Why I Said Yes to Television


According to my childhood diary, I wanted to be a psychologist since I was 9-years-old.  I have dedicated my entire professional life to the field of psychology. When I was first asked to provide consultation on a television show, my initial inclination was to decline. I was working full-time as a licensed clinical and forensic psychologist at a University, Principal Investigator on federal grants, training and teaching therapists regionally and across our country, doing a number of public speaking engagements nationally, and keeping a part-time private practice running.   Additionally, I am an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the Executive Director of a trauma center which serves the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in addition to being the mother of three young children and trying to have some sort of personal life.  The story goes, while traveling in California, I met someone socially who encouraged me and then inspired me to try television as his company was looking for experts with professional and academic credentials.  Although I initially declined primarily due to the fact that it was far outside my comfort zone and my schedule was already out-of-control, with some prodding and pep-talking from someone who believed in me (with this man who is now my dear friend), I decided to take a risk and try television, after seeing there were experts before me with professional pedigrees who were well-established in the field.  In the end it wasn't that hard; I’m a person who says yes to opportunities.  You only have one life.  Thus, in 2015, I began working for a television show, Seven Year Switch, and entered a world unfamiliar to me in which I would become familiar with terms such as “call time,” “HMU,” “B-roll” “Jib,” “VTR,” and countless others.  Let’s be clear: I did not own a single headshot or a lip gloss.  All this said, my experience in the television world has been nothing short of wonderful.  I have met so many dynamic, smart, and friendly people from production assistants to audio-guys and gals to executive producers who work around the clock to produce these relationship docuseries. I have been struck by the manner in which I have been able to reach an audience via a platform I never imagined (e.g., television and social media) using in my professional world.  The downside of the negative messages I receive via social media and other outlets attacking my personal appearance, professional credibility, or ethics i