Holding Space

By Dr. Cassidy Freitas

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Category: Self-Help

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Welcome to Holding Space Podcast with Dr. Cassidy Freitas, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. As a licensed therapist, it is my job to hold space for stories, questions, pain, joy, growth, and change. The following episodes will offer a space to de-mystify mental health and therapy, share stories of struggle and joy, and discover connection through our human experiences.

Episode Date
Self Compassion and Social Activism with Tim Desmond

In this episode I share my conversation with Tim Desmond, mindfulness teacher, therapist, professor, and student of Zen Master and Social Activist Thich Nhat Hanh. Tim and I discuss the bridge between showing compassion to ourselves and social activism. Tim offers real ways in which we can develop self-compassion and mindfulness practices while we step into the arena of activism, and discusses the power of thoughtful self-disclosure both in therapy and in parenting. Tim has written several books on Self-Compassion including Self-Compassion in Psychotherapy and The Self-Compassion Skills Workbook, and has a new book coming out next year called How to Stay Human in a F*ed up World. To read more about Tim's work click here.

Jul 31, 2018
Partners in Life and Business with Elle and Jared Rowley

In this episode I sit down with Elle and Jared Rowley, CEO and CFO of Solly Baby Wraps. Elle and Jared are my first couple on the podcast! Elle and Jared share how they met, their decision to go into business with each other, and how they make it all work. To follow their personal journeys you can find them at @ellerowley and @jaredrowley and their businesses @sollybabywrap and at https://shop.sollybaby.com.

Jul 22, 2018
Growing Up a Third Culture Kid, Global Citizenship, and Talking to Children About Racial Identity: A Personal Story with Anjelica Malone

In this episode I sit down with Anjelica Malone. Anjelica is a writer, educator, and birth/postpartum doula with a mission to cultivate a global tribe of women. In this episode we discuss her experience growing up a third culture kid, and how this experience influenced her identity and her value of global citizenship. Anjelica shares how her military service and her work with pregnant refugee women impacted her approach to birth and postpartum care and discusses how she and her partner talk to their children about racial identity. To read more about Anjelica's work you can find her website here and you can follow her journey on social media here.

Jul 15, 2018
You've Got This Mama with Andrea Faulkner Williams

In this episode I sit down with Andrea Faulkner Williams, co-founder of Tubby Todd a natural and organic product line and author of the book You've Got This Mama: Ideas for Taking Care of You While You're Taking Care of Your Little OneWe discuss the importance of and challenges of self-care as a mother, setting realistic boundaries, and the power of asking for help. Andrea is a triple threat: she's warm, hilarious, and brilliant. To follow Andrea's work you can find her here, and for her personal journey follow her here!

Jul 09, 2018
Mindfulness and Self-Compassion with Dr. Steve Hickman

In this episode I sit down with Dr. Steve Hickman, founding director of the Center for Mindfulness at the University of California, San Diego. We explore the powerful role of mindulness and self-compassion as it relates to creating change and developing a new relationship with our pain. We also discuss the impact of gender discourses on mindfulness and showing compassion towards ourselves, and how to integrate all of these ideas in parenting. This episode is full of helpful tips, metaphors, and motivation for relating to our struggles in a different way. A couple of resources mentioned were Dr. Kristin Neff's work on self-compassion and The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion by Chris Germer. For more information on Dr. Hickman's work and classes/resources at UCSD Center for Mindfulness, click here. For Mindful Self-Compassion courses here in San Diego held at UCSD, find more information here.

Jul 02, 2018
Conscious Connection with Dr. Dan Siegel

In this episode I sit down with Dr. Dan Siegel, clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and the founding co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA. Dr. Siegel has published extensively for the professional audience.  He is the author of numerous articles, chapters, and the internationally acclaimed text, The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are. He has written five parenting books, including three New York Times bestsellers. In this episode we discuss his work on mindsight and explore the relationship between mindsight and cultivating conscious connections. We explore how we can support our children who are growing up in a digitized world. Dr. Siegel has a new book coming out this summer August 2018 called Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence which you can pre-order here. Sitting down with Dr. Dan was absolutely a career highlight for me, he has shaped so much of my work and I am honored to share this conversation with you.

