Thank you to this episode’s sponsor, TherapyNotes. Get a 2-month free trial of TherapyNotes by going to and using the promo code TherapyChat. 

In this week’s episode, host Laura Reagan, LCSW-C interviews Dr. Daryl Van Tongeren a professor and researcher and Sara Showalter Van Tongeren, a clinical social worker. Together they authored the new book, The Courage to Suffer: A New Clinical Framework for Life’s Greatest Crises. Daryl and Sarah discussed the existential questions that are making it so challenging to stay centered and feel peaceful during this pandemic. These questions are relevant to all of our lives during a pandemic and during normal times.

Daryl R. Van Tongeren, Ph.D., is an associate professor of psychology at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. A social psychologist, he has published over 160 scholarly articles and chapters on topics such as meaning in life, religion, virtues (including forgiveness and humility), relationships, and well-being. His research has been covered by numerous media outlets, including The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, Huffington Post, NPR Affiliate Radio Stations, Scientific American, and Men’s Health. His research has been supported by numerous grants from the John Templeton Foundation to explore topics including humility, meaning in life, and religion and religious de-identification, and his research has won national and international awards. He received a 2016 Rising Star designation from the Association for Psychological Science (APS), and he was named a Fellow of the International Society for Science and Religion (ISSR) and a Fellow of the Midwestern Psychological Association (MPA). Currently, he is an associate editor for The Journal of Positive Psychology, and a consulting editor for Psychology of Religion and Spirituality and The Journal of Social Psychology.

Sara A. Showalter Van Tongeren, LCSW, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the states of Michigan and Virginia. Sara has more than 10 years of clinical social work experience in settings such as private practice, foster care, in-patient hospitals and outpatient medical clinics, domestic violence shelters, and behavioral health. Currently, she works in a private practice in Holland, MI where she provides therapy to individuals, couples, and families to help them cultivate a sense of meaning and develop narratives of resilience following trauma and unexpected life events. Sara specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness, Narrative Therapy, Brainspotting, and Acceptance Commitment Therapy. You can follow her professional work on Instagram @theexistentialtherapist

Together, Daryl & Sara, co-authored a book on meaning and suffering, The Courage to Suffer: A New Clinical Framework for Life’s Greatest Crises, that was released in March 2020.

Thank you to for sponsoring this week’s episode of Therapy Chat. is an easy to use, HIPAA compliant telehealth platform that is available in free and paid versions. Get $50 off a paid account by going to and putting in the code THERAPYCHAT.


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Podcast produced by Pete Bailey –

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Original Date

May 7, 2020

About the Host

Laura Reagan, LCSW-C

Laura Reagan, LCSW-C is an integrative trauma therapist and owner of a group practice, the Baltimore Annapolis Center for Integrative Healing. She is also the host of Therapy Chat and Trauma Chat podcasts and the founder of the Trauma Therapist Network, a website for learning information about trauma and finding resources and help for trauma.

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