Holding Space

By Dr. Cassidy Freitas

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Welcome to Holding Space Podcast with Dr. Cassidy Freitas, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. As a licensed therapist, it is my job to hold space for stories, questions, pain, joy, growth, and change. The following episodes will offer a space to de-mystify mental health and therapy, share stories of struggle and joy, and discover connection through our human experiences.

Episode Date
Call to Action: Privilege, Compassion, and Talking to our Children

This week we have seen families stripped from each other at our border. This is a human crisis, but this crisis did not just start this week. If we zoom out we will see a lot of anger, and a lot of hatred, and a lot of dehumanization for those who are considered “other.” In this episode we explore how we got to where we are, we discuss the dangers of dehumanization, privilege and intersectionality, compassion (for ourselves and others), empathy, and the different ways in which we can show up as activists. I end the episode exploring how we can talk to our children about privilege and activism. In this episode I mention several resourses including the work of Brené Brown and her book Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone. I also share the work of  Dr. Kris [...]

Jun 22, 2018
Dad’s Mental Health with Dr. Dan Singley

In this episode I sit down with Clinical Psychologist and father involvement researcher Dr. Dan Singley. In honor of Father’s Day and International Father’s Mental Health Day, we explore dad’s mental health, specifically in early fatherhood. We explore the messages that dad’s receive, the fatherhood generational gap, symptoms of perinatal mood and anxiety disoders in dads, risk factors, protective factors, and the importance in supporting emotional intelligence for men. Some of the resources mentioned in the episode are: social networking site for dad’s Padre Cadre, Life of Dad, Daddit, and Postpartum Support International. At the end of the episode I also share research findings from a study I conducted looking at paternal peripartum depression. To find more about Dr. SingleyR [...]

Jun 17, 2018
Friendship with Miriam Kirmayer

In this episode we explore adult friendships with friendship researcher Miriam Kirmayer. Miriam and I discuss the complexities of adult friendships, why they are so important, what makes them hard, how they are different from other relationships, how to build your friendship network, and the unique experiences of parents and entrepreneurs when it comes to friends! Miriam offers some great resources, including her blog on psychologytoday.com, apps such as Bumble BFF, Peanut for new moms, Meet Up and Meet Me! To continue following Miriam’s work you can find her here!

Jun 11, 2018
The Climb: Bringing Awareness to Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders

In this episode I’m sharing an incredible event aimed at bringing awareness to perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Did you know that 1 in 5 moms and 1 in 10 dads will suffer with a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder? The Climb Out of the Darkness is the world’s largest event raising funds and awareness for perinatal mental illness like postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety. For this episode I sat down with the local San Diego Climb team: Dr. Daniel Singley, a local San Diego psychologist specializing in early fatherhood and a Board member of Postpartum Support International; Jennifer Varela, sleep coach and President-Elect of the Postpartum Health Alliance; and Julie Lopez, attorney-at-law, who is a proud survivor of postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety. We talk about the event, the impact of sleep during the postpartum period, paternal mental health, and Julie shares her story that brought her to put on the Climb here in San Diego. The climb is going d [...]

Jun 07, 2018
Play and Parenting with Dr. Kim Van Dusen, LMFT

In this episode I sit down with Dr. Kim Van Dusen, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Registered Play Therapist. Together we explore the power of play as a bridge to connection with our children. We share some of our own stories of how we have used play in our work and as parents and discuss how play shows up as an important ingredient to whole-hearted living and wellness for both children and adults! To find more about Dr. Kim’s work as a parenting educator, you can find her here!

Jun 04, 2018
Brutiful Partner Relationships with Janelle Nelson, LMFT

In this episode, I sit down with Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Janelle Nelson. Janelle and I explore both the brutal and beautiful experiences of intimate partner relationships. We discuss the need to deconstruct the shame that is often experienced within marital and intimate partner struggles, and offer ideas of how couples can transform through connection. We discuss how it can take courage to stay in a relationship and work on it, and it can also take courage to leave when that is being called for. To find more information on Janelle’s work, click here!

