TU109: THIS is Resilience in Action With Guest Alphanso Appleton

by | Nov 22, 2019 | Episodes, Guest Interviews, Mindfulness, Personal Growth, Race, racism, Trauma

Show Notes

Resilience in real-life from a non-Western perspective. (Cover photo, Appleton took responsibility for feeding kids in his village by diving and spearing food from the sea.)

“And if there’s any other person that is going through mental health problems or a very hard time in their life, or they have been through something really bad… I just want them to know that they’re not alone.” Alphanso Appleton

In This Episode of Therapist Uncensored on Trauma and Resilience,

Alphanso Kwame Appleton, a Liberian native, shares his experiences of growing up in a country devastated by civil war, living through the Ebola epidemic, and tragically losing his young daughter. Despite these repeated experiences of trauma, he is healing and has found purpose in his life. This is an incredible story that absolutely captures what resilience looks like and we are pleased that his recovery did not rely on traditional Western approaches. We have so much to learn.

Interview by Sue Marriott.

Meeting Alphonso

  • Meeting in Liberia through Strongheart and by happenstance, through the work of Dan Siegel.
  • Mentoring youth
  • Surfing
  • Photography

Life in Liberia

  • The Liberian Civil War
  • Escaping to Monrovia
  • Child Soldiers
  • Lack of education

“Iron Lady”

  • How the love and faith of Alphanso’s grandmother, whom he describes as an
  • “Iron Lady”, protected him from rebel recruitment of child soldiers

The Effects of Lack of Education

  • Effects on Society
  • Effect on healthcare industry – and him personally regarding the loss of his daughter

The Ebola Epidemic

Personal Tragedy

  • The loss of Alphanso’s 18 month old daughter, Lisa.

Alphanso’s Healing Journey

  • Faith
  • Strongheart – learning a meditation practice
  • Surfing

The Universal Language of Photography

Moving Forward

  • Current and future endeavors
  • Misconceptions about Africa
  • Words of wisdom

“Overall, it’s just finding something you love – something you love doing- something that brings you joy; something that makes you happy. Because that was a really key part of my transformation. That was a really key part of my healing.” Alphanso Appleton

Other episodes you may enjoy:

TU91: Curiosity – One of the Most Powerful Tools For Connection

TU33: Adverse Childhood Experiences: A Roadmap To Understanding And Treatment


“Alphanso Appleton: A Story of Becoming”

The Making of Child Surfers, Not Child Soldiers

Article in Global Citizen – Surfers Paint Liberia


Alphanso’s contact information alphanso19@gmail.com


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