara.j.hansen1, and LinkedIn.  You can purchase a cope of her book, Listen to the Cry of a Child, on her website 

Please consider sharing this podcast episode with a survivor you may know, or someone who you feel could benefit from hearing Barb’s story.

-Matthew Pappas, CLC, MPNLP


beyond your past - anxiety & survivor coaching - free 1 hr chat








All conversation and information exchanged during participation on 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.


Experiencing the Freedom of Trauma Recovery in Your Own Way, with Michele Rosenthal – Ep. 113

The very thing that started this podcast, my first blog called Surviving My Past, lead to becoming a coach, and what has been driving me for years now, has been my own personal journey of healing from the past trauma in my life. The childhood sexual abuse between the ages of 5-10, the endless bullying in elementary and middle school, the emotional neglect, all of it was something that I suppressed for decades. Once my journey began though, there was no looking back.

Throughout the years of this podcast I’ve shared my own journey with you and talked to many incredible guests; clinicians, coaches, advocates and every day people who have overcome tremendous odds and now use their story to help inspire you.

michele rosenthal - podcast guest - beyond your past - creating a healing intention in trauma recoveryIf there’s one thing I’ve learned during my own ongoing healing, and after talking with so many experts, is that healing is your own personal experience. No two stories are alike, no two journey’s are alike, no two experiences are completely the same. How we start and what the journey is like a long the way is what makes it so unique and ultimately drives you to continue striving to reach each goal of experiencing life in a new way. To ultimately discover the you you’ve always wanted to be; free from your past.

My guest on this episode of the podcast, the incredible Michele Rosenthal is here to share some of her expertise in the area of PTSD and trauma recovery, including how her journey started and some of the experiences she’s had a long the way that have helped her to arrive at a place of being able to not only share her story but work with others to help them facilitate what their healing experience will be.

Michele Rosenthal’s story, and her work, has been featured on NBC, CBS, The Washington Post, Women’s World, Psychology Today, and many other outlets. She is a Trauma Recovery Strategist who began her healing journey in 1998 and has taken her recovery and made it her own by creating a healing intention and taking control of her life so that she could experience complete freedom.

As she outlines on her website I learned about the importance of hope and belief – from inside myself and from those working with me. I also learned about the critical elements of self-empowerment, vision, meaning and identity. Plus, how we can harness those core strengths and apply them to healing trauma.

By the time I completed my trauma recovery transformation I’d learned a lot about what it takes to release the past, connect to the present, and build a new future. I’d also developed a really deep desire to do something with all that knowledge. Since then I have made it my focus to inspire, guide and assist survivors to overcome depression, worry, and fear as they rebuild their lives after trauma and adversity.

During my chat with Michele we cover:

  • 4:45 – What does it mean to fully heal from trauma and what does that look like; how do we begin to facilitate that?
  • 10:05 – We discuss the layers that make up Shame and Blame in trauma recovery. How do you get to a point of being able to share our story, and work through the fear that doing so creates. (as you’ll hear, fear manifests itself in many ways during this process)
  • 14:45 – We continue chatting about Fear in regards to moving forward in healing. How does fear hold you back? The problems with trying to control healing, so it moves at the pace you feel it should..and why that doesn’t always work out. What being obsessed with healing can do to us and for us.
  • 18:28 – Choosing your identity coming out of trauma, and how to continue that development. Creating and mastering the resources you need to sustain the changes you work so hard to implement.
  • 24:40 – What is a Healing Rampage, and what did that look like for Michele. The process of clawing your way through everything that trauma has dumped on you, and giving 100% of yourself to the determination to be free. We also discuss what showing up for yourself means, and how healing is not just a once a week therapy session.We also touch on the benefits and necessity of working with a trauma informed therapist.
  • 31:32 – Michele and I discuss some of the benefits of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) in healing from trauma and overcoming anxiety. The process of creating new neural pathways using the science of how the brain works. Using the language of the brain and how it works to your benefit to speed up healing and experience empowerment in such a more efficient way that feels natural and good to you as an individual.
  • 38:38 – We wrap up by sharing more about the importance of creating and developing the tools that work for you, to sustain you once you’ve begun your healing journey and once you begin to reach the goals you’ve set for yourself, so you can handle what life throws at you and the struggles that will ultimately show up.