May 29, 2018
The Myth of Balance with Rachel Pally

In this episode I sit down with fashion designer Rachel Pally. Rachel shares with us how she built her business by hearing the “no’s” and showing up anyway. We discuss how becoming a mother has transformed her, the myth of balance, and how she has reclaimed “self-care” by personalizing it to work for her life now. We also explore the importance of friends that you can share your shame stories with, the double edge sword of social media, and Rachel shares her experiences with therapy. Rachel keeps it real, and the world of curated filtered perfection could FOR SURE use more of that! Thanks for tuning in! www.rachelpally.com

May 21, 2018
Scarcity Culture and the Daring Way with Rebecca Ching, LMFT

In this episode I sit down with Rebecca Ching, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and owner of Potentia (an integrative mental health center in San Diego). Rooted in the research and practice of Brené Brown, Rebecca has completed training to become a  Daring Way™ Facilitator and Consultant. In today’s episode we talk about scarcity, abundance, and the power of “enough.” Some resources (beyond Brené Brown) mentioned in the episode are: selfleadership.org, You are the One You’ve Been Waiting For, The Bo [...]

May 16, 2018
Finding Community and Sorting Through the Noise Within Motherhood with Renata Cameron, LMFT

In this episode I sit down with Renata Cameron, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and founder of the modernized mommy and me support group Milestones. Renata and I discuss building a support tribe, sorting through the noise of information, introvert motherhood, and getting comfortable in the “gray.” Renata shares her own personal struggle with perfectionism, and her relationship with “good enough.” For more information on Renata’s mommy and me support groups, click here!

May 14, 2018
Grief and Death

Death has no respect for the differences we have created among us; we will each be touched by it. Those left behind often report feeling disconnected from the events of the world, as if the one who died took a part of them with. For a period of time people check in, give their condolences, share memories. Slowly, but often not slowly enough, people stop asking. There is an expectation that death is something to get over, something to move on from. We are to be sad, of course, but we are expected to say goodbye and let go. In this episode Dr. Cassidy explores how the discourses of “letting go” and “saying goodbye” actually challenges our grief process. Instead of letting go, what if the result of grieving was to restore what has been lost? To read an article Dr. Cassidy wrote for Darling Magazine blog on this topic, click here.

May 12, 2018
The Power of Hope with Tamara Taggart

In this episode I sit down with journalist and activist Tamara Taggart. In Tamara’s ted talk “The Two Conversations that Changed My Life” she described two pivotal moments in her life, one where she was told her son has down syndrome, and the other when she was told she had cancer. In this episode we discuss the power of hope, where it showed up, how she cultivated it when it wasn’t offerred, her discover of resiliency in vulnerability, and her empowering experience of advocacy. A third pivotal moment in Tamara’s life was the recent loss of her longheld job as a news anchor. Tamara shares how she is holding space for intention as she moves through this new transition. To follow Tamara’s journey, you can find her on social media here.

May 07, 2018
Breastfeeding Support Through Every Stage with Robin Kaplan, M.Ed., IBCLC

In this episode I sit down with Robin Kaplan, founder of the San Diego Breastfeeding Center and author of Latch. Robin has her Masters in Education and is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. In this episode Robin debunks some breastfeeding myths, explains why so many women find themselves struggling when it comes to breastfeeding, explores the role of partner support, discusses the relationship between breastfeeding and intimacy, shares useful tips on transitioning back to work while breastfeeding, and answers tough questions like, “in our well-meaning efforts to support lactacting moms, did we take the idea of breast is best too far?” To read more about Robin’s services and work, go to www.sdbfc.com, or buy her book Latch

May 07, 2018
Preparing for Motherhood During Pregnancy with Dr. Christine Sterling, OB/GYN

In this episode I sit down with Dr. Christine Sterling, OB/GYN. Dr. Sterling discusses her approach to pregnancy care, where she supports women in preparing for life beyond birth. Dr. Sterling shares how each specific trimester offers a unique opportunity to cultivate empowering self-care habits, build a strong tribe, and begin the beautiful connection to your baby.

