September 17, 2018

Mental & Emotional Health

#15 – Paul Conti, M.D.: trauma, suicide, community, and self-compassion

“We run away from our problems, and we don’t even know what our problems are.” —Paul Conti

Read Time 17 minutes

In this episode, psychiatrist Paul Conti, M.D. discusses the impact of untreated trauma, the rising rate of suicide, and the influence of modern society on mental health, to name a few important topics covered. Paul also talks about how to deal with these challenges for yourself, your loved ones, and the community at large.

Want more content like this? Check out our interviews with Kristin Neff on the power of self-compassion and Esther Perel on the effects of trauma.


We discuss:

  • Paul’s background, and what drove him to psychiatry [5:00];
  • How silent bravado and incessant striving can lead to a functional (and actual) death, and why Paul is critical of the current state of psychiatry [14:45];
  • Psychedelics, psychotherapy and the dissolution of the ego [20:30];
  • How current society may be contributing to the increasing amount of suffering [25:00];
  • The ubiquity and impact of untreated trauma [31:45];
  • The rising rate of suicide, parasuicide, and “accidental” death [35:30];
  • Types of trauma, why we minimize it, and Peter’s introduction to Bridge to Recovery [44:00];
  • Triggering shame and fear, childhood trauma, and why trauma doesn’t care about time [48:00];
  • The impact of the brain on the body, and overcoming trauma with self-awareness [55:00];
  • How to recognize and stop the cycle of shame transference [1:04:30];
  • Peter’s profound experience at Bridge to Recovery, and the importance of finding shared experiences with others [1:11:15];
  • How to identify and deal with our own personal trauma [1:19:00];
  • Finding meaning in struggle, why we are less happy than ever, and the impact of an isolated society [1:25:30];
  • What steps can we take as a society to make an appreciable impact on the rising sense of desperation and misery? [1:43:15];
  • Resources, book recommendations, and things you can do [1:56:15]; and
  • More.


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Paul Conti, M.D.

Dr. Paul M. Conti is a graduate of Stanford University School of Medicine. He completed his training at Stanford and at Harvard, where he served as Chief Resident. He then worked in private practice while serving on the medical faculty at Harvard. He was named as one of Oregon’s Top Psychiatrists in 2008, his first full year of practice in Oregon. Dr. Conti is a general psychiatrist, treating all aspects of both mental illness and the impact of life stressors. His practice includes use of medications and psychotherapy, and he also routinely treats complex cases, co-occurring alcohol and drug issues, and does neuropsychiatric assessments. In addition to clinical treatment, Dr. Conti provides business-related and legal consulting services. []

Disclaimer: This blog is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute the practice of medicine, nursing or other professional health care services, including the giving of medical advice, and no doctor/patient relationship is formed. The use of information on this blog or materials linked from this blog is at the user's own risk. The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Users should not disregard, or delay in obtaining, medical advice for any medical condition they may have, and should seek the assistance of their health care professionals for any such conditions.
  1. Best episode to date. Such a great conversation, on such important topics for our society here in North America. Thank you Paul. Thank you Peter. Can’t wait for round two! Thanks for the Show Notes Bob & Team

  2. I was shocked how fast 2hrs went! What a great conversation. Thanks. Eagerly awaiting round 2.

  3. One of the best and most helpful I’ve encountered. I hope Dr. Conti will ultimately write a book comprehending all of this material–it is so greatly needed, and has the potential to change the mental health field. Thanks so much.

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