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Voices In The Family

March 2011


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Storytelling enriches our lives in many ways. The stories we tell one another help us make sense of the world around us and help us give shape to what stirs within us. On the next Voices in the Family, Dan Gottlieb and his guests Arthur Frank and Allen Weg look at storytelling as a form of sharing and connecting but also as a vehicle for creating perceptions and action. And Dan tells his own story about a recent fall from his wheel chair which left him with severe injuries: a brain hemorrhage and nerve damage in both arms. He's doing much better now! Arthur Frank is a professor of sociology at the University of Calgary and the author of Letting Stories Breathe: A Socio-Narratology. Allen Weg is a licensed psychologist and founder and executive director of Stress and Anxiety Services of New Jersey. He's written OCD Treatment Through Storytelling: A Strategy for Successful Therapy.

Learn about First Person Arts, Philadelphia's nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming the drama of real life into memoir and documentary art. www.firstpersonarts.org

Self Compassion

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For many of us it's easy to be kind and forgiving to our partners, our children, or acquaintances. But what about your relationship with yourself? Do you treat yourself with kindness, or are you quick to be self critical and judgmental? Can you forgive others more easily than yourself? New research is showing us that Self-Compassion - the ability to accept and love yourself for the good and the not-so good and to give yourself a break - has great implications for weight loss, health and general well-being.
This week on Voices in the Family, Dan Gottlieb speaks with Kristen Neff, Ph.D. She and her family were featured in the award-winning documentary and best selling book: The Horse Boy, which she describes as a journey with autism, horses, and healing. She has a new book titled: Self-Compassion that comes out next month. Neff is an associate professor in human development and culture at the University of Texas at Austin.

Prolonged Adolescence

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For many families, raising teens is akin to juggling Jell-O...it's a challenge, to say the least! And the countdown to becoming empty nesters can't come soon enough. But what happens when your adult child doesn't fly the coop, or they come back after a short time away?
For years now in our culture, a growing number of young adults have become reliant on mom and dad for the basics for longer periods of time - often well beyond the college years. This dependence is so evident that some social scientists have expanded the age range of adolescence.
It's clear the recession hasn't made it easy to find jobs...and housing can cost big bucks. But, in some cases, there's a blatant lack of interest in taking on the responsibilities of adulthood.
On the next Voices in the Family with Dan Gottlieb: the route to independence for young adults...we'll look at the bumps in the roads, the detours, and how parents are handling it.
Dan's guests include Laurence Steinberg, Jennifer Lynn Tanner, and Janet Berson. Steinberg is an internationally known expert on adolescence and the author of You and Your Adolescent: The Essential Guide for Ages 10 to 25 (revised January 2011). Tanner is a Visiting Research Assistant Professor at the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research at Rutgers University. And Janet Berson practices psychology in Moorestown, New Jersey.

Relationship with Our Bodies as We Age

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Michelle Obama is writing a book on healthy eating and gardening. A recent push toward a more fit nation raises issues of body image and not just among kids and young adults. While some eating disorders begin in childhood, others begin in middle age.

67% of women over 30 are dissatisfied with their bodies while a growing number of eating disorders programs are seeing a surge in women over 40 who don't think they're thin enough, which can translate into not feeling good enough. Often times, this sense of self develops in adolescence, gets tucked away for a while, and then emerges later - getting in the way of a normal transition to mid-life.

On the next Voices in the Family with Dan Gottlieb: body image and eating disorders as we age, with Dr. Margo Maine, Jane Shure, Ph.D., and Dr. Kathryn Zerbe.

Margo Maine has written a number of books, including: Treatment of Eating Disorders: Bridging the Gap Between Research and Practice and The Body Myth: Adult Women and the Pressure to Be Perfect.

Jane Shure is a family therapist in Philadelphia. She co-edited Effective Clinical Practice in the Treatment of Eating Disorders: The Heart of the Matter (with Margo Maine & William Davis) and co-authored Inside/Outside Self-Discovery for Teens: Strategies to Promote Resilience, Relationships, and Positive Body Image (with Helene Feinberg-Walker & Sarah Barrett).

Kathryn Zerbe is an eating disorders specialist and author of The Body Betrayed: A Deeper Understanding of Women, Eating Disorders, and Treatment. She teaches psychiatry at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland.

For more information about eating disorders, attend a national symposium in Philadelphia, presented by A Chance to Heal. More information »