Hey Newbie! Wondering what the heck Ask Dr. Darcy is?
Here’s the story I only tell friends:
I was writing a book and my soon-to-be-manager told me the only way I’d get it published was if I built up a “platform.”
WHAT’S A PLATFORM I asked.
It’s a stage. A metaphorical-virtual one where you speak in front of an audience. Subtext: “No one’s gonna buy your book, Kid, unless you prove that people want to hear from you. So, start writing a blog.”
WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO WRITE ABOUT?
“You want me to write it for you too? Figure it out.”
But I couldn’t. So I decided to ask my friends and family to send me questions about dating, love and relationships. And I’m guessing they told their friends. Who in turn told theirs.
The blog is basically the same thing I do all day long as a shrink: Answer questions.
My first post was published on December 3, 2010. Most of the year, you can expect to hear from me once a week.
Over the years AskDrDarcy.com has morphed into 50/50 Q&A / relationship rants (some of which are personal but mostly using examples of myself in the cautionary don’t-do-what-I-did sort of way).
PS: The book never sold. But my platform got me a TV show. And other good stuff.
Here’s the story I tell everyone else:
I wanted to reach more people than I’m able to in an 8-hour work day running a private practice. So I started a blog to teach dating and relationship skills to everyone who wanted to learn them. This is true, btw, but it absolutely was not the motivation behind the weekly grind of this blog.
Are the questions in your Q&A’s always real?
Yes. Though sometimes a friend or a family member will ask me to answer a question and because I gravitate towards paranoid people, I change identifying information like gender, sexual orientation, or both so you won’t know who they are.
You don’t sound like a shrink.
That’s the most flattering thing I’ve ever heard. Truly.
Here’s how I became this way: I’ve single-handedly funded at least 1 Hampton’s home if you add up all the $$$ I’ve spent on my own therapy. Most of my shrinks failed to call me out on my BS (which would have saved me lots of $$$, many years, and maybe a few relationships. Definitely some gray hair).
My shrinks didn’t talk much. Certainly not about themselves. Which made me feel alone in my crazy. And made it hard for me to connect and open up to them.
They also didn’t offer up a lot of tools. The most expensive among them offered up ZERO.
And on the rare occasion when they did, they never followed up to ask if I’d done the thing they told me to do - which is like a teacher not taking responsibility that you can’t read when they never asked to hear you read out loud.
All my disappointing experiences as a client of therapy molded me into the therapist I am today because I became the one I always needed.
Which is why I:
- Hold a mirror up to you, aka, call you out. Because I respect you enough to be honest with you.
- Give you straight-up tools. Because this shit can be TAUGHT.
- Use personal examples of myself in my struggles. Not in a messy way - in a human way.
- Curse. Actually, my cursing has nothing to do with my therapy experiences. It’s cause I’m a New Yorker.
I’m a therapist. Should I model myself after you?
No. 100% do NOT do that.
Not because I’m trying to hoard my style. But because it took me YEARS to be me in a way that doesn’t cross boundaries with clients. I didn’t start out this way and just like they teach us in school - it’s always best to be cautious when you’re starting out.
But if you’re a GROWN ass shrink, please dial up your inner human in the (virtual) room with your clients. Take a risk. Pick a paint color for those white or beige walls.
Are you really a doctor?
Yup. Got the loans to prove it. PhD in clinical social work.
How will AskDrDarcy help me?
And, of course…
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Because life can be too serious.
And we all need to laugh more.
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