Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Dr. Jessica Borelli, Professor of Psychological Science, co-writes “Nature Meets Nurture: Science-based Strategies for Raising Resilient Kids”

Dr. Jessica Borelli shares her 2022 book, “Nature Meets Nurture: Science-based Strategies for Raising Resilient Kids” - co-written with Dr. Stacey Doan.

Helping parents improve their parenting skills and strengthen their families is the aim of Jessica Borelli’s book, “Nature Meets Nurture: Science-based Strategies for Raising Resilient Kids.”

The book drills down several concepts, reflective functioning, empathy, sensitivity, love and emotion regulation, says Borelli, professor of psychological science who co-authored “Nature Meets Nurture” with Stacey Doan, a Claremont McKenna College associate professor of psychology.

“Stacey is a developmental health psychologist and I am a clinical child psychologist, so we married the two approaches in this book, intending this to be the type of book you could hand to parents, as it’s chock-full of tips and tools,” Borelli says.

They wrote the book because the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and Children’s Hospital Association recently declared a national emergency in children’s mental health. The toll of the COVID-19 pandemic changes in technology, and increased pressures on children to achieve have likely all contributed to this mental health crisis, Borelli says.

“At the same time, parents are busier than ever, expected to do more, contribute more, and themselves are suffering from debilitating levels of stress,” she adds. “Parents know that they play powerful roles in influencing their children’s development, yet they don’t know what really matters when it comes to parenting.”

In “Nature Meets Nurture,” the authors review decades of research on parenting strategies that promote healthy development.

The book “is not about raising the next Einstein, or the next Mozart, rather it is about the fundamentals of parenting that shape children’s happiness, well-being and ability to cope and handle stressors that life may throw at them,” Borelli says. “We touch upon a broad range of parenting behaviors that lay the foundation for children’s mental health that has rarely been covered by past parenting books including the profound effect of love, the important role of touch, reflection and how best to talk to children. We also discuss what ‘parenting’ may look like before birth, and the important role of co-parents in children’s development.”

Importantly, she notes, “we also acknowledge what all parents know, that children are not born as blank slates, but come with their personality and quirks. Drawing on the most up-to-date theories of development, we discuss epigenetics, children’s developing stress physiology, and how parents can shape both children’s biology and behavior.”

The amount of parenting advice available is dizzying, Borelli says, and can create additional anxiety in parents. “We wanted to write the kind of book that we wanted to read as parents — something that is practical, calming, and helpful — something parents would want to pick up because it is written by other parents who also understand the science on parenting and can translate it into tangible, easy-to-understand and concrete advice.”

“Nature Meets Nurture” is grounded in the idea that genetics is not deterministic, yet each child comes into the world with their unique needs, and parents are capable of perceiving and responding to them in ways that will strengthen the parent-child relationship and help children grow into secure, resilient adults, the authors stress.

They offer advice to parents to tune into their own and children’s emotions and to use them as guides to inform their responses to children’s behavior.

“We look forward to welcoming parents into this conversation about parenting, where we discuss strategies for how to nurture their child’s nature — in this conversation, they will learn a lot about us and the challenges we’ve encountered as parents, as well as the ways we’ve found through them, or are trying to find through them,” Borelli says.

The following is an excerpt from “Nature Meets Nurture.”

“On the way out the door.” “Right before bed.” “Right before the bride walks down the aisle.” “Just as you are boarding the airplane.” Basically, whenever is the very worst time for your kid to get upset is the exact time they get upset. It’s infuriating, and yet it actually makes so much sense. Children’s main source of security — of emotional anchoring — are the people who care for them. When their parents are with them and are calm, all is right in the world…..When caregivers are stressed or rushed, this sends a cue to children that something is awry — something’s in the air, and it’s ambient anxiety! It’s kind of like that feeling that comes when multiple children are talking to you at the same time while you are trying to do complicated math. Similarly, for a child, having a parent be distracted (or not paying attention to the child) can also evoke fear, leading the child to launch attempts to return the parent’s attention to the child. Situations in which parents are behaving differently in these alarming sorts of ways—such as when parents are tired, distracted, stressed, or rushed—are a complete setup for system meltdown—for the worst temper tantrums and the most unreasonable demands.…

So, it’s not an unhappy accident that your child becomes upset at the most inopportune moments. It’s because these inopportune, stressful moments are not only that way for you, they are that way for them, too. This pressure puts too much stress on the system. The actual secret to this whole thing is that you have to be the CEO—a sort of prefrontal cortex that exists outside of their bodies. And at the times when your prefrontal cortex is already on max, you may not have the bandwidth to also manage their company. But their company needs more managing when your company is under duress. You can fix this with (a) a whole lot of empathy for yourself (these situations are hard!) and your kid (your stress makes them worry, and, in all honesty, they lost a competent CEO), and (b) lots of planning in advance because knowing when hard times are on the horizon can allow you to talk things through with your child so they know what’s coming.

