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Shrink Rap Radio

Shrink Rap Radio

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Addressing such topics as hypnosis, Jungian psychology, cognitive science and Gestalt therapy, SSU psychology professor emeritus David Van Nuys, below, hosts “Shrink Rap Radio,” a weekly podcast aimed at “the amateur psychologist in everyone.” Through the course of the Shrink Rap podcasts, “Dr. Dave” has had the opportunity to interview people from across the United States as well as Australia. But an extraordinary opportunity for understanding and learning presented itself when Dr. Dave was approached via e-mail by one of his listening fans in the city of Baghdad.

In late January 2006, Dr. Dave fielded a phone call to Shrink Rap Radio from Mohammed, a 32- year-old Iraqi who wished to speak about the reality of war in his country. Mohammed, who admitted to secretly liking Americans, described his current living situation in the war-torn city to Dr. Dave, shared his psychological coping strategies and his dreams for the future. He explained that life in Baghdad is “as normal as can be, given the circumstances,” but expressed concern about Baghdad's shaky power grid and the “random danger” of explosions and car bombs.

Mohammed went on to describe how he deals with everyday life in the Iraqi capital, stating that he tries not to think about the dangers he faces and stays away from watching news broadcasts because of the tragedies they report.

“It makes me very sad, so I try to keep my mind off it by concentrating on my work or doing things that I like; I spend a lot of time on the Internet and playing video games,” he said.

David Van Nuys David Van Nuys, Shrink Rap Radio's host.

Despite the almost constant stream of negative news, Mohammed likes to accentuate the positive and expressed happiness when he said that day was a national holiday for Iraq: the first anniversary of Iraq’s first democratic elections. Looking to the future, Mohammed stated he would like to find a job outside Iraq and “get away from this mess, because life is really difficult here.” He hopes the new government eliminates the dangers that so many deal with on a day-to-day basis.

“I feel humbled by my contact with Mohammed,” Van Nuys said. “I find myself somewhat at a loss for words. It is hard to fully reconcile the different realities of me in the relative comfort and safety of my California home, and Mohammed in the midst of daily car bombings in Baghdad. And yet, we're able to sit together and share our humanity. It's a miracle, a mystery and a tragedy all rolled into one.”

A man of many hobbies, Van Nuys recently became interested in podcasting, which he views as the “next big thing” in the fields of media and technology. Shrink Rap Radio allows Van Nuys to fuse two of his greatest passions, broadcasting and psychology; and come in contact with citizens of the world as he does it.

Listen to Shrink Rap Radio here.