Previous Guest

Dr. Janina Scarlet (she/her)

Dr. Janina Scarlet joined Momma on September 27, 2021 for a live Q&A via Twitch to talk about Healing Through Fiction

About Janina

Dr. Janina Scarlet is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, author, TEDx speaker, and a full-time geek. A Ukrainian-born refugee, she survived Chernobyl radiation and persecution. She immigrated to the United States at the age of 12 with her family and later, inspired by the X-Men, developed Superhero Therapy to help patients with anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Dr. Scarlet is the recipient of the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award by the United Nations Association for her work on Superhero Therapy. Her work has been featured on Yahoo, BBC, NPR, Sunday Times, CNN, CW, ABC, The New York Times, Forbes, the Nerdist, BuzzFeed, and many other outlets. She was also portrayed as a comic book character in Gail Simone’s Seven Days graphic novel. Dr. Scarlet currently works at the Center for Stress and Anxiety Management in San Diego. She authored Superhero Therapy, Harry Potter Therapy, Therapy Quest, Dark Agents, Super-Women, Supernatural Therapy, Super-Survivors, as well as numerous contributions to Star Wars Psychology, Star Trek Psychology, Wonder Woman Psychology, Supernatural Psychology and many other books.

Socials / Links for Their Info

Episode Summary

Join MommaFoxFire as she explores the power of fiction to heal with Dr. Janina Scarlet in this captivating episode – a must-listen for anyone seeking inspiration and solace in the pages of their favorite stories.

Key Takeaways:

In the episode of Even Tacos Fall Apart, MommaFoxFire welcomed Dr. Janina Scarlet, an expert in using fiction as a tool for healing and understanding mental health struggles. Throughout the conversation, they explored various aspects of how fiction can serve as a powerful means of expression, connection, and healing for individuals dealing with mental health challenges.

Janina shared insights into the therapeutic potential of connecting with fictional characters and narratives. She emphasized that fiction provides a safe space for folks to explore and process their own experiences, allowing them to express complex emotions and gain insights into their struggles. By immersing themselves in fictional worlds, people can find solace, inspiration, and validation in seeing characters navigate similar mental health issues.

The discussion also delved into the importance of representation and diversity in fiction. Janina highlighted the significance of seeing oneself reflected in stories, emphasizing how diverse representation can foster a sense of belonging and empowerment for marginalized communities. She underscored the harmful effects of stigmatizing portrayals of mental health in fiction, which can perpetuate stereotypes and contribute to misconceptions.

A recurring theme throughout the interview was the concept of personal heroes, both fictional and real, and their role in the healing journey. Janina emphasized the transformative power of becoming one's own hero by taking action and sharing one's story. They discussed how fictional heroes can provide support and inspiration, serving as symbols of resilience and hope for individuals facing mental health challenges.

The conversation also touched upon the therapeutic use of gamification and fiction in therapy. Janina highlighted how reframing behaviors and intentions can change your relationship with them, offering insights into overcoming procrastination and fostering self-compassion. She and MommaFoxFire also discussed the effectiveness of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy in treating PTSD by reactivating traumatic memories and pairing them with new, more helpful beliefs.

The interview underscored the importance of challenging misconceptions and educating others about mental health to reduce stigma and promote understanding. Janina emphasized the value of checking in on others and sharing experiences as a means of combating feelings of loneliness and fostering connection within communities.

This episode provided a comprehensive exploration of how fiction can serve as a transformative tool for healing and understanding mental health struggles. Through engaging dialogue and insightful reflections, MommaFoxFire and Dr. Janina Scarlet illuminated the therapeutic potential of fiction and the importance of representation, connection, and self-empowerment in the healing journey.