Jessie Borelli is a Professor of Psychological Science at University of California, Irvine. She is a clinical psychologist specializing the field of developmental psychopathology; her research focuses on the links between close relationships, emotions, health, and development, with a particular focus on risk for anxiety and depression. In her work, Dr. Borelli is interested in harnessing relationship science to develop interventions to improve mental health and well-being.

Jessie Borelli also maintains a small private practice where she sees children, adolescents, adults, couples and families, with a specialization in the areas of anxiety disorders, eating disorders, adoption, and parenting (

NEW 2024 book!  Jessie has published her book on “Relational Savoring.” 


B.A. UC Berkeley (Go Bears!)

Ph.D. Yale University, Clinical Psychology

Clinical Internship: UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior

NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship: University of Arizona

Contact Information:

CEO Glenn Gray and Dr. Alissa Deming, VP of Conservation Medicine & Science, sat down with me to talk about the Pacific Marine Mammal Center

Today’s show is a little different. If you think you hear strange noises during the show, well they are not actually strange at all. They are seals and sea lions and mostly very young ones. For this week's show, I recorded a remote segment so I could share an authentic experience during my visit to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach. Some of you might remember when it was called Friends of the Sea Lions. I had not been there in years and decided to learn more about their history, mission, and current renovations transforming this purpose-driven rehabilitation center for marine mammals.

I hope you enjoy today's show, and remember you are about to hear a lot of seals joining us in the background!

There is no better way to get out of a funk than to put yourself in a situation where you are helping others, and in this case, helping the environment, too. Getting involved with purpose-driven initiatives can be a game changer in your life and the lives of others. When you shift your perspective on how you can make a difference in this world, you not only lift yourself up by using your time and energy for good, but you help others and, in this case, you are addressing an environmental issue. If what you learn today sparks your interest, check out how you can get trained in becoming a volunteer at the Pacific Marine Mammal center. You will be glad you did.

During my visit to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center i learned how the staff rescue, rehabilitate, and release marine mammals; this also inspires ocean stewardship through research, education, and collaboration. This is the only center in Orange County, California, licensed to rescue, rehabilitate, and release marine mammals that strand on local beaches. PMMC is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization.

When I first moved here in 2000, I remember shortly thereafter visiting with my young kids. Pacific Marine Mammal Center first began as Friends of the Sea Lion in 1971

PMMC was the first marine mammal rehabilitation facility in California and was established before the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. They now share the responsibility for marine mammal rehabilitation with six other centers along California’s coastline

What began 53 years ago with a single injured harbor seal, PMMC is now recognized as a premier marine mammal rescue, research, and rehabilitation center. The center welcomes around 50,000 visitors annually from around the world to learn about current rescued animals and observe conservation efforts in action.

They teach more than 36,000 students from local schools how to be better ocean stewards, and their distance-learning programs educate students across the country. Finally, they have a team of more than two hundred volunteers providing approximately $1.2 million dollars of donated time, assisting in rescues, animal care, education, and retail locations.

As their website says, “PMMC runs on passionate people. “Their departments include Animal Care, Education, Development, Volunteer Engagement, Operations, and a compassionate Board of Directors. If interested in joining the team, check our careers page for opportunities or become one of our awesome volunteers! And now they are undergoing a major renovation thanks to support throughout our community, but you will hear more about that later.

And this brings me to my conversation with the CEO Glenn Gray and
Dr. Alissa (A LI-SUH) Deming, VP of Conservation Medicine & Science, who sat down with me recently to share details about the important work this center is doing with regards to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of marine mammals. They are also currently under construction with an impressive expansion thanks to the late Bob Parker and his foundation. You can learn more about the center right here in Laguna Beach by visiting: Pacific Marine Mammal Center (


Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Coming up 4/17 at 9:00am - Your Reality, a short film written and starring Tatjana Anders and directed by Top Tarasin, which seeks to highlight the impact of gaslighting

The Film Seeks To Highlight The Pervasive Nature Of Gaslighting In Relationships And Society View in browser

Your Reality, a short film written and starring Tatjana Anders and directed by Top Tarasin, which seeks to highlight the impact of gaslighting, has recently surpassed over six million views on YouTube. The film, which has received 17,000 comments from people sharing their own experiences with gaslighting, follows a successful PR manager who slowly loses her grip on reality after falling in love with a charming yet manipulative photographer.

