Closer

Closer

Johns Hopkins and Harvard-trained psychiatrist Mina Brandes brings you 'Closer', a one-of-a-kind talk show where real people like you are the star of the show. The premise is simple: On each episode, Mina and a complete stranger or an acquaintance hang out and talk. When you listen to them tell each other what's on their minds you'll be surprised by what can happen in just one conversation. Subscribe to 'Closer' now and don't miss out on the most warm and friendly talk show you'll listen to all week.... Show More

Episodes

Part 2 of my 3-part conversation with Matt Rotondo. This week's episodes are: ○ Thought-provoking ○ Refreshing ○ Informative

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● Thought-provoking ● Refreshing ● Informative ● Matt’s and my children used to go to the same school. I knew that he used to work in marketing and that he and his family moved to Nashville from California. I had hardly spoken to Matt before but I did remember reading Matt’s emails about starting, running and later folding his startup. Matt was honest about the challenges he faced and the disappointment he felt. His emails were ... Read more

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The final part of my 3-part conversation with Jamie Heard.
This week’s episodes are:
● Heart-wrenching
● Awe-inspiring
● Life-affirming

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This episode is the Part 2 of my 3-part conversation with Jamie Heard.
This week's episodes are:
● Heart-wrenching
● Awe-inspiring
● Life-affirming

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Heart-wrenching ● Awe-inspiring ● Life-affirming
I had heard of Faithfully Restored, a Christian non-profit that Jamie Heard and three friends founded to support women going through difficult times by building community. I had also read about Jamie losing her father and her 2-year-old son, William. But it was not her life story that made me feel compelled to ask her to be on the show. It was her apparent courage to be vuln... Read more

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October 29, 2019 2 min

This week, a note of gratitude for you from Mina and a quick update on the show. And a special request.

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October 22, 2019 15 min

By popular demand, this week’s episode is a conversation with my husband, Johann. We have three children together and he is a physician. We sat down in our living room one evening and started chatting about his singing voice which caused me to be curious about the whereabouts of a distant relative who sang at our wedding almost 20 years ago. Johann shared his personal reflection on a significant event he experienced, which made ... Read more

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October 15, 2019 33 min

Gaston was the volunteer parent coach of my son’s soccer team for several years. He did get pretty intense during games and it was clear he wanted to win. Let’s just say you don’t want to be the referee that makes a wrong call when Gaston is one of the coaches. But I always felt he really cared about the young players he was coaching. He was friendly to me and Johann as well. I knew Gaston traveled a lot for work so I was excite... Read more

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“Until you step into your truth, you never fully blossom into who you’re supposed to be.” After getting into the light-weight topics like end-of-life and afterlife, Virginia and I now drift into talking about life - about how people judge who and what is good or bad, realities of married life and Nashville, the city we love and which we both think is just a tiny bit cliquey. Virginia shares her desire to be authentic in her work... Read more

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It turns out Virginia and I live literally within walking distance from each other. But we connected only via Instagram. Initially, a photo of Virginia's face on an Instagram account of a spa stopped me mid-scroll. But it was her own heartfelt posts that hinted that Virginia was not afraid to be vulnerable. On part 1 of this 2-part episode, we talk about end-of-life, forgiveness, faith, afterlife and Instagram - you know, th... Read more

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I used to run into Brent while chauffeuring my children around. I didn’t know him well, just that he was a cardiologist and really good at sports. We finally sat down in 30A, Florida where our families were vacationing at at the same time. We talked about everything from teaching our children it's okay to fail and failing to remember our respective recent wedding anniversaries to having an intimate circle of friends and know... Read more

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September 17, 2019 40 min

Many men can tell good stories but only a few among them are brave enough to be vulnerable. Ed has been brave throughout his life in more ways than one. A recently retired director of compliance at my husband’s work, I had met Ed briefly at work holiday parties, so briefly that I had forgotten what he looks like. After hearing that Ed likes to tell stories of living in Germany and his time in the military, I had this thought tha... Read more

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September 10, 2019 38 min

After exchanging introductory pleasantries at a chili cook-off, Jenny and I met again and talked. I've been thinking about life and the meaning of it all recently and what do you know, the topic of faith and religion came up during our conversation. I talked about myself more than usual and I cringed at the possibility of having taken attention away from my guest. But I decided to get over myself as I realized it was the con... Read more

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If the one who tells the best story wins, Richard will surely come out on top. Richard is a married father of three I met through my children’s school. He seemed like someone who could hold a great conversation with just about anyone so I invited him on the show. And I was not disappointed. Richard and I each shared stories about the families we grew up in. Richard told me about his personal, unique and ongoing challenge he face... Read more

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As John and I continue our conversation, we finish each other’s sentences while talking about John’s mom, our favorite movies, how we define ‘love’, 'privilege’, ’pet fish boyfriend’ and share the words we hate. We also try to come up with John’s pen name. And we both wonder if we'll ever be free of our hangups.

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(Mild Adult Language) On the surface, John and I couldn’t be more different from each other. John is a 24-year-old single gay guy living in Chicago. I’m a church-going, married mom of 3 living in the south. John was a guide on the architecture tour our family took during our tip to Chicago. Within literally a minute of meeting him, I invited him on the show. I was nervous he may think I was strange for being so forthright but Jo... Read more

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This conversation with Lindsay was one of the first few I recorded for the show. So when Lindsay agreed to be a guest, there was no episode for her to check out. But Lindsay said yes anyway. Lindsay shows up and steps up for people. And as you'll hear she's humble and generous. And a lot of fun, too. We sat down in her not-too-shabby downtown office and Lindsay told me what she considers success, what she wants to teach ... Read more

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Brent is a surgeon and was one of the first guests and the first complete stranger to record for the show. My earlier guest Alex Strnad had gotten Brent and me in contact via email but when Brent first walked into my living room we had never met or spoken before.
It’s this, my conversation with Brent that convince me that just one engaging and honest conversation can connect people, even strangers.
We begin our conve... Read more

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I first met Katie 5 years ago after we both had dropped off our daughters at the preschool. Since then, I made ‘small talks’ with Katie at kids’ birthday parties and their weekend soccer games. Katie always had a genuine smile on her face and seemed sincere and generous. But I realized that after 5 whole years had passed, I never really got to know Katie. So we finally sat down in my living room and talked. We had a wonderfully ... Read more

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July 29, 2019 40 min

Having a nasty day? Play this one. I promise, it’ll make you feel better. Alex is a stay-at-home dad of 2 and he told me about his marriage, challenges of raising a teenage girl, his religious evolution, a story involving a feral cat and another involving a dog placenta. Mina and Alex wonder why children don’t heed their parents’ advice no matter how simple or wise and Alex told me how people respond when he shares that he’s a s... Read more

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