Natalia’s Interviews with Dr. Charlie Swenson

I had the great privilege of being invited to speak on Dr. Charlie Swenson's podcast, called "To Hell and Back". Dr. Swenson is a psychiatrist in Northampton, MA, and a renowned expert and trainer in DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy). In my graduate school program at UW, I have also come to specialize in DBT, as well as exposure-based therapies for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). One of my supervisors, Dr. Melanie Harned, learned that I was interested in sharing our story from the perspective of a DBT and trauma therapist, and introduced us.

"To Hell and Back" is a very approachable podcast series focused on how people cope with "hellish" life experiences, drawing from DBT and other forms of treatments. I was invited to talk specifically about how we've coped with our loss of Jackson. 

In the first episode, I share our story and we talk specifically about the natural recovery process, the power of acceptance, and permission to function after trauma and loss. 

In the second episode, we discuss "avoiding avoidance" and the importance of social support and how to elicit and shape that support in one's community. 

In the third episode, we discuss the changes to relationships and to the "self" after trauma, making meaning after trauma and loss, our "Kindness Project" in memory of Jackson, and the ways in which Jackson's presence and impact continue to live on. 

The links to the podcast are available below. Thanks to Charlie and Melanie for the opportunity, and thanks to everyone who listened in! I felt Jackson right by my side the whole time during this precious, shared mama-son project. Although I wish he never had to die for me to learn and share these things, I am grateful for the opportunity to not let our suffering go to waste. `

Surviving the Death of a Child (Episode 1 of 3)

Surviving the Death of a Child (Episode 2 of 3)

Surviving the Death of a Child (Episode 3 of 3)