Learn about CAST on the podcast “Rachel on Recovery”

Listen to a 2-part interview with CAST Director Tyler Counsil on the podcast “Rachel on Recovery“, and read a Q/A with host and survivor, Rachel Stone.

Q&A with host Rachel Stone

What led to the creation of “Rachel on Recovery” and your journey towards hosting a podcast?

Rachel Stone: Growing up, I aspired to be a radio show host, but various factors steered me away from that path. However, my desire to pursue media remained. After facing challenges with dyslexia and memory problems due to trauma-induced brain damage, I explored different career paths and eventually graduated during the Great Recession. I had the opportunity to do an unpaid internship hosting a radio show with former prisoners who found redemption. Though it didn’t pay well, I enjoyed the experience. Unfortunately, the station shut down, and I faced unemployment and underemployment while dealing with my Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) and anxiety. 

Feeling lost, I switched churches and connected with people from my Bible study who were attending seminary. Considering my circumstances, I decided to pursue seminary, hoping it would provide direction and time to heal. Initially terrified due to past spiritual abuse, I found a supportive environment and completed my first semester. However, my application for the counseling program was rejected, leaving me devastated. Still, a professor reassured me that God does not waste anything. I explored counseling programs at another college and ended up studying educational psychology, although it wasn’t the right fit. Then, with the encouragement of fellow survivors during a retreat for adult women who experienced childhood sexual abuse, I launched the “Rachel on Recovery” podcast. With my education, personal journey, and available resources, I felt equipped to share insights on trauma recovery.

Can you provide an overview of the “Rachel on Recovery” podcast?

RS: “Rachel on Recovery” focuses on trauma recovery, primarily addressing Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), childhood sexual abuse, and spiritual trauma. The podcast covers a wide range of topics, including the role of nutrition, exercise such as Tai Chi, and various medical treatments including neurofeedback, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Art Therapy (ART), and traditional talk therapy.

What criteria do you consider when inviting guests to contribute to your show?

RS: When selecting guests, I prioritize professionals who have conducted extensive research in their respective fields. For survivors, I look for individuals who have actively engaged in their healing journey, having undergone significant counseling, explored different treatments, and made considerable progress in their recovery.

What topics or episodes do you believe would be interesting for faculty and students in the child maltreatment education field?

RS: Depending on their specific research interests and needs, my podcast offers several episodes that may be of interest to faculty and students in child maltreatment education. These include discussions on the benefits of Tai Chi and nutrition in trauma recovery, insights into neurofeedback as a potential treatment option, survivor stories that resonate with similar experiences, and episodes exploring the effects of BPD on spouses, mothers, and families resulting from abuse and neglect. I have also featured interviews with spouses of sexual abuse survivors, highlighting the impact on marriages. Overall, my podcast delves into long-term effects of abuse, available resources for recovery, and prevention strategies.

How do you believe your podcast can enhance the learning experience for faculty and students in the CAST Community, who teach about child maltreatment topics and best practices for abuse intervention and prevention?

RS: By listening to “Rachel on Recovery,” faculty and students in the child maltreatment education field can gain a deeper understanding of survivors’ experiences and challenges. The podcast provides valuable insights into trauma recovery, helping individuals access necessary resources to support survivors in their journey toward healing. Additionally, the episodes touch on prevention strategies, which can empower educators in their efforts to raise awareness and prevent child maltreatment.

Are there any additional resources you recommend for the CAST community? What materials or resources could faculty and students use to enhance their education on child maltreatment topics or incorporate into their lesson plans?

RS: On my website, Rachelonrecovery.com, I have a reading list and a resource page that I believe would be beneficial to anyone interested in expanding their knowledge in this field.

What is the main message you hope CAST learners and instructors take away from your podcast?

RS: The most important takeaway I want CAST learners and instructors to have is that there is always hope, even in the most challenging situations.