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“There was something vampiric about devouring a person’s whole life in an 80-minute podcast interview, then moving on to someone else.”   – Pamela Drukerman

The following is a guest post by Seeking the Self producer, Hanna Walker-Brown. The original post can be see on her website.

Words by Hanna Walker-Brown:

I read an article by Pamela Druckerman yesterday on how

“Podcasts are the new Xanax”

Pamela, having moved to Paris from America, started engaging with podcasts as a way of keeping up with everything happening state side. But in a bizarre (and brilliantly written) turn of events found herself battling an addiction…a podcast addiction.

“Podcasts helped until they didn’t. I was barely interacting with my husband. And I realized that I’d panic a little when I couldn’t find my favorite headphones, or when it was just me alone, without any voices in my head. Podcasts still lulled me to sleep, but I’d be awake again five hours later, needing to hear another one.”

The day before I read this article I had launched a psychology podcast with Dr Aaron Balick and Nathalie Nahai called “Seeking the Self” at Stillpoint Spaces London.

It feels oddly serendipitous that these two events occurred within 24 hours of each other.

Our carefully constructed bio for Seeking The Self reads as;

“In our increasingly distracted world, many have found sanctuary in the podcast. By quietening the noise of the external world, we create the opportunity to turn inward and listen to the voices we choose to hear. Thoughtfully selected, these podcasts can be a source of personal discovery, exploration and growth.

In this new series presented by Dr Aaron Balick and Nathalie Nahai we explore the stories that define people’s lives.

In 2017 there are more cases of anxiety on the streets of London than there are Starbucks.

Everyone, at some point and with varying degrees, is having a nightmare.

We are constantly striving to better our self, to find our self, to improve our self all the while fighting against losing our self.

So we self  medicate; with drugs, with drinks, with food, with Facebook, with Instagram, with partying until the small hours, with working too hard for too long for too little.

Its “Choose life” 2k17 and its exhausting.

So why shouldn’t we “medicate” with podcasts?

At a basic level, podcasts and therapy are the same;

Someone talks, someone listens.

And within that talking and listening there is an exchange; an alchemy that occurs leaving both parties altered- changed somehow- by the end.

So we wanted to create a podcast that could act as a “therapy” of sorts.

That by presenting to the world real human stories with real human psychology, we could perhaps change it.

Because we all, like Pamela, find an odd comfort in other people’s stories.

This pilot episode uncovers how people have lost or found themselves through sex, drugs, technology and religion. Nathalie and Aaron guide us through these narratives and ask the underlying question: what is “self” and how do we find it?

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