A Mental Health Counselor on Psychology in Debate (with Robin Atkins)

Download MP3 | 1:01:26

Robin Atkins is back to discuss psychology in debate. Robin is a licensed mental health counselor, specializing in reproductive issues. She also has a philosophy degree. She spent four years doing home-based therapy with the Department of Children’s Services. She’s a pro-life advocate with an atypical perspective on some of the issues surrounding abortion.


  • 00:00 Introduction
  • 02:00 Defining communication
  • 03:44 Navigating debates, in-person and online
  • 05:53 Clarifying the labels “speaker” vs “listener”
  • 08:25 How do you help someone who is constantly offended by the other side?
  • 13:36 Ideology-driven vs. topic-driven debate
  • 17:31 How do you get past people’s defenses?
  • 20:03 Should our primary goal be to change minds?
  • 24:49 Timing and empathy matters
  • 26:27 On anecdotal evidence and miscarriage
  • 31:54 On benevolent trolling and the use of snark
  • 43:31 When is it time to end an unproductive conversation?
  • 47:25 If self-awareness is important, how can people who aren’t self-aware discover and work on that?
  • 49:11 Why is civil discourse so low right now, and what can do we about that?44
  • 59:27 What is it you’d like people to take from the “Unoffendable” book?

Related Links:

Listen to our first episode with Robin, on adoption vs. foster care vs. abortion:

Contact Robin @TruthAgape on Twitter:

Dialogue Tip: Tell Them That They Can’t Offend You:

We referenced our mutual friend Petra Wallenmeyer who is now a writing intern at ERI, as well as the Content Director for the Human Defense Initiative. Read her articles here:

Our first Humor in Dialogue podcast:

A Comedian Shares Tips for Using Humor in Dialogue:

Should Pro-Lifers be Snarky? (with Dank Pro-Life Memes)

Charisma on Command YouTube channel:

Brant Hanson’s book, “Unoffendable: How Just One Change Can Make All of Life Better”:

Please note: The goal of the comments section on this blog is simply and unambiguously to promote productive dialogue. We reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, disrespectful, flagrantly uncharitable, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read our Comments Policy.