Understanding the Human Condition

with Dr. James Flowers

About Our Podcast

In each episode of “Understanding The Human Condition”, Dr. Flowers and his most-admired mentors, respected colleagues and VIP guests, share valuable insight into underlying health causes, conditions and issues. These in-depth yet approachable episodes are a great resource for both private individuals and industry professionals.

Our esteemed host, Dr. James Flowers, is one of the most recognized and respected names in the field of chronic pain, mental health, and substance use disorders, both nationally and internationally. Dr. Flowers is the founder of J. Flowers Health Institute located in Houston, Texas.

New Episode Every Week

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Episode 28:

Why Survival Depends on Family and Community Resilience

VIP Guest: Judith Landau, MD, DPM, LMFT, CFLE, CIP, CAI, CRS, President and CEO of Linking Human Systems, LLC, and ARISE® Network, and President of LINC Foundation, Inc.

Topics of Discussion: Host Dr. Flowers, Co-Host Robin French and VIP Guest Dr. Judith Landau discuss Dr. Landau’s 40+ years in exploring how to facilitate resilience and healing for individuals, families and communities through collaborative care. Dr. Laundau educates the audience on the hard work of the Arise network as well as all of her current/upcoming projects.

Episode 27:

Yukwatsistay^, Our Fire, Our Spirit, Within Each One Of Us

VIP Guest: Debra Valentino – Recovery Coach for Yukwatsistay^

Topics of Discussion: Debra Valentino is an enrolled member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, and descendent of the Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin who has dedicated her life to those who express an interest in getting a clean and sober lifestyle. Dr. Flowers, Robin French and Debra Valentino discuss combatting the Opioid struggle in Indian Country along with the immediate need to understand what this all entails and what other struggles it brings to our communities.

Episode 26:

When Life Takes Your Breath Away

VIP Guest: Dr. Rex Marco – Chief Medical Ambassador for Reeve Research Collaborations

Topics of Discussion: Host Dr. Flowers, Co-Host Robin French and VIP Guest Dr. Rex Marco discuss “When Life Takes Your Breath Away” with a twist of fate. Dr. Marco shares his passion for medical research to advance the fields of spine surgery and orthopedic oncology as well as his upcoming projects to improve the quality of life for those with disabilities

Episode 25:

Fragile Power: Why Having It All Is Never Enough

VIP Guest: Paul Hokemeyer J.D., Ph.D – Author of Fragile Power: Why Having It All Is Never Enough

Topics of Discussion: Host Dr. Flowers, Co-Host Robin French and VIP Guest Dr. Paul Hokemeyer discuss Dr. Paul’s groundbreaking book, Fragile Power: Why Having It All is Never Enough as well as how Dr. Paul came to develop his expertise in such a distinct and controversial niche. Dr. Flowers, Dr. Paul and Robin discuss setting forth a new standard of culturally competent and clinically effective care for high net worth individuals and families who struggle with mental health, personality, relational and addictive disorders.

Episode 24:

Enjoying the Journey to Our Best Selves

VIP Guest: Moe Schlachter, MS RD CDCES – President of Houston Family Nutrition Inc.

Topics of Discussion: Host Dr. Flowers, Co-Host Robin French and VIP Guest Moe Schlachter discuss why getting advice from a Registered Dietitian instead of anyone else (including your own trainer or even doctor) matters. Moe discusses the psychological and behavioral elements of eating. He shares with our audience one thing everyone can do right now to make food really work for you. Dr. Flowers and Moe have a new project…be sure to tune in and listen for details!

Episode 23:

The Brain is the Brain is the Brain

VIP Guest: Karen Odell-Barber, Founder and Chairman of Neurologics

Topics of Discussion: Host Dr. Flowers, Co-Host Robin French and VIP Guest Karen Odell-Barber discuss the link between the wiring of the brain, mental health and behavioral medicine. Karen explains the process and the benefits of completing a brain mapping. She tells the audience about working with NASA as well as NFL players. Karen also discusses the link between brain injuries and addiction.

