Trailercast Episode 083: Immanence with Hillary McBride
About The Interviewee
Hillary McBride is a registered clinical counsellor in private practice in Vancouver who is a PhD in Counselling Psychology at UBC. When she is not doing clinical work she is researching, speaking, and writing. Her areas of clinical and research specialty focus on the intersection of spirituality and mental health, trauma, and trauma therapies, embodiment, eating disorders, body image, sex and sexuality, and feminist approaches to psychology.
Hillary's work has been recognized by both the American and Canadian Psychological Associations, and she was recently awarded the International Young Investigator Award for her research contributions so early in her career. In 2017, she published her first book with Post Hill Press - Mothers, Daughters, and Body Image: Learning to Love Ourselves as We Are, and she is the senior editor of a textbook, Embodiment and Eating Disorders: Theory, Research, Prevention and Treatment, which came out in 2018. Her next book "Embodied" will be out 2021. You can hear her work on as a co-host on the Liturgists Podcast, host of CBC Podcast Other People's Problems, follow her on Twitter @hillarylmcbride or Instagram @hillaryliannamcbride, and find more of her work at www.hillarylmcbride.com
Today’s episode is a spiritual one, a feminine one, a freeing one. It is about beauty, the universe, masculinity, emotion, bodies, and really freedom to flourish. I always talk about fangirling with the wonderful people I get to meet on Trailercast, but woman, talking with Hillary McBride in this space was really something special.
If you are a man who is over how toxic masculinity impacts your life. Listen in. If you are a woman who wants beauty as she ages, this is for you. If you are a human with a body, this one goes out to you.
So embodiment. This topic has been circling around my mind and really around my body for some time now. What is embodiment? Hillary said, “Changing our relationship with our bodies is how we actually start making the world a more compassionate, connected and just place.”
Hillary is working on her PhD and is doing a dissertation on women going through menopause. In her words, where things go to die has been what the experience for aging women has been so far. This is a problem. And it is not true! The idea of everlasting youth, fertility, and being a sexual object is not what mirrors women’s experience in aging. We need more examples of women who are thriving so we can look forward to aging.
Femininity. Motherhood. I felt a desire to undo so much of my own mother daughter relationship. Words are constrictive when i think about what it means to get to tell a different story and live that out, now. Not at the end. We wonder at the thought that all potential life is within our bodies as women. Hillary quoted a Joy Williams song that encapsulates this idea: “I am the universe wrapped in skin”
Then we get all spiritual and preach to each other’s choir about what Hillary calls divine immanence. The idea that church and spirituality and God is here within us. Not out there. Not in one place. It is all here inside. Of course as therapists who are honored to do the work we do, we relate everything back to how it impacts our work. Hillary nailed it on the dot with this idea of therapists as the “midwife of the mind”. A person to champion you as you give birth to the fullness of who you are. Yes. I feel this so deeply.
For all those women out there, how can we marvel at the magic of our bodies? Right now and as we age, how can we honor the body we are given?
Hillary’s Textbook: Embodiment and Eating Disorders: Theory, Research, Prevention and Treatment