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Voices In The Family

November 2011

Suicide: "Finding the Light Within"

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A Philadelphia mural in progress called Finding the Light Within sheds light on youth suicide. Images of those touched by this serious issue shape a community around the topic. Meanwhile, recent writing workshops by First Person Arts have given voice to suicide survivors, friends, and family.

On the next Voices in the Family with Dan Gottlieb, we draw from the positive and creative spirit of these two powerful local projects while exploring the difficult and painful topic of suicide. We'll discuss the void left behind in families as well as risk factors, prevention, healing and support, education, and community building. Our guests include individuals who have strong ties to the Mural Arts and First Person Arts suicide awareness projects: James Burns, Jonathan Singer, Terri Erbacher, and Clara Williams.

James Burns is an artist with Philadelphia's Mural Arts Program. He designed the mural in progress Finding the Light Within, intended to educate the public about warning signs of suicidal behavior and how to seek help for loved ones before there is a loss of life.

Jonathan Singer, Ph.D., LCSW, is an assistant professor of social work at Temple University. After brainstorming with Burns, he created a website where people can share, anonymously, stories about surviving the loss of a loved one to suicide, or helping someone through a suicidal crisis.

Terri Erbacher, Ph.D, works as a school psychologist for the Delaware County Intermediate Unit and is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. She is Chapter President of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and is on the Executive Committee of the Pennsylvania State Youth Suicide Prevention Initiative. Her essay will be featured at an upcoming First Person Arts event which showcases stories that served as inspiration for Burns's mural.

Clara Williams lives in Philadelphia. She, too, contributed an essay for First Person Arts.

Cultural Denial and Child Sex Abuse

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Alleged incidents of child sexual abuse brought to light at Penn State are disturbing. University stakeholders have been ousted. The campus remains a live wire of anger and confusion. As our hearts go out to children and families who have come forward with their stories, we find ourselves wondering, why did so many people fail to report what they saw or heard about?

On the next Voices in the Family with Dan Gottlieb: why the cultural hesitation and denial in sexual abuse cases, in general, when the well-being of children is at stake? We'll take a look at the psychology of institutional betrayal as well as prevention of abuse with Jennifer J. Freyd, Michael Stinson, Ken Singer, and Kelly Moore.

Jennifer J. Freyd is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Oregon. She has published extensively on topics that include child abuse, memory, and mental health, as well as ethical issues related to trauma research and conceptualizations. Her current research includes investigation of the impact of institutional betrayal. She is finishing a new book called Betrayal, co-written with Pamela J. Birrell.

Michael Stinson is the Director of Prevention Services at The Joseph J. Peters Institute in Philadelphia. He develops community education programs to address the prevention of child sexual abuse. He sits on the Sexual Assault Advisory Committee for the City of Philadelphia and represents JJPI on the Law Enforcement Child Abuse Project (LECAP).

Ken Singer, MSW, treats perpetrators and victims of childhood sexual abuse. He's written Evicting the Perpetrator: A Male Survivor Guide to Recovery from Childhood Sexual Abuse. He's executive director and past-president of NJ ATSA (Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers).

Kelly Moore has written When Men Are Cowards: Sex, Crime and Cover-Up at Penn State College Football for the Huffington Post.

Family Gatherings: The Passage of Time

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Holiday gatherings punctuate our year. They mark the change of seasons but also personal changes and rights of passage in our lives. Sometimes there's word of a new job, a new baby, an illness, a separation...a death -- all of which can shift family dynamics and friendships for better or for worse.

On the next Voices in the Family with Dan Gottlieb, who's coming to dinner over the holidays? How families mark the passage of time with pronouncements, births, feuds, and feasts. We'll also look at some of the basics of getting along.

Dan will be joined by psychiatrist Barbara Wingate, M.D. and wellness coach and health educator Elizabeth Scott.

Nerds: How Anti-intellectualism is Bad

This program originally aired on April 4, 2011

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The term nerd refers to a group of people who are intellectuals or outliers. They might be socially awkward - or not.

You hear the word nerd, and the next thing you expect is some kind of joke or put down. But who are these so-called nerds, and why is it still okay to stereotype this group and make fun of them?

On the next Voices in the Family with Dan Gottlieb: the nerd stereotype and how it harms us. We hear from David Anderegg, Ph.D. He argues that there really isn't anything called nerd; all that's real is the stereotype that negatively impacts children and adolescents...and interferes with our country's desire to compete globally.

David Anderegg is the author of Nerds: How Dorks, Dweebs, Techies, and Trekkies Can Save America and Why They Might Be Our Last Hope. He's a professor of psychology at Bennington College in Vermont.