19219157We are talking with local and national experts on moods and mood disorders.

This page will function as a directory of those interviews.

Our goal is to identify people with new ideas, maybe even controversial ones, and bring these ideas to our readers.

We are very interested in your ideas for topics or people we should talk to. Send me an email with your thoughts –



3-10-2013 12-07-35 PMMarch 2013: Descartes Li, MD

Director of the University of California, San Francisco Bipolar Program, Clinical Professor, UCSF. Dr. Descartes talks about his clinical experience treating people with depression and bipolar.



Cannon Thomas

April 2013: Cannon Thomas, PhD talks about Communication

Dr. Thomas is an expert on communication and Assistant Clinical Professor at University of California, San Francisco. He talks about effective strategies for communication for people with mood disorders.


6-21-2013 8-49-56 AM

June 2013: Mary Talks about a Partial Hospital Program

Mary is someone wrestling with the challenges of bipolar who recently came through a frightening period of crisis thanks, in part, to her experiences in a Partial Hospital Program.



Matt Tierney

July 2013 and August 2013: Matt Tierney Talks about Substance Use

Matt is very interested in how to help people with substance use to find a way of reducing or avoiding harmful use. In general, he is interested in the idea of Motivational Interviewing as a way to encourage positive change in people’s lives.



Erica and JanelleSeptember 2013: Janelle Caponigro and Erica Lee Talk about Tools for Supporting Positive Emotion

Janelle and Erica have developed a group intervention for people with Bipolar Disorder that is focused on tools for encouraging healthy positive emotion.



Julio OzoresFebruary 2014: Julio Ozores Talks About Evolutionary “Reasons” for Depression

Dr. Ozores has been studying the theory of evolutionary psychology and applying those concepts to an understanding of the basis for depression in animals and humans.



July2014-08-11_6-05-24 2014: Bob Talks About Mindfulness Practice and Bipolar

Bob talks about his experiences with mindfulness practice and how it has helped him live well with bipolar.



Kathy Leichter

February 2015: Kathy Leichter Talks About “Here One Day”

Kathy Leichter talks about her remarkable film, “Here One Day,” an exploration of the life story of her bipolar mother, its tragic ending but also the relationship between her bipolar and her personality, creativity and spirit.



Sheri Johnson talks about maniaJanuary 2016: Sheri Johnson Talks About Mania

Dr. Sheri Johnson, the Director of the CalMania (CalM) Project at the University of California, Berkeley talks about the relationship between mania, creativity and Reward Sensitivity. The idea that people with bipolar are perhaps more motivated by reward than others and this may explain both the positive and negative aspects of hypomania and mania.




We will be interviewing Dr. Suzanne A. Black, a clinical psychologist with a practice in New York and Paris, who specializes in working with bipolar patients.

We are also currently looking for suggestions for upcoming Conversations. Please email me with your thoughts (

Bob Talks About Mindfulness Meditation and Bipolar

Bob is diagnosed with bipolar disorder and has found mindfulness meditation to be an important contributor to his enhanced well-being. Dr. Forster and I invited him to share his journey towards greater mindfulness with us during a 60 minute phone interview. As is common among many mindfulness practitioners, Bob was able to observe and vividly …

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Cannon Thomas

Cannon Thomas, Ph.D., received his doctoral training in clinical psychology at the University of Virginia. He completed his internship at Palo Alto VA Medical Center and a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University Medical Center in the Department of Psychiatry. In addition to clinical practice, Dr. Thomas is actively involved in psychotherapy research and in the development …

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Conversations – Kathy Lechter

We had the absolute pleasure of talking with director Kathy Leichter about her experience of making her movie, Here One Day.  Here One Day is an intimate look into Kathy’s mother’s experience with Bipolar Disorder as well as her own experience, as her daughter. Question: How did you come up with the idea of Here One …

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Descartes Li

Dr. Descartes Li is the Director of the UCSF Bipolar Program and co-Director of the UCSF Electroconvulsive Therapy Service. His work involves teaching both UCSF Psychiatry residents as well as UCSF medical students. He has been in clinical practice since 1997 and also speaks Mandarin Chinese.  Dr. Li received his M.D. from the UCSF School of Medicine and …

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Janelle Caponigro and Erica Lee

Janelle Caponigro, M.A. and Erica Lee, M.A. Janelle M. Caponigro, MA, is a doctoral student in clinical science at the University of California, Berkeley, specializing in the social and emotional functioning of individuals with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Erica H. Lee, MA, is a doctoral student in clinical science at the University of California, Berkeley, specializing in the socio-cultural and …

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Julio Ozores

Julio Ozores is a colleague who regularly lectures in the Langley Porter Mood Disorders Clinic, a staff psychiatrist at the University of California, Berkeley, Health Center and someone with a sharp intelligence and curiosity who has been interested for many years in the application of Evolutionary Psychology to the understanding of mood disorders.  He has worked as …

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Mary talks about a Partial Hospital Program

Mary When you are in crisis, it can be hard to figure out what to do, and suggestions from your provider about going to a treatment program can be anxiety-provoking. Mary is someone who recently came through a very frightening crisis and found that the “partial hospital program” (PHP) that she was referred to was …

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Matt Tierney Part 1

 Conversation Part 1 Matt Tierney: 12 Step Program Matt Tierney is a Nurse Practitioner who holds a Master of Science degree in Nursing from UCSF. He directs two opiate replacement treatment programs that are part of San Francisco General Hospital’s Department of Psychiatry in the Division of Substance Abuse and Addiction Medicine. He is the …

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Matt Tierney Part 2

 Conversation with Matt Tierney Part 2 Motivational Interviewing and Working with Families Matt Tierney is a Nurse Practitioner who holds a Master of Science degree in Nursing from UCSF. He directs two opiate replacement treatment programs that are part of San Francisco General Hospital’s Department of Psychiatry in the Divisionof Substance Abuse and Addiction Medicine. he …

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