Don’t just take my word for it by simply reading the highlights…. Go ahead click play right here in this post or find us on your favorite podcasting app and listen to the insight and empowering words of Michele Rosenthal. Be sure and head over to for more information about working with Michele, the 3 books she’s written,  check out videos she’s created, and the podcast she facilitated and read the many testimonials from clients and colleagues who’ve worked with her.

You can follow Michele on Twitter @MyTraumaCoach and Facebook @Michele.Rosenthal

Thank you again Michele for joining me on Beyond Your Past, I’m looking forward to talking with you on the show again!

-Matthew Pappas, CLC, MPNLP

free one hour coaching sessions - beyond your past

All conversation and information exchanged during participation on 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. 95 – Post Traumatic Growth, with Lucille Zimmerman

When I first started blogging, the primary focus was living with Dissociation, Anxiety, and PTSD. After all, those are the things that I struggled with the most. Being a survivor of childhood trauma, I never knew that I could have PTSD; for so long I thought that was only for those who were in the military. I had never even heard of Dissociation until I spent a couple of years working with a therapist. Anxiety, well I knew I was anxious but I didn’t realize how much it was affecting my life and how those anxious feelings had turned into full-blown anxiety.

As time went on and my work with a therapist continued, and then working with a trauma informed coach, I began to learn about this concept of Post Traumatic Growth. It sounded intriguing to me since I was engulfing into healing so much that I figured it had to start paying off eventually, and this Post Traumatic Growth thing sounded like the path I was headed toward, which was exciting.

lucille zimmerman - post traumatic growth - podcast on beyond your pastWait, did I just say that trauma work was exciting?  Well not really the trauma work itself, but the healing sure was. That’s how I approached this journey; as a learning experience. I figured, if I had endured the childhood sexual abuse between 5-10 years old, if I had experienced more bullying in middle school than I cared to admit, then I should at least try to learn from it and use it to my advantage. I didn’t want the trauma to be the end of my story.

My guest on this episode of the podcast, is Counselor, Teacher, and Author, Lucille Zimmerman. She is an expert on Post Traumatic Growth, and shares her insight on this subject with us on the show.

Lucille Zimmerman has a Master of Arts in Counseling degree, and is a Licensed Professional Counselor.  She works with individuals and groups from supportive to insight-oriented psychotherapy, and has worked in a variety of mental health facilities, which included crises/resource oriented counseling to more one-on-one insight therapy.

I have experience treating people in crises, coping with health and midlife issues, eating disorders, struggles related to self-esteem, child abuse, trauma, and marital difficulties. I work with adults treat many people with a wide spectrum of emotional struggles and concerns. I work from a bio-psycho-social context and my treatment approach is adapted to each individual according to need. I am also trained in EMDR for trauma.

On the podcast today we dive into some specific aspects of Post Traumatic Growth, including:

  • Some of her story, and how past traumatic events in her life, including the Columbine Shooting in 1999, affected her and lead to begin searching for how she could help others who experienced all types of trauma.
  • Just because you experienced trauma, does that automatically mean you will get PTSD, and what factors contribute to PTSD?
  • Why do some people grow as a result of trauma, while others stay stuck
  • Keys to Post Traumatic Growth, and ways that we can help ourselves heal and learn from the trauma.
  • How ruminating can actually be a good thing, and even necessary, in order to experience Post Traumatic Growth.

I encourage you to listen to Lucille share with you all of those topics and more on the podcast. We spend a good deal of time talking about those keys to growth and why some people struggle while others are able to heal; and as we talked I was examining my own life and how some of the skills and strategies I used to during some deep parts of my healing, were the very same ones she mentioned as well. In fact, I still use those skills today, because like we always say on Beyond Your Past, healing from trauma is a life long journey.

Lucille’s insight, approach, and encouraging outlook on the reasons we can heal and learn from our past will surely empower you to embrace the possibilities in your healing journey.

To learn more about Lucille Zimmerman, be sure to check out her website and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

-Matthew Pappas, CLC, MPNLP







All conversation and information exchanged during participation on 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. 89 – Men’s Mental Health, #MeToo, and Overcoming Shame, with Andrea Schneider LCSW

For all of the progress that has been made in recent years in the area of men’s mental health, it’s still a subject that can yield a variety of responses based on not only who you talk too, but also the current social media and political climate as well.

