Melora Hardin Takes Us Behind The Scenes of Thunder, Hunter & Me

Written by Casey Hersch, LCSW
January 18, 2022

Melora Hardin, actor, takes us behind the scenes of her upcoming docuseries Thunder, Hunter, & Me and explores her views on trauma, healing, and human connection. Listen to Melora talk about Body Positivity and Aging here

 

 About Melora:
Melora Hardin is well known for her portrayal of ‘Jan Levinson,’ Steve Carell’s rigid, former corporate boss and love interest, on the critically acclaimed NBC series “The Office.” Additionally, Hardin was Emmy nominated in 2016 for her recurring role of ‘Tammy Cashman’ on Amazon’s Golden Globe-winning comedy “Transparent.” Last year she wrapped the fifth and final season of the Freeform series “The Bold Type.” Hardin starred as ‘Jacqueline Carlyle,” a strong but nurturing editor-in-chief at a high-end women’s magazine, inspired by the life of Joanna Coles of Cosmopolitan. Most recently, she competed in the 30th Season of ABC’s long running “Dancing With The Stars” series and made it to the Semi-Finals with her professional dance partner Artem Chigvintsev. She also recurs on the ABC series “A Million Little Things.”

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Melora Hardin Talks About Body Positivity, Dancing with the Stars, and Aging

Written by Casey Hersch, LCSW
January 18, 2022

Melora Hardin, actor, speaks with me about her perspectives on Body Positivity and Aging and relates her experiences on ABC's Dancing with the Stars. Listen to Melora talk about her trauma-based docuseries Thunder, Hunter, and Me here

 

About Melora:
Melora Hardin is well known for her portrayal of ‘Jan Levinson,’ Steve Carell’s rigid, former corporate boss and love interest, on the critically acclaimed NBC series “The Office.” Additionally, Hardin was Emmy nominated in 2016 for her recurring role of ‘Tammy Cashman’ on Amazon’s Golden Globe-winning comedy “Transparent.” Last year she wrapped the fifth and final season of the Freeform series “The Bold Type.” Hardin starred as ‘Jacqueline Carlyle,” a strong but nurturing editor-in-chief at a high-end women’s magazine, inspired by the life of Joanna Coles of Cosmopolitan. Most recently, she competed in the 30th Season of ABC’s long running “Dancing With The Stars” series and made it to the Semi-Finals with her professional dance partner Artem Chigvintsev. She also recurs on the ABC series “A Million Little Things.”

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Melora Hardin Talks About Thunder, Hunter, & Me, Trauma, Dancing with the Stars, and Body Positivity

Written by Casey Hersch, LCSW
January 18, 2022

Melora Hardin, actor, speaks with me about her perspectives on Body Positivity and aging and relates her time on ABC's Dancing with the Stars. She takes us behind the scenes of her upcoming docuseries Thunder, Hunter, & Me and explores her views on trauma, healing, and human connection. This is the full interview.

About Melora:
Melora Hardin is well known for her portrayal of ‘Jan Levinson,’ Steve Carell’s rigid, former corporate boss and love interest, on the critically acclaimed NBC series “The Office.” Additionally, Hardin was Emmy nominated in 2016 for her recurring role of ‘Tammy Cashman’ on Amazon’s Golden Globe-winning comedy “Transparent.” Last year she wrapped the fifth and final season of the Freeform series “The Bold Type.” Hardin starred as ‘Jacqueline Carlyle,” a strong but nurturing editor-in-chief at a high-end women’s magazine, inspired by the life of Joanna Coles of Cosmopolitan. Most recently, she competed in the 30th Season of ABC’s long running “Dancing With The Stars” series and made it to the Semi-Finals with her professional dance partner Artem Chigvintsev. She also recurs on the ABC series “A Million Little Things.”

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Gut Health, Your Health

gut health costcoWritten by Casey Hersch, LCSW
December 1, 2021

This article originally appeared in the December 2021 issue of Costco Connection Magazine

Gut Health, Your Health
The ecosystem known as the microbiome affects every system in your body

The journey your food takes from the first bite after entering your mouth to its breakdown by stomach acids and enzymes on its way through the digestive tract is an amazing one. But there’s so much more going on. The health of your gut has a dramatic impact on your overall health as well.

