Two Years of Friendship and Podcast Co-Hosting

By Dr. Chris Wells

August 10, 2023

When Emma and I started the podcast, I felt confident we’d find an audience because I’d seen the impact of being a guest on other podcasts. My main concern was jumping into such an important project before having the opportunity to really get to know Emma. When we began recording episodes together, we’d only known each other for about 2.5 months, which now seems hard to believe.

Last week, I mentioned to Emma that we’d just passed the second anniversary of our first meeting, and I’m amazed by how much we’ve managed to accomplish in two years. Plus, she’s become one of the people I’m closest to outside of my family, and we’re in touch via Facebook Messenger or email most days. We’ve taken a lengthy break from recording with guests for several months, but we have still been talking, recording, and continuing our work together.

One of the things that surprises me about our early podcast success is that we have done very little marketing work. We share episodes on social media when they come out but don’t really do follow-up posts and haven’t had the most active online presence. Yet somehow, we’ve reached the point where our followers and listeners number in the thousands, which prompted me to write this post today.

I want you to know how grateful we are for your support. When we started the Positive Disintegration Podcast, I had pretty limited exposure to podcasting as a medium and had no idea what I was doing. But Emma had experience and guided me, and I started listening to podcasts to feel more tuned in with the format I was now using to share about Dąbrowski’s theory.

I want to say how grateful we are for our guests, too. We’ve enjoyed all of the conversations with our guests and appreciate how open and willing to share everyone has been with us.

The first time I was a podcast guest was on Embracing Intensity, and the episode was recorded on January 14, 2019. It was a tough week for me because my first professional partnership was falling apart. I hadn’t been able to sleep the night before, and it felt like I was an absolute mess. I was a little terrified about how it would go recording with Aurora. But I did what I always do: I shared from the heart. I talked about the impact of discovering the theory of positive disintegration and realizing I wasn’t broken, which was my message for her listeners that day—you’re not broken.

I still receive messages from people who have heard that episode and reached out to thank me. Listeners have told me that they feel like I was speaking directly to them, which feels humbling and remarkable.

When it came time to partner with Emma on the podcast, I had to overcome the fear of working with someone else. I’d failed to work successfully with others on projects related to TPD, and I was very upfront with her about my concerns. But my intuition was telling me to go for it, so I did, and I can say that it was an excellent decision. Emma is now also vice-president of the Dąbrowski Center board of directors.

What’s worked for us as a podcast team is that our values are aligned, and we have similar personality types, so we understand each other well. We have each other’s backs and know that we come to this partnership with different but complementary strengths, which we’re learning how to leverage. And getting to know and work with someone from the other side of the world has been incredible. I can’t wait to visit Emma someday in Sydney, and I also can’t wait to host her here in Denver.

Next summer, we have the 2024 Dąbrowski Congress scheduled, and our goal is to make it a truly international conference, with activities happening around the clock. Even though we do plan to have in-person gatherings here in Denver and elsewhere, our goal is to prioritize the virtual participants. We hope you’ll be patient with us as we figure out how to have a new kind of hybrid conference that’s not North America-centric. More details will be available soon, along with a call for proposals.

We’ve had podcast listeners from more than 100 countries at this point, and we know that people are applying the theory in their lives personally and professionally worldwide. Our podcast following is currently most extensive in the United States, Canada, Netherlands, Australia, and the United Kingdom, but we know that there are also people in many other countries who follow the theory outside of our work. There’s still a following for TPD in Poland and elsewhere on multiple continents.

This week, I’ve been working on a post about overcoming the self-stigma of mental illness, but it’s not yet ready for release. I’m trying to be regular with posts now that I’ve committed to writing for our Substack audience, so I’m sharing today’s thoughts in the meantime. But you can expect the post on overcoming self-stigma soon. And paid subscribers will receive a new installment of Interesting Quotes this week, with excerpts from Dąbrowski’s unpublished book Developmental Psychotherapy.

Published August 10, 2023, on Substack. Please consider supporting Chris's work and becoming a paid subscriber