Gaslighting is the action of repetitively (and often brazenly) lying to someone to manipulate, and ultimately control them and the relationship. It could be divided into four different types: outright lying, manipulation of reality, scapegoating and coercion.

According to the Office of National Statistic, the Crime Survey for England & Wales estimated that 2.1 million people aged 16 or older (1.4 million women and 751,000 men) experienced domestic abuse in the year ending March 2023. Over 889,000 incidents (excluding Devon & Cornwall) of domestic abuse were recorded by the police in England and Wales, but just over 39,000 were convicted. The National Domestic Violence Hotline found that 95% of contacts made in 2020 stated they were experiencing emotional abuse.

It can also be seen in the workplace, with a 2019 study conducted by MRH Global finding that over 54% of respondents, from a pool of over 3000 people, say they had experienced gaslighting at work.
Gaslighting is not exclusive to domestic or professional relationships and has also been found to exist in para social relationships between an audience and a public figure or politician. A para social relationship develops when an audience can feel they know and trust a public figure in question due to their cultivated perception or shared ideals despite not knowing the individual in real life.

Speaking about the project, Anders explains why she wanted to make the short:
“Your Reality was inspired by a close friend of mine, whose happiness, confidence, and self-worth has been demolished by a gaslighting ex. Seeing the devastating impact it had on her and how long it took for her to recover made me want to raise awareness on this topic.

With over six million views on YouTube, I am deeply touched by the overwhelming response to our short film. However, the number of comments and messages I receive from (predominantly) women about how much they can relate to the main character is genuinely concerning - it made me want to do more around this topic. That’s why I’m currently working on a feature film version with award-winning director / producer Matthew Wortman. The feature focuses not only on how the story ends, but also on the root cause of gaslighting, which usually starts with parents.”

In a 2023 article, Choosing Therapy highlighted the issue of gaslighting within paternal relationships. Stating “Gaslighting parents use toxic ways to manipulate and control their children, such as distorting the facts, denying a child's experience, or playing the victim. In adulthood, the effects of being raised by gaslighting parents can include low self-esteem and a heightened risk for mental health disorders.”

Growing up in Ukraine, Anders moved to Germany at the age of ten. Learning a new language and culture made her hyper-observant of the people around her - a gift she now channels into her film work. After completing a degree in Business, she decided to follow her passion for acting and filmmaking instead, creating films that have a meaningful message and a potential for life-changing impact.

Polymath PR

For all press queries, please contact Tom Brumpton at (+44) 7956 043 498

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Coming up April 10th 9:30am - Dr. Greg Chasson, author of FLAWED: Why Perfectionism is a Challenge for Management (on sale April 16)

LISTEN to today's show

Dr. Greg Chasson, author of FLAWED: Why Perfectionism is a Challenge for Management

Drawing on his work as a renowned psychologist and expert in cognitive-behavioral therapy, Chasson reveals that perfectionism is not the asset many employers think it is. Although managers might seek out perfectionists for their work ethic and attention to detail, their high standards can also result in inefficiency, toxic work environments, and dysfunctional relationships.

Offering practical strategies grounded in psychological theory and evidence, FLAWED is an invaluable guide for employees and managers who want to create more successful teams, become more effective leaders, or improve their own performance at both work and home.


Is a perfectionist good or bad for your team?

Step into a world where perfectionism isn't a virtue but can be a disruption to management in Greg Chasson's compelling book, Flawed: Why Perfectionism is a Challenge for Management, a powerful addition to the realm of leadership books.

As a renowned psychologist and expert in cognitive-behavioral therapy, Chasson unravels the complexities of perfectionism, making this book an essential read for those seeking self-growth, effective leadership, and successful team building.

In Flawed, Chasson dissects the double-edged nature of perfectionism and its detrimental effects on organizational productivity.

Tailored for managers and business leaders striving for effective team building, the book provides a roadmap for understanding, detecting, and solving five common ways perfectionism disrupts the workplace.

What sets Flawed apart is its practical approach to solving the perfectionism puzzle and fostering a growth-oriented work environment. Chasson offers a range of anti-perfectionism strategies and tactics, empowering leaders to build cohesive teams and drive success.

Trust in Chasson's authority is well-founded. As an Associate Professor and Director of Behavioral Interventions at the University of Chicago's Obsessive-Compulsive & Related Disorders Clinic, he draws on extensive research and practical experience.

Flawed is not just a book; it's a transformative guide for leaders committed to effective team building and mitigating the adverse effects of perfectionism on both individuals and organizations.