Jun 25, 2018
Call to Action: Privilege, Compassion, and Talking to our Children

This week we have seen families stripped from each other at our border. This is a human crisis, but this crisis did not just start this week. If we zoom out we will see a lot of anger, and a lot of hatred, and a lot of dehumanization for those who are considered "other." In this episode we explore how we got to where we are, we discuss the dangers of dehumanization, privilege and intersectionality, compassion (for ourselves and others), empathy, and the different ways in which we can show up as activists. I end the episode exploring how we can talk to our children about privilege and activism. In this episode I mention several resourses including the work of Brené Brown and her book Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone. I also share the work of  Dr. Kristin Neff on self-compassion. In terms of privilege I mention Peggy McIntosh's article White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack and Beverly Tatum's book Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria: And Other Conversations About Race. Michael Ventura's Applied Empathy work is also discussed, and raceconscious.org is shared as a resource for talking to our kids about race and privilege. Resources for finding ways to support what is happening at our borders can be found here

Jun 22, 2018
Dad's Mental Health with Dr. Dan Singley

In this episode I sit down with Clinical Psychologist and father involvement researcher Dr. Dan Singley. In honor of Father's Day and International Father's Mental Health Day, we explore dad's mental health, specifically in early fatherhood. We explore the messages that dad's receive, the fatherhood generational gap, symptoms of perinatal mood and anxiety disoders in dads, risk factors, protective factors, and the importance in supporting emotional intelligence for men. Some of the resources mentioned in the episode are: social networking site for dad's Padre Cadre, Life of Dad, Daddit, and Postpartum Support International. At the end of the episode I also share research findings from a study I conducted looking at paternal peripartum depression. To find more about Dr. Singley's work you can find him at www.menexcel.com. 

Jun 17, 2018
Friendship with Miriam Kirmayer

In this episode we explore adult friendships with friendship researcher Miriam Kirmayer. Miriam and I discuss the complexities of adult friendships, why they are so important, what makes them hard, how they are different from other relationships, how to build your friendship network, and the unique experiences of parents and entrepreneurs when it comes to friends! Miriam offers some great resources, including her blog on psychologytoday.com, apps such as Bumble BFF, Peanut for new moms, Meet Up and Meet Me! To continue following Miriam's work you can find her here!

Jun 11, 2018
The Climb: Bringing Awareness to Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders

In this episode I'm sharing an incredible event aimed at bringing awareness to perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Did you know that 1 in 5 moms and 1 in 10 dads will suffer with a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder? The Climb Out of the Darkness is the world's largest event raising funds and awareness for perinatal mental illness like postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety. For this episode I sat down with the local San Diego Climb team: Dr. Daniel Singley, a local San Diego psychologist specializing in early fatherhood and a Board member of Postpartum Support International; Jennifer Varela, sleep coach and President-Elect of the Postpartum Health Alliance; and Julie Lopez, attorney-at-law, who is a proud survivor of postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety. We talk about the event, the impact of sleep during the postpartum period, paternal mental health, and Julie shares her story that brought her to put on the Climb here in San Diego. The climb is going down at 9am on Saturday, June 23rd in Kate Sessions Park in Pacific Beach! For more information on the Climb, you can find them on Facebook, on the Postpartum Health Alliance, and at Postpartum Support International. To donate, click here


Jun 07, 2018
Play and Parenting with Dr. Kim Van Dusen, LMFT

In this episode I sit down with Dr. Kim Van Dusen, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Registered Play Therapist. Together we explore the power of play as a bridge to connection with our children. We share some of our own stories of how we have used play in our work and as parents and discuss how play shows up as an important ingredient to whole-hearted living and wellness for both children and adults! To find more about Dr. Kim's work as a parenting educator, you can find her here!

Jun 04, 2018
Brutiful Partner Relationships with Janelle Nelson, LMFT

In this episode, I sit down with Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Janelle Nelson. Janelle and I explore both the brutal and beautiful experiences of intimate partner relationships. We discuss the need to deconstruct the shame that is often experienced within marital and intimate partner struggles, and offer ideas of how couples can transform through connection. We discuss how it can take courage to stay in a relationship and work on it, and it can also take courage to leave when that is being called for. To find more information on Janelle's work, click here!

