Show cover of The Shift Show

The Shift Show

We’re on a mission to make the world of psychology approachable, easy to understand, and (*gasp*) enjoyable. Join us every other Thursday as we use psychological insight to unravel the craziness of life; from porn addiction to toxic parenting, and everything in between. And don’t worry, we’ll leave out the psychobabble.


030: The World Can Be a Scary Place: Here's How To Focus On What You Can Control
Let us know in the comments what other topics you'd like our psychologists Andrea and Zac to cover in the next upcoming episodes! In this episode of The Shift Show, we admit that it's been a while... but we're back and this topic is one that you'll want to sit in on. We'll be talking about External Stressors (things that stress us out that are NOT in our control) such as the war between Russia and Ukraine, the raising inflation, supply chain shortages, political division etc. Our two psychologists will give you tips on how to manage what is in your control and how to filter out what isn't.
85:22 9/8/22
029: Let's Talk About Sex: A chat with Natasha Helfer Parker
The sex experience can be very confusing; on one hand, it is pleasurable and we desire it but on the other hand, it’s associated with shame and disgust. Tune in and hear what we have to say about sex!
51:51 5/12/22
028: From Stress to Chronic Burnout: Here’s How to Combat These Common Conditions
More and more we see clients listing “stress” as a common reason our clients come in. It’s talked about in the news frequently, we hear friends complain of it, and we have all experienced some aspect of it from time to time.
120:25 3/24/22
027: Yoga for PTSD? How Building Your Mind-Body Connection Enhances Therapy
A lot has changed from the days when yoga burst into the West. The beloved past-time of Lululemon-sporting women now invites more diverse populations, including first responders suffering from – or at risk for – PTSD.
93:04 2/17/22
026: Tune up Your Relationship by Breaking down Your Needs
Flowers & Blowjobs: Listen to the rerelease of this podcast for gems on navigating your needs, whether you’re trying to communicate better in your current relationship or are in the market for a new one. 
102:34 2/10/22
025: Stop Self-Sabotage, Get Your Brain on Your Side and Be Your Best Self
In this podcast, Andrea McTague and Zac Erickson dissect the human brain to explain why we often act against our own interests and how to get back in the driver’s seat.
90:51 1/27/22
024: How to Combat the Winter Blues
Solutions for Seasonal Affective Disorder to Grinch Like Grumpiness, and Everything in Between!
126:46 12/23/21
023: How Mindfulness Can Help You Eat Better and Move More
Why do we let diet and exercise sabotage our well-being? Zac and Sarah point some fingers and round up some solutions.
60:39 11/25/21
022: Face Your Fears with Shift Psychs: Dare to visit Deadmonton, the haunted house from hell.
Ah, Halloween - the time our society brings our love of scaring ourselves to light, in the funnest possible way. Overgrown pumpkins, tricked out yards, and all-you-can-eat candy. A chance to slap on a wig, paint your face, and glimpse the horrors that lurk inside your neighbour's’ foyer.Chime in to hear what we have to say!Disclaimer:  Please note that this podcast is a re-release and that after this episode we will begin releasing our podcasts once a month!
53:21 10/28/21
021: We’re Walking, Talking Pieces of Nature!
Zac and Sarah Explain How the Great Outdoors Makes Us Happier -- and Why We Should Leave Our Phone at Home
66:30 10/14/21
020: Why Porn is Like a Comfy Couch -- and How to Get up off Your Ass
In Andrea and Zac’s 360 on porn compulsion, they discuss what the real problem is (spoiler alert: it’s not the sexy bodies), how it’s compounded by modern-day society, and what to do if you or a loved one is struggling with it.