Episode 22:

Mental Milestones of Motherhood

VIP Guest: Gabriela Gerhart, Founder, Motherhood Center

Topics of Discussion: Host Dr. Flowers, Co-Host Robin French and VIP Guest Gabriela Gerhart discuss recognizing the signs of post-partum depression in new mothers and what to do. She discusses in great detail all that they are/do at the Motherhood Center and how it greatly affects the emotional well-being of mom, baby, and the family as a whole. Gaby also updates James and Robin on the Motherhood Center’s exciting new projects!

Episode 21:

Adding Vitamin Joy In Everyday Life

VIP Guest: Shelby Stanger – Seasoned Journalist, Top Ranked Podcaster – Vitamin Joy & Wild Ideas Worth Living

Topics of Discussion: Host Dr. Flowers, Co-Host Robin French and VIP Guest Shelby Stanger discuss her tremendous success in journalism and podcasting along with her passion for interviewing people. Shelby explains to the audience how she uses adventure, nature and humor as a catalyst and recipe to life’s biggest problems.

Episode 20:

The Chronic Hope Institute: Families & Addiction

VIP Guest: Kevin Petersen, MA, LMFT, Author “Chronic Hope: Parenting the Addicted Child”, Owner of Petersen Family Counseling and Founder of the Chronic Pain Institute

Topics of Discussion: Host Dr. Flowers, Co-Host Robin French and VIP Guest Kevin Peterson discuss “what is case management and why it is so important for families”.  Kevin educates the audience between the difference of co-dependency and being a supportive family member.  Kevin explains his “co-dependent no more” starter kit and goes into great detail about his newest book “Chronic Hope: Parenting the Addicted Child”.  He gives our audience great recommendations and solutions for families struggling with addiction.

Episode 19:

Chronic Pain Treatment

VIP Guest: Dr. David Lee, M.D., ABNS Board Certified Neurosurgeon/Spine Specialist

Topics of Discussion: Host Dr. Flowers and VIP Guest Dr. Lee educate Co- Host Robin French and the listening audience on the subject of chronic pain and the various treatments. Dr. Lee discusses his role as a spine specialist and how he spends the bulk of his day managing his patients with chronic pain. Dr. Lee also discusses recent projects with patents for spinal devices and how he works with companies on the cutting edge of cellular therapy and concussion treatment.

Episode 18:

The Evolution of the Family Intervention

VIP Guest: Meredith Sonetz, MA, LPC, CADC

Topics of Discussion: Host Dr. Flowers, Co-Host Robin French and VIP Guest Meredith Sonetz discuss how and why Meredith got into the field of recovery. Meredith shares her expertise on the evolution of the family intervention and how important it is to have a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation to determine the proper diagnosis prior to entering treatment. Meredith educates the audience on all of the various “hats” she wears as an interventionist and how important it is to keep your skillset sharp with continued training. Meredith has a private practice “Heartfelt Recovery” in the western suburbs of Chicago but travels all over the country for her clients/families.

Episode 17:

Loving Yourself…Mind, Body and Soul

VIP Guest: Shireen Janti, LAADC

Discussion: Host Dr. Flowers, Co-Host Robin French and VIP Guest Shireen Janti discuss MusiCare’s hard work in making a difference by saving lives everyday. Shireen shares MusiCare’s passion for helping people get into treatment for addiction and alcoholism as well as finding help through psychotherapy, medical, dental and daily living needs. She shares how MusiCares gives hope and renews faith in peoples hearts and souls. Shireen also gives the listening audience a rare, heartfelt peak into her world both professionally and personally.

