Mental Podcast

Mental Podcast is a show dedicated to individuals and mental health professionals; providing support, information, and some candid conversation along the way. The show is hosted by Kyla Furey, Chris Conley, and Seth Showalter.


63. How to be Sick with Paul Matthew Harrison (Trauma Trials)
Show Details41min 59s
62. Dying Out Loud with Dave Warnock (Trauma Trials)
Show Details1hr 9min
61. "Don't Give Up" With Christina Koffkey (Trauma Trials)
Show Details1hr 4min
60. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome with Donna Sanders (Trauma Trials
Show Details54min 38s
59. Extended Mental Minute (Trauma Trials)
Show Details52min 56s
58. Recovering from Religious Trauma with Mark Karris (Trauma Trials)
Show Details1hr 6min
57. Defining Identity with Matthew Distefano (Trauma Trials)
Show Details52min 16s
56. Spiritually Abusive Messages (Trauma Trials)
Hide Details1hr 16min

In this episode of Mental Podcast, Michelle Collins and Seth Showalter continue their discussion on Religious Trauma Syndrome as part of the Trauma Trials Series. To refresh, Religious Trauma Syndrome (RTS) is a group of symptoms that arise in response to traumatic or stressful religious experiences. RTS is not an official diagnosis in the DMS-5; however, it is a common experience of those involved in fundamentalist religious groups, cults or abusive religious settings.

In their mental minutes, Michelle admits to being "sassy." Michelle accuses Seth of being annoying and Seth accuses Michelle of yelling at him. All in good fun. Michelle acknowledges that depression has been lurking and describes a feeling of impending doom. Seth details a weekend at home where he was able to visit family. The plan was to engage in the True False Film Festival but plans changed.

For this week's subject matter, Michelle and Seth discuss spiritually abusive messages. Seth begins the discussion by clarifying the distinction between bashing religion versus addressing traumatic experiences caused by religious institutions and culture. Not all churches are abusive nor Christians bad people. Don't get it twisted. However, there are abusive situations centered around religious (including Christianity) and people do get hurt. That is what we are speaking about.

To address the topic of abusive situations, Michelle and Seth review spiritually abusive messages that are a common pattern of commentary that over time lead to trauma. A sample of abusive statements covered include: "Don't question the anointed," "Don't question," and “Don’t trust yourself or your instincts. Trust me—I’m the spiritual, smart one.” Many others are reviewed.

For this week's lived experience, Michelle and Seth sit down with prolific author and podcaster, Matthew Distefano. Matthew's books can be found at Such books include but are not limited to Heretic!, From the Blood of Abel, and the Bonfire Sessions. Matthew is also one of the hosts of the Heretic Happy Hour Podcast.

To illustrate the power of abusive messages, Matthew shares how his wife's family has responded to coming out as bisexual. Matthew is married, is remaining married and is not polyamorous. Nothing is changing in the bedroom. He is simply standing up and taking pride in his true identity (which is wife is on board with). However, the response of his wife's family has caused grief. In fact, he's been accused of having affairs and his wife's family have cut ties; essentially ex-communicating them. His wife's family's actions are likely rooted in religious messaging that are so strong they're willing to remove their daughter and granddaughter and son in law due to fear and lack of understanding. Religion can certainly complicate things.