50:38 9/30/21
019: Life is a Teeter-Totter
Defy Gravity, Embrace Yourself: Floating Entrepreneurs Matthew Smith and Jamie Phillips Twelve inches of water, half a ton of salt, 34-degree water, that’s all. No sound. No light. No sensory input. Just you and your thoughts.Whether that sounds divine or demonic, this conversation with Modern Gravity founders Matthew Smith and Jamie Phillips, Shift Clinician Zac Erickson, and Shift Operations Manager [Name…?] offers new perspectives on the experience of floating -- the good, the weird and the downright trippy.Smith and Phillips discuss the history of floating, its myriad health benefits, and the scientific studies supporting the glowing results they’ve witnessed first hand in their Edmonton center.While many tout the physical benefits of floating that make it a go-to recovery treatment for athletes, its real power lies in the opportunity it offers for deep introspection. Like other forms of mindfulness-based self-care, such as meditation and yoga, floating offers a safe environment in which you can face your limiting beliefs, stressors and fears.Plus: Hang around for the final segment and discover what it was like for Zac to experience his first float.
77:51 9/16/21
018: Let's Talk About Happiness
The Holy Grail of emotions, happiness is everywhere -- and yet so hard to see. Everything from a pleasant sunny afternoon to a once-in-a-lifetime winning lottery ticket could sit under the umbrella of happiness. The problem is, wanting to be happy without knowing what that means, is a recipe for unhappiness. In the first episode of this new series, Shift’s Zac Erickson, Andrea McTague and Sarah [...?] poke around under the blanket of happiness to demystify it from a physiological, psychological and evolutionary perspective. As they do so, they ask two questions that will recur throughout this upcoming series: What is happiness for you as an individual and what is happiness for humans in general?
67:42 9/3/21
017: ADD/ADHD - Let's Discuss How to Identify and Treat this Disorder on the Rise
It’s ADHD’s moment in the spotlight. Thanks to Tiktok, today there’s an unprecedented level of interest around ADHD. But so many of the symptoms of this neurodevelopmental disorder can also be caused by lifestyle factors -- diet, sleep, exercise, social activity -- exacerbated by the pandemic. In other words, if you’re bouncing off the walls after a year and a half of being cooped up, it’s probably more an environmental issue than a clinical one.In this episode, Shift’s Zac Erickson and Andrea McTague discuss ADD/ADHD from the inside out, bringing to bear their personal and professional experiences with the disorder. After defining the three types of ADD/ADHD and running Andrea through a screening questionnaire, the two discuss why a diagnosis matters (and why it doesn’t), and how to build a life that works with, not against, your instinctual nature. Bottom line: regardless of label, it’s all about knowing yourself, what makes you tick and what throws you off the rails. Listen closely and you’ll learn: Why you wouldn’t ask your chihuahua to herd sheep, how a box of yarn saved Andrea’s grey velvet couch, and why not all screen-time is created equal.
101:33 8/19/21
016: Toxic Workplaces Hurt Us All: Here’s How to Identify and Shift the Dynamic
“Is My Boss Serving Kool Aid?”Sarah Lerner of And Together Discusses the Cost of Toxic Workplaces -- and Maps the Way ForwardToxic workplaces cost big. If you’re cowering in your cubicle or dodging bullies, you aren’t bringing your “A”-game to the office. You’re probably waist-deep in a job search.If that’s you, you’re not alone: According to a 2020 study, 20% of all U.S. employees reported fleeing a toxic workplace over the previous five years, at an estimated price tag of $220 billion in lost productivity -- to say nothing of missed opportunities for creativity and innovation.Shift’s Zac Erikson hashes out this pervasive problem with Sarah Lerner, Shift client and founder of And Together, an organization that strives to create more inclusive workplaces by consulting on collaborative solutions. In this episode, they tackle questions like: How do you know if you’re in a toxic workplace? (Hint: Is there Kool Aid on tap?)How can organizations disrupt unhealthy dynamics and foster inclusivity -- and what’s in it for them? (Five letter word, starts with ‘m’ and rhymes with funny.)How can we as individuals participate in difficult conversations and respond to feedback that might make our neck hair stand on end? (Get ready to dust off your yoga mat.)
56:11 8/5/21
015: Who Said Parenting Was Easy?
