Life After PTSD is a weekly podcast telling the stories of clinicians using the most effective trauma treatments available and clients getting the opportunity to decide a new normal, free of trauma. PTSD has long been labeled an illness but it is an injury that can be cured, and the research, evidence, and stories now back that claim. We spoke to the host of the show, Jeff McLaughlin, about why he launched the show, his goal with the podcast, and how many listeners he’s up to after five months and nearly 40 episodes.
PBJ: Why did you start this podcast?
Jeff: We started our show on a whim at the end of a counselors training thinking we should capture an audio dialogue discussing misconceptions about PTSD and trauma. We had no idea it would become a weekly show and we could have never envisioned the amazing guests who’ve told their stories to our audience.
PBJ: What is your goal with the show?
Jeff: We are on a mission to see trauma eradicated in our generation. We want to do to PTSD what the collective efforts of the Rotary Club did to polio.
PBJ: How are you finding guests?
Jeff: We have close connections with clinicians who have been trained by our team in either trauma-focused neuro-linguistic programming or the NLP-based Re-consolidation of Traumatic Memories (RTM) protocol. Because the podcast has gained notoriety among those clinicians, they actually seek us out with new stories and their clients are more than willing to share because on the other side of healing they are reminded of the despair they felt before getting cured and what real stories of hope would have meant.
PBJ: How are you getting the word out?
Jeff: Our show has grown entirely grassroots! We of course network with relevant persons in the field, but the clinicians we have relationships with actually use the podcast as a vehicle to share hope with traumatized people they encounter. We have done a few targeted ads on Facebook and social media but our main growth has come from infiltrating military groups, police, and first-responder agencies, clinician groups etc. where one person hears the show and can’t help but share it with others.
PBJ: What is your biggest challenge with the podcast?
Jeff: Editing! Having had experience podcasting in the past and learning under someone with a radio background, aesthetics were important to me. A 30-minute episode might take four hours to edit on average because I am painstakingly editing unnecessary pauses, “ums,” and normalizing audio for the best listener experience. Bad audio is a distraction.
PBJ: Why is it important to do a show like this?
Jeff: We have yet to find anyone in our space that is telling the traumatized world what is possible. There are several PTSD support podcasts but none who unapologetically believe that PTSD can be cured and certainly none backing such a claim up with real stories.
PBJ: Describe your setup — equipment, phones, hosting, etc. Everything you use.
Jeff: From Episode 4 on, our setup has been fairly consistent: our mixing console and primary recorder is the Rodecaster Pro, which we cannot say enough good things about. Because so many of our guests are calling in we needed excellent mix-minus capabilities and the Rodecaster makes this process so simple. The Rodecaster is almost always connected to either a MacBook Pro or iPhone which is feeding either Zoom, Skype, or Facebook for our online calls, cellular if we must. We prefer a VoIP calling interface because with good mixing it’s hard to tell the guest isn’t in the studio. If the laptop is connected I will back up my recording using Audacity, which we also mix with primarily, though our intros were created with Logic Pro X. A final backup — can you tell we’ve lost audio before?! — when the Rodecaster came unplugged. Not sure if they’ve corrected this in a firmware update but when that happens you lose the recording! I use a Rode Procaster dynamic as my primary mic and we have one more Procaster that is used, along with 2 NT1As. I prefer the Procaster now because it gives that broadcast feel. I debated using this mic vs. a Shure SM7B, Heil PR40 and EV320, and while to each his own, the Procaster suited me best. I set up our other guests based on need — who is likely to forget to stay up on the mic (they get a condenser mic/NT1A), who is likely to find their radio voice quickly (they get the other dynamic). The Rodecaster has a great noise gate system so all our mics have that setting turned on, which eliminates almost all of the room noise. Since we record in many different locations we don’t always have the luxury of a great recording room. Note that our Procasters always have pop filters on them. Plosives are a disaster without on those mics. We use the WS2 as it has given the best results for our needs. I cannot emphasize enough that this is a must for that microphone! If you hear plosives on any episodes, it’s because I forgot to bring the wind screens. It happened once or twice!
PBJ: What are your downloads/listens per episode?
Jeff: Five hundred to 1000 in 30 days and growing fairly quickly.