Podcasts & Panels


Columbia Psychiatry produces three podcasts covering various aspects of mental health: Shrink Speak, featuring interviews and commentary by Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, Chair of Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons; Ask the Expert, where Columbia University psychiatrists answer the most common real-life questions patients ask; and The Breakthrough Sessions, hosted by Drs. Angela A. Coombs and Jennifer Sotsky, two early-career psychiatrists grappling with the most pressing issues of mental health today both inside and outside of the office.

Shrink Speak


Since 2017, Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman has been educating the public with commentary and interviews with experts on issues surrounding mental health in his ongoing podcast Shrink Speak. He has tackled topics such as suicide, mass violence, and childhood trauma, and this past year has done extensive coverage of the mental health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We've highlighted a few memorable episodes below. 

The Profession That Everyone Needs and Nobody Wants
Psychiatry. What is it, when and how to know if you need to seek help, where to find help, and what to do when loved ones are suffering.  (Parts 1 and 2 of a 4-part series)
Part 1: The Stigma of Mental Illness 
Part 2: When Do You Need to See a Shrink?

The Use of Recreational Drugs To Treat Psychological Injuries of Veterans
In this episode, Dr. Lieberman explores the growing trend of using recreational drugs to treat the psychological injuries of military personnel – and how the VA is handling the mental health care of our veterans.

Suicide is Preventable: Here’s How to Stop it:
In a special two-part episode, Dr. Lieberman sat down to chat with Columbia’s Dr. Kelly Posner and Dr. J. John Mann to discuss this ongoing health crisis that is suicide in the U.S. following the suicides of both Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. In part 2, Dr. Lieberman is rejoined by Dr. Posner and Dr. Mann. Stephen Fried, journalist, author and adjunct professor at Columbia, also joins the conversation to discuss the role and responsibility of the media when covering the difficult subject of suicide. 
Part 1: Suicide Is Preventable
Part 2: Suicide Is Preventable

Mass Violence in America And Mental Illness
In this two-part episode, Dr. Lieberman speaks with Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University, Dr. Michael First, a psychiatrist whose focus is on the diagnostic criteria for mental disorders. Dr. Lieberman and Dr. First fully address and answer the question . . . “Is mental illness to blame for the rise in mass violence incidents in America?”

A Grieving Nation: Coping with Loss, Unrest and Politics
The devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic — millions of deaths, isolation, economic and racial strife —has created a cascade and cycle of emotional responses that are roiling the American population and collectively producing a sense of loss. Joining Dr. Lieberman to discuss how to process it all is Andrew Solomon, Professor of Clinical Medical Psychology at Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Solomon is the author of The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, which won the National Book Award, and Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity. Also, joining is Kay Jamison, co-Director of the Mood Disorders Center at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Jamison is the author of the best-selling memoir, An Unquiet Mind, and coauthor of Manic-Depressive Illness: Recurrent Depression and Bipolar Disorders. Her latest book, Robert Lowell: Setting the River on Fire, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for biography in 2018.

To listen to more episodes and subscribe, visit Dr. Lieberman's website, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.


Ask the Expert

You Ask? We answer. Columbia Psychiatry's world-renowned mental health leaders answer the most common real-life questions patients ask on this podcast co-hosted by our partners at PsychHub. You’ll hear from our experts in clinical practice, education, and research. Here we highlight a few podcasts featuring spirituality, depression, coping with things you can't control, and parenting. Click here for our full list of Ask the Expert podcasts.

Spirituality & Mental Health Featuring Sidney Hankerson, MD
Sidney Hankerson, MD, is a nationally recognized expert on faith-based mental health services and researches on reducing ethnic disparities in mental health treatment.

How to Deal with Depression Featuring Diana Samuel, MD
Diana Samuel, MD is a leading expert in depression, anxiety, and women's health. Learn tips for how to deal with depression, the leading cause of disability in the world.

Coping With What You Can't Control Featuring Dr. Jeffrey Cohen
Jeffrey Cohen, PsyD, is a leading expert on balancing acceptance with change. He'll provide an overview of healthy ways to cope with things that are out of your control.

Parenting Advice Featuring Zachary K. Blumkin, PsyD
Zachary K. Blumkin, PsyD is a go-to expert on parenting, and has experience navigating all levels of the education system, addressing family issues and teaching parenting skills.