Parents are human, it’s okay to make mistakes! Shifters Zac and Sarah talk about the highs and lows of parenting during the peak of COVID.
77:07 7/22/21
014 “Who Are You and Why Are You Talking to Me about This Stuff?” A chat with Shift CEO and founder, Andrea McTague
In case you’re just joining the party, Shift Psychs, Zac Erickson and Sarah [...], sit down with Shift CEO and founder, Andrea McTague, for a chat on who we are and why we’re talking to you about all this stuff.Born out of Andrea’s love-hate relationship with traditional psychology (love the foundation, hate the delivery), Shift kicks the status quo to the curb. Here's the traditional equation: therapy = (couch + talking) x ∞. There’s no game plan -- and if there is, you don’t get to see it -- and no end in sight. It goes like this: Find a “good fit.” (What does that even mean?? And why is personality more important than skill!? Would you want Mr. Rogers to be your surgeon?). Vent about your week: Chat a lot, feel crummy a lot, get validated a lot. #codependentmuch? Pay a ton of money.Repeat steps 1-3. Are you better? Who knows? How would you even know?After tearing traditional psych a new one, Andrea, Zac and Sarah dive into how Shift changes the game with pattern theory: a framework based on psychological methods and theories that anyone can understand in five minutes. Along the way, they discuss informed consent, how it feels when your house is on fire and which Pizza Pops are the yummiest.
76:14 7/8/21
013: How First Responders Deal with Trauma/PTSD
This is a really important issue that we’re passionate about. First responders of all kinds, including firefighters, paramedics and police officers, deal with trauma every day. The long term (and short term) impacts of experiencing traumas are by no means light. We wanted to bring light to this issue by providing some education around the types of traumas that first responders experience, how it impacts them and some of the proactive measures we can take to lessen the impacts of those traumas. In The Shift Show Episode 13 we speak to Daniel Sundahl of DanSun Photo Art. Dan has been a full-time firefighter and paramedic since 2003, and that's where he gets all his motivation for his emergency services artwork. He has a real passion for raising mental health and PTSD awareness for his profession.Shift Psych: Photo ArtFacebook:
75:20 6/24/21
012: The Impact of Pregnancy and Infant Loss
Sometimes life confronts us with tragic events, things out of our control, which bring on a myriad of emotions and impact our beliefs about ourselves and the world.  One of these heartbreaking arenas is infant loss and pregnancy loss.  Once shrouded in quiet suffering and stigma, we are thankful that more and more open conversations about these not-so-uncommon events are occurring.  Still, hesitation to discuss a loss of a pregnancy or child still abounds.  Sometimes this is because the pregnancy was not yet disclosed, sometimes it is because the grief pushes people into hiding, sometimes it is because they simply do not know how to broach the topic and sometimes it is individual choice.  Everyone experiences grief differently and encouraging and supporting individuals in the way they most adaptively address it should be the goal for both therapists and loved ones. As a loved one, it is also important to know when to step in when the individual is struggling.  It can be difficult to know what to say or how to help, however.  Finding a way to be supportive involves knowing a bit about what the loss means to the individual and knowing a little bit about how they would like you to support them.  Sometimes it is a memorial, something to honor the child or pregnancy, holding space for them to discuss or a casserole dropped off.  Removing the shroud of secrecy, if they are comfortable, can offer a place to process what has happened.  Things to steer clear of include: being dismissive “well, you can just get pregnant again” type of comments, assuming what the attachment level to the child or pregnancy is, forcing a conversation, flat out ignoring it, minimizing the event or emotional responses and assuming it has only affected the woman.Often, in the acute stages of grief, directly following the loss, loved ones are the most supportive.  