The noise of today’s world could be driving us mad. Past generations have faced horrific obstacles to mental well-being and happiness. There are wars and economic debacles, plus marriage has never been easy. But the chaotic challenges we face today have never been seen before. We are learning to deal with them on the fly, and the psychological effects may not be fully understood for decades, or until aliens peel our remains off a sea of glass.
When it comes to just the people in the US, 19% (47.1 million) are living with a mental health condition. Dr. Venus Nicolino believes we have tools built into our DNA to deal with these ever-shifting issues, however. The question is this: can we slow down long enough to listen to a Doctor of Psychology to recognize then hone those skills? Here’s our chance.
Luckily, Nicolino, known as Dr. V to her audiences across a wide media spectrum, adds a powerful but caring modern style to the mental health world. She didn’t luck her way into becoming a go-to celebrity doctor, and she’s unaffiliated with any good ol’ boys club. Her roots stretch back to a poor section of Philly where her mom and dad raised the family on blue-collar grit mixed with Italian love. Neighborhood chatter alerted Dr. V early on that people had a litany of problems that sucked away hope bit by bit.
“People had caring friends that listened but weren’t empowered with solid solutions,” says Dr. V.
Feeling that she could be of assistance to people like her neighbors, Nicolino embarked on an educational journey that earned her a Master’s in Counseling Psychology and a Master’s and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. Her clients benefited from her expertise that was enhanced with a realness that many find lacking while sitting on typical Freudian furniture. Soon, her people skills and how-to-human strategies would reach a wider audience.
Dr. V began showing up on various media outlets, piling up over 100 TV appearances, including Millionaire Matchmaker and The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Her groundbreaking mental health insights have been heard on Steve TV, Access Hollywood, The Dr. Oz Show, and The Doctors, and that’s just a taste. She hosted Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars as well as Marriage Boot Camp: Family Edition and appeared on L.A. Shrinks.
“Some find it peculiar, the outlets where I dish out mental health advice. With so much bad advice out there, I’ll use every outlet available. You don’t have to be a celebrity or a reality star to benefit from modernized mental health philosophies,” Dr. V says. The doctor provides scientifically proven strategies for relationships and human connections while on set. She believes audiences walk away entertained and empowered with knowledge to better their relationships. As for the bad advice epidemic, her best-selling book, Bad Advice: How to Survive and Thrive in an Age of B.S., exposes it and offers alternative good advice better suited for humans.
What is Dr. V’s plan for dealing with today’s frantic pace, social media issues, and divisiveness? She says we cannot work on these issues alone. Connection is the key, and in order to connect, we must be mindful of how we are interacting with each other. That means talking to people face to face and on the phone. According to Dr. V, not utilizing our voice and body language is insane since we are trading two of the most powerful parts of us to send digital messages. Oftentimes to people we don’t know, but are somehow certain we should hate!
Another problem Dr. V sees is that we won’t even take time to be kind to ourselves. “Self-care is unheard of in many poorer communities. And in communities fortunate enough to know meditation is impactful and therapy is available, we ditch it as soon as we’re overwhelmed with B.S. I’m guilty!”
Breaking through the noise is getting easier now that Dr. V has launched her podcast, The Tea With Dr. V. The show is making a huge difference as her celebrity guests show their human sides and get advice from a glamorous Doctor of Psychology with a hot mic. Audiences have listened and learned how one guest, a major influencer, handled betrayal on multiple levels. They’ve also been trained in the art of telling haters to STFU when it comes to body shaming. Dr. V gives sincere guidance to good people who are in the public eye but have faced attacks, anxiety, and mental meltdowns just like the rest of us.
Many may shrug off our modern noisy stresses as changing times, but we are dealing with technology that influences the masses like never in history and the people at the controls have more training on Xbox than on mental health. Confidence in our institutions is shakier than college graduates’ abilities to pay off student loans before they retire. And the pandemic, which refuses to die, has left us scarred as a species.
Dr. V doesn’t plan on saving the world. She does plan on getting the attention of those seeking better ways to cope with our confusing world. We’ve got a lot to learn about connecting with each other to defeat the divisiveness that’s running rampant, not to mention our desperate need for mindful techniques to quiet the noise in our own minds.