May 29, 2018
The Myth of Balance with Rachel Pally

In this episode I sit down with fashion designer Rachel Pally. Rachel shares with us how she built her business by hearing the "no's" and showing up anyway. We discuss how becoming a mother has transformed her, the myth of balance, and how she has reclaimed "self-care" by personalizing it to work for her life now. We also explore the importance of friends that you can share your shame stories with, the double edge sword of social media, and Rachel shares her experiences with therapy. Rachel keeps it real, and the world of curated filtered perfection could FOR SURE use more of that! Thanks for tuning in! www.rachelpally.com

May 21, 2018
Scarcity Culture and the Daring Way with Rebecca Ching, LMFT

In this episode I sit down with Rebecca Ching, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and owner of Potentia (an integrative mental health center in San Diego). Rooted in the research and practice of Brené Brown, Rebecca has completed training to become a  Daring Way™ Facilitator and Consultant. In today's episode we talk about scarcity, abundance, and the power of "enough." Some resources (beyond Brené Brown) mentioned in the episode are: selfleadership.org, You are the One You've Been Waiting For, The Body Keeps the Score, and Dan Siegel's work. 

May 16, 2018
Finding Community and Sorting Through the Noise Within Motherhood with Renata Cameron, LMFT

In this episode I sit down with Renata Cameron, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and founder of the modernized mommy and me support group Milestones. Renata and I discuss building a support tribe, sorting through the noise of information, introvert motherhood, and getting comfortable in the "gray." Renata shares her own personal struggle with perfectionism, and her relationship with "good enough." For more information on Renata's mommy and me support groups, click here!

May 14, 2018
Grief and Death

Death has no respect for the differences we have created among us; we will each be touched by it. Those left behind often report feeling disconnected from the events of the world, as if the one who died took a part of them with. For a period of time people check in, give their condolences, share memories. Slowly, but often not slowly enough, people stop asking. There is an expectation that death is something to get over, something to move on from. We are to be sad, of course, but we are expected to say goodbye and let go. In this episode Dr. Cassidy explores how the discourses of "letting go" and "saying goodbye" actually challenges our grief process. Instead of letting go, what if the result of grieving was to restore what has been lost? To read an article Dr. Cassidy wrote for Darling Magazine blog on this topic, click here.

May 12, 2018
The Power of Hope with Tamara Taggart

In this episode I sit down with journalist and activist Tamara Taggart. In Tamara's ted talk "The Two Conversations that Changed My Life" she described two pivotal moments in her life, one where she was told her son has down syndrome, and the other when she was told she had cancer. In this episode we discuss the power of hope, where it showed up, how she cultivated it when it wasn't offerred, her discover of resiliency in vulnerability, and her empowering experience of advocacy. A third pivotal moment in Tamara's life was the recent loss of her longheld job as a news anchor. Tamara shares how she is holding space for intention as she moves through this new transition. To follow Tamara's journey, you can find her on social media here.

May 07, 2018
Breastfeeding Support Through Every Stage with Robin Kaplan, M.Ed., IBCLC

In this episode I sit down with Robin Kaplan, founder of the San Diego Breastfeeding Center and author of Latch. Robin has her Masters in Education and is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. In this episode Robin debunks some breastfeeding myths, explains why so many women find themselves struggling when it comes to breastfeeding, explores the role of partner support, discusses the relationship between breastfeeding and intimacy, shares useful tips on transitioning back to work while breastfeeding, and answers tough questions like, "in our well-meaning efforts to support lactacting moms, did we take the idea of breast is best too far?" To read more about Robin's services and work, go to www.sdbfc.com, or buy her book Latch here!

May 07, 2018
Preparing for Motherhood During Pregnancy with Dr. Christine Sterling, OB/GYN

In this episode I sit down with Dr. Christine Sterling, OB/GYN. Dr. Sterling discusses her approach to pregnancy care, where she supports women in preparing for life beyond birth. Dr. Sterling shares how each specific trimester offers a unique opportunity to cultivate empowering self-care habits, build a strong tribe, and begin the beautiful connection to your baby.

May 01, 2018
How to Work Through Creative Blocks

In this episode, we discuss how to get unstuck from creative blocks by developing a new relationship with painful experiences of Fear, Resistance, Shame, and Perfectionism. We explore how acceptance of difficult emotions can create space for us to regain our creative flow. For more information on Dr. Cassidy's creative consultation work, click here!

Apr 22, 2018