Episode 012, Grace Cormier: An Exploration of Positive Psychology: Gratitude, Reframing and The Power of Perspective
In Episode 012 of A Medicinal Mind: Wisdom and Well Being, we enter into the world of Positive Psychology with my new friend and visionary researcher Grace Cormier. While Grace’s bio may appear linear, straightforward, and precisely planned, the actual story, as you will hear in the podcast, is much more circuitous, and blessed by courageous leaps of faith.
Grace graduated from Carleton College with a B.A. in Psychology and from the University of Pennsylvania with a Master of Applied Positive Psychology. She has extensive experience implementing positive psychology and resilience programs in a wide variety of organizations including the military, public safety, universities, and a professional basketball team. Her academic work focuses on how to foster affective commitment through building cultures that support autonomy, competence, and relatedness. She has a passion for applying positive psychology in organizations to transform cultures, build effective teams, and encourage prosocial behavior. She currently does research with Wharton People Analytics at the University of Pennsylvania.
In the episode, Grace and I hold a joyful conversation, sharing aspects of our life stories and how we both came to study and practice in the field of Positive Psychology in the first place.
To get things started, Grace shares with us:
A Short History of Positive Psychology
Digging back into the personal we explore:
The Many Ways in which Grace has incorporated positive practices into her daily life
Building from these practices Graces shares some amazing insights on"
Following our journey into the practices of Positive Psychology we then transition to a fascinating discussion about:
The Importance of Gratitude and The Concept of Resilience
And lastly we close with some final insights and a beautiful piece of wisdom from Grace as she faithfully lives out the practices she most rigorously studies.
I was so grateful to have shared this conversation with Grace and so thankful for the nourishing friendship that emerged from our synchronous connection. I am already looking forward to bringing Grace back on the show to share more of her insights, wisdom and passion for connecting communities by holding a space for happiness to flourish.
To learn more about the Positive Psychology Center UPenn you may access their website using this link: http://ppc.sas.upenn.edu
To access more information about Wharton People Analytics use this link:
And, to get in touch with Grace you can contact her at:
Enjoy the show!
Episode 011: Behavioral Counseling Regarding Diet and Physical Activity In Healthy Adults: Do You Think You Would Benefit?
Mixing things up this week, I have provided a short commentary on a recent recommendation from the United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) regarding the efficacy of routine behavioral health counseling for the prevention of cardiovascular disease in healthy adults.
“The USPSTF recommends that primary care professionals individualize the decision to offer or refer adults without obesity who do not have hypertension, dyslipidemia, abnormal blood glucose levels, or diabetes to behavioral counseling to promote a healthful diet and physical activity. Existing evidence indicates a positive but small benefit of behavioral counseling for the prevention of CVD in this population. Persons who are interested and ready to make behavioral changes may be most likely to benefit from behavioral counseling. (C recommendation).”
You may be wondering:
Who/What is the USPSTF and what are their recommendations in the first place?
Who are they directed towards and to whom do they apply?
And most importantly why should I care?
In my commentary I examine some of the details behind this recommendation and the studies that informed it. I dig a little deeper to explore some rather curious questions:
Why don’t they recommend counseling for everyone? It seems like it would help?
In what ways did the USPSTF determined “benefit” from such counseling?
What types of health counseling were involved? What modalities were used?
Who was delivering the interventions?
Could we have even expected to see a benefit from such interventions in the first place?
How would you decide if nutrition counseling was helpful to you?
Is preventing cardiovascular enough or relevant?
And pushing still I begin to open some doors and push some buttons examining
What does a Grade C recommendation mean when it comes to insurance? payment? Will this type of service be covered?
Were the interventions studied “unsuccessful” because of the participants or was it the content and delivery?
Are we actually telling patients the right things when it comes to nutrition and exercise?
What if we studied counseling for sleep, stress management and social connection? Would we see a benefit with these types of interventions? Is this where we should look to next?
And lastly I leave the discussion with a note on motivation, purpose and the willingness to change- is motivation and willingness to change a prerequisite for making meaningful lifestyle changes? Should we only educate those that seem interested to change?
I really hope you enjoy this commentary and want to hear from you!
Leave comments on our podcast page, contact us at using our contact page or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you and wish to know if this type of podcast is something you would like more of in the future.
May you be happy, healthy, and forever at peace.
In Episode 10 of A Medicinal Mind: Wisdom and Well Being I have perhaps my deepest, most personal and somehow most playful conversation to date with my mentor in integrative and spirituality engaged family medicine, Dr Gregory Gelburd DO.
As you will hear in the podcast, it was by amazing chance and beautiful synchronicity that Greg and I crossed paths, quickly becoming colleagues, friends, and family beyond measure. From sharing a room together during a mission trip to Haiti, to holding a space for healing alongside Greg’s patients, I have been tremendously blessed to have worked and learned from Greg’s incredible wisdom and his faithful giving heart.
In this conversation, or should I say, this storytelling, you will hear much of Greg’s fascinating background, his undeniable humor and his amazing dedication to restoring health for those in his community, no matter their socioeconomic background, or ability to pay.
Digging into the details of the show we explore
As we dig further,
Greg shares countless stories of life as an osteopathic physician serving in underserved communities, trying to figure out exactly what was the patient’s REAL REASON FOR COMING.
And in the end Greg opens his own heart to share a personal and vulnerable story of error and forgiveness that will leave your heart yearning to forgive as well, perhaps forgiving those that have hurt you to your core.
I will simply stop here and share again how grateful I am to call Greg a mentor and friend and I hope you can find some nourishing stories embedded in our playful, yet deep conversation leading you to live a life more open, more fulfilled, and undeniably free.
Enjoy the show.
Episode 009: Tony Schiavone, Faith, Community and Health: A Pastor's Perspective On Cultivating Wellness
In Episode 009 of A Medicinal Mind: Wisdom and Well-Being, we share space with Charlottesville Virginia advocate and visionary leader behind Cornerstone Community Church, Pastor Tony Schiavone.
It would take much too long to share all of Tony’s background, accomplishments and the innumerable ways in which Tony has inspired my being, so I will distill down his passionate work and impactful presence into a single sentence: Tony has opened my heart to experience the joys of renewed relationship with Christ and a life unburdened by the fears or never completely knowing.
Sharing his wisdom each Sunday and holding a nourishing space for growth every second in between, Tony has been a passionate leader in my local church: Cornerstone Community Church, pushing the boundaries of what the modern church can offer a community of open and engaged believers.
In this deeply personal and touching conversation, Tony shares his background in the church community, growing up in a large church-going, New York family where faith would never take the back seat.
We then explore:
We then ask and explore explore some interesting question
And to start to blur the lines of spiritual counsel vs. physical “healer” and how health is truly created at the community level we ask:
And lastly Tony shares his vision and work within the church answering the question
While you may not find much “medicine” in this conversation, I think you will discover a wealth of new questions and opportunities to reflect, no matter your spiritual background or religious beliefs.