Social Impact Authors: How & Why Author Dr Carder Stout Is Helping To Change Our World

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Leadership should be exemplified by humility. Leaders should set a moral standard by highlighting the fact that they are real people and accessible to everyone. The truth is that we are all human beings and share the same fears and desires. This should connect us with our leaders and create an opening to heal.

As part of my series about “individuals and organizations making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Carder Stout.

Dr. Carder Stout is an LA-based psychologist who has been sober since 2005. As a Depth Psychologist, Dr. Stout helps patients discover the origins of feelings and explore the unconscious side of psyche. He specializes in Dream Analysis as well as relationships, helping clients become more truthful with themselves and their partners. His private practice includes Oscar, Emmy, Tony and Grammy winners, as well as one pro bono client from an underprivileged community each month. Dr. Stout received his Ph.D. in Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. Additionally, he will be a featured psychologist on an unscripted Netflix pilot set for release in 2023.

Dr. Stout details his journey from addictions including drugs and alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, food, sex, toxic relationships, exercise, fame, success and anger in his acclaimed memoir, Lost in Ghost Town (HCI, Simon & Schuster), which Rolling Stone praised as “Upsettingly Beautiful.” The memoir has been optioned by EOne Studios to develop into a TV series. His latest book, We Are All Addicts, is set for release in January 2023.

In addition to several articles published on Goop, Dr. Stout has also been featured in Rolling Stone, US Weekly, The Daily Mail, The Evening Standard, The Telegraph, Washingtonian, Eden Magazine, The Purist Magazine, on ABC News, Spectrum News 1, Fox News, MSNBC, Beyond TV, Larry King and Good Day LA. He is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and has written for Alanis Morissette on her health and wellness site,

Dr. Stout is also the producer with three award winning independent films including The Broken Giant starring Will Arnett, which now resides in the Permanent Film Collection at The Museum of Modern Art in New York; Southie starring Will Arnett, Donnie Wahlberg, Amanda Peet, and Rose McGowan (winner of The Seattle Film Festival); and Pigeonholed, starring Rosanna Arquette and Peter Dinklage (Best Picture winner at the New York Independent Film and Video Festival).

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

I grew up in Georgetown, Washington DC and my father founded a political magazine called National Journal in 1969, so growing up there were always political figures milling about our house. My parents were both busy people, so I relied on my older brother Craig for most of my supervision. My fondest memories of growing up were spent on our 125 acre farm in Western Massachusetts where I would get lost in the woods, explore the hay fields, swim in the lake and ride our horses. It was a paradise. My parents split up when I was twelve and my whole world came crashing down. My memoir LOST IN GHOST TOWN published in 2020 recounts this period of my life in great detail.

When you were younger, was there a book that you read that inspired you to take action or changed your life? Can you share a story about that?

I have always been an adventure seeker and I remember reading Treasure Island as a boy and dreaming about discovering lost gold buried deep in the woods. When I was eight I began collecting beer cans and would go out into the woods and dig up old rusty cans from the 50’s and 60’s. I cherished them as if they were extremely valuable and built shelves in my bedroom where they were prominently displayed. I loved the feeling of finding artifacts that had been discarded by others and would make up stories about who had owned them and where they came from.

It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I have made so many mistakes in my life it would be difficult to decide where to begin. When I was twelve my brother and I stole two bottles of champagne from our fridge and proceeded to to drink them entirely. Our parents were out at a New Year’s Eve party and we hooted and hollered with reckless abandoned. I fell asleep in the bathroom and locked myself inside and my brother Craig climbed out a window to try and come to my aid. He slipped and fell two stories and almost died. I woke up the next morning with my first hangover and a brother in Intensive Care barely clinging to life. That was one of my first experiences with alcohol and I should have learned my lesson, but unfortunately the tale of misfortune continued for another two decades.

Can you describe how you aim to make a significant social impact with your book?

My current book WE ARE ALL ADDICTS is about the addictions we all share. I believe that addiction is archetypal — something that we all know and have experienced at some point in our lives. My aim with this book is to change the conversation about addiction and reframe it as something less frightening and more easily managed.

Can you share with us the most interesting story that you shared in your book?

One of the most interesting concepts in the book revolves around the idea of success and how we are conditioned to believe that it refers to material wealth or possessions. I believe that real success is determined by our psychological state — are we happy, content, fulfilled? I ask the question, “How do you feel when you are lying in bed at night just before falling to sleep?” Are you filled with positive, loving and optimistic thoughts about yourself? If so, I would say that you are successful.

What was the “aha moment” or series of events that made you decide to bring your message to the greater world? Can you share a story about that?

I wrote an article for Goop in 2015 entitled Why We Are All Addicts. It went viral and traversed across the globe. Readers either vehemently disagreed with the premise or enthusiastically agreed. I knew then that I had struck a chord and wanted to expand the article into a book.

Without sharing specific names, can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?

I am a psychologist, so I work with many patients each week, and hopefully I am helping them all. Recently, I worked with someone who was addicted to fear. This may be a difficult concept for some, but the idea of addiction does apply to anxiety. We obese about something and the only way to quell our worry is to commit some sort of compulsive action like eating or checking our phones. I helped this patient understand that she was caught in an addictive loop of thinking and we worked together to reshape this pattern.

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

Yes, I would urge those with a platform to stop demonizing addiction as something that is negative. My belief is that we all share addictive energy and therefore it is a quality that we all know. Therefore we should begin to treat it with compassion and empathy. Also, to continue searching for alternative methods to treat addictive cycles and chemical dependency. There is so much out there that could change the conversation if we are willing to change our limited understanding of it.

How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?

Leadership should be exemplified by humility. Leaders should set a moral standard by highlighting the fact that they are real people and accessible to everyone. The truth is that we are all human beings and share the same fears and desires. This should connect us with our leaders and create an opening to heal.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

“Don’t take yourself too seriously”

“Be kind”

“Love and forgive yourself daily”

“Laugh whenever you can”

“Get a good night’s sleep”

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. “ — DALAI LAMA XIV

Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Barack Obama. I think he is an amazing person and would love to be in his presence to talk about addiction and the soul.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!

Social Impact Authors: How & Why Author Dr Carder Stout Is Helping To Change Our World was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.