I can remember back when I was I was in school, (and no the 1980’s weren’t all THAT long ago) the subject of mental health in general was not something you heard much about, and even less in the area of men’s mental health. We didn’t have bullying prevention rally’s in school, sex education was a 1 semester class in your senior year, and intro to psychology was class you took to study the reactions of other classmates when you asked them certain types of questions.

Nowadays, mental health is all over social media, commercials on TV and radio, there are podcasts devoted to all aspects of it *hint hint*, incredible advocacy groups who share knowledge and help inspire change,  and overall the exposure that this previously ignored and taboo topic is getting is encouraging.

So why is it then, that for all of the positive movement, there are still so many that feel ashamed to talk about it with a doctor or therapist, much less discuss it around the campfire or weekend cookout?

My point is, to reiterate that while we have come a long way, there is still so much work to be done. So much stigma and shame to expose in the area of men’s mental health.  I feel it’s important to mention that I am by no means minimizing the important of mental health in women, but for the purposes of this podcast with Andrea Schneider, we’ll focus more on the male challenges.

Andrea Schneider, MSW, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker in private practice in San Dimas, CA. She received her MSW from University of Michigan (the top ranked social work program in the country) and her B.A. in Psychology from UCLA (#2 in the country). 

During her 20+ year career, Andrea has counseled thousands of individuals and families covering a broad range of issues and challenges, developing specialties in maternal wellness, narcissistic abuse recovery, special needs parenting, and  grief/loss.  Andrea is EMDR trained, a modality which helps clients dealing with a wide range of concerns in trauma recovery, including PTSD, complex-PTSD, relational trauma, depression, anxiety, grief and loss.

She also has experience in helping children and families deal with loss and trauma issues. Not only is she trained in EMDR, but during her Master’s program, Andrea interned at a hospice agency and trained under an art/play therapy program. She uses art intervention in her treatment with both children and adults, and has a Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy Credential from the Trauma-Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy Institute. 

Andrea is also a fellow podcaster on the Mental Health News Radio Network, where you can find her show, The Savvy Shrink.

During our chat on the Beyond Your Past Podcast, we discuss some areas surrounding men’s mental health including:

  • The man card, and tough guy image that follows males regardless of background
  • Building the trauma language, emotional language, and confidence in opening up to others
  • How men are getting more confident in reaching out, yet still feel ashamed and self-conscious
  • How much political climate and social media affect our confidence in talking about mental health, and how much we share.
  • Bullying and mental health, and the changes from decades ago and now in 2018.
  • Men and the #MeToo movement, including the feelings of alienation that are present even with all of the exposure.

Andrea Schneider and I dive more into each of those topics and hopefully shed some light on not only men’s mental health, but the importance of reaching out for help regardless of gender. Everyone deserves to be heard, validated, and appreciated for who they are and what they’ve been through.

Please be sure and check out , and follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.

If you haven’t done so, please consider subscribing to Beyond Your Past on your favorite podcasting app and sharing it on social media!

-Matthew Pappas, CLC, CPNLP








All conversation and information exchanged during participation on 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. 87 – Mental Health Advocacy from Personal Experience, with Charlotte Underwood

Living day in and day out as someone who has experienced extreme hardship from the loss of a parent, childhood trauma, addiction, eating disorders, and more, is hard enough as it is, but to speak about it publicly as you continue to face your past each day as well can be even more difficult. After all this is something that we’d probably rather push down into a dark corner of our mind, and never think about again.

It’s often a source that still has open wounds which are decades old, some of which still feel as fresh as the day they happened. Others, well the scars are there to remind us of what we experienced. Either way, those things that we’d rather forget, can be a source of motivation and encouragement, both for us and for those whom we influence each day, knowingly or otherwise.

charlotte underwood - author and advocate - podcast guest - beyond your pastCharlotte Underwood is an advocate, author, and freelance writer who’s dedicated her life to talking about areas of personal struggle in hopes of helping others and instituting the change that is so desperately needed in the areas of mental health care and support. Her content includes topics such as: Anxiety & Depression, Self-Harm, Suicide Loss and Suicidal Ideations, Eating Disorders, Bullying, and more. Bringing her on as my guest for this episode of the Beyond Your Past Podcast, is something I have been looking forward ever since I came across her profile on Instagram and began following her work.