Episode 16:

Protecting Our Children from Commercial Sexual Exploitation

VIP Guest: Breanna Fetkavich, Director of Outreach for Street Grace of Houston

Host: Dr. James Flowers, PhD, LPC-S, J. Flowers Health Institute

Co-Host: Robin French, J. Flowers Health Institute

Topics of Discussion: Host Dr. Flowers, Co-Host Robin French and VIP Guest Breanna Fetkavich discuss the approach Street Grace takes to fight commercial sexual exploitation. They discuss who is vulnerable and why. Breanna updates us on the progress and revamping of Street Grace’s artificial intelligence program to work with local law enforcement for sting operations. Breanna also educates us on what creates the demand and how we as listeners can make a huge difference by getting involved in the fight against sex trafficking.

Episode 15:

Building A Trustworthy Relationship Between Therapist and Patient

VIP Guest: Chase Wade, M. ED, LPC and VP of Clinical Operations at J. Flowers Health Institute

Discussion: Host Dr. James Flowers and Co-Host Robin French chat with Chase Wade on the importance of building professional and trustworthy relationships with patients. Chase also shares some of his personal journey in the mental health industry and what drew him to J. Flowers Health Institute in Houston, Texas.

Episode 14:

How Technology Will Radically Transform Mental Health

VIP Guest: Dr. Andrew Krieger, CEO at Contemporary Medicine Associates, Private Practice Psychotherapist (DSW, LCSW, LCDC)

Discussion: Dr. Flowers, Robin and Dr. Andrew Krieger discuss how Dr. Krieger has devoted his entire professional life to improving access and treatment for people with substance use disorders. In addition, they discuss Dr. Krieger’s unique personal and professional journey as well as how the COVID-19 pandemic forced an overnight adoption of telemedicine by virtually all mental health providers.

Episode 13:

Normalizing Addiction Treatment

VIP Guest: David Walsh, MSN, RN, PMHNP-BC
David is a board-certified Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in the treatment of substance use disorders. David is a published author, speaker, and educator. In addition to founding Dripping Springs Healthcare, David is the COO of CARMAhealth, an addiction healthcare company in Austin, TX.

Discussion: Host Dr. Flowers, Co-host Robin French and David Walsh discuss how recovery is personal, relapse is not failure, addiction is a disease, and there is no “right” way to stay in recovery other than not using.

Episode 12:

Sydney Holland: My life, My Journey

VIP Guest: Sydney Holland, Founder & Partner of “The Urban + The Mystic”, Founder of the “Sydney D. Holland Foundation”

Discussion: Sydney talks about living her best life as Mother of three beautiful children, running a very successful company, having a blast flipping houses, along with sharing her passion of philanthropy.

Episode 11:

Impact of Recent Ruling by Texas State Board of Social Workers

VIP Guests: Laurie Reid: LMFT, MCAP, Breaking the Cycle Consulting for BH Compliance Risk Mgmt. Accreditation; Navy Disabled Veteran-Desert Storm Shield/Tour in the Persian Gulf

Courtney Thomas: MSW, Director Service and Leadership at University of Alabama & Adjunct Faculty in the school of social work

Maggie Chapman: MSW, Chronic Pain Clinician at Kemah Palms Recovery

Discussion: On October 12, 2020, the Texas State Board of Social Work Examiners and the Behavioral Health Executive Council voted unanimously to change a section of the Code of Conduct that establishes when a social worker may refuse to serve someone. The code no longer prohibits social workers from turning away clients based on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. Gov. Abbott’s office proposed this change last minute just three days before the Board’s vote and on the eve of an important election. This panel of professionals discusses how the recent ruling by Texas State Board of Social Workers on 10.12.2020 impacts them both personally and professionally.

Episode 10:

Family, Food and Gratitude

VIP Guest: Johnny Carrabba

Discussion: Celebrity Restauranteur Johnny has a heartfelt, candid discussion with Dr. Flowers and Robin regarding his life journey, his love for food and family, the trials and tribulations of success, his beautiful (and well written) new cookbook entitled “Gratitude” and how passionate he feels about his employees. Johnny’s wit, humor, and charm are a definite “like, comment and share” for this week’s episode of “Understanding the Human Condition”.

