Join Licensed Therapist, Robyn Tamanaha, in this monthly podcast discussing books that feature mental health and mental illness topics. The discussion will be from the point of view of mental health professionals. A wide range of books will be covered including children’s, middle grade, young adult, adult, fiction, non-fiction, graphic novel, autobiography, and self-help.
Watch the Intro Episode Below: Host, Robyn Tamanaha, provides background as a therapist, how this podcast came about, and what it’s intended for.
Disclaimer: Disclaimer: This information is being provided to you for educational and informational purposes only. It is not psychotherapy or counseling. This information is to be used based on your own judgment. If you need to speak with a professional, you should find one local to you and contact them directly. IF THIS IS AN EMERGENCY, PLEASE CALL YOUR LOCAL EMERGENCY NUMBER OR GO TO YOUR NEAREST EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT.
Intro Episode Transcript
Hi, welcome to Books Between Sessions. My name is Robyn Tamanaha and I am the creator and host. Before delving into the podcast, I’d like to first give you some background about me, how this podcast came about, and what it’s intended for.
I’m a licensed marriage and family therapist and I have my own private practice in Orange County, CA. Before that, I spent many years working in community mental health at a nonprofit and then different agencies as a therapist. Throughout my career, I’ve been a therapist for very young children, 5 years old and younger, I’ve been a therapist for older adults, and every age in between. I’ve provided group therapy, family therapy, individual therapy, play therapy, and art therapy for people who have experienced different types traumas, were involved in the legal system, people who struggled with substance use, children and teens who struggled in school whether it was academically or with peers, and youth and adults with mental illness such as schizophrenia, as well as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and ADHD, to name a few. The one thing that had been consistent throughout my whole career is that I’ve always had clients on my caseload who are living with bipolar disorder or depression, and those two are my specialty at my private practice.
So, initially, I was putting up videos on my private practice website on a monthly and sometimes bi-weekly basis, where I discussed different mental health and therapy topics, as well as videos that were specific to depression and bipolar disorder; however, for two videos I decided to do something different and instead talk about a YOUNG ADULT book that had to do with mental health or mental illness. One book was When We Collided by Emery Lord, which is about a teen girl living with bipolar disorder, coming to terms with the diagnosis, and challenges with medication. The book talked about positive qualities about her and how the diagnosis is not her sole identity. It also addressed how it had impacted her relationships with peers and family. The other book was Darius The Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram, which is about a teen boy living with depression, who is half Persian half Caucasian in Portland Oregon. The book discussed his family history of the diagnosis, specifically his father also lives with depression and they both taking medication for it. The book addressed side effects of the medication. In the book, he travels to Iran to see family, experiences how mental illness is looked at differently there and he tries to explain it to others. During that time he meets someone who provide a good example of how to be supportive to someone with depression. Those videos were really fun for me to make because I’m a book lover. Interestingly, those two videos on those two separate books were my most watched videos.
I read a ton of books. When I was younger, I read a lot of autobiographies. About 4 years ago, I had a monthly subscription for a book box, that included one or two books that were fiction, and goodies that went along with the theme for that month. When I’m not seeing clients, I’m pretty much always reading and going to and from the local bookstore or public library, and I’ve been very impressed, especially with the middle grade books for middle schoolers and young adult books for teens, because they discuss real life challenges and diagnoses. There have been many times when I read a book, and I thought wow I really hope more people know about this book or I know someone who may resonate with this book. Or, I would have resonated with this book. There are many ways to decrease the stigma towards mental health and mental illness, and one of the biggest ways is talking about it or through sharing stories. Being that I am a therapist, I’m all about people talking about struggle and challenges because it opens the door for healing.
Earlier this year, it had been suggested to me by a few people that I create a podcast. One was a person in education and the other a fellow therapist, because I have created so many videos for my website putting out information and even until this day I write and post blogs on my website every week. So, I’m always reading books and I’m always trying to put out information. So, after mulling it over for a while, I decided to move forward with creating a podcast. A podcast that would combine my love for books, my knowledge as a therapist, and my goal to increase the discussion and dialogue about mental health.
The purpose of this podcast is to talk about books that have to do with mental health or mental illness. These will be a wide range of books including, children’s, middle grade, young adult, adult, fiction, nonfiction, autobiographies, and even self-help. This will be from the point of view of the mental health professional. There will be solo episodes of just me talking about a book, as well as episodes where I will have a guest who is also a mental health professional and we will discuss a book. There are many books that include this topic and my hope is that more and more people know about them because they help to decrease the stigma and help people not feel so alone in their struggle. I hope you enjoy this podcast. Thanks for listening.