Everything is Psychological

Every time I tell someone I am a psychologist there are questions about what we do. What people find out is that everything is psychological. There isn't an aspect of ones life that isn't affected by our thoughts and emotions. This show's goal is to educate everyone on what psychology is all about, and how it can improve each of our lives. Join me for in depth discussions of psychological concepts and theories, and for interviews with the psychologists that are practicing the start of the art of the field right now.
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Everything is Psychological



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May 17, 2016

In this episode we continue our discussion of mindfulness. We start to delve into the details of how to begin the practice of mindfulness. This practice enables us to become more aware of our experiences, our feelings, and our thoughts. If we want to make changes for ourselves we must first become aware of the things we need to change. Increasing awareness is our first step to change. Mindfulness will help us with this.

Dan Siegel ( suggests we engage in a process of observance, objectivity, and openness. We observe our feelings and thoughts, we are objective about them, and then we are open to them. This will decrease our anxiety and our struggle to make them different. Acceptance eases our tension, and makes flexibility more available. 

In this episode we also talk about the need for development as therapists. Scott Miller ( has great research on why we should engage in continuous development of our skills.

As always be awesome by being you. Connect with me at:


Apr 24, 2016

In this episode we continue the discussion of prioritizing, but we shift to how the emphasizing of one thing over another can relate to our relationships. When make one relationship the priority, and focus our energy and efforts on one relationship over others we can improve all of our relationships one at a time. It is not possible to make significant improvements in relationships when we are multitasking people. We have to prioritize even for a short period of time to make substantial games in any relationship. 

In "What's up with Neil?" I relate the water heater disaster at home, and how this brings to mind the situations of others. I am blessed, and how can I use my blessings to be there for others.

In "Did you see that?" we look at the dangers of opiates. The deaths of Prince and Chyna brought to mind the issue of opiate overdoses, and how prescription medication abuse is a major problem in the United States.

Connect with me at

Dr Neil Stafford on Facebook

@drseab on Twitter

I'd love to talk with you. As always, be awesome by being you!

Apr 11, 2016

We are back from a 3 month hiatus with episode 19. Life's priorities moved me away from the podcast for a while, but now I am up and running again. I hope to keep the episodes coming every week to 2 weeks. The focus of the podcast will remain psychological in nature with a shift at times to the integration of spirituality and psychology. 

In this episode I give an update on the APA accreditation process of our school district's internship program. We also consider the development of the 5th Circuit Appeals Court and their finding the Texas psychologist licensure law unconstitutional. Check out this link to the article about this:

It's important to consider the impacts an unregulated field.

Finally, we discuss priorities. It is very tempting to become overinvolved. We fill our days with activities. We are afraid of missing out on the next big thing. So, we agree to everything. This multitasking and making everything equally important is a lie we tell ourselves. We need to focus to be more successful. Check out the One Thing by Richard Keller and Jay Papasan. They have great advice for eliminating distractions, and focusing on what's most important.

Connect with me on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, or email me at

Until next time, be awesome by being you. 

Dec 23, 2015

Psychology is a part of the healthcare field. The healthcare field is oriented towards pathology. It is about what is wrong with us. When you go to your primary care physician they ask you what's wrong, you tell them the symptoms, they give a diagnosis a treatment. You don't go to the PCP because you're healthy. It's the same with the psychologist. Most people go because they have a problem. We diagnosis and provide a treatment. The focus is on what is wrong with individuals. We try to alleviate symptoms. We don't focus on what is right with everyone. What if we did? I believe we can make a larger impact if we can focus what makes us happy, and then find ways to replicate those experiences. In this episode we discuss the ideas and research of Martin Seligman. We talk about positive psychology, and what sets it apart as a distinct field within psychology. Check out the following sites from this episode, and connect with me at the places below to continue our discussion. Also, I'd love to know what topics you want to hear about next. 

Be awesome by being you!


Nov 16, 2015

Psychology includes a wide variety of types. One type of psychology is school psychology. The school psychologist primarily works at an elementary or high school. They provide various services including counseling, crisis intervention, consultation, and psychological evaluation. In this episode we talk about the roles of the school psychologist, and we focus specifically on the psychological evaluation portion of their duties. In the school world the evaluation is called a psychoeducational evaluation. We will discuss the process to have a student referred for an evaluation, and then what are the common outcomes of an evaluation. Ultimately each evaluation is about deciding if the student is eligible for special education services or not. We want to gather information about a student in order to help them maximize their academic success. 

