You, Me, Empathy - Episode 40: Autism, Neurodiversity, and Life at Full Volume with Kourtnie McKenzie

Trigger Warning: Suicidal ideation is mentioned in this episode of You, Me, Empathy.

On Episode 40 of You, Me, Empathy, Kourtnie McKenzie stops by to explore autism, neurodiversity, and living life at full volume as someone with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

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Kourtnie beautifully shares her experience getting her autism diagnosis as an adult, how she copes and lives in a neurotypical society, how writing saved her life, and how autism affects gender differently.

Plus, we talk about the perception of “gifted” kids, self-stimulating behavior (“stimming”), why Kourtnie had to defend her identity after the diagnosis, micro-aggressions toward the autism community, the rituals that help Kourtnie manage her day to day (daily writing, baths, meditation, reading, aromatherapy, fidget spinners), misconceptions about autism, dealing with social anxiety and panic attacks, and what life is like living it at “full volume.”

Thanks to Kourtnie for sharing her story with You, Me, Empathy!

For links we mentioned during this episode, scroll down.

Thanks for listening, and thanks for empathizing with us!


You, Me, Empathy - Episode 39: How People Change Their Hearts and Minds with Stephanie Lepp

On Episode 39 of You, Me, Empathy, it’s a special podcast mash-up with Reckonings podcaster Stephanie Lepp. We explore how we reckon with our mental health, and answer the question: how do people actually change their hearts and minds?

In this special episode, we first get into Stephanie Lepp’s mental health journey, and then transition into the work Stephanie is doing with her podcast, Reckonings. We listen and comment on the following stories directly from Reckonings:

  1. The defection of a Roger Ailes warrior (from Reckonings #18).

  2. Two teens overcome bullying (from Reckonings #16).

  3. White supremacist and jihadist extremist who both managed to transcend a life of hate (from Reckonings #19).

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In these stories, we react and comment on being positive mentors for people (“majestic elephants”), learning to live with the light and the dark, how we humans discover and face change, and how change in the world happens inside of people first; and how that connects to broader social change in our culture.

We also touch on celebrating our capacity for change and learning and growing, self-actualization through how we deal with mental health, and the time Stephanie, for her 28th birthday, created an intervention for herself. Plus why we need to always be asking questions and look inward, remind ourselves that we never know what people are going through, and why we think animal noises or playing patty-cake should take the place of small talk!

For links we mentioned during this episode, scroll down.

Thanks for listening, and thanks for empathizing with us!


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Special hugs to David Grabowski for the music for You, Me, Empathy and special hugs to Grant Snider for the art!

You, Me, Empathy - Episode 38: The Power of Feeling Safe with Tony the Therapist

On Episode 38 of You, Me, Empathy, Tony the Therapist is back to explore the power of feeling safe, trauma teddy bears (or transitional objects), and why trust is a huge part of healing.

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This episode is a follow-up to my conversation with Hayli Nicole, and explores how to heal after sexual assault, the comforting and centering aspects of tangible objects such as Barnabus the Trauma Bear (see image), how losing a loved one can make us feel like we need to make dramatic changes, the necessary distraction and disconnection we experience after traumatic experiences, slowly integrating our traumas, and getting outside of ourselves through travel.

Plus, look out for a special song from me (future phone jingle???? :D)!

What does "safe" mean to you in your mental health? Do you have a tangible object in your life that centers you? 

Scroll down for links we mentioned during this episode!

Thanks for listening, and thanks for empathizing with us!


Support You, Me, Empathy:

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Special hugs to David Grabowski for the music for You, Me, Empathy and special hugs to Grant Snider for the art!


Disclaimer for "Tony Time" episodes of You, Me, Empathy:

Anthony Ramynke is a California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, licensed by the Board of Behavioral Sciences, license number LMFT47805.

Read the full You, Me, Empathy disclaimer here.

You, Me, Empathy - Episode 37: Sexual Assault, PTSD, and Meditative Healing with Hayli Nicole

Trigger Warning: Sexual trauma and its impact discussed on this episode of You, Me, Empathy.