In the case of pregnancy or infant loss, there are often far-reaching effects, and traumatic memories amplified by anniversaries, important life events, other’s pregnancies or children and subsequent pregnancies. Being supportive and aware of this over the long run is helpful in assisting someone dealing with grief of this nature.  A conversation, knowledge and acknowledgement go a long way.  As does therapy around the loss.  Incorporating significant life events into our worldview and present life experience, regardless of whether they are positive or negative, is an important part of a healthy response to trauma.  At Shift, we endeavor to identify any limiting beliefs- negative thoughts about ourselves or the world- that are activated by miscarriage or infant loss.  Quelling the limiting beliefs allows us to use more of our cognitive processes, reduces maladaptive emotions and  remain mentally healthy.  Doing so also helps with the ability to remember the good parts and happy memories- no matter how fleeting they were. Shift’s therapeutic protocol can help navigate through grief and the challenges associated with loss.  We focus on ensuring that these tragic experiences are adaptively addressed and avoid becoming issues of complex grief, wherein an individual gets “stuck” or has maladaptive responses. In The Shift Show Episode 12, we speak to Kristina Oriold, founder of Tiny Footprints.  Tiny Footprints is an organization which raises awareness and provides support for individuals dealing with pregnancy loss and infant loss.  Shift Psych:
52:27 6/10/21
011: Creating Friendships as an Adult (and Maintaining Them During a Pandemic)
Do you find it difficult to create and maintain friendships as an adult? Well, you’re not the only one. Only a small number of Canadians would say they are ‘satisfied’ with their social lives.Why is this? What are the barriers to making friends in adulthood and what are some ways to get past these barriers? Zac and Shift clinician Sam Greenwood explore all of these questions.They’ll also look at some of the limiting beliefs that tend to sabotage our friend making efforts. Join us for this super relatable episode of The Shift Show. Psych: Instagram:  YouTube:
50:50 5/27/21
010 Why Community Matters (with the Westmount Community League)
What is community? What on earth is a 'block connector' and what does it mean to 'be elfed'? Andrea and Zac sit down with our guests this week: Carla Stolte and Jay Summach of the Westmount Community in Edmonton to get into all of this and more.As members of the Westmount Community League, Jay and Carla share their experience of living in a tight-knit community in a disconnected world.What makes a community connected? How has community connectedness changed over time? What can we do to be more connected with our neighbours? All this and more unpacked on this episode of The Shift Show. Shift Psych: Instagram: YouTube: learn more about the Westmount Community League, visit their website or social media! 
66:04 5/13/21
009 Loneliness and Social Connectivity
Recorded during the wake of the pandemic, Andrea and Zac have a timely discussion about the widespread issue of loneliness and the importance of social connection. Where does our drive for social interaction and connectivity come from? What hinders social connectivity and what fosters it? How can we improve our relationships and feel closer to the people in our lives? All this and more on this episode of The Shift Show! Psych: Instagram: YouTube:
91:02 4/29/21
008 Cancer: Moving Forward Emotionally (with Michelle Okere; CEO of Compassion House Foundation)
Shift psychologist Sarah O'Brien sits down with Michelle Okere, the CEO of Compassion House Foundation, to try and understand the emotional journey that many individuals experience during their cancer treatment and recovery. Michelle and Sarah discuss some of the common, and even surprising, emotions that cancer survivors experience, from guilt to relief. They also take a look at some tips to help cancer survivors with emotional regulation and coping.  Michelle and Sarah explore some of the ways that friends and family can support the cancer survivor in their lives and some of the ways that this can be challenging for both parties. Psych:
66:08 4/15/21
007 ADD: Where's the Deficit?
Zac shares his experience of dealing with Attention Deficit Disorder. He discusses being able to understand some of the symptoms that his ADD created in childhood, like not being able to sustain mental effort in early assignments in school. When something was not stimulating enough to hold his attention in childhood he often encountered shame-based accusations of being lazy, stupid or destructive. Zac also discusses the often neglected, positive coping strategies and behaviours which ADHD may produce. Zac also refers to the book, “Delivered from Distraction: Getting the Most out of Life with Attention Deficit Disorder“, by Edward M. Hallowell (Author), John J. Ratey (Author). It covers some of the advantageous characteristics of ADD.  Olga explores anxiety as a secondary symptom or co-morbid disorders that present as a result of untreated ADD. On average children receive as much as 10X negative feedback from adults. Over time, depending on the personality of the child and depending on if the child has supportive adult figures in their life; children can suffer anxiety or depressive disorders. Psych: Instagram: YouTube:
62:41 4/1/21
006 Limiting Beliefs in Relationships
Sometimes people think they need couples counselling, when they actually need some intense individual therapy. Zac Erickson and Dr. Lindsay Sewall help tease these apart so you can recognize when limiting beliefs are at the core of relationship issues.Limiting beliefs can look like perfectionism, sensitivity to rejection, or an unwillingness to consider someone else’s perspective. We go over several different limiting beliefs and how they show up in your relationship. Shift Psych: Instagram: YouTube:
75:24 3/18/21
005 A Pregnancy and Postpartum Survival Guide
Shifter and full-time mom Sarah O'Brien shares her experience with pregnancy, birth and everything in between.What are some of the secret struggles women go through during pregnancy? What are postpartum depression and anxiety really like and how common are they? How do men and women experience pregnancy and birth differently? Is there a right way to give birth? How about a right way to care for your newborn? Andrea and Sarah discuss all these questions and more on this episode. Episode webpage: Shift Psych: Instagram: YouTube:
88:27 3/4/21
004 Let's Talk About Sex (with Sex Therapist Natasha Helfer Parker)
Join Zac and Natasha as they discuss some of the feelings of disgust and shame which often arise in regards to conversations about sex. These ideas are embedded in historical issues of control, whether it be religion or family inheritance. They explore the age old question of, “What makes for a good healthy sexuality?”  There are a lot of things which we see as being tied to a healthy sexual relationship. Some of these things are culturally ingrained or learned through our family or friend groups growing up. Some are tied to evolutionary or biological programs running unconsciously. Natasha puts forth six principles which seem to be factors based on the research. Issues around consent and duty. Being non-exploitative – In a sense punishing the other one if we don’t get what we want. Unwanted pregnancy and STI’s – practicing safe sex and being open and honest about sexual history Honesty – “Can I be honest about my sexual preferences?” Shared Values – not living in alignment with the values you hold can cause problems.Mutual Pleasure – prioritizing each other's sexual pleasure. Feeling guilty can result from following the wrong or someone else’s narrative script for how we should act and why. Shift Psych: Instagram: YouTube:
52:42 2/18/21
Episode 0 - The Shift Show Trailer
Welcome to the Shift Show, where we use psychological insight to unravel the craziness of life for you. From childhood traumas to why you’re attracted to narcissists. From overthinking your social interactions to why you’re struggling to grow your business. It’s all here, and we’ve left the psychobabble out.This especially delicious podcast experience is brought to you by our friends at Shift Psych, the people who deliver a results-driven and innovative approach in therapy-land.Podcast website: Shift Psych: Instagram: YouTube:
03:09 1/21/21
001 Can Money Buy Happiness?
Zac and Andrea discuss money; specifically, how to spend in a way that allows you to have a fulfilling life. Referencing a study from Purdue University, Zac and Andrea analyze how people spend money and look into the factors that cause bad spending habits. Andrea shares her experiences with money and offers insight to the age old question: Can money buy happiness?Purdue University study: Website: Psych: Instagram: YouTube: 
47:48 1/20/21
002 Toxic Parents: Dealing With The Fallout
When we’re young, we have to figure things out and navigate our realities very quickly. During periods of high stimulation we place demand on our emotional systems to determine threats or unbalance in our environments. We are wired to trust our parents and depend on them to protect us. If they aren’t placing adequate protections in place for us then we assume that it must be our fault. This will almost always show up later in life in different ways. What are some ways to deal with the aftermath of toxic parenting? Tune in as Zac and Olga explore this important topic. Episode website: Shift Psych: Instagram: YouTube:
70:08 1/20/21