Stepping outside of the box for this episode of The Electric Theater, clown connected with respected marriage and family therapist, Jeff Kashou. Reiterating his own personal value on mental health and well-being, clown kicked off the conversation by explaining that he wants to use this particular platform to showcase important topics like this.
Near the beginning of the discussion, clown detailed how his familiarity with substance abuse has permeated in his life and relationships. Coupled with the unique perspective of living the last two decades "as a pirate," the musician explained how mental wellness is such an essential aspect of life that really can't be leave unattended.
Kashou framed the essence of his work by discussing how important mental health is even at the childhood level. The earliest years are the most formidable and in that regard, kids that are better equipped to express the things that they are feeling are likely better to do so later on. Those that aren't, don't. It's there that Kashou explains the need is especially critical.
Rather than looking to achieve a sense of normalcy, Kashou talks about helping people to reach their full potential from a mental health standpoint. No two people are the same and in that sense, reaching normal disregards the need tailor the discussion towards the individual.
The conversation would inevitably touch on how the pandemic has created an even greater demand for outreach in terms of mental health. Kashou discussed how the inability to engage socially and combat isolation is combined with people's focus now shifting to just meeting their basic essential needs. The result is an increase in anxiety and depression as people just aren't able to tend to their own well-being, but rather their basic survival.
Another illuminating talking point evolved from the notion of accountability and how the difference between shame and guilt are important. Kashou detailed that guilt implies the potential for reform. There is the ability to make a correction. Shame, streaks at the core of a person and challenges their identity. They feel like they are the mistake, rather than having made a mistake. He said that difference is nuanced but critical in terms of the potential for making change or falling into relapse and regression.
Kashou shared his passion for rock climbing and how there are so many parallels between that and his professional work. In recounting an accident he had, Kashou detailed how being in the moment and the necessity for focus is so crucial to both of his worlds. Any wavering of focus and being mindful, can really cause things to unravel quickly.
clown confided with Kashou about the tragic loss of his daughter more than a year ago. The musician recounted how his therapist "saved his life" during an instance where he said he felt at his weakest point. Prior to leaving for a tour in South America, clown almost didn't get on the plane. Connecting with his therapist, the advice was to keep moving forward. The human element of moving forward and experience encouraged clown to press on through his trust of his therapist. The personal experience better explained clown's advocacy of mental health and just how vital it is.
The complete conversation with Jeffrey Kashou and clown in The Electric Theater can be heard below.