Don't let perfectionism hinder your team's success—discover actionable solutions within the pages of Flawed.


In their interviews, it’s not uncommon for job seekers to claim that perfectionism is the flaw they bring to the table. A seemingly safe assertion, this claim is designed to assure the potential employer that the candidate would be a good fit for the company. After all, perfectionism is usually considered more of an asset than a liability, as it produces high achievers and results that exceed expectations. Or so many employers assume.

However, perfectionism does not necessarily equate to excellence. As Dr. Greg Chasson reveals in Flawed: Why Perfectionism is a Challenge for Management (Translational Mental Health Press paperback, on sale April 16), perfectionists don’t always make model employees. Although they are typically high achievers, those who establish such a high standard of rigid ideals for themselves often become paralyzed, afraid that they will make mistakes or fail to meet expectations. What is worse, they may also project those perfectionistic ideals on colleagues or those they manage, thereby creating a toxic environment for everyone around them.

Drawing on his work as a renowned psychologist and expert in cognitive-behavioral therapy, Chasson offers practical strategies grounded in psychological theory and evidence to help employers manage their teams more effectively and aid employees with establishing boundaries with perfectionistic managers. Using proven methods to help employees meet deadlines, quell nervous reassurance-seeking, and overcome all-or-none thinking, Chasson offers invaluable advice for those seeking to create a more functional and efficient workplace.

Designed as a handbook to help readers quickly identify and address their challenges, Flawed offers a much-needed guide for those seeking to create more successful teams, become more effective leaders, or improve their own performance at work and home.

About the author:

Dr. Chasson is a licensed clinical psychologist, board-certified cognitive-behavioral therapist, Associate Professor, and the Director of Behavioral Interventions of the Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders Clinic in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Chicago. Over the past two decades, Dr. Chasson has provided cognitive-behavioral therapy for clinically severe perfectionism and has owned and operated two mental health practices. As an active scholar, Dr. Chasson has authored or co-authored more than 70 scientific publications and one academic book (Hoarding Disorder: Advances in Psychotherapy – Evidence-Based Practice). He also serves as the editor of the scientific journal and the behavior therapist, and he has served on the board of directors for a variety of professional non-profit organizations.

Coming up 4/10 9:00am - THE WEIGHT OF NATURE by neuroscientist-turned-environmental journalist Clayton Page Aldern

THE WEIGHT OF NATURE is a deeply reported, eye-opening book about climate change, our brains, and the weight of nature on us all. 

LISTEN to today's show

Aldern discusses:

· The Unseen Impact of Climate on the Brain: Climate change’s invisible stressors, like heat and atmospheric carbon dioxide, are silently exacerbating neurological diseases, including cognitive impairments and neurodegenerative conditions, amidst a worrying lack of public awareness.

· Immediate Stories: The time to address climate change is now. Its effects are already inside us, altering our physical and mental landscapes in profound manners. Students lose points on tests on hotter days and at higher atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide; higher temperatures are associated with higher incidence of domestic abuse, riots, and online hate speech.

· From Global Crisis to Personal Struggle: Aldern can highlight concrete examples such as the link between extreme weather and increased risks of developmental disorders in children, and how climate-strengthened phenomena like harmful algal blooms are posing direct threats to brain health.

· Generational Ripple Effects: Post-traumatic stress from extreme weather events can impact not only the mental (and physical) health of those living through the events—but via epigenetic routes, also the generations that follow.

· Policy and Innovation for Brain Health: We must consider neuroprotective technologies and the importance of integrating environmental health considerations into urban planning.

· Community-Led Adaptation and Education: We have to think about solution strategies beyond the realm of climate anxiety as we navigate the new normal. Community initiatives (from green space development to those that reduce neurotoxin exposure) and educational programs can enhance brain health resilience against climate change.

· And more.

Press kit here.

The march of climate change is stunning and vicious, with rising seas, extreme weather, and oppressive heat blanketing the globe. But its effects on our very brains constitute a public-health crisis that has gone largely unreported. Based on seven years of research, this book by the award-winning journalist and trained neuroscientist Clayton Page Aldern, synthesizes the emerging neuroscience, psychology, and behavioral economics of global warming and brain health. A masterpiece of literary journalism, this book shows readers how a changing environment is changing us today, from the inside out.

Aldern calls it the weight of nature.

Hotter temperatures make it harder to think clearly and problem-solve. They increase the chance of impulsive violence. Immigration judges are more likely to reject asylum applications on hotter days. Umpires, to miss calls. Air pollution, heatwaves, and hurricanes can warp and wear on memory, language, and sensory systems; wildfires seed PTSD. And climate-fueled ecosystem changes extend the reach of brain-disease carriers like mosquitos, brain-eating amoebas, and the bats that brought us the mental fog of long COVID.

