April 28th, 2011 13:39 EST
Judyth Piazza chats with Dr. Judy Kuriansky, Author and Host of LovePhones
- "I listened to Dr. Judy on the radio every night. She changed my life."
- "Dr. Judy is a savvy professional who also knows how to talk to real people"
- "You can throw any topic her way and always count on Dr Judy to give a wise and witty analysis"
Those comments from fans and media about Dr. Judy Kuriansky define the modern-day go-to psychologist who gives wise counsel and intelligent commentary on all current events. From coaching couples to achieve a healthy relationship and good sex, to analyzing the current financial crisis, to commenting on coping with disasters like the Tucson shooting, Dr. Judy offers sound office backed by four decades of experience dedicated to her life`s mission: saving the world " one person at a time.
What CNN`s neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta is to the physical, Dr. Judy is to the mental. A graduate of Smith College, she earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from New York University, currently teaches at Columbia University Teachers College, and is an Honorary Professor at China`s Peking University Health Sciences Center. She gives lectures and workshops around the world -- from India to Iran and from Belgrade to Brazil -- yet she is also a seasoned media personality and journalist, a pioneer in radio call-in advice shows, and an award-winning advice columnist and former feature TV reporter.
Dr. Judy wears many hats and is truly a Renaissance Woman. As a clinical psychologist, she has treated thousands of men, women and children. As a humanitarian helping individuals and countries achieve peace, she is a representative of several international organizations at the United Nations and is on the Board of U.S. Doctors for Africa, who has developed a camp for girls` empowerment and been on the ground helping survivors after the earthquake in Haiti, the tsunami in Sri Lanka, and the bombing of 9/11. She has led workshops worldwide on human rights, disarmament and global health, and was recently appointed as an Ambassador for the Friends of the United Nations. Excellent at bringing worlds together, Dr. Judy launched a Friends of the UN Tolerance campaign at New York Fashion Week where she interviewed designers about messages of peace.
A popular media personality, Dr. Judy has scores of fans from her many years as a radio call-in host, most notably on the highly popular syndicated LovePhones show fielding call-ins and guiding celebrities as Honorary Love Doctors. A seasoned journalist, she has been a feature reporter for stations like WABC-TV and CBS-TV, hosted CNBC`s Money and Emotions, appeared on Oprah, Larry King, Showbiz Tonight and innumerable local and international shows. Her books range from a chronicle of teen problems in Generation Sex to relationship issues in How to Love a Nice Guy and several Complete Idiots Guides -- from Dating, A Healthy Relationship and Tantric Sex, to the very serious international issues like Beyond Bullets and Bombs: Grassroots peace building between Israelis and Palestinians. Her advice columns have appeared on many internet sites and in print, from like Family Circle and the Daily News to the Singapore Straits Times, South China Morning Post, Japan`s Hanako Magazine, and Bottom Line Women`s Health.
Having been referred to as the younger, taller Dr. Ruth, Dr. Judy is a pioneer in the field of sex therapy, certified by the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists and awarded a Medal of Sexology for Lifetime Achievement. She has developed unique workshops for relationship enhancement and AIDS prevention, helped develop a pioneer hotline in Shanghai, and done trainings worldwide including consulting for the Singapore Government about dating.
For her dedication and excellence, she has received many awards, from the police department to groups in the U.S., China, Africa, and elsewhere, including a recent Lifetime Achievement Award for Peace and Humanitarianism from Friends of the UN.
As if all that isn`t enough, Dr. Judy is also a certifiable Rock Grrrl as a musician, songwriter and singer. Once a bass player in the all-girl band, Artemis: Band of Women (the Greek Goddess of the Hunt), she learned bass by playing Rod Stewart songs and studied under noted jazz bassist Harvie Swartz. She now plays peace charity concerts in The Stand Up for Peace Project that has performed before the Dalai Lama and Bishop Desmond Tutu. On top of that, the Friars Club member has also done stand up comedy routines for fund-raisers.
Unequalled in the breadth of issues she can address with scientific knowledge delivered in a down- to- earth style, Dr. Judy has earned respect from professional peers and admiration from the public. An interesting mix of Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Dr. Ruth, and Dr. Phil with the musical peacemaking of Bono and the diplomatic skills of Winston Churchill, she can seamlessly fit into any number of today`s popular media forums " as the psychology expert on a network, with her own Barbara Walters-esque specials, as a special guest on House portraying herself, as a celebrity team member on Donald Trump`s Apprentice; or counseling MTV`s Teen Moms or Dancing with the Stars cast-offs. The possibilities are as endless as her myriad talents and skills.
A native New Yorker and army brat, Dr. Judy was born in Brooklyn to a dentist dad and teacher mom. She was raised partly in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where she learned, as she says, To know about everything going on in the world and to do as much as possible for as many people. At 8 years old, when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she answered, I want to bring peace to the world. Her leadership qualities were evident in 5th grade. When girls were interviewed by the school newspaper about whether they wanted to be the first female President of the United States, most said No, it`s too much work, but Judy enthusiastically replied, Of course!
At college, Judy got an A+ in advanced trigonometry and French literature, but found her career path in psychology, being fascinated with unraveling the puzzle of the mind, since she was solving puzzles from age 2.
While working on studies of depression and schizophrenia at the New York State Psychiatric Institute at Columbia Medical School, her team was approached to evaluate the first patients going through sex therapy by the renowned Masters and Johnson, and so her career in sexuality was launched. Cosmopolitan magazine came knocking, asking her to write an article about `The Big O` based on workshops teaching women to orgasm in only 10 sessions. Impressing international media with her refreshing candor and expertise, Judy was hired to be a reporter for Channel 7 Eyewitness News at 11 " doing features about psychological issues, and then asked to do a 5-nights a week 3-hours a night radio call-in advice show on WABC radio.
The field of call-in advice, and of sex, was just beginning, Dr. Judy recalls. It was exciting to forge a road not before taken. While I talked about all issues, people really wanted to talk about sex. It wasn`t even a field then! Now kids come to me and ask how they can be Dr. Judy`. When people wonder how diplomacy at the UN and sex go together, Dr Judy answers, It`s all about communication and energy, and helping people to appreciate themselves and others.
Her popular radio show LovePhones became a huge hit, topping even Howard Stern`s ratings, with call-ins and advice from celebrities like current Dancing with the Stars judge Steven Tyler of Aerosmith and former Poison frontman now reality TV star Brett Michaels. At the same time, she was reporting on hard news and celebrity news, helmed her own show on CNBC called Money and Emotions, pioneered an AOL online show, and was featured in many stories from the New York Times to Rolling Stone magazine.
Dr. Judy is a veritable force in the lives of millions of people of all ages she touches worldwide. When people always her, Where do you get all your energy? as she jets from Argentina to Australia and goes nights without sleep editing a journal about human rights, producing a documentary about student activism or leading week-long workshops on her own brand of East-West psychology, she responds, I love what I do. Some people may accuse her of being a workaholic " indeed unable to just vacation doing nothing. When Dr. Judy was in American Samoa and met a woman running for governor who relayed her story about abuse, Dr. Judy created a half-hour public service show that aired the next day on the local TV station about domestic violence. The Friars Club more accurately called her a playaholic. Dr. Judy approves, stating, It`s fun to relate to people from all walks of life and to give back to the world.
Asked abut her purpose in life, Dr. Judy notes that her dream is coming true. I like to help people be happy and to make a difference in the world. A stellar advice-giver and humanitarian, who is engaging, educational and entertaining, Dr. Judy is truly making a difference in the world.