Episode 56

56 - New Year’s Resolutions & Introducing the “Pioneers Series”

Published on: 31st December, 2021

For Sasha and Stella’s last episode of the year, they introduce a very exciting series that will be coming up in 2022. In the “Pioneers Series,” they will be interviewing experienced clinicians, researchers, and other professionals whose contributions to our understanding of gender dysphoria and sexuality are foundational. Consider this a back-to-basics 101 course on gender and sexuality.


Stella and Sasha also talk about their own personal goals and priorities for the new year. They offer up 10 resolutions that listeners might focus on along with them as we all move into 2022.



100 days of walking: 100daysofwalking.com/FAQ

Brideshead revisited Goodreads.com/book/show/30933.Brideshead_Revisited

Identity Crisis: Amazon.com/Untitled-Book-2/dp/0593073584

Psychological Flexibility: Workingwithact.com/what-is-act/what-is-psychological-flexibility/  

Extended Notes

  • Sasha and Stella talk about their plans for 2022 and their upcoming “Pioneers Series.”
  • What were the criteria they considered for their list of pioneers? Sasha and Stella share their thought process.
  • They also talk about their reflections of the previous year and their New Year’s resolutions.
  • Sasha and Stella went to New Orleans together. How was it for them to work and spend time together in person?
  • Sasha tells about her weight lifting program and how that relates to her New Year’s resolution.
  • They talk more about the 10 New Year’s resolutions they are offering to the listeners. Which one would you most relate to?
  • Stella shares about her 100 Days of Walking, a habit she wants to get back into.
  • They also share the different ways we can lovingly communicate that are beyond just words.
  • How can you move valuable connections from online to real life? Stella and Sasha share their thoughts.
  • What is digital hygiene? They share their definition and how they incorporate this now in their routine.
  • Sasha also talks about dancing and how she wants to make it more regular in her life.
  • Stella shares about the book Brideshead Revisited and how it helped her understanding of life.
  • Being able to disconnect is just as important as being seen or your pain being reflected somewhere.
  • Stella recommends another book, something funny this time, called Identity Crisis, by Ben Elten which is about gender issues through comedy.
  • How can we become more aware of our biases and the traps we fall into when talking about controversial political and personal issues?
  • Stella shares more on Psychological Flexibility, being the hallmark of well-being.
  • Staying in the moment vs. worrying about the future. Stella shares her realizations on this topic.
  • Enjoying the little pleasures in life also reflects on how you can genuinely enjoy your children. And when you do, they will feel enjoyed, welcomed, and wanted.
  • Lastly, Stella and Sasha talk about their invitation for everyone to get our minds out of gender and think big-picture! Let’s try to understand what is really going on.


“I know a lot of people crap on New Year’s resolutions; oh, New Year’s resolutions don’t work, the research shows nobody sticks with them, I get all that. But the New Year is this really important marker of what might offer a fresh start or an opportunity to build a new habit.” — Sasha [8:15]

“The basics of sleep, food, and self-talk, all that sort of stuff, we forget it when we are weak. And it’s when we’re weak that we most need it — that’s the great tragedy of life.” — Stella [19:05]

“There’s a universality to deep, tremendous pain and when you realize that others have been here too and they’ve been good, kind people and terrible things have happened to them, there’s something consoling about that.” — Stella [38:50]

This podcast is partially sponsored by ReIME, Rethink Identity Medicine Ethics:


Learn more about our show: Linktr.ee/WiderLensPod

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About the Podcast

Gender: A Wider Lens Podcast
Two therapists explore the expanding concept of "gender" from a psychological depth perspective.
Gender dysphoria has become a minefield for public discussion, with many afraid to express their views or question the narrative. Our mission is to examine this important and complex topic from a range of perspectives, but always through a psychological lens. By openly considering and examining gender identity, transition, and the transgender umbrella, we hope to give all interested parties permission to engage these fascinating topics with less fear and more honesty. Interviews and discussions will involve clinicians, medical professionals, academics, transgender people, parents, detransitioners and other interesting individuals whose lives have been touched by the concept of gender.

Conversations between two practicing therapists give listeners an opportunity to contemplate gender from a depth perspective not currently taken up in most of today’s accessible debates. As a result of their work with gender dysphoric therapy clients as well as their personal divergent experiences with gender, Stella and Sasha hold a refreshing and informed perspective.

Is gender identity a facilitation of development and expression of creativity, or can it be a defense against painful existential realities of living in a human body? What can we discover about masculinity, femininity, identity, gender performance, and sexuality when we peer beneath the surface and dive into a deeper psychological exploration? What is the relationship between body, mind, identity, culture, and psyche?

This podcast engages listeners in an intimate and fascinating behind-the-scenes inquiry about a topic as taboo as it is salient today.

Thank you to our sponsors:
Genspect - an international organization which offers an alternative to WPATH. Providing a range of education, resources and supports to anyone impacted by gender distress, Genspect unites many different organizations globally, and gives voice to 1,000s of previously untold stories. For more info, visit genspect.org.

GETA - an association of therapists who believe that individuals experiencing gender related concerns ought to be treated using a whole person approach. GETA connects like minded clinicians, provides educational resources and trainings, and helps people with gender dysphoria find support. For more info, visit genderexploratory.com.
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About your hosts

Stella O'Malley

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Stella O’Malley is a psychotherapist and author who works in private practice in Ireland. Her work focuses on parenting, family dynamics and working with teenagers.

Much of Stella’s counselling and writing focuses on mental health and the importance of well-being and she is a regular contributor to the media. She is also the resident psychotherapist for the current TV series, Raised by the Village, a family programme that helps troubled teenagers reconnect with themselves and their families.

Stella's first book, Cotton Wool Kids, was released in 2015 while Bully-Proof Kids: Practical tools to help kids grow up confident, resilient and strong was released in 2017. Stella’s latest book Fragile, was released in 2019 and focuses on overcoming anxiety and stress.

Stella was the presenter of the documentary Trans - Kids: It’s Time To Talk broadcast on Channel 4 in November 2018 and she contributed a chapter to the 2019 book, Inventing Transgender Children and Young People.

The Jungian analyst, Lisa Marchiano, and Stella launched Secrets of the Motherworld in September 2019, offering thoughtful exploration of the most intimate aspects of motherhood in a bid to help mothers feel less alone.

Stella is a Clinical Advisor for the Society for Evidence-based Gender Medicine and a founding member of the International Association of Therapists for Desisters and Detransitioners. She is also the lead facilitator for the Gender Dysphoria Support Network.

Stella holds a B.A. in Counselling and Psychotherapy and a M.A. in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Sasha Ayad

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Sasha Ayad is a Licensed Professional Counselor who works in private practice, and has treated adolescents for over 10 years. Her work focuses on teens and young adults struggling with issues of gender dysphoria and gender identity.

She became interested in the sharp rise in teenagers who declare a trans identity for the first time during adolescence. She discovered, through working with hundreds of families, that many teens were developing gender dysphoria only after adopting a transgender identity. She questions the practice of medical transition for children and teenagers, and her clinical work focuses on developmentally appropriate, least-invasive-first talk therapy.

Sasha is also a founding member and Clinical Advisor in the Society for Evidence-based Gender Medicine and a founding member of the International Association of Therapists for Desisters and Detransitioners.

Sasha’s previous work experience includes:
- School counselor for middle and high school students at a charter school for underserved communities

- Behavioral therapy with children on the autism spectrum

- Individual and group counseling for women and children impacted by domestic abuse and sexual violence

- Developed and ran the first counseling program at a large state supported living facility for adults with intellectual disability

Sasha holds a B.S. in Psychology and an M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology.