236. Mental Health and Flourishing with Margaret Chisolm

Experiencing a mental health condition (or supporting a friend or family member who does) can feel scary and overwhelming. Because of the fear and stigma associated with mental health conditions, people often delay or avoid seeking treatment, and more than half of people with mental health conditions do not seek treatment at all. In her work, Dr. Margaret Chisolm, author of From Survive to Thrive, aims to demystify psychiatry, destigmatize psychiatric illness, and help people find pathways to flourishing. On this episode of POTC, Debbie and Margaret discuss the impact of current environmental stressors on mental health and treatment-seeking behaviors, the importance of client-centered, “whole person” approaches to treatment, and practical advice on flourishing and thriving with mental illness. You are not alone in your mental health journey. Join us in this episode to learn more about evidence-based methods of support.

Listen and Learn:

  • Debbie and Yael’s thoughts on what psychiatry and psychology have to gain from one another 
  • How environmental stressors are impacting mental health in these unprecedented times 
  • Dr. Chisolm’s personal experience with stigma surrounding mental health
  • The importance in treating individuals from a “whole person” approach rather than treating them as merely a diagnosis or illness
  • The four pathways to holding a more complete view of a person’s struggles
  • How you can begin incorporating the Life Story Perspective into your practice
  • Margaret’s expert view on what it means to move toward flourishing and thriving
  • Practical advice on taking the first steps toward flourishing and thriving
  • Evidence-based methods for supporting a loved one with mental illness
  • How Margaret incorporates setbacks into her work with patients in recovery


About Margaret Chisolm:

Margaret Chisolm, MD is professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins University where she directs the Paul McHugh Program for Human Flourishing. Board-certified in general psychiatry and addiction medicine, Dr. Chisolm has three decades of clinical experience in those fields and has published extensively on psychiatric disorders and on humanistic medical practice. Her latest book—for patients and families—is titled From Survive to Thrive: Living Your Best Life with Mental Illness (2021, Johns Hopkins University Press). For more information about Dr. Chisolm and her book, please visit

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Episode 236