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1hr 16min
Published May 15, 2021 at 5:01am
55. Sequence of Religious Abuse (Trauma Trials)
Show Details1hr 27min
54. Traumatized by Religion (Trauma Trials)
Show Details1hr 15min
53: Child Protective Services: Stories from the Field (Trauma Trials)
Show Details1hr 13min
52. The Why Behind Child Abuse- Part #2 (Trauma Trials)
Show Details1hr 15min
51. The Why Behind Child Abuse- Part #1 (Trauma Trials)
Show Details1hr 8min
50. Child Abuse Overview (Trauma Trials)
Show Details1hr 10min
49. Real Lives. Real Stories. (Trauma Trials)
Show Details1hr 19min
48. Domestic Violence Across the Lifespan (Trauma Trials)
Show Details1hr 10min
47. The Impact of Domestic Violence (Trauma Trials)
Show Details1hr 6min
46. The Trauma of Domestic Violence (Trauma Trials)
Show Details1hr 2min
45. Healing the Traumatized Brain (Trauma Trials)
Show Details1hr 2min
44. Trauma in the Body (Trauma Trials)
Show Details1hr
43. Lizards and Wizards: The Physiology of Trauma (Trauma Trials)
Show Details1hr 6min
42. What is Trauma? (Trauma Trials)
Show Details1hr
41. Ready. Set. Change. (Change Within Series)
Show Details1hr 4min
40. Sudden Change (Change Within Series)
Show Details54min 9s
Barriers to Change (Change Within Series)
Show Details53min 42s
The Times They Are a-Changin' (Change Within Series)
Show Details58min 47s
Changing in the New Year (Change Within Series)
Show Details57min 3s
I Will Resolve (Fond Farewell to 2020 Series)
Show Details1hr 12min
Family Holiday Traditions (Fond Farewell to 2020 Series)
Show Details1hr 7min
Avoiding the Seasonal "Blahs" (Fond Farewell to 2020 Series)
Show Details1hr 7min
Celebrating Moments of Success (Fond Farewell to 2020 Series)
Show Details59min 25s
Surviving Depression (Silent Sadness Series)
Show Details56min 15s
Depression in the Pews (Silent Sadness Series)
Show Details1hr 2min
Suicide. Be Informed. (Silent Sadness Series)
Show Details56min 11s
Dark Waters ft. PK Langley (Silent Sadness Series)
Show Details1hr 27min
The Art of Argument (Extended Mental Minute)
Show Details51min 55s
What's Eating You? (Shattered Image Series)
Show Details1hr 6min
Obsessed with the Compulsion (Shattered Image Series)
Show Details1hr 11min
Mirror Mirror On the Wall (Shattered Image Series)
Show Details54min 48s
The Man in the Mirror (Shattered Image Series)
Show Details1hr 10min
Did God Deconstruct? (Under Construction Series)
Show Details1hr 12min
Can You Relate? (Under Construction Series)
Show Details1hr 8min
Fearing The Gray (Under Construction Series)
Show Details57min 25s
What the hell is wrong with you? (Under Construction Series)
Show Details49min 41s
Purpose/Wisdom (Command and Control, The Power Within Series)
Show Details1hr 13min
The Wall (Command and Control, The Power Within Series)
Show Details1hr 6min
Achievement/Reflection (Command and Control, The Power Within Series)
Show Details1hr 6min
Powerlessness/Association (Command and Control, The Power Within Series)
Show Details52min 24s
Balance of Power (Command and Control, The Power Within Series)
Show Details43min 26s
Changing the Script: Recovery from Imposter Syndrome (Imposter Syndrome Series)
Show Details51min 15s
Taming Your Internal Critic (Imposter Syndrome Series)
Show Details49min
The P(sychology) of Imposter Syndrome (Imposter Syndrome Series)
Show Details50min 46s
Am I A Fraud? (Imposter Syndrome Series)
Show Details48min 17s
Religious Deconstruction/Reconstruction
Show Details1hr 3min
FTG Network Priemiere
Show Details23min 11s
Archived: A Life Dedicated to Children
Show Details52min 39s
Archived: Perinatal Mental Health and a Traumatic Birth Experience
Show Details1hr 5min
Archived: Unpacking Trauma, Professionals Weigh In
Show Details1hr 25min
Archived: Motherhood and Mental Illness
Show Details54min 20s
Archived: Public School: A Social Worker's Perspective
Show Details1hr 13min
Archived: Evaluating Friendships
Show Details46min 41s
Archived: Internalized Shame
Show Details1hr 11min
Archived: Meet the Host
Show Details23min 1s