Episode 9:

Creating New Ideas for Helping Clients & Their Families

VIP Guests: Robbin Mooney, Co-Founder and CDO of J. Flowers Health Institute & Angela Carrillo, Founder, Owner, and COO of Brass Tacks Recovery, Certified Interventionist, Family and Individual Coach

Discussion: Robbin and Angela discuss how they create space for new ideas in helping clients and families with their healthcare needs. Exploring the idea that there is a place for all approaches, Robbin and Angela share details on why they do what they do for a living and how they ensure open-minded and transparent communication through their own personal and professional growth work.

Episode 8:

A Heart to Heart with the Vintage Contessa

Guest Speaker: Donae Cangelosi Chramosta, Co-Owner of Vintage Contessa & Times Past, published writer, award winning business-woman, style setter, podcast co-host, Philanthropist, as well as loving wife & mother.

Discussion: The Vintage Contessa discusses how she scours the globe for luxury, preowned and one of a kind pieces that make women look and feel smart and socially conscience as if they personally traveled to find the most unique, one of a kind pieces. The Contessa also gives a glimpse inside her personal life and how she makes her work/life balance so successful.

Episode 7:

Change is in the Air

Guest Speaker: Candy Finnigan, Nationally recognized Professional Interventionist, Certified Master Addiction Counselor III and featured interventionist on A & E’s groundbreaking reality series, Intervention. Candy is a nationally recognized author, “When Enough is Enough: A Comprehensive Guide to Successful Intervention”, which is a guide used by so many to conduct successful family interventions.

Discussion: Host Dr. Flowers, Co-host Robin French and Candy Finnigan discuss addiction, interventions and how the recovery industry has evolved over time.

Episode 6:

Our Youth Taken Hostage

Guest Speaker: Heather Hayes, M.ED., LPC, CIP, CAI

Discussion: Host Dr. Flowers, Co-host Robin French and VIP Guest Heather Hayes discuss addiction as being the biggest terrorist we face. Listen as they discuss how as a nation we are at a crisis state and if not addressed we could potentially lose an entire generation to addiction.

Episode 5:

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Guest Speaker: Dr. Paul Fortes, Board Certified Physician from the Aesthetic Center for Plastic Surgery

Discussion: Dr. Flowers, Dr. Fortes, and Robin discuss plastic surgery, qualifying as a good candidate for plastic surgery, plastic surgery in the transgender community, and the benefits of therapy before and after surgery. They also discuss body dysmorphic disorder, how to approach the subject of body dysmorphia with a loved one, and what effective treatment looks like.

Episode 4:

Courage, Creativity, Communication & Celebration

Guest Speaker: Dr. Louise Stanger, LCSW, CSAT-1, CDWF, CIP

Discussion: Dr. Flowers and Dr. Stanger discuss her upcoming book and her passion for helping families cope with addiction.

Episode 3:

Effective Treatment for the LGBTQ Community

Guest Speaker: Manny Rodriguez, Founder of La Fuente Hollywood Treatment Center

Discussion: Dr. Flowers, co-host Robin French, and Manny Rodriguez discuss the need for – and benefits of – treatment specifically catered to the LGBTQ community.

Listen as they cover how La Fuente Hollywood Treatment Center specializes in intensive treatment for the LGBTQ community, the impact of methamphetamine on gay culture, and how to find the high-quality treatment that takes care of your individual needs.

Episode 2:

All About Addiction

Guest Speaker: Dr. Vaughn M. Bryant III, Ph.D, LMFT-S, LPC-S, LCDC-CCS

Discussion: Dr. Flowers, co-host Robin French, and Dr. Bryant discuss the stigma of addiction, the spectrum of disordered substance use, spotting the signs, and how to receive the most effective treatment.

Episode 1:

Understanding the Human Condition Pilot

Guest Speaker: Dr. James Flowers

Discussion: In our pilot episode, Dr. Flowers shines light on his personal journey that led him to founding J. Flowers Health Institute. Co-hosted by Robin French, our VP of Concierge Relations, this first episode gives listeners an authentic look at the man raising the standard for whole-person wellness.