Connect with me at:

Dr Neil Stafford on Facebook

@drseab on Twitter

I'd love to hear from anyone about their topic of interest, or questions you might have about the show. 

Nov 1, 2015

The fourth part of four episodes on anxiety. The workshop has wrapped up, and we are reviewing what was presented at the workshop here in episode 16. The workshop at St. Peter's Episcopal average around 25 people per week. There was a lot of positive feedback about the presentations. I hope to be able to do more workshops in the future. If your group is interested in a presentation on anxiety, depression, relationships, parent/child communication, or a wide variety of content about psychology let me know. I'd be happy to present depending on the schedule. 

For our Did You See That segment we review the podcast by Michael Britt. Professor Britt does a podcast titled The Psych Files. He reviewed the Reproducibility Project. His take is that the project does more to bring to light the problems we have with the research culture in general rather than showing that psychological research is suspect itself. Check out his podcast at:

Our main segment reviews what was covered in the fourth workshop. We have covered various practical techniques to manage anxiety, but what about living our lives to the fullest with or in spite of anxiety. In the episode I talk about that anxiety holds us in place or causes us to run away. We are afraid of change. The fear is because we are afraid of losing something, the process of change, or the outcomes. Facing our fears we can see that change doesn't need to be all in one step. It can be step by step. What is one small thing you can do to make a change today? 

One of the major problems with facing our fear and making the change is not feeling valuable enough, or being willing to be vulnerable. I reference a Ted talk by Brene Brown to discuss how we can increase our sense of worth to be vulnerable to risk change.

Finally, we talk look at Colossians 3:12-14 and Galatians 3:26-29 to explore how we are children of God. We are heirs of the process. You are worthy.

As always connect with me to continue the conversation at:

On Facebook at Dr Neil Stafford

Or Twitter at @drseab

Be awesome by being you!

Oct 21, 2015

We continue our discussion of getting to know our anxiety. This episode looks at anxiety as something to be embraced. The conversation starts with looking at the words of Jesus. He promises that life is full of trials, but that we aren't alone. We are to embrace the anxious experiences, and through those experiences we go through we will find success. 

We look at the story of Joe Kowan from a TED talk about how he dealt with his fear of public speaking. Check out his story at:

We talk about strategies such as Best, Worst, Most Likely to confront our anxiety. The primary method is to not hide from our fear, but to bring it our into the light to see what it really is. When we are aware of what we are actually anxious about we can devise a plan to solve our problem. Check out the episode, and connect with me at:

Dr Neil Stafford on Facebook

@dreab on Twitter

Oct 10, 2015

In this episode we continue the discussion of anxiety and how to manage it in one's life. We are keeping with the concept that we want to embrace our anxiety instead of deny it and ignore it. In the last episode we learned more about our anxiety to help it be our frenemy instead of our enemy. In this episode we start to look at some practical ways to manage the anxiety. We review the biological causes, and then cover three techniques. 

This episode is connected to a 4 week workshop at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Litchfield Park. The workshop is from 3:30 pm to 4:45 pm. Join us if you like. Or you can download the workshop materials at my website

As always please follow up with me at my website or 

Dr Neil Stafford on Facebook

@drseab on Twitter

Sep 28, 2015

In this episode we are learning more about what is anxiety. Most of the time we see anxiety as an enemy. It lurks in the shadows. It's a monster that keeps up paralyzed, and holds us captive from engaging in our lives in a full and meaningful way. What we want to do is move our anxiety from enemy to frenemy to friend. This means we need to get to know anxiety in a more intimate way. We need to bring it out of the shadows, and see it for what it is. 

What we learn here is that anxiety is designed to be a protective mechanism. It originates in the brain. Everyone experiences it, and it is an automatic process. We perceive a threat in the environment, and the brain triggers the sympathetic nervous system to release chemicals that stimulate our body to fight, flight, or run. It is a useful mechanism except when we see most everything in our environment as at threat. In the episode we learn that this is normal, and that we can then use anxiety as a signal. What are we perceiving as a threat, and then what can we do about it. 

Also we look at an article from on how to protect our children from anxiety found here:

This episode is a preview or a review of material presented at St. Peter's Episcopal Church on October 4, 2015 as part of a 4 week seminar on Embracing Anxiety. St. Peter's is found at:

Connect with me at

Dr Neil Stafford on Facebook or @drseab on Twitter

Also check out my new volunteer effort at:



Sep 14, 2015

Episode 12 is focused on a question from listener. There was a request to follow up the spirituality in therapy discussion with, "what would I do with a client from something other than Christian?" My answer is that i approach therapy for each client in the same manner from a client centered approach. The focus of therapy is what the client wants to talk about. If they want to discuss religion that becomes the focus because they are steering the conversation that way. If they are going deep into the background of a faith I am not familiar with then I might refer to a therapist more knowledgeable. It is important for the therapist to know their limits. 

I also discussed the works of Scott Mlller, and that success in therapy is hinged on the quality of the relationship between the therapist and client.

Finally, I talked about the Science Reproducibility Project, and the finding that it is very difficult to replicate research projects. Research needs to improve its process. 


Contact me at:

Dr Neil Stafford on Facebook

@drseab on Twitter

Sep 7, 2015

In this episode we interview Dr. Michael Redivo. He is the Executive Director of Desert Heights Academy. It is an alternative school specializing in working with beahviorally and emotionally challenged 5 to 22 year olds. It is tough, but rewarding work. 

Dr. Redivo talks about their developmental approach which emphasizes the growth of the student. He has developed an innovative model entitled Productive Conflict that shows kids and adults how to manage conflict in a positive way. 

Dr. Redivo also discusses his approach to therapy, the influence of his faith on his practice, and his new learning in the world of leadership. He mentions he has been listening to the Entreleadership Podcast found at:

He also mentions the book Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek.

Connect with Dr. Redivo at

Connect with Dr. Stafford at and Dr Neil Stafford on Facebook.

As always be awesome by being you. 

Aug 24, 2015

Sometimes engaging in psychological work is heavy. Over the weekend I had a profound encounter with a person seeking an evaluation for disability. We connected, and I was reminded of how much pain is all around.

I was interviewed last week for Rhett Smith's podcast. We discussed kids and stress. In this episode I review an article from APA about helping teens with stress.

Social Anxiety Disorder is more than being shy. Individuals who suffer from this experience such strong anxiety around social situations that it affects their work, their family, and their social life. It is important to know the symptoms to being able to reach out to people who suffer from it, or to know you could benefit from professional help. We are here, and there are very effective treatments. 

As a bonus here are four ways to improve your confidence towards public speaking.

1. Learn a relaxation technique you can do in public.

2. Visualize yourself giving the speech successfully.

3. Be prepared so the details aren't what you're worrying about.

4. Practice, take every chance you can get to speak.

Contact me at or on Facebook at Dr Neil Stafford. I would love questions or ideas for future shows. Ask to be a part of the Everything is Psychological discussion group.

As always be awesome by being you. 

Aug 17, 2015

In this episode we discuss depression. We look at the symptoms, possible causes, and ways to address others who may be suffering from it. 

First we look at the connection between anxiety and depression and moderate to severe picky eating in children. Check out the article at: 

The symptoms of depression are:

1. Depressed mood most of the day, almost every day, indicated by your own subjective report or by the report of others. This mood might be characterized by sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness.
2. Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all or almost all activities most of the day nearly every day.
3. Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain.
4. Inability to sleep or oversleeping nearly every day.
5. Psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day.
6. Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.
7. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt (which may be delusional) nearly every day.
8. Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day.
9. Recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a   specific plan for committing suicide.
Find out more about the symptoms at:
Treatment is necessary given that over 8,000,000 people in the US go untreated each year. Find more statistics at
I plan on starting a new discussion group regarding my podcast topics on Facebook. Look for the Everything is Psychological discussion group. If you'd like to participate message me, tweet me, or send me an email. 
I encourage you to connect with me, so that we can dialogue about these topics further at:
Facebook: Dr Neil Stafford
Twitter: @drseab
Aug 10, 2015

In this episode we address the question I am asked which is do you do Christian counseling? I do believe that my faith affects how I practice, and I am able to bring faith and theology into counseling. I don't always discuss theology in sessions, but I make it a part of the therapy if the client wants it to be a central theme. We will talk about some approaches psychologists take towards faith and counseling, and we will discuss my process to bringing faith into the session.

