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Psychology America with Dr. Alexandra

Science Podcasts

With warmth, heart and a respect for science, Dr. Alexandra and her guests explore questions that come up at all life stages. Dr. Alexandra is a mother of four and an expert in family systems psychology and clinical psychopharmacology. Through interesting exchanges with her guests, Dr. Alexandra brings new learning, stories and good company to listeners.

With warmth, heart and a respect for science, Dr. Alexandra and her guests explore questions that come up at all life stages. Dr. Alexandra is a mother of four and an expert in family systems psychology and clinical psychopharmacology. Through interesting exchanges with her guests, Dr. Alexandra brings new learning, stories and good company to listeners.


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With warmth, heart and a respect for science, Dr. Alexandra and her guests explore questions that come up at all life stages. Dr. Alexandra is a mother of four and an expert in family systems psychology and clinical psychopharmacology. Through interesting exchanges with her guests, Dr. Alexandra brings new learning, stories and good company to listeners.






Malik Boykin: Ivy League Professor and Hip Hop Artist

Dr. Malik Boykin, aka Malik Starx, is the first Black professor in the Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences (CLPS) at Brown University. He is also a hip-hop artist and we feature his song “Dancing for Freedom,” a jazzy, Afro-Carribbean single, early in the show. An insight is a beautiful thing . . . someone once described it as holding a candle in a dark room and then suddenly the lights are turned on. I am grateful to have gained some new insights that will stick...


Home from College: Advice for Parents and Students

In this show we discuss the push and pull between the budding independence of young adults in college and the task parents have of “letting go,” among other related topics, including: Guest Dr. Shane Owens, PhD had a wonderful "dad voice" that I believe will comfort anyone interested in this topic. Dr. Owens is a board-certified behavioral and cognitive psychologist dedicated to helping college students, young adults, and parents. He has been serving campus mental health services at...


OCD and “Sticky Thoughts”: How to Become Unstuck with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Are you narrowing your life by “managing” your worries and obsessions for a good portion of your day? Listen to this episode while folding your laundry or doing your dishes and learn about: Today’s guest is psychologist Dr. Patricia Zurita Ona, known as “Dr. Z,” author of six books including Escaping the Emotional Roller Coaster, ACT for the Emotionally Sensitive and The ACT Workbook for Teens with OCD: Unhook Yourself and Live Life to the Full. Dr. Z has led over 140 workshops at national...


Taming Emotional Flare Ups with Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Get out your pen, there are so many helpful and practical morsels of wisdom offered in this episode! Expert guest Brittany Wool shares with listeners Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) concepts such as “wise mind,” “opposite action” and how to “pause” with mindfulness. Hear stories about a married couple getting angry over dishes, a middle schooler learning to tame their reactions to “mean girls” and what to do when feeling absolutely exasperated. Support the show...


Obesity & Weight Loss: Circadian Rhythms, Depression, Bariatric Surgery and More

How can we stop uncontrollable and unintentional weight gain? What can we do about it, what works and how do we stick to it? Should those with serious weight problems consider bariatric surgery and medication? I recently learned so much about obesity from incredibly informed health psychologist Dr. Dina Goldstein Silverman. After watching her excellent presentation at the 2020 NJPA Conference I asked her if she would be a guest on podcast. We are joined in this conversation by attorney and...


Emotionally Intelligent Leadership

How do exceptional leaders use emotions to effectively lead and persuade? Enjoy stories and new learning about these topics and more, including: * The EQ characteristics of outstanding leaders * Authenticity versus strategically bringing in emotion * Emotional contagion * Daydreaming in the workplace My guests on this episode are Cary Cherniss and Cornelia Roche, authors of Leading with Feeling, Nine Strategies of Emotionally Intelligent Leadership (2020), a book based on their in...


Rehabilitating the “Forgotten People”: Prisoners

It surprised me to learn that we have over two million people in prison in the United States. The majority of individuals in prison will eventually be released into the community. . . and who will they become after the prison experience? This episode presents the results of research just completed on a novel therapy for rehabilitating men in a maximum security prisons. Learn the elements of an approach which seeks to address the root of the problem, and in the process learn techniques for...


American Unity Radio Podcast (I'm the guest)

Historical figures like George Washington and Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus can teach us about humility and virtue in politics and life. Host Randolph "Wolf" Shipon and I discussed these topics and more on the American Unity Radio podcast, in which Dr. Shipon seeks to bring a divided America closer together. He talks about putting red, white and blue together to form “purple people.” Enjoy! Support the show (


Steven C. Hayes on Love and Loss

Google Scholar data ranked Steven C. Hayes among the top 1,500 most cited scholars on the planet, in all areas of study, living and dead. He is the founder of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) which brings in mindfulness, acceptance and value based methods to relieve human suffering. I enjoyed and recommend his most recent book “A Liberated Mind: How to Pivot Toward What Matters.” Learn more about him at May you enjoy the wisdom of Steven C. Hayes as much as I...


A Primer on LGBTQA+ and Transgender in Athletics

In this episode Dr. Kendahl Shortway shares the results of her recent study entitled: “New Jersey Coaches and Athletic Directors Perspectives: Gender Nonbinary Athletes.” Dr. Shortway, Neill Clark and I also discuss: Dr. Kendahl Shortway, PsyD is the co-author of the Routledge Handbook of Clinical Sport Psychology (in publication 2020) and much of her research has focused on sports psychology. She teaches and serves as research coordinator at Kean University. Neill Clark, formerly a NCAA...


Finding the Beauty in Unexpected Circumstances

In this recorded talk Dr. Alexandra shares wisdom from Rumi, Petrarch, Nelson Mandela, positive psychology and more. A special thank you to Mr. Gary Kitchell for his photo of the sunrise. Support the show (


Living Our Values with Tom Russo

This episode is about identifying our values and living according to them, including strategies to help us from getting distracted and derailed. In this episode Tom Russo, author of There are no Politics in Heaven, shares some of the life lessons he has learned including overcoming his earlier years of being bullied, escaping into the unsavory aspects of political power, finding and living according to his deepest values and transforming into a servant-leader. Dr. Alexandra teaches listeners...


Quarantine: Mental Health for Adults and Children

Dr. Alexandra, Dr. Michelle Pievsky and Neill Clark share seven practical tips on how to cope with stressful and unexpected circumstances. For further podcasts that may be particularly helpful for coping during COVID 19, search Psychology America with Dr. Alexandra for. . . . Caring for our Immune System: #31. Mind Your Microbiota #16. Your Best Sleep General Coping: #4. Facing Our Fears #25. Resilience, Overcoming and Fortitude #20. For Couples: The Second Shift #5. When Our...


The Love and Psychology of Dogs

I so enjoyed this conversation on the “Love and Psychology of Dogs” and am excited to share it with you! The guests on this podcast episode are Dr. Nancy Shay, veterinarian and Jeannette Carpenter, dog walker. Join us as we discuss the following and more: Dr. Nancy has worked at the Highlands Veterinary Hospital in Sparta, New Jersey for 22 years. She has a special interest in physical rehabilitation and animal behavior. She earned her veterinary degree from University College Dublin...


Toddler Psychology and Postpartum Blues with Michelle Pievsky, PhD

I am grateful to have experienced joy and even bliss when my children were infants and toddlers, but this is not always the case. In fact, on this show I learned that 80% of mothers experience postpartum blues. In this episode you’ll also learn: Dr. Michelle Arkow Pievsky, PhD is an expert on the psychology of infants and toddlers and serves as a fellow at both Youth Consultation Service Institute for Infant and Preschool Mental Health in East Orange, NJ and at Mindful Assessment and...


Mind Your Microbiota (Gut Health and Mental Health)

This episode inspired me to change the way I eat and I’m excited to share this topic with others. Guest Jeanne Petrucci and I discuss the connection between our mood, our health and the gut, including: * Promising research on how our gut impacts our mood and vice versa * What it means for the gut to be “leaky” and its relation to inflammation and the immune system * The gut and the increase in food sensitivities * What to feed the gut for your health and cancer prevention * The role of...


Narcissistic Personality Disorder

With compassion and elegance the guest on today’s episode, Dr. Nancy McWilliams, helps listeners understand the following and more: Dr. Nancy McWilliams ( teaches at Rutgers University’s Graduate School of Applied & Professional Psychology and practices in Lambertville, New Jersey. She is author of Psychoanalytic Diagnosis (1994, rev. ed. 2011), Psychoanalytic Case Formulation (1999), and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (2004) and is associate editor of the Psychodynamic...



Guest Dr. Deb Bernstein ( endured the loss of her young brother, her young romantic love and most recently both her mother and father. As a clinical psychologist she has specialized in grief through research and through her 35 year private practice in Warwick, NY. In this episode Dr. Deb and I discuss the following and more: Some books and authors we brought up in our conversation include: When the Bough Breaks: Forever After the Death of a Son or Daughter by Judith R....


Discuss Dementia

Did you know that most people with dementia don’t notice that they’ve had memory loss or personality changes? It tends to be relatives and close friends that notice it and then encourage the individual to seek an evaluation. I learned from the guest on this episode that the “self awareness” part of the brain is likely to be one of the areas harmed by dementia! In this episode, also learn: The guest on today’s episode is Dr. Michelle Papka (, 973-850-4622), who has nearly 25...


Panaceas for a Panic Attack!

Your heart is racing, your hands are tingling, you can’t breathe and you wonder: “Is this a heart attack? Why does it feel like the world is crashing down on me?” In this episode learn: * What a panic attack is and is not * Evidence-based strategies for overcoming panic * The role of medication when treating panic disorder * The treatment approach for Tourette’s syndrome, a disorder related to motor and vocal tics, another expertise held by the episode guest. Expert guest for this...