The mass discussion about Mental Health Awareness continues to be normalized in today’s society, not to mention the Entertainment Industry. Esteemed Life Coach and Psychotherapist, Asha Tarry recently chatted with us about the importance of therapy for people who work in Entertainment.
The Brooklyn native has enjoyed a robust career in both Entertainment and Social Services. She now uses her years of experience and training to create transformative breakthroughs! Learn what tips she shared for professionals in