As she outlines on her website, I’m Charlotte Underwood, a young 22-year-old from Norfolk, UK. I am a growing mental health advocate and like to use writing to inform and support. On this blog you can keep up to date with my written work, both self published and through other means. I post a lot about mental health, depression, anxiety and suicide. I want to raise awareness as well as end the stigma.

I have been writing professionally for a year now but don’t let that put you off, for though it seems like I have little experience, that is not that case. I have written two E-Books and run my own growing and successful blog, soon I even hope to break my poetry out into the world! I have written over 100 Guest posts, …and have worked for The Metro, TalkSpace, Young Minds and The Content Wolf.

My content is focused on mental health and lifestyle, you can expect candid and thought-provoking content from me.

During my chat with Charlotte, you’ll learn:

  • When she first felt like something was wrong in her life.
  • What it’s been like for her living with a mental illness
  • How her recovery continues to progress
  • Ways that she manages daily life with her mental illness
  • What being an advocate means to her, and why sharing from personal experience is so important.
  • Seeking out mental health assistance in the U.K.; including her personal challenges and ways that she’s working to help change that process.

Charlotte speaks very candidly with a perspective that is well beyond her age. Indeed, she’s lived through some tremendous adversity, including losing her father to suicide and surviving her own attempt. Her honesty and drive to help others and bring about awareness and change, is inspiring. Her willingness to talk about the topics that many would rather avoid,  is and surely will continue to make a difference in this world.

There’s much more I could share about my chat with this incredible advocate and survivor, so head over check out my podcast with Charlotte Underwood, and learn more about her life and her dedication to helping others :).

Please consider following Charlotte on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, where she is very active on a daily basis. Her blog is a great follow as well, and her two eBooks are available for download on her website.

Thanks again Charlotte for joining on the podcast, I’m honored to know you and to help share your message!

-Matthew Pappas, CLC, CPNLP








All conversation and information exchanged during participation on 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. 83 – Marriage, Mental Health, and Self Care, with Joe and Beka Lombardo

When you’ve been married for 17 years, you can certainly say that you’ve seen your share of struggles and triumphs, ups and downs, good times and rough times. Even more, through all of those experiences you can most definitely say that you are dedicated to each other and your relationship. It’s that kind of dedication that can help carry you through the challenges that come with mental illness, and also help you celebrate each and ever win in your relationship and advocacy work. That’s especially true with my guests on this episode of the Beyond Your Past Podcast, Beka and Joe Lombardo.

beka and joe lombardo - podcast guest on beyond your past - marriage and mental healthI first came to know Beka a few years back when I started Surviving My Past, and she offered to be a guest blogger, and share some insight in the area of body image and bullying. Since then we’ve kept in touch and supported each other’s work while building a friendship and mutual respect for the struggles of living with mental health challenges.

Beka is a blogger for The Mighty, and an author of her own book, It’s Not Your Journey, the true story of one woman who fights a battle inside her mind every single day and attempts to document what she is feeling to help others while she helps herself.  Her ongoing battle is not fought alone, her incredible husband Joe is there with her every step of the way as they navigate daily life in the wake of a troubled past. Their never-ending desire to help others is forged not only in blogging and her book, but also with their podcast, Voices for Change 2.0, which I had the pleasure of being a guest on previously.

During my recent chat with Beka and Joe, we talk primarily about their relationship and the unique challenges that come with being a suicide attempt survivor and having a mental illness:

  • Did Rebecca explain her mental health struggles before you started a relationship?
  • You’ve been married for nearly 17 years despite the difficulties mental illness brings.
  • What advice do you have for someone entering a relationship with someone with mental illness?
  • The effect that Beka’s suicide attempt had on Joe and how he’s been able to support her as well as making sure to take care of himself.
  • How and why they started the #KeepTalkingMH hashtag and what it’s meant for them and so many who use it on social media.

Thanks so much to both Beka and Joe for joining me on the show, and being so open about their struggles so that others can benefit and realize that no matter what they endure, there is hope and that they are surely not alone.  Be sure and check out for information about their advocacy work, her book, and the podcast.  Oh, and if you are looking for a guitar teacher, Joe teaches on the weekends and just might be looking for some new students!

Please consider subscribing and leaving a review on your favorite podcasting app, I would definitely appreciate it,  and thank you to my incredible sponsors, and Daily Recovery Support.

-Matthew Pappas, CLC, CPNLP








All conversation and information exchanged during participation on 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. 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,, 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

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