I also look at an article in US News and World Report about social media use and mental health in teens. Let me know what you think.

Connect with me at the following or leave me a review at iTunes:

Jul 27, 2015

Today we sit down with Dr. Lisa Merrin. She is a school psychologist inthe Phoenix area. She has worked in the field for 20 years providing service to students, supervising new psychologists, and now guiding a new venture in her district. We talk school psychology, the future of the field, training new psychologists, and an exciting new project she's working on. Dr. Merrin notes that school psychologists are challenged with managing copious amounts of special education compliance requirements while they attempt to meet the mental health needs of children. It's a challenging endeavor, and Dr. Merrin is leading in a new direction. 

Jul 20, 2015

In this episode we interview Dr. Andy Hogg. He is a private practice psychologist in Flagstaff, Arizona. He works with a wide variety of clients from adolescence to adults. He has special interests in sex therapy, Jungian theory, and training future psychologists. Listen in as we talk about these different issues, and learn a lot about what it means to be a psychologist practicing in such fascinating areas. Here are some links to different items we talk about.

Spiritual Conversations with Rabbi Rumi -

Arizona Psychology Training Consortium -

Arizona Psychological Association -

American Association of Sexuality Education, Counselors, Therapists -

Jungian Psychology -

Jul 13, 2015

In Episode 5 we discuss Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. We review the symptoms, treatment, and go over examples. OCD is more than having to be on time every where, or organizing your music collection alphabetically by genre. 

We also look at the recent news from American Psychological Association, and how individuals within the professional organization were involved in consulting with the Department of Defense on torture during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Check out the New York Times article for more information.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is when an individual is overcome with an unwanted thought, or feels compelled to do an unwanted action. This thought or action takes up significant parts of their day, and interferes with their day to day life. It is characterized by the following symptoms:

Obsessions — unwanted intrusive thoughts

  • Constant, irrational worry about dirt, germs, or contamination. 
  • Excessive concern with order, arrangement, or symmetry. 
  • Fear that negative or aggressive thoughts or impulses will cause personal harm or harm to a loved one. 
  • Preoccupation with losing or throwing away objects with little or no value. 
  • Excessive concern about accidentally or purposefully injuring another person. 
  • Feeling overly responsible for the safety of others. 
  • Distasteful religious and sexual thoughts or images. 
  • Doubting that is irrational or excessive.

Compulsions — ritualistic behaviors and routines to ease anxiety or distress

  • Cleaning — Repeatedly washing one’s hands, bathing, or cleaning household items, often for hours at a time. 
  • Checking — Checking and re-checking several to hundreds of times a day that the doors are locked, the stove is turned off, the hairdryer is unplugged, etc. 
  • Repeating — Inability to stop repeating a name, phrase, or simple activity (such as going through a doorway over and over). 
  • Hoarding — Difficulty throwing away useless items such as old newspapers or magazines, bottle caps, or rubber bands. 
  • Touching and arranging 
  • Mental rituals — Endless reviewing of conversations, counting; repetitively calling up “good” thoughts to neutralize “bad” thoughts or obsessions; or excessive praying and using special words or phrases to neutralize obsessions.

The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 2.2 million adults in the US suffer from OCD which is less than 1%. It is equal in men and women, and about 1/3 of people develop symptoms as children or adolescents. 

Check out these sites for more information. 

National Institute of Mental Heath -
Anxiety and Depression Association of America -


International OCD Foundation -
As always you can find me at, Dr Neil Stafford on Facebook, drneil06 on Instagram, and drseab on Twitter. You can email me directly at
Jul 5, 2015

In the fourth episode we take a look at Bipolar Disorder. What is it? What are its symptos? Can we treat it? I go through the basics of what is Bipolar Disorder, and make some suggestions on how to manage it. We also will modify the format of the podcast for solo rounds. We are adding a new segment titled Did You See That? Psychology in the News. We will take a look at music therapy for people with Alzheimers. 

