Susie Orbach Joins Black Sheep by BBH Podcast to Discuss Social and Personal Change
The president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists warns: “a tsunami of mental illness is about to hit post the Coronavirus epidemic”.
World famous psychotherapist, Susie Orbach speaks at length about our societal and cultural response to mental health in this week’s episode of podcast, Black Sheep By BBH.
When ‘tackling obesity’ headlines are spanning the papers, and eating disorders have skyrocketed during lockdown, we should really be turning to the founder of the anti-diet revolution. Susie was promoting body positivity before the word 'Instagram' had even been created.
In the podcast she explains: “we’ve managed to assault not just all women about their bodies but have created the worst form of a national obesity campaign that’s ever been seen. Everybody is uptight, teachers, parents desperate to get their pre-pregnancy body back, celebrities promoting unhealthy eating. It’s so damaging, it’s woven into the culture and trickles down into the fabric of our anxious relationship with food and our bodies.”
Talking on the Black Sheep by BBH podcast which airs on Tuesday 21st July, Susie presents us with an urgent wake up call: “we now have an anxious relationship to food and an anxious relationship to bodies. I am bloody heartbroken about the kind of distress that visits little girls and increasingly little boys about their bodies - they’re already posing for the cameras aged three… It’s not sweet.”
And when referring to the explosion of the social-media focused ‘body positivity’ movement, Susie explains, “it’s kind of anaemic compared to what’s really required, which is a full scale onslaught on the industries that are stealing children’s childhoods and messing up not just women now but men too.”
At a time of such societal unrest, which Susie explores in a recent Guardian long-read, Susie speaks in depth with presenter of the podcast, writer and actor, Daniella Isaacs, about why ‘the personal is inherently political’.
Daniella reveals to Susie that in order to recover from her own eating disorder, Orthorexia, Daniella realised she needed to “connect to a political mindset. When you recognise you’re in solidarity with something else that helps recovery.” Susie agrees, “It’s personal and political... I think that’s very important.” As a keen political activist, Susie is a co-originator of the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty and has been involved with Extinction Rebellion since its inception. She explains in the conversation that therapy can be “a tool for both social and personal change”.
The New York Times referred to Susie as “the most famous psychotherapist to set up couch in Britain… apart from Sigmund Freud” and in this hour long conversation, Susie explains how her therapy has changed over the years. She explains: “The big secret about therapy is that it’s endlessly bloody fascinating to yourself. You have these wonderfully various people that you see across age ranges and across backgrounds that provoke different things in you which stimulate you in different ways. You always have an ear, an eye, and a heart to what you’re feeling and experiencing.”
Hosted by writer and performer Daniella Isaacs, Black Sheep by BBH aims to explore with each guest what it really means to be a ‘Black Sheep’. Conversations explore the challenges and rewards of going against the grain and breaking rules. The guests give insights into how we can all learn to disrupt the status quo. Each guest tells their story through three rules they have broken and the 30-60 minute conversations are frank, with nothing off limits. At the end of each episode, guests reveal the rule they will never ever break.
Susie Orbach’s Broken Rules:
1. Have A Stiff Upper Lip
2. Eat What’s On Your Plate
3. Be Ladylike.
Abiding by these rules made Susie 'so bloody uncomfortable'. As a keen disruptor, Susie begins the conversation by saying: “We’re all bloody black sheep…. And it’s not something I would want to be rid of frankly”.
If there was anyone to listen to at a time of such psychic unrest, it’s Susie Orbach. Famously Princess Diana’s therapist, author of prolific writings including Fat is a Feminist Issue and In Therapy, Susie Orbach offers a message of hope and curiosity. The podcast ends with a quote that feels incredibly prevalent for our time, “We need more rage, more refusal, more love.”
Guests on the previous series of the podcast have included Big Issue founder John Bird, advertising legend Sir John Hegarty and TV presenter Big Narstie, and the new series features guests including best-selling author Marian Keyes and french journalist and activist Rokhaya Diallo.
To hear the full podcast click here.
Category: Media and Entertainment , Streaming Services