How we feel about climate change matters deeply; but this is a book about much more than climate anxiety. As Aldern richly details, it is about the profound, direct action of global warming on our brains and behavior—and the most startling portrait yet of unforeseen environmental influences on our minds. From farms in the San Joaquin Valley and public schools across the United States to communities in Norway’s Arctic, the Micronesian islands, and the French Alps, this book is an unprecedented portrait of a global crisis we thought we understood.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Coming up 4/3 9:00am - Jennifer Rosner, National Jewish Book Award Finalist and author of The Yellow Bird Sings, shares her new riveting book based on the true stories of children stolen in the wake of World War II - Once We Were Home

From Jennifer Rosner, National Jewish Book Award Finalist and author of The Yellow Bird Sings, comes a riveting book based on the true stories of children stolen in the wake of World War II.

Once We Were Home

to today's conversation
with Jennifer Rosner

“Rosner’s novel reflects personal interviews and in-depth research...She illuminates the complex and opposing political and religious viewpoints...Rosner’s heart-wrenching revelations in Once We Were Home will persist in readers’ minds for seasons to come.”
–Historical Novel Society

“[A] complex tale about fear, survival, and what it means to be a family.” –Booklist

“An engrossing story inspired by the postwar lives of Jewish children who were hidden during the war. Fans of Jewish historical fiction will be moved.” –Publishers Weekly

“[A] moving story about identity, family, and the meaning of home…An excellent addition to historical fiction collections.” – Library Journal

“A carefully crafted and heartbreaking book.”


Jennifer Rosner is the author of the novels ONCE WE WERE HOME and THE YELLOW BIRD SINGS, both finalists for the National Jewish Book Award. She is also author of the memoir IF A TREE FALLS: A FAMILY'S QUEST TO HEAR AND BE HEARD, and the children's book, THE MITTEN STRING, a Sydney Taylor Book Award Notable. Jennifer's books have been translated into a dozen languages. Her short writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Times of Israel, The Massachusetts Review, The Forward, and elsewhere. In addition to writing, Jennifer has taught philosophy. She earned her B.A. from Columbia University and her Ph.D. from Stanford University. She lives in Western Massachusetts with her family.

Ana will never forget her mother’s face when she and her baby brother, Oskar, were sent out of their Polish ghetto and into the arms of a Christian friend. For Oskar, though, their new family is the only one he remembers. When a woman from a Jewish reclamation organization seizes them, believing she has their best interest at heart, Ana sees an opportunity to reconnect with her roots, while Oskar sees only the loss of the home he loves.

Roger grows up in a monastery in France, inventing stories and trading riddles with his best friend in a life of quiet concealment. When a relative seeks to retrieve him, the Church steals him across the Pyrenees before relinquishing him to family in Jerusalem.

Renata, a post-graduate student in archaeology, has spent her life unearthing secrets from the past--except for her own. After her mother’s death, Renata’s grief is entwined with all the questions her mother left unanswered, including why they fled Germany so quickly when Renata was a little girl.

Two decades later, they are each building lives for themselves, trying to move on from the trauma and loss that haunts them. But as their stories converge in Israel, in unexpected ways, they must each ask where and to whom they truly belong.

Beautifully evocative and tender, filled with both luminosity and anguish, Once We Were Home reveals a little-known history. Based on the true stories of children stolen during wartime, this heart-wrenching novel raises questions of complicity and responsibility, belonging and identity, good intentions and unforeseen consequences, as it confronts what it really means to find home.

Read Additional Reviews:



Review by Leah Grisham

From The Washington Independent Review of Books

“Under Rosner’s talented pen, simple prose turns into poetry and ordinary stories become complex, poignant. I found this forgotten history of displaced WWII children and the return to their roots captivating, thought-provoking, enlightening, and bittersweet.”


“Utterly gorgeous! This lyrical story of lives in the aftermath of war and displacement breaks our hearts, and mends them back into a stronger love.”


“Rosner’s new novel is about the ways we seek family despite the wounds we carry. The stories of her characters fit beautifully together like nesting boxes, building to become an ode to love in its many forms. A brave and ultimately life-affirming book.”


Coming up May 8th 9:00am - Tom Seeman's forthcoming book, ANIMALS I WANT TO SEE: A Memoir of Growing Up in the Projects and Defying the Odds

LISTEN “When Tom Seeman told me the story of his childhood, I immediately said that he should write it all down and share it with the world....