Episodes

Episode 82: The Clash of the Titans

Episode 82: The Clash of the Titans

Ancient wisdom has rightfully identified problems with the human mind which is ill-fitted to deal with the perceptual ambiguity that includes frequent gaps between one’s perceptions and reality. This creates a tussle between the intuitive system of the brain versus the reflective one, which often results in a “self-blind” mind that doesn’t know itself. As a result, the human mind and brain ends up spending a lifetime untangling the clash of the titans, or the intuitive and reflective systems.

On today’s podcast our guest, Christopher Chabris, Ph. D., a cognitive psychologist, an author, an Ig Nobel prize winner and a Professor at Geisinger, an integrated healthcare system, will discuss what cognitive psychology has discovered about mental illusions and it’s effect which leads us to harbor mistaken judgments about our true limitations. Because by design the brain doesn’t know how it operates and those interested in Executive Function, self-awareness, and self-regulation need to reconsider methods of coaching, training, or educating others.

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Episode 81: Augmenting Life with Technology

Episode 81: Augmenting Life with Technology

21st century living has put a strain on our brain’s capacity to plan for the future, process and retain information, and pursue the goals of a multifaceted life. And while moving through the highly-wired and totally connected world, one often wonders if we are truly benefitting from the advancements provided by the technology that has the potential to augment the brain’s limitations or are we being enslaved by it? Often the key is to take the time to assess and appropriate the use of technology to one’s own personal needs and then to develop the insight as well as the skills to avoid the built-in lure that pleases the thrill-seeking mind. With effective coaching and training, even those with executive function challenges can learn to augment their lives with a second brain.

On today’s episode, speech-language pathologist, author, and expert in assistive technology, Joan Greene, will discuss how to improve our relationship to technology while commanding it to serve our needs on a daily basis. Those who help others have no excuse but to up their technology game so that the brains that are wired with technology can fire together.

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Episode 80: Stuck in the Middle No More

Episode 80: Stuck in the Middle No More

In their song “Stuck in the Middle With You,” Scottish folk rock band Stealers Wheel’s lyrics go something like  this –”Yes I’m stuck in the middle with you, And I’m wondering what it is I should do, It’s so hard to keep this smile from my face. Losing control, yeah, I’m all over the place.” These words capture the plight of a young and developing brain that often gets stuck in black and white thinking when caught in the throws of daily challenges, emotional setbacks, and unexpected wrenches. Simple redirection and cajoling is not enough to unhook that brain from the debilitating inflexibility and emotional stickiness.

On today’s podcast, our guest Hanna Bogen Novak, M.S., CCC-SLP, Speech-Language Pathologist, Division Director at the Center For Connection, and co-creator of a curriculum called the Brain Talk Curriculum, will discuss the secrets of self-regulation, how best to understand the metacognitive needs of children with Executive function challenges, and how to provide strategies and resources that can enrich their lives.

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Big Picture 6: No Ordinary Play

Big Picture 6: No Ordinary Play

According to Dr. Stuart Brown, “divinely superfluous neurons” orchestrate a seemingly purposeless voluntary act that we call play. But let’s not underestimate the necessity and impact of play on the developing mind and overall human flourishing. Even though play is natural to babies, exciting to children, and helpful to even adults, not everyone gets equal opportunity to play and those who grow up with play deficits are known to either behave inflexibly or experience mild chronic depression.

In this big-picture episode, Sucheta will discuss the value of the everyday human experience of play that leads to playfulness in home and work life. Sucheta’s friends, Lisa & Laurie, will share their childhood memories that will be sure put a smile on your face. I hope you’re inspired to value play as you solve problems and think flexibly for everyday success.

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Episode 79: When Having It All Doesn’t Translate Into Having It Easy

Episode 79: When Having It All Doesn’t Translate Into Having It Easy

Americans were never that concerned about the issues of educating children until it dawned on everybody that children are in fact “economically useless, but emotionally priceless” as described by Viviana A. Zelizer. Since then, being over-consumed by current competition and future career success, well-educated upper-middle class affluent families, schools and communities are caught up in ensuring their children’s success, rather than preparing them for life.