The microbiome ecosystem

Dr. Emeran Mayer, a gastroenterologist, neuroscientist and research professor at UCLA, studies the ecosystem inside the gut—known as the microbiome—which comprises trillions of microbes and networks that affect the rest of the body.

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Kelly Clarkson Shares Why Christmas Isn't Always Bright and Merry

thandy yung QoCVrrYSKEM unsplashWritten By Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW
December 19, 2021

It is that time of year, again... when I am supposed to feel merry and bright, but a sad loneliness blankets me. Maybe it is because my 96 year old grandmother doesn't know who I am anymore. Perhaps it is my ongoing struggle with Crohn's disease. However, if I have to sum up the reason I struggle emotionally during the holidays in one word---TRAUMA---says it all.

As a child I lived in a home with poverty, abuse, and a whole lot of disappointment. When I learned Santa Claus was actually my father---a man who I feared---my feelings about Christmas changed. As the years went on my parents divorced, and my mom and I were banned from the familar holiday events. Single parent household did not fit into conventional holiday family traditions. Of course I wished for presents, but we never had enough money for life necessities, so I "settled" for socks and bed sheets. Then, there was the year my cat passed away---the only real family with whom I connected. Now this year, the Dixie fire has added another layer of trauma to my family history. 

Sometimes we get so caught up in what we are supposed to feel during the year that we ignore the fact that not everyone feels the same. I want to honestly acknowledge the pain that comes with being human. Not all holidays are bright and merry for everyone and for people living with childhood trauma histories, the holidays can trigger many uncomfortable feelings. 

We all have sadness, loneliness, and painful memories. So if this is a holiday season you feel less than jolly, IT IS OK! Use this time to really expand your support system and practice extra kind generosity with yourself. I really loved how Kelly Clarkson, artist and singer, described her experience with the Christmas blues in a song she performed during her recent holiday television show. She acknowledged that we don't hear much about the tough parts of the holiday season but whether it is a divorce or another type of loss, the holidays can trigger all sorts of mixed feelings. As I listened to her song and comments, I felt inspired. She spoke about her authentic feelings but also how her memories served as a gift to herself---a way to recall the good times and heal from the unpleasant times. I find her message of validating and lovingly releasing very empowering and therapeutic. After all, we are not alone in this human experience. 

Here is a link to her interview: https://www.self.com/story/kelly-clarkson-emotional-christmas-song

Enjoy her song: 

 

 

Lady Gaga Born This Way Foundation: Power of Kindness

Written by Casey Hersch, LCSW
November 23, 2021

In this powerful video, Lady Gaga and the Born This Way Foundation honor World Kindness Day with this short film. The message is huge. Our mental health improves significantly with simple acts of kindness. Acts of kindess include the way we treat ourselves AND others. Self-love and Self-acceptance are contagious. When we give to ourselves we have more to give others. When we give to others we get even more back! 

How My Husband’s Kidney Stones Passed Through Personal Barriers

jamie fenn G5olxxSuHcs unsplashWritten by Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW
November 22, 2021

“Every Problem is an Opportunity in Disguise”—John Adams

“Honey,” my husband quietly says, “I have this stabbing pain in my right side.” It is 11:00 p.m. and normally this time of night he is dead asleep on the couch, TV still blaring, until I wake him to come to bed with me. So, this night is different.
First, my husband, Scott, never complains about anything---especially a physical symptom. Second, I have lived with chronic illness and Crohn’s disease since we met, and I am the “sick” one---not him. Until that moment, our marriage was defined by me as patient, him as caretaker. I thought this rule was cast in stone—'til death do us part; however, in just a blip, life can plunge us into new terrain and challenge our expectations, roles, and resiliency.

I was not prepared for the night ahead. I was in a Crohn’s flare and feeling weak from anemia. Our stress level was unusually high. Less than twenty-four hours prior we had travelled to my hometown, burned to the ground by the Dixie Fire. For two months my mom and her four cats were evacuated and living with us. Despite the horror of watching most of the small rural communities in Indian Valley dissolve to ashes, my mom was ready to go home and start anew in a natural disaster zone. Given the past months, I thought I had met my quota for fair share of stress. I knew my husband and I were due a vacation to our living room, home alone. I was wrong!

That night my husband’s body screamed for attention. In the days ahead this turn of events would challenge our understanding of health, self-care, and relationship.

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