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On Episode 37 of You, Me, Empathythe courageous Hayli Nicole opens up about her anxiety, PTSD diagnosis, the time she was sexually assaulted, and Hayli's gradual healing through meditative practice.

I'm so proud of Hayli for sharing her story. While heartbreaking and horrifying, she's given many millions of people a moment to pause and reflect on their own experiences with sexual assault; she's given you a place to feel less alone and hope for a future in healing and self-care and joy.

In this episode, we also explore the joys of solo adventuring (check out Hayli's travel adventure Instagram feed: @tildeathdowetravel), what happens to use when people close to us die, falling in love with your best friend, a literal road to healing, therapeutic weaving, meditative solitude, dealing with panic attacks and vivid PTSD symptoms, and, my favorite of all, "burners."

Special thanks to Hayli for sharing her story. If you can relate in any way, please leave a comment below, or on Instagram @YouMeEmpathy.

For links we mentioned during this episode, scroll down.

Thanks for listening, and thanks for empathizing with us!


Support You, Me, Empathy:

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Special hugs to David Grabowski for the music for You, Me, Empathy and special hugs to Grant Snider for the art!

You, Me, Empathy - Episode 36: Writing, Teaching, and Human Resilience with Carrie Arcos

On Episode 36 of You, Me, Empathy, we explore writing, teaching, human resilience, and the amazing beauty and power of storytelling with author and teacher, Carrie Arcos

When Carrie was growing up, her parents adopted a little brother and also took in refugees from Nicaragua. This experience, and the empathy her parents displayed, had a significant impact on who Carrie is today, and her journey as a whole—which led to Carrie joining Catholic Charities Service Corps.

We also talk about the importance of giving humans a sense of home (the exact opposite of what the garbage fire administration is doing now), the amazing power of storytelling, how trauma and pain and hardship can lead to growth, connection, and healing. Plus, we get into Carrie's teaching style, the books she's teaching in her English class, the books she'd love to teach, and more.

Pasadena Loves YA 2018!

If you're in the Southern California area, be sure to check out Carrie Arcos in person September 14 at Pasadena Loves YA 2018 from 12-4pm! It's a fantastic free book festival (I've attended and volunteered multiple times), and I know you'll love it! Go pick up We Are All That's Left and get it signed by Carrie!

Learn more about Pasadena Loves YA!

For links we mentioned during this episode, scroll down.

Thanks for listening, and thanks for empathizing with us!


Support You, Me, Empathy:

Empathy Links:

Follow You, Me, Empathy on Social Media:

Special hugs to David Grabowski for the music for You, Me, Empathy and special hugs to Grant Snider for the art!

You, Me, Empathy - Episode 35: Tarot for Mental Health and Trauma with Lindsay Mack

Psst! Hey you. Scroll down for a special offer for You, Me, Empathy listeners! :)

On Episode 35 of You, Me, Empathy, intuitive healer and tarot reader Lindsay Mack and I explore tarot for supporting mental health, processing trauma, and looking inward. 

Lindsay first opens up about being raised in physical and emotional abuse for eighteen years, and the "sad, strange, intense little kid" who thought she was crazy growing up because she didn't have the support and validation from other family members. Then there was a moment, when she was 27, when what she experienced got a name: Complex PTSD, or CPTSD. And that changed everything.

We also explore Lindsay's tarot journey, how the world of tarot can be used as a tool for healing, why tarot decks are like the wands in Harry Potter, the joy of witches, witchy souls, soul tarot, Tori Amos, the importance of finding the words in who we are, finding safe harbors in our emotional journeys, finding our centers, the misconceptions of tarot, making the big steps in life to challenge and shake our foundation, and more!

Lindsay is offering 10% off her Tarot For the Wild Soul online class to You, Me, Empathy listeners! Enrollment closes September 4, 2018!

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Tarot for the Wild Soul course, and use the code "EMPATHY" at checkout for 10% off! 💜

You'll have until September 4, 2018 to use the code "EMPATHY" and then enrollment closes.

For links we mentioned during this episode, scroll down.

Thanks for listening, and thanks for empathizing with us!