May 01, 2018
How to Work Through Creative Blocks

In this episode, we discuss how to get unstuck from creative blocks by developing a new relationship with painful experiences of Fear, Resistance, Shame, and Perfectionism. We explore how acceptance of difficult emotions can create space for us to regain our creative flow. For more information on Dr. Cassidy’s creative consultation work, click here!

Apr 22, 2018
Pregnancy Loss: How to Offer Support with Rachel Rabinor, LCSW

In today’s episode, I sit down with Rachel Rabinor, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in honor of National Infertility Awareness Week. Rachel specializes in working with women and families impacted by infertility and pregnancy loss, and in this episode we explore the relationship between pregnancy loss, depression, anxiety, and trauma. We discuss how the diversity of experiences with pregnancy loss can sometimes lead to lost opportunities for connection. We both share our own unique experiences with pregnancy loss, and describe ways in which loved ones can offer support to someone who has experienced this type of loss. For more information on Rachel’s work, you can find her at www.rachelrabinor.com.

Apr 22, 2018
Infertility, Pregnancy Loss, and Adoption: A Personal Story with Kelly Mindell of Studio DIY

In today’s episode I sit down with Kelly Mindell of Studio DIY. Kelly shares with us her personal experience with infertility, pregnancy loss, and adoption. We explore the silence and isolation that is often experienced with infertility and pregnancy loss, and how opening up about her story has offered the gift of meaningful connections. Kelly shares with us how she and her husband Jeff decided to pursue adoption and explains the adoption process. Kelly is a beam of light who is willing to honor both the beautiful and brutal parts of story into motherhood. You can follow Kelly, Jeff, and baby Arlo’s journey at www.studiodiy.com and on instagram @studiodiy.

Apr 16, 2018
Anxiety in Motherhood: A Personal Story with Chrissy Powers, LMFT

In today’s episode I sat down with writer, photographer, and therapist Chrissy Powers. Chrissy opens up about her own story of trauma and anxiety in motherhood, and shares the tangible ways that she has healed through these experiences. You can follow Chrissy’s work and story at www.chrissypowers.com.

Apr 09, 2018
Parenting with Connection and Intention: Gender Creativity and Trans Identity with Rachel Rainbolt

In this episode I sit down with parenting coach, educator, writer, and LGBTQIA activist Rachel Rainbolt. Rachel has her Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and through her coaching and writing holds space for parents to say ”Yes!” to connection, joy, and freedom in life with their families. Rachel offers simple but profound ways we can design a life with our childen rooted in our values. She also shares how her and her partner hold space in their family for gender creativity and gender expression…”We held the space for our kid to be exactly who they were. My child was born with a given spirit, and that is who they are and my role as a parent can influence so much in terms of the outcome with their happiness and wellbeing and success, but they come into this world with that given spirit piece. You either honor it and then you have this amazing life of connection that’s so rewarding and joyful, or you don’t and then you miss out on t [...]

Apr 03, 2018
Creativity, Joy, and Pain with Joy Cho

In this episode of the Holding Space podcast, Dr. Cassidy sits down with designer and blogger Joy Cho to explore the relationship between inspiration, creativity, joy and pain. We explore the answers to the questions, “Where does inspiration come from?” “Do we need to be in a place of joy and happiness to access our creativity?” “What is the relationship between trauma, pain, and creativity?” “When can extra support such as therapy be helpful in the creative process?” To find out more about Joy Cho and her work click here!

Mar 26, 2018
Brené Brown’s Shame Resilience Theory and “Mom Guilt”

In this episode we explore how Brené Brown’s foundational research on shame and shame resiliency connects to the unique experience of mothers. If you are a mom or planning to become a mother…my hope is that you walk away from this episode feeling less alone and with tangible tools to develop resiliency when “mom guilt” shows up. For more information on Brené Brown’s work click here.

Mar 22, 2018