Woman with estranged parents

Claudia Winkleman’s therapy podcast is back for a second season

Posted by for Life

Earlier this year, Claudia Winkleman launched a podcast with her clinical psychologist friend, Professor Tanya Byron – and it was an eye-opening listen. The trailer for the second season for How Did We Get Here? has just been released. Here’s why you should tune in when it lands on 15 September…

According to the latest figures from the NHS, around 1.6 million referrals for talking therapies related to anxiety and depression were made in 2018/19, up 11.4% compared to the previous year. And that’s not including all the other people seeking private therapy to deal with a variety of mental health and lifestyle issues.

The benefits of therapy are clearly becoming more understood and widely accepted in society, breaking away from the longstanding taboo and stigma. That’s why Claudia Winkleman’s therapy podcast, How Did We Get Here?, proved to be such a hit earlier this year. 

In the series, Winkleman introduces guests to her good friend and clinical psychologist, Professor Tanya Byron. The “client” sits with Byron as they talk through a specific family difficulty. Winkleman listens in a separate room, and later chats to them about what has been said. It gives an insight into what takes place in a therapy room, using personal stories that many people will relate to.

Now, a new trailer for the second season has just been released. Topics brought into the therapy room by clients include autism spectrum disorder (ASD), parental suicide, extra-martial affairs, parenting challenging children, the legacy of childhood abuse and holding down a romantic relationship.

Listen to the trailer below:

Proving how powerful the series can be for people, episode one in the first season of How Did We Get Here? was a fascinating, comforting and essential listen for anyone who grew up with an estranged parent.

Being estranged from a parent can be incredibly difficult, especially as you grow older (take that from someone who has personal experience of it). But it’s also a pretty common situation for many families. There are around 1.8 million single parent families in the UK, and around 90% of these single parents are women. Being in a single-parent family doubles the likelihood of child mental illness  and they are more likely to grow up living in poverty.

In the episode, we’re introduced to Jack: a 22-year-old graduate and author who no longer speaks with his dad. He reflects on the relationship they have had since his parents’ separation when he was six years old. When he met his dad twice a month, he would always have an anxious feeling. Jack recalls the abandonment and rejection issues. At one point he says: “My whole life, I’ve never felt worthy.”

Byron then goes into a therapy session with Jack. “This is one issue in your life where trying to reframe it with positive thinking is just not working for you,” she starts, before Jack continues to explain what he’s going through. “Even though your dad isn’t present in your life, he has a massive presence doesn’t he?” she adds.

Winkleman then pauses the session to catch up with Byron and asks her to break down what’s happened so far. Using her warm wit, Winkelman also reveals that her mascara is running down her face from crying, joking: “Well that’s not unusual”. 

One particularly intersting point is when Byron explains systematic theory and how it applies to the thinking of grown up children with estranged parents in relationships. She says: “’I’m going to correct in my script what went wrong with my childhood’. But actually, unwittingly, because of these blueprints that are set down we actually can act out repetitive scripts. So it’s about understanding how we can repeat things even though we desperately want them to be different.”

The episode jumps back into the session, where Byron starts to talk to Jack about acceptance, attachment theories, relationships with lovers and friends, and processing what’s happened. She then dissects what Jack has said, offering an explanation of what was really going on. Jack is stunned with her accuracy and insight, and so is the listener. 

Winkleman then has a debrief with Byron about the session, giving suggestions about how Jack can go forward. She also gives tips for listeners who are going through something similar. 

The episode ends with Jack reading out a letter to his father.

It’s absolutely fascinating. It’s very emotional. And it’s incredibly powerful. Even if you don’t relate to the issue at hand, it’s still so interesting to listen to the other side of therapy.

Listen to How Did We Get Here? epsiode one

All episodes of How Did We Get Here? are available on Apple, Spotify, Acast and all podcast providers. Season two will hit these platforms from 15 September. 

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Images: Getty

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…

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