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Healing from complex trauma and the need for culturally responsive mental health care with Stephanie Foo

On the left is the cover of the book 'What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing from Complex Trauma.' On the right is a headshot of author Stephanie Foo wearing glasses with the large green leaves of a growing plant behind her.
Bryan Derballa
Left: The cover of 'What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing from Complex Trauma.' Right: Stephanie Foo, journalist and author of 'What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing from Complex Trauma'

When journalist Stephanie Foo was 30, she finally learned her mental health diagnosis. She had complex post-traumatic stress disorder or C-PTSD, a condition caused by repeated exposure to trauma. At first, learning that fact made Stephanie feel hopeless. But she soon embarked on a journey of healing that helped her better understand what having C-PTSD really meant. In the process, she not only learned about herself, but also about the broader societal implications of trauma and how trauma in her family's past still affects her today. She chronicles that journey in her book What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing from Complex Trauma.

This hour, we return to our discussion with Stephanie. We talk about her book and how mental health care in the U.S. often ignores the pain of people of color. Since this episode first aired in February, the paperback version of the book was released and entered the New York Times Best Sellers list.


This episode originally aired on February 1, 2023.

Disrupted is available as a podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe and never miss an episode!

Kevin Chang Barnum is a producer for Connecticut Public Radio’s weekly show Disrupted. Kevin grew up in Connecticut and started his radio work at his graduate university’s radio station, KUCI. He has also worked for HRN, a network of food and beverage podcasts.
Wayne Edwards is a freelance producer at Connecticut Public contributing to multi-platform productions, including ‘Disrupted’, ‘Where Art Thou?’, and ‘Cutline in the Community’.

Emily Charash is a podcast producer for Seasoned and Disrupted. She also produces branded podcasts for museums, cultural institutions, and businesses. Emily grew up in Newtown, Connecticut and loves UCONN women’s basketball!
Dr. Khalilah L. Brown-Dean is an award-winning scholar at Wesleyan University, author, and host of 'Disrupted' on Connecticut Public.
Meg Dalton is the deputy director of storytelling for Connecticut Public where she provides editorial support for the station’s talk shows and podcasts, including the limited series 'In Absentia'.
Catie Talarski is Senior Director of Storytelling and Radio Programming at Connecticut Public.