The Soufflé

Trang VoPham

Chats with passionate and driven individuals on topics at the intersection of life, work, people, and feelings. A pandemic passion project (still evolving) by Trang VoPham ❤️
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Close Relationships with Dr. William Chopik
Close Relationships with Dr. William Chopik
Ep 8 // Dr. William Chopik PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology at Michigan State University, discusses his passion for research as part of the Close Relationships Lab. As a leading researcher in Attachment Theory, he explores questions related to why close relationships define us and how our lives become intertwined with particular people. Through the lens of Attachment Theory, there are common threads underlying how we show up in our close relationships that are romantic, platonic, and/or work-related. Why do some people fear abandonment (anxious attachment)? Why do some people push others away (avoidant attachment)? Why are some people more open to trusting others (secure attachment)? These questions can, in part, be answered by considering how we learned to get our needs and desires met by our earliest caregivers (e.g., parents). In other words, we developed patterns of behaviors early in life regarding how to navigate and approach relationships. This line of research leads to other interesting questions related to the degree to which each attachment style is embodied within all of us, if attachment styles are stable over time, what sorts of relationships we find to be fulfilling, and how accurately we (vs. our friends and family) can assess our partners. Dr. Chopik also describes how he ensures that his close relationships continue to thrive: through being responsive, engaging in substantive disclosure, and investing in time – we have to put in effort to keep those who are important to us. >> To learn more about your attachment style, you can check out the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale.
Sep 9 2021
1 hr 4 mins
Special Friends with Dr. Audrey Gaskins
Ep 7 // Dr. Audrey Gaskins ScD, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health (and a prolific researcher in reproductive health and environmental epidemiology), discusses her personal journey into motherhood as a career-driven academic scientist. She describes navigating a modern-day approach to raising her son with a nanny, who provides flexibility for the advancement of her and her husband’s careers. She details the feeling of unconditional love for her son, Charlie, and her unique and close knit relationships with her siblings and family, comprised of incredibly strong women such as her mother and older sister (each with healthcare backgrounds) and her paternal grandmother (the OG Dr. Gaskins). Influenced by her parents’ divorce and witnessing (and experiencing) ongoing changes and growth in who we are as people throughout adulthood, she discusses qualities that she would like to pass on as a mother, qualities she looked for in a partner, and her desire to set an example for her children of how to show love and to have an emotionally mature adult relationship. In addition, I discuss my own experience with thinking about breaking the cycle of intergenerational trauma related to my parents’ experiences as Vietnam War refugees and boat people and the legacy of qualities that I would like to pass on or end. I dedicate this episode to my friend, Victoria Ho, who inspired this episode focused on motherhood; my brother, Viet VoPham, who has a context of me that no one else has because of the environment of our upbringing; and my husband, Matt Weaver, who supports my exploration in trying to break the cycle.
May 25 2021
1 hr 12 mins
Letting Go with Dr. Darren Ruddell
Ep 6 // Dr. Darren Ruddell PhD, Associate Professor of Spatial Sciences at the University of Southern California (and geographer extraordinaire on my epidemiology dissertation committee), and I engage in a thought-provoking exercise to compare and contrast answers to questions from ourselves in the past vs. present. What does it mean to be happy? What do you love about yourself? What do you love about your life? How would you rate your level of self-awareness? What values do you anchor your life around? What has been the most transformative event in your life so far? For me, I describe the experience with my mom’s stroke in 2018 and the impactful life lessons that I have and continue to learn. Reflecting on our past and present also enables us to evaluate our progress in letting go. What is letting go? According to Yung Pueblo, it is “to stop carrying the energy of the past into the present.” It is releasing the heaviness, weight, tension, and hurt associated with a person and/or event so that it no longer holds power over our lives. Letting go can require many steps and iterations of acknowledging, leaning in, processing, and healing. Why should we let go? To create space for the inevitable changes in life – highs and lows – to let life carry us to a new place, to learn and grow from our experiences, and to make more informed, wise, and healthy decisions in the future. Darren and I also discuss projecting your inner world onto others, reframing your thoughts and perspective, his time in the Peace Corps in West Africa, a deep love for California, and current playlist mainstays (including the transcendent SZA). I dedicate this episode to my best friend, Dr. Jennifer Tsai @drjenandjuice, a wonderful human being who has my best interests at heart, who encourages me to let go, and from whom I learn to live a more fulfilled life.
Apr 28 2021
1 hr 42 mins
Saudade with Dr. Céline VetterDeep Focus with Dr. Meg WetzelThe Elusive Balance with Dr. Rena JonesCrafting Your Legacy with Dr. Rulla TamimiPositive Psychology with Dr. Eric Kim