Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Phone in radio - talkback podcast

For me, podcasts have replaced talk radio. I was an ardent talk radio listener and I still love it, but podcasts make the experience better. The champion of podcast, for me, is Dr. David van Nuys of Shrinkrapradio. Also the Skeptics' guide to the Universe and The Word Nerds have this great talk radio dynamic, but Dr. Dave is the best. Dr. Dave is also very innovative and he has begun to experiment in podcast with yet another feature of talk radio transported to podcast: phone in. On Sundays, beginning December 9th, at 10 AM Pacific time (check with your time zone) through Skype, phone and the web, listeners can participate in the recording of the podcast, talking and through the chat screen.

Co-host on these occasions will be Jerry Trumbule, friend and colleague of Dr. Dave and the person who allegedly pushed Dave into podcasting and thus fathered, in a way, Shrinkrapradio. I may participate myself, though the timing is a bit problematic for my time zone - exactly the time I have to put my kids to bed.

On December 2nd, there was a test run that can be heard. No listeners called in and only two hooked up to the chat (I was one of them). But that was on a short notice. I had just finished listening to the latest Shrinkrap when Dave announced the test run and I realized it was happening that very moment. I could participate for a minute but then had to turn my attention to my children again.

Francine Shapiro on Wise Counsel

On the Wise Counsel podcast, Francine Shapiro tells how one day she was walking along the waterfront and pondering a problem that was bothering her and noticed that when she made a certain movement with her eyes, the impact of the problem was decreased. This is how she came up with the idea to investigate the effect of eye movement on the brain and eventually developed the EMDR therapy. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a method that allows - so it claims - the brain to decrease the disturbance of tough memories and reprocess them. It is suggested as a therapy for trauma victims and a wide variety of other problems.

An EMDR session, after having established what the pivotal, problematic memory is, involves nothing more than the client concentrating on the memory and the therapist to induce the required eye movement. Shapiro explains that in effect, this therapy actively induces what otherwise would happen during REM sleep. Apparently, the bad memories were not properly processed, arguably because they were to confronting and were avoided during REM, or in any case not properly handled.

Wise Counsel's host Dr. Dave does a great job at interviewing her and also let her react to the controversies around the therapy. Frankly, it seems too good to be true and Dr. Dave is also frank about his skepticism. In the end, he allows himself to be convinced, looking at the amount of research that backs EMDR up. I myself am not qualified to say that. I warmly recommend everybody to listen to the podcast.