The Breakthrough Sessions

Angela A. Coombs, MD and Jennifer Sotsky, MD, MS, hosts of this podcast series, are two early-career psychiatrists grappling with the most pressing issues of mental health today both inside and outside of the office. Here are a few recent interviews with Columbia experts. For our full list of Breakthrough Sessions podcasts, click here

David Hellerstein, MD: Psychedelic Treatments for Psychiatric Disorders

Research on psilocybin, LSD, and other hallucinogens as psychiatric treatments are in their renaissance, transitioning from banned and illegal to potentially useful in changing life for the better in some patients. 

Anne Marie Albano, PhD: A Conversation on the Spectrum of Anxiety

A discussion with professor of medical psychology and director of the Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders.


Lloyd Sederer, MD: A Conversation About Addiction and the Opioid Epidemic

How can we save more lives and prevent overdose deaths? Lloyd I Sederer, MD, a psychiatrist, expert in public health, and author provides insights.


Columbia Psychiatry has co-hosted two series of panels with the Columbia Journalism School over the last year, covering hot topics in psychiatry such as the disparity of mental health care for Black American, deaths of despair, and mental illness and the criminal justice system.



Series I

Unequal Care: Mental Health and Black Americans

This wide-ranging conversation with Dr. Brian Smedley, from the American Psychological Association, and Drs. Sidney Hankerson and Angela Coombs, from the Columbia University Department of Psychiatry, discusses how structural inequalities in the field of mental healthcare have had a tangible impact on Black Americans for generations. The wide ranging, discussion touches on how those inequalities have affected the Black community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the increased focus on police brutality in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, as well as on a host of other issues, ranging from addiction to the lack of representation in mental healthcare.

Lost In the Shuffle: Boomers and Mental Health

Reports of growing anxiety, depression and suicide among young people demand our attention. Less discussed and covered in the media is the mental health of the aging baby boom generation. Boomers already dealing with life changes resulting from retirement, the specter of physical and cognitive decline and loss of loved ones are now faced with heightened vulnerability to COVID. Presented in partnership with the Columbia Journalism School, "Lost in the Shuffle: Boomers and Mental Health" is a discussion of the mental health issues affecting boomers today.

Avoidable Deaths of Despair: Many Causes, Many Solutions

Are deaths of despair the result of a crisis of joblessness, increased poverty, and a breakdown in traditional support mechanisms rooted in family and community? Are individuals blaming themselves for their circumstances and feeling desperate and depressed? And is the COVID-19 pandemic worsening the crisis?

Series II

Mental Illness is Not a Crime

When the police respond to a psychiatric call too often it ends with days in the ER, incarceration and even death. No other illness is a police problem. Now proposed solutions are on the horizon - a 988 emergency number, help that comes to you; and a safe place to stay. Listen to a discussion with as we explore what it will take to make the vision a reality.

Mental Health & Addiction Care: The Promises and Perils of Technology

Technology has reshaped our society, offering a solution to nearly everything – from microfinance to shopping. As venture capital-backed startups turn to technology to solve our mental health crisis, promises of “increased access,” “scalability,” and “improved user experience” offer new solutions to age-old problems. But are there costs to this paradigm shift? Changing regulations, privacy concerns, access for those with severe mental illness, and the paradox of solving problems of loneliness and isolation with smartphones are key concerns that must be addressed. Our panelists will tackle these challenging questions to provide a nuanced and balanced view of what technology can and cannot do in addressing mental health and addiction care in the United States, and the world.

Youth and Mental Illness What is Going on?

A survey of more than 100,000 college students reports that half meet criteria for one or more mental health conditions… Over last 10 years, pediatric ER visits for mental health disorders up 60 percent and rates for deliberate self-harm increased 329 percent… CDC warns youth suicide an increasingly prominent public health issue… What do the statistics mean? Is it the pandemic taking its emotional toll—social isolation, uncertainty, and loneliness—on our youth? Or was the mental health of America’s youth going in the wrong direction before COVID-19? Join Dr. Lou Baptista and his panel of experts to explore the headlines, determine the facts, and offer guidance to families, practitioners, philanthropy, media, and policymakers struggling to raise resilient children and youth.