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Hope & Truth

Our world has changed in ways large and small since the COVID-19 pandemic. In Hope & Truth we delve into the ways people coped with loss, change, and moved toward hope through personal stories. It wasn’t supposed to be this way — but we are ever resilient.


Season 2, Episode 5: Building connections

Deb talks about the importance of building connections, wherever you are — across geographic boundaries and without language as a barrier. Debra Whittam: “My whole plea for everyone is to reach out…we need connection and community.”

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Season 2, Episode 4: Debra Myers

Debra Myers is a stress management coach who helps people learn where tension is located, and how to “unwrap” it towards the direction of relief, release, and relaxation. 

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Season 2, Episode 3: Muna Nehme

Muna talks to Debra about the challenges — and ultimately triumphs — she experienced connecting with her students at a high school in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, when the students suddenly couldn’t meet in person.

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Season 2, Episode 2: Carly Duncan

Carly was in graduate school in March 2020 when everything changed — and ultimately, she graduated but like millions of other students this milestone was celebrated online. Debra talks to Carly about coping, as a student, and how she’s moved forward.

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Season 2, Episode 1: Kat Macasek

We kick off the first episode Katherine, a behavioral health therapist who works with children. When the COVID shutdowns hit, she was working with kids from age 6 months to 16 years. Says Kat: “It is hard to be a parent on a good day…and we can’t blame ourselves for ...

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Season 1, Episode 5: Global grief, global resilience

In the closing episode, Debbie shares some of what she learned in Europe. She planned the trip in hopes of gaining a deeper understanding of global grief. She went to France and Scotland — meeting many people along the way. “Connection,” she says, “helps us heal.”

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Season 1, Episode 4: Frontline workers

In this episode, we hear from Annette Fetchko, who leads Bethlehem Haven, a nonprofit serving women who are experiencing homelessness. When the pandemic shutdowns hit, she and other employees remained on site, because they had to. “(Love) is not a sign of weakness or insecurity. It’s really a sign ...

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Season 1, Episode 3: The Educators

In this episode, Debra talks to STEM teacher Cari Kelm, of Pennsylvania, and Denise Tirimacco, a kindergarten teacher in Minnesota. They like other teachers transformed — nearly overnight — how they connected with their students, during COVID shutdowns. How could they create a nurturing, engaging connection from a distance? Cari and Denise ...

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Season 1, Episode 2: Addiction & Mental Health

In this episode, law school student and council member for Allegheny County Bethany Hallam talks openly about her journey to recovery, supporting others, and why celebrating victories large and small is so important. If you or someone you know needs help, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration ...

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Hope & Truth: Season 1, Episode 1

The world changed almost overnight with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stores closed. Companies shut down. Students and teachers had to learn remotely. Healthcare workers became frontline workers. Many of us lost loved ones. Host and therapist Debra Whittam talks openly about the death of her father, and delves ...

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Host Debra Whittam, licensed therapist, takes us through journeys of grief and overcoming in this podcast.

During more than 15 years treating clients, her diverse experience includes addiction rehabilitation therapy in both inpatient and and outpatient settings, trauma, abuse, grief, anxiety, OCD, and depression.  Debra believes in the importance of authenticity in connecting with clients, their loved ones, and unveiling impacts of the family dynamic on psychosomatic conditions and the healing process.

In her book, “Am I Going To Be Okay? Weathering the Storms of Mental Illness, Addiction and Grief” (2016) and her most recent publication, “Everything That’s Been Waiting” she speaks from a position of personal experience with abuse, anxiety and addiction.

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