Podcast: “I get to bear witness to some of the scariest, most shameful, deepest experiences a person’s had.”

In this episode of Conversations with Liz Gold, Liz talks with Shauna Hahn, a psychiatric nurse and storyteller in Portland, Oregon. They touch upon a variety of topics including TMS as a treatment for depression, vulnerability in storytelling and a little tangent on Tiger King! You’ll also hear about her new book-in-progress that tells her personal story as a Plains Cree Indian losing her culture through adoption who sued the Canadian Government and is buying back her culture one activity at a time.


  • "When you're in a Zoom meeting, you see yourself. It's like looking into a mirror as you're supporting people. Some of my patients, particularly those with dysmorphia or body image issues, often feel very self-conscious looking at themselves as they are confiding. It's a sensitive format."

  • "We are literally forcing areas of the brain that don't tend to work well in anxiety, in depression, in post traumatic stress disorder, in brain injury. We are literally forcing these areas of the brain to fire down into the rich connectome - structures that aren't necessarily physically adjacent to that area, but we know are connected."

  • "A lot of people who suffer with depression - it is the exception and not the norm for people to feel better or to be adequately treated on their anti-depression medication."

  • "I'm a late-in-life nurse. I was just an unsettled young person; kind of a party girl. Then I had an unplanned pregnancy when I was in my first undergraduate degree, which kind of sidelined me."

  • "Psychiatry is just about having a kind ear for people's lives."

  • "I get to bear witness to some of the scariest, most shameful, deepest experiences a person's had."

  • "We can certainly have a meant relationship with a therapeutic provider and it can really take on a very deep soulful quality."

  • On live storytelling: "The person who breaks the ice, that is the hardest job, that is the anchor of the evening."

  • "There was always this one extra layer between me and the story where I wasn't really quite willing to crack open enough and invite that vulnerability in enough for people, to have raised the stakes and to make the story more compelling."

  • "That's why people seek out therapy, right? They need a sacred space with a professional stranger."

  • "The rough part of storytelling is cutting on your baby.  You've got to cut cut cut cut cut. And it hurts."

  • "That's what a good story does, it just shows you an aspect of yourself and helps you know yourself better."

Framework Functional Psychiatry and TMS 

Framework Functional Psychiatry 

Shauna Hahn - instagram

Shauna Hahn - Facebook

Bad.ndn - instagram

Literary Arts

Mindy Nettifee

Backfence PDX

The Moth - Portland

Tiger King

Children's Book Bank Fundraiser


“I Get to Bear Witness to Some of the Scariest..."

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Lifestyle, Podcast, Aboriginal, FirstNations, Indigenous, QPOC

A Conversation with Shauna Hahn

“I Get to Bear Witness to Some of the Scariest..."
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