In the ninth episode of the It’s Complicated podcast, we share three conversations with people currently developing and persuing novel solutions to address the dimensions of race, class, and geography acting as barriers to mental health services.

When you feel lonely you are always part of a larger group. This group just doesn’t meet up and talk about it very often, which may be part of the problem. This tragic-comic predicament rings especially true for our current moment in time.

We give our pets name, so why not also give our mood-boosting plants personal names? And if plants that are given some extra warmth and care thrive the best, what would happen if you named a plant after yourself?

A number of years ago, I attended a family gathering in which I ended up having a discussion with a mother about worry. She asked me how she could stop being a “Worrier”, and we discussed in detail all of her worries and the impact it was having on her.

In a recent conversation with a colleague where we were talking about trust, forgiveness and other things therapists like to talk about, out of my mouth came a sentence that went something like: “Cultivating awe and respect for nature – and then coming to understand that I was part of the same nature which I so love – has allowed me to finally feel at home in my life”.

Since COVID, therapists of all types have taken their practices online and while many might feel it’s less than perfect, some are discovering that this major change in context and format has the potential to bring about new vantage points and considerations.

Do you feel uncomfortable as lockdown is being lifted? Do you sometimes become upset from other people’s happiness as they roam the outdoors? Does your mood fluctuate, and have you even had panic attacks, accompanied with trembling, sweating, hot flashes, and shortness of breath? If these symptoms have recently become familiar to you, maybe you are experiencing a bout of “re-entry anxiety”.

I’ve wanted to speak with Amalie Vatne Brean since forever. Not only is she a warm and smart person I used to study with, she’s also a private practicing psychologist specialised in some of my favourite topics: motherhood and the excruciating loneliness, shame and anxiety that oftentimes follow the responsibilities of parenthood.