Sonya Tsakalakis is a bibliotherapist. Bibliotherapy is like a doctor for your emotions, prescribing literature to guide people through life’s challenges such as anxiety, loneliness and any range of emotional conflicts. In 2014 Sonya attended The Reader Organisation conference in London which focused on research supporting the positive relationship between literature and mental health. Based in the same city as me, we did the Melbourne thing and met over some good coffee, downstairs from her office at the School of Life on Bourke St.
I use to think reading fiction was like watching reality TV, it might be entertaining, but not really beneficial. Sonya explains that there is scientific research pointing to the benefits of reading for pleasure. They found that people that read at least 30 minutes a day, compared to people that don’t read, tend to suffer less anxiety, sleep better and cope better with stress in their lives. To find out more about bibliotheray and Sonya Tsakalakis visit her web site The Literary Hand
In this podcast we mention the following reading;
Louise Erdrich – The Master Butchers Singing Club
Lisa Genova – Still Alice & Inside the O’Briens (Julianne Moore won an Oscar for her performance in the film Still Alice)
Vladimir Nabakov – Speak, Memory
Sigrid Undset – Kristin Lavransdatter
Sonya Hartnett – Of A Boy
John Steinbeck – Of Mice And Men
Leo Tolstoy – Anna Karenina
Rudyard Kipling – Cities and Thrones and Powers
Dodie Smith – I Capture the Castle
“When you read you are never alone” C.S.Lewis
Iris Mauss is an associate professor of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. Originally from Germany she started her psychology studies at the University of Trier then continued at Heinrich-Heine University, Düsseldorf and finally completed her Ph.D at Stanford University. We touch on mindfulness and most importantly accepting your emotions and not blaming yourself for a long and healthy life.
Dr Ruth Bettelheim
Dr Ruth Bettelheim has more than 20 years experience with emotions as a psychotherapist, she has a deep seeded calling for her chosen path being the daughter of psychoanalysts. She is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and her work has appeared in the New York Times and USA Today. She studied psychology at the University of Chicago and UCLA and has held many academic and consulting positions. Dr Ruth and I talk about my film and she shares another theory in what may have eaten away at my Mum. We talk about having rewarding work and intimate relationships as key factors for healthy emotions, and that we should observe our own emotions with compassion. It was certainly an enlightening conversation and we discussed much more not in the podcast, especially the importance of love which she wrote a fantastic article for the Huffington Post which can be found here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ruth-bettelheim/the-love-drug_b_6651792.html?ir=Australia.
This conversation was recorded early in the morning my time and my kids were just waking up and getting lively. Despite being behind close doors, you will hear some screaming in the background halfway through the recording but don’t be alarmed they’re just having fun.