According to the Stanford University School of Medicine Biploar Disorder is"Also known as manic depressive illness, bipolar disorder is characterized by severe and disabling highs (mania) and lows (depression).” It goes between the two poles. Think of it as a football or a soccer field. On one end is mania and on the other is depression. The person goes from the depths of depression to the highs of mania over and over. The research varies on how many people are affected by it. The numbers are between 2.2 million and 6 million Americans. “This illness typically begins in adolescence or early adulthood and continues throughout life, with 80% of patients experiencing multiple manic episodes and 15% ending their lives in suicide.” It affects equal numbers of men and women, and the research shows there is a strong genetic link. A person is more likely to develop it if they have a family member who suffered from it. 

Symptoms of Mania: The "Highs" of Bipolar Disorder

  • Heightened mood, exaggerated optimism and self-confidence
  • Excessive irritability, aggressive behavior
  • Decreased need for sleep without experiencing fatigue
  • Grandiose thoughts, inflated sense of self-importance
  • Racing speech, racing thoughts, flight of ideas
  • Impulsiveness, poor judgment, easily distracted
  • Reckless behavior 
  • In the most severe cases, delusions and hallucinations 

Symptoms of Depression: The "Lows" of Bipolar Disorder

  • Prolonged sadness or unexplained crying spells
  • Significant changes in appetite and sleep patterns
  • Irritability, anger, worry, agitation, anxiety
  • Pessimism, indifference
  • Loss of energy, persistent lethargy
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness
  • Inability to concentrate, indecisiveness
  • Inability to take pleasure in former interests, social withdrawal
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide

For more information about Bipolar Disorder check out:

Stanford University School of Medicine Bipolar Disorders Clinic at or

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance at

Find me at, Dr Neil Stafford on Facebook, drneil06 on Instagram, and drseab on Twitter.

Jun 27, 2015

In Episode 3 we turn to the question that I am asked, "What's a Psychologist do?" To answer the question I interview Dr. John Stapert. He is an Arizona private practice therapist. As we'll see he does a number of different things that all advance the field. John has won the Mentor of the Year award from the Arizona Psychological Association. He has served as the President of AZPA. He has been the resideny Director of Training for the Arizona Psychology Training Consortium for 10+ years. He has been a psychologist for 30+ years.


Dr. Stapert and I talk about what therapy is like for him and his clients, psychopharmacology (medication), working at a hospital, training new psychologists, and working with faith perspectives in session. It's a great discussion, and I learned new things.


You can connect with me or Dr. Stapert at my website - or on Facebook at Dr Neil Stafford, Instagram Drneil06 or Twitter @drseab.

Jun 25, 2015

In Episode 2 we will explore the world of Carl Rogers and Client Centered Therapy. As people ask me about my job and what I know about psychology I always come back to what I'm best at, client centered therapy. It's what I am trained to work in, and it's what I use with most of my clients. 


We will talk about the 3 keys to practicing client centered therapy.

1. Be genuine

2. Give unconditional positive regard

3. Be interested and show empathy

We will explore the process of finding the authentic you through client centered therapy. For more information about CCT check out

The Person Centered Website

The Association for Person Centered and Experiential Therapies


Also, join me at, Dr Neil Stafford on Facebook, drneil06 on Instagram or @drseab on Twitter for more conversation on the topic. 

Jun 25, 2015

Each time I tell someone what my job is they are curious or they are worried. They want to know more about psychology, or how I can help them. Or they want to stay away from being analyzed. If you've ever been curious about the "mysteries of psychology" join me for Everything is Psychological.


This is the beginning of the podcast adventure. Everything is Psychological will explore the world of psychology, and how it weaves through our lives. Our experiences are shaped by our emotions and thoughts. Understanding the psychology of an event is important to a greater self-awareness and an improved functioning. 

In this episode we will explore the purpose of this show, and set the table for the future of Everything is Pyschological. 


There are several psychology podcasts currently available that take the thoughts in different directions. If you're a psychology lover like me check out The Psych Files, Shrink Rap, or Seattle Psychology podcasts. Their hosts bring great content to explore different aspects of the field.


Everything is Psychological is a creative exploration of how our mind forms the world around us, and how we can tap into reshaping the way we think. For more discussion join me at:

Facebook - Dr. Neil Stafford

Instgram - Drneil06

Twitter - @drseab


Ask questions, let's talk.