Dr. Sherry’s Hope: America’s Favorite Celebrity Family Therapist Speaks Faith and Marriage
By Dee Stewart
For the past two years, women have been glued to their television sets to watch WE TV’s “Braxton Family Values.” Viewers were not just fixated on the show because they were fans of the celebrity clan, but because they realized that these women have the same family challenges and relationship struggles as they do, despite their celebrity statuses.
The other shining light to this show is the introduction of Dr. Sherry Blake, the family’s psychologist. The ladies reach out to Dr. Sherry when they reach an impasse with their loved ones and when they have hit a mental block that they can’t move without the proper tools and help. This month Dr. Sherry Blake chats with Hope for Women Magazine about the biggest misconception newly married women have and what she’s up to when she’s not counseling the Braxtons.
Why did you become a clinical psychologist?
I have a love for people and a concern about their emotional needs. I have always enjoyed working to help people resolve their emotional pain.
How can counseling help your spiritual relationship?
By helping the person understand who they are. Once they have a sense of self, they are likely to become emotionally grounded and spiritually connected.
How has life changed for you since you’ve appeared on “Braxton Family Values”?
Life has been very busy and very exciting! Being on the Braxton Family Values has definitely allowed me to take my message of a need for positive mental health beyond the walls of my private practice. Although I have worked with entertainers and professional athletes for years, this is the first time I have had instant critique of my therapy skills through social media. Some people honestly believe that the person’s issues should be resolved in the few minutes they see on TV!
This summer you held a live family counseling session at the 2012 Essence Music Festival. What participant had a question or challenge that spoke to your heart? Why should their issue resonate with others?
The Essence Music Festival was great! I had many sincere heartfelt questions, but there was one that many parents struggle with. I was asked about having an adult child living at home and wanting him to grow up and leave home. The problem was that home was very comfortable and he did not have to do anything. Why should he leave given that “mama” had always done and paid for everything? It is hard for some mothers to let go of our children. Unfortunately, women tend to raise their girls and love their boys.
What is the number one challenge for Christian newly married women?
Great marriages don’t just happen. It takes work! Young women quickly learn that saying “I do” is only the beginning of the journey. They must understand that without clear communication, the ring that symbolizes love will start to symbolize frustration.
Have you ever had to incorporate your spiritual teachings with your counseling services?
My spiritual teachings guide me, because I am a Christian. I pray before my first patient each day. Given that I am a clinical psychologist, I see people of all faiths and those with no faith at all. In therapy, I focus on the emotional/psychological needs as opposed to the spiritual needs of a person.
How different our celebrity personal issues than the average Hope for Women reader?
They are not different! Emotional pain is emotional pain, regardless if you are a celebrity or not. The only difference is that issues are magnified with celebrities.
Why do you believe celebrity families come to you for counsel?
Because I can provide a safe and confidential setting to address problems. They do not have to worry about their problems being leaked to the tabloids or any other media. Plus, I am good at what I do! [Laughs]
What’s next for you?
I am open to whatever God has for me. In the meantime, I will continue to work with people to make a difference in their lives. I will continue to do TV as opportunities emerge. do public speaking on various topics related to mental health. I focus on relationships and women empowerment issues. I will continue to write my “Ask Dr. Sherry” column on Essence.com. I am also working on my second book.
What would you like Hope for Women to know that I haven’t asked?
I am a real doctor! When I first appeared on the “Braxton Family Values” show, I was repeatedly asked if I was a real doctor!
On a serious note, I would like your readers to know that they do not have to struggle and suffer with emotional issues. Help is available and you do not have to be sick or crazy to see a psychologist. Please contact me at www.drsherryonline.com, follow me on Twitter @drsherryonline and LIKE me on Facebook www.facebook.com/drsherryonline.