On today’s podcast, our guest Suniya S. Luthar, Foundation Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University and Professor Emerita at Columbia University’s Teachers College returns to obliterate the counterintuitive notion that privilege wipes away any liability. Her focus in this episode is school culture and how it can bring awareness to the social, psychological, and emotional risks that exist in these communities.

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Episode 78: The Affluenza Tradeoff

Episode 78: The Affluenza Tradeoff

No one is spared from the drama and trauma of growing up, not even affluent kids. However, as hard as it is to imagine, the children of highly-educated parents with abundant material comforts and lifestyles of privilege have their own set of challenges, which surface in their own unique ways. They are growing up in highly-competitive environments with an immense pressure to excel, are frequently exposed to social comparisons, and have highly-driven and extremely busy parents who are not always available to relieve psychological distress or offer help.

On today’s podcast, our guest Suniya S. Luthar, Foundation Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University and Professor Emerita at Columbia University’s Teachers College, dives deep into the challenges of growing up in affluence, being a widely stretched and stressed parent, and the best ways to build authentic connections that foster deeper understanding and promote the wellbeing of the whole child.

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Episode 77: Beyond Just Semicolons & Fractions

Episode 77: Beyond Just Semicolons & Fractions

Seeing an under-producing, under-performing, or generally disengaged kid is quite painful. They often struggle to connect with purpose and persevere when school activities get challenging. Sometimes educators attempt to engage children with fear or praise or even by trying to entertain them, which too doesn’t always yield self-driven motivation. The world comes at these kids with a great deal of ideas and suggestions to engage them. So what’s the right way to coach children and adolescents that will lead to intrinsic and self-sustaining effort which ultimately drives student success beyond academics?
On today’s podcast, our guest Mr. Michael Delman, founder of Beyond Booksmart, talks about the best ways to coach children who struggle with attention, organization, and memory because of various ailments, but ultimately are in dire need of change. Coaching is essential in managing problems with underdeveloped Executive Function skills, but its true success it is rooted in interpersonal wisdom.

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Episode 76: Working Out Your Heart

Episode 76: Working Out Your Heart

What’s common between a soccer mom who has a flat tire on the way to her son’s game, a Wall Street dad who just got told to stay in the office for the markets in the East to open, and a middle school girl who just got her new smart phone? They are all struggling to cope with feeling either anxious, lonely, stressed out, or tired. A dysregulated frontal lobe system often causes our executive function to crash and burn. Through mindfulness, one can cultivate a form of awareness that can bring attunement to knowing what you’re doing as you’re doing it.

On today’s podcast our guest, Dr. Christopher Willard (PsyD), a psychologist and educational consultant specializing in mindfulness, talks about the elements of mindfulness training and flexibility training.

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Big Picture 5: ADHD Matters

Big Picture 5: ADHD Matters

Psychologist and author Alexandra Horowitz says “Attention is an intentional, unapologetic discriminator. It asks what is relevant right now, and gears us up to notice only that.” It’s a gift to have such attentional acumen, but not everyone is lucky to have such a natural capacity for discrimination. In fact, in a neurogenetic and neuropsychiatric disorder like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), the brain isn’t wired to successfully ignore things once they get noticed.

In this big-picture episode, Sucheta discusses how and why ADHD is more like a disorder of Executive Function rather than simply a disorder of attention and how the management needs to include a comprehensive neurogentic & neurocognitive approach that centers around medication, behavior therapy, environmental modifications, and skill development .

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Episode 75: Twinning with Your Future Self

Episode 75: Twinning with Your Future Self

If you are taking a stroll on the beach while you have parked your car at a meter, you have to set aside some mental resources to think about the time and to make decisions to either return to your car to add money to the meter or take a chance or bear the pain of having to pay a fine later. But the human struggle of balancing the desire to be in the moment while also considering the future is exacerbated by conditions such as ADHD and that’s why many people struggle to cater to the needs of their future self while being their current self.

On today’s podcast, our guest Ari Tuckman, Psy.D., a practicing psychologist, author of “ADHD After Dark: Better Sex Life, Better Relationship”, and a host of the Podcast “More Attention, Less Deficit”, talks about the disorder of ADHD and how it is truly all about executive function and shortening the unimaginable distance between the need of the current self and future self.

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