The Heart of the Matter

The Heart of the Matter is a podcast that promotes self-care, healing and wellness through exploring internal well-being, relationships and connection to others, and social issues.
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Now displaying: 2020
Dec 14, 2020

On our 50th episode, we were joined by Seth Johnson to talk about estrangement and her organization Together Estranged.  She shared about her story and difficult life events which resulted in her own personal experience of estrangement.  She created Together Estranged to provide support and services to adults who have become estranged from their families.  We talk about mental health, healing, and various circumstances related to estrangement.

Connect with them:


Nov 29, 2020

Dr. Ricky Pope is a psychologist at San Diego State University’s Counseling & Psychological Services.

Dr. Pope is an engaging speaker, with a calming voice, and joined THOTM to share his journey from dropping out of high school to becoming a psychologist.

He describes his early struggles in school, navigating higher education as an African American male, the positive impact of mentors, and his inspiration for wanting to help and heal others. 

Nov 10, 2020

In this episode, we speak with returning guest LMFT Tracy Gilmour-Nimoy.  We discuss her pregnancy and infant loss, her grieving and healing process, and how that is shaping her therapeutic work.  We also discuss Women's health and other topics that are sure to move you emotionally as we explore these tough topics that impact so many people.


Books and resources mentioned in this episode:
Connect with Tracy at her website.
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb (every therapist should read this!)
It's OK That You're Not OK by Megan Devine 
Alexandra Sacks M.D., reproductive psychiatrist
Additional resources:

Postpartum Support International

Postpartum Health Alliance (local resource)

Share Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support

Empty Cradle: Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support, Education, & Remembrance

Postpartum Dads

Postpartum Men

Sep 21, 2020

For episode 47, we “rewind and relax” with some fun and introspective questions...also reflect on current events.

Sep 6, 2020

This August marked the 15 year anniversary since Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, leaving New Orleans in devastation. For episode 46, we talked with Willie Harris, who survived hurricane Katrina after 6 days of fighting for his life after the storm hit. He describes how he survived the elements, dealing with racism and trauma, rebuilding his life, and how this experience has shaped his perspective on our current social climate. 

Aug 22, 2020

In this episode we speak with Merceds Tiggs and Otesha Bremond about the intersection of cooking and mental health.  We explore their business model of integrating therapy and healing through food and cooking.  We talk about mindful cooking, and eating, as well as other practices relating to how we connect with our food, the process of preparation, and how that contributes to our mental health.  

Visit Eight 16 website

Connect with Eight 16 on Facebook

Watch the episode in video


Aug 9, 2020

Lisa McJunkin is a licensed marriage and family therapist who specializes in working with trauma. She’s also an adjunct professor at Point Loma Nazarene University and co-founder of Enlightened Vibrations, where she provides therapeutic services. Lisa explains the various ways that traumatic stress impacts individuals, in a way that’s concise and understandable. She also describes her holistic approach to healing trauma, integrating both eastern and western healing practices, that attend to the mind, body and spirit.

To learn more about Lisa’s work and therapeutic services provided at Enlightened Vibrations, visit their website:

To learn more about PTSD read 101 of Understanding Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) & Trauma Recovery Options visit the link below:

Here is the video for the episode if you prefer to watch:

Jul 26, 2020

Dr. Mitch Hamilton is a business marketing professor at Loyola Marymount University and founder/CEO of Rethink Creative Agency.  He talks about finding his niche in marketing, how companies can effectively engage in social change, working on projects with Nipsey Hussle and Snoop Dogg, and balancing work and family during this social climate.

Rethink Creative Agency

Episode #43 YouTube companion video

Jul 12, 2020

On this episode of THOTM, Jermaine Simpson and Michael Ceccon are joined by Laila Aziz...a community activist, law student and parent of twin boys. This conversation is about having “the talk” with our children. However, this is not the “where do babies come from?” talk. Instead, it’s the unfortunately talk that many black parents have with their sons about what to do when stopped by police. We also discuss mental health in Black communities and balancing community activism with parenting, career, and personal wellness.

Jun 28, 2020

Chrissy Hunter is a licensed professional clinical counselor in Beaumont, Texas. She is also a return guest to THOTM (episode 7). Chrissy joined us for a discussion on white privilege, answering questions such as “what does it mean?”, “why does it matter?” and “what to do about it?”

Jun 14, 2020

Khalid Alexander is an English professor at San Diego City College, activist and co-founder of Pillars of the Community in Southeast San Diego. Khalid talks about racist policing of Black communities, the murder of George Floyd, local protests, and “defunding the police”. He is a return guest to THOTM, so check out episode #14 Post Election Reflections   


Check out this article on the topic of police training and abuse of power: Confessions of a Former Bastard Cop

May 31, 2020

On episode #39, our guests are Dr. Ngonzi Truth Chrushshon and Dr. Mychal Odom. Dr. Truth is a PhD candidate in clinical psychology, with a private practice in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Odom, is a history and black studies professor for the San Diego Community College District and a community activists. We discussed police violence against black people, mental health implications, and ways to take action.



Tapping Technique to Neutralize Trauna


Finding a therapist:

A dialogue on Retraumatization in the Black Community

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

11:00am - 1:00pm PDT  


Dangerous Images to Avoid


Check out our companion Zoom video for this episode on YouTube from which the episode audio is pulled.

May 14, 2020

Episode 38 is a continuation of our last conversation, which we addressed self-care and social distancing. This week we touch on the COVID-19 impact on mental health, parenting, and creating new habits for maintaining wellness.

May 3, 2020

Self-care has become one of those pop culture terms that’s used so often and loosely, that it can easily lose it’s value.


So...what is self care? Why is it important? How do we apply it while in self-quarantine?


For episode #37, we provide meaning and context to the term and talk about our own ways of maintaining our wellness.

Apr 19, 2020

Welcome back to THOTM! This is our recording since taking a two month hiatus. In this episode, Michael describes the near death experience that put life and the podcast on pause. We also share our reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jan 20, 2020

In honor of the MLK holiday, THOTM is highlighting Dr. Kyra Greene, Executive Director of the Center on Policy Initiatives. She was selected as a civil rights speaker for the San Diego Women’s March 2020.

THOTM has been documenting the organizing of SDWM, and had the honor of talking with Dr. Greene in the weeks leading up to the march. In this interview, she talks about her deep roots in activism, workers rights,  and the role of Black women in civil rights for everyone.

Jan 6, 2020

 Gabrielle Gosselin is a counselor, instructor, and program coordinator of the CalWORKS program at Grossmont Community College in San Diego. Gabrielle talked with us about her unique upbringing, which inspired her sense of cultural awareness and passion for social justice.  She also spoke candidly about her experience as a volunteer relief worker in Rwanda, and lessons on humility. Thank you Gabrielle for sharing your story with THOTM community!