Warning – Explicit Language and Adult Content – Not Suitable For Young Listeners

Episode #1: Rape Culture

An interview with Melissa Dessert, LCPC who has extensive experience working to combat the impact of rape culture on college campuses. Melissa has been helping victims of sexual assault since the late 80s and is a local expert on trauma. Also in this podcast is Trudy Schaffner, a social worker, and mother of 3 teenage girls. Both lend their vast knowledge and experience to this really difficult and complex issue.

Episode #2: Harm Reduction

We are at the 2018 Harm Reduction Conference in New Orleans. Between the awesome workshops and stuffing beignets into our mouths, we sat down with four beautiful, badass, love warriors from the harm reduction field. We talked about LGBTQIA+ youth, homelessness and housing, serious mental illness homeless outreach and jumping fences to love on the most marginalized. We can’t wait for you to listen.

Our merry band of ragamuffins includes:

Loren Phillips: Outreach Worker with a large mental health organization in Chicago

Christopher Powers: Psychotherapist and harm reduction counselor in San Francisco

Kimber Brightheart, LCSW: Independent contractor at the Midwest Harm Reduction Institute, founder of Queerplay, and harm reduction therapist in private practice

Valery Shuman, ATR-BC, LCPC: Senior Director at Heartland Alliance Health, Heartland Center for Systems Change, and Midwest Harm Reduction Institute

And me, Chris Schaffner: Founder of Conversations on the Fringe, DOPP Grant Coordinator, JOLT Harm Reduction Center Program Manager

Episode #3: Bryce Foster // Recovery Antihero

Bryce Foster is one of those unique people you can’t ever forget and he’s quickly become one of my closest friends and we are partners in crime doing harm reduction work in the midst of an opioid pandemic. His story is inspiring and hysterical. He’s a pretty smart and a lot irreverent. Also, he’s tried it all and eventually discovered a path that works for him. Listen in while he shares his story. You just might learn something.

Episode 4 – Meth in the Midwest

This is the story of one man’s journey from a normal childhood, to a substance use disorder, to meth cook, to prison, and back to life again. Anthony’s story is a story of criminal behavior that nearly destroyed a family and his struggle to rebuild his life on the other side of prison. This is a story of hope and resilience and can serve as an inspiration to anyone wondering if they can ever recover from a life of crime and addiction.

Episode 5 – Memoirs of a Sex Worker

Stigma surrounds individuals who are engaged in the “world’s oldest profession”. Sex workers from around the globe are regular victims of sexual and physical assault yet often do not have legal protections from such harms.

This is one woman’s story of growing up in a sex trafficking ring and the trauma that impacted her and her future. This is a story of heartbreak and systemic failure but it is also a story of hope and resilience.

Episode 6 – Criminal Justice Reform

This is the first of many conversations about criminal justice reform. In this episode, we talk with a friend and colleague, Harmony Goorley, MA, LCPC, CCHP regarding her work as a Correctional Consultant working to bring reform in jails and prisons around the country. This is an informative yet at times difficult conversation, as there are strong opinions on both sides and evidence and data that challenged what we think we know about criminal justice in America.