Osborn, John Jay: A Marriage as a Separate Entity

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“Listen to the Marriage” is a novel by John Jay Osborn, a retired lawyer and law professor. The story centers a marriage counselor and a recently separated couple with demanding jobs and two small children.  All thirty-one short chapters take place in the therapist’s office and reveal the angst, anger, and hidden love that the couple Gretchen and Steve, have for each other. Sandy, the therapist guides the sessions, while keeping her thoughts about her clients to herself.  An empty green chair representing their marriage sits between Gretchen and Steve during each visit.

“Listen to the Marriage” is Osborn’s sixth novel, the first one being “The Paper Chase,” published in 1971, a year after he graduated law school.  “Listen to the Marriage” is based in part on the experience Osborn and his wife had with a marriage counselor beginning about ten months after they separated in the mid 1980s.  They remain happily married.

John Osborn visited the Radio Curious studios by phone from his home in San Francisco, California, on December 14, 2018. We began our conversation with his description of the therapist’s goal: To get the couple to look at the marriage they created as being separate from themselves.

The book John Jay Osborn recommends is “Happy All the Time,” by Laurie Colwin.

The program was recorded on December 14, 2018.

Neufeld, Dr. Gordon: Hold On to Your Kids

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The economic and cultural changes that have occurred in North American society in the past fifty years have resulted in today’s children looking to their peers, instead of their parents, for direction; for a sense of right and wrong; and for values, identity and codes of behavior. This peer orientation works to undermine family cohesion. It interferes with healthy development and fosters a sexualized youth culture in which children lose their individuality and tend to become conformist, desensitized and alienated.

These concepts—and what to do about them to develop strong families and emotionally healthy children—are explained in the book “Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers,“ by Gordon Neufeld, Ph.D. and Gabor Mate, M.D.

When I spoke with Dr. Gordon Neufeld from his home in Vancouver, British Columbia, we began our conversation with a discussion of the importance of developing an attachment between the adult caregiver and the child, beginning at infancy.

The book Dr. Neufeld recommends is “The Anatomy of Dependence,”  by Takeo Doi. More information about Dr. Neufeld’s work may be found on his website.

Boothman, Nicholas: Getting People To Like You

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How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less

Making people like you is a skill that anybody can learn. By reading body language and synchronizing behavior, it is possible to make meaningful connections with almost anybody in almost any circumstance. We appreciate and like people similar to ourselves, people we understand and people who are open. “How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less” is the title of a book by Nicholas Boothman, a neurolinguistic practitioner who lives in Toronto, Canada.

Nicolas Boothman recommends “Love in the Time of Cholera,” & “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” both by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Livingston, Gordon M.D.: How To Love?

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Everybody thinks about love and many people say “I love you”, but how is love defined? The book “How To Love” written by psychiatrist Dr. Gordon Livingston grapples with these and many other questions about love, and how to find a compatible and pleasurable partnership. In this interview, we discuss how to choose more carefully, in matters of love to get what we desire and deserve. The song, “Do You Love Me?” from the musical “Fiddler On The Roof,” is our background music. Dr. Gordon Livingston spoke from his home in Columbia, Maryland on July 13th 2009, where he lives and practices psychiatry. The conversation began when I asked Dr. Livingston to define love.

The book Dr. Gordon Livingston recommends is “All He Ever Wanted,” by Anita Shreve.

Miller, Geoffrey: Does What You Buy Make You Happier?

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Why do you buy what you buy? What do you hope to gain from it and will it make you a happier, sexier and more successful person? In these days of economic downturn many of us may be questioning whether we really need all this stuff and how it impacts our lives?

In this edition of Radio Curious we meet Geoffrey Miller, a tenured professor of evolutionary psychology at the University of New Mexico, and the author of “Spent: Sex, Evolution and Consumer Behavior.” During our visit we discuss how our purchasing choices are driven by thousands of years of evolution, how marketers can take advantage of this and how we might try to better understand our consumer instincts.

I spoke with Geoffrey Miller from his home in Australia on May 29, 2009 and began by asking him to define his field of evolutionary psychology.

The book Geoffrey Miller recommends is “The Life You Can Save: Acting Now To End World Poverty,” by Peter Singer.

Harvey, Sylvia: Children of the Incarcerated

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Children of incarcerated parents is topic of this edition of Radio Curious. The estimated 2.7 million children of prison inmates in the United States are losing their visitation rights .
Sylvia A. Harvey, an investigative journalist, is our guest. Her story about the diminishing opportunities for children to visit their incarcerated parents was published in The Nation magazine on December 14, 2015.

Some of Harvey’s most cherished childhood memories are the times she was able to visit her father while he was an inmate at Soledad State Prison, in California when she was between the ages of 5 and 16.

When Sylvia Harvey and I visited by phone from her home in New York City, on January 18, 2016, we began with her personal experience and how the absence of not being able visit a parent in prison affects 2.7 million children.

Instead of recommending a book, Sylvia Harvey recommends the song “Ain’t Got No,” by Nina Simone.

Kupers, Dr. Terry: Solitary Confinement and How to End It

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In this edition we again visit with Dr. Terry Allen Kupers, a forensic psychiatrist and the author of “Solitary: The Inside Story of Supermax Isolation and How We Can Abolish It.”
In our first visit, available on line at radiocurious.org, Dr. Kupers describes the abysmal conditions in which an estimated 100,000 incarcerated people, both men and women are held in solitary confinement in the United States. Kept in dark, cold, and often wet cells, more or less eight feet by ten feet in size, they have little or no human contact, sometimes for years on end. Many suffer from mental illness, prior to or as a result of living solitary confinement. This results in significant long term damage to these people as individuals and to our society as a whole.
In this second of our two part series, Dr. Kupers shares stories of prisoners held in solitary confinement and what he believes is necessary to achieve meaningful rehabilitation for people who have committed crimes and sentenced to prison.
When Dr. Terry Kupers and I visit by phone from his home in Oakland, California, on February 14, 2018, we began this second visit when I asked him to describe what he calls a rehabilitative attitude.
The book Dr. Kupers recommends is: Hell Is a Very Small Place: Voices from Solitary Confinement,” edited by Jean Casella, James Ridgeway and Sarah Shourd
This program was recorded on February 14, 2018.

Kupers, Dr. Terry Allen: Solitary Confinement: Locked Away with No Human Contact

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An estimated 100,000 people are held in solitary confinement in the United States.  The conditions in which they live are abysmal.  They have little or no contact human contact.
Often they are kept in dark, cold, wet cells eight feet by 10 feet in size. Many suffer from mental illness prior to or as a result of solitary confinement.  This results in significant long term damage to the individuals and our society as a whole.

Dr. Terry Allen Kupers, a forensic psychiatrist, is the author of “Solitary: The Inside Story of Supermax Isolation and How We can Abolish It.” In this first of a two part series on solitary confinement, Kupers shares interviews with prisoners who have been raped, subdued with immobilizing gas, beaten by prison guards and whose mental and physical health needs have been ignored.  He has found that prisoners of color are much more likely to be held in solitary confinement than are white prisoners.  Kupers argues that solitary confinement is tantamount to torture, and per se violates the constitutional prohibition of cruel or unusual punishment.

When Dr. Terry Kupers and I visit by phone from his home in Oakland, California on February 11, 2018, we began the first of two conversations when I asked him to define forensic psychiatry, and the background of solitary confinement.

Smith, Jana Malamud: Why Mothers Worry About Their Children

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Is the concept of “mother blame” a method to control women? Is motherhood a really a fearsome job? Will a mother’s mistake or inattention damage a child? Is this different from the fear that fathers have about the safety of their children?

These questions are answered by guest Jana Malamud Smith in her book “A Potent Spell: Mother Love and the Power of Fear.” She is a clinical psychotherapist and daughter of writer Bernard Malamud.

Smith argues that the fear of losing a child is central to motherhood, and mostly overlooked as a historical force that has induced mothers throughout time to shape their own lives to better shelter their young, at the expense of their own future.

I spoke with Dr. Janna Malamud Smith from her home in Massachusetts, and asked her to begin by discussing the different level of feat that fathers and mothers have toward their children.

The book Janna Malamud Smith recommends is “Biography of Samuel Pepys” by Clair Tomilin.

Originally broadcast: February 18, 2003.

Patrick, William: Loneliness and How it Affects Us

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How many of us are lonely? What is loneliness and how does it affect us? Approximately 25 years ago, when asked the number of friends in whom we could confide, most people in the United States said “three.” When that question was asked recently most people said “none.”

Inquires reveal that twenty per-cent of people, — 60 million in the Untied States alone – are feeling lonely at any given moment. And, it appears that chronic loneliness may well compete with smoking, obesity and lack of exercise as a significant health risk.

In this edition of Radio Curious we visit with William Patrick, the founding editor of The Journal of Life Sciences and co-author of “Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection,” along with University of Chicago psychology professor John Cacioppo.

My conversation with William Patrick, recorded on October 13, 2008, began when I asked him to define loneliness as used in their book.

The book William Patrick recommends is “The Lost Gospel: The Book of Q and Christian Origins,” by Burton Mack.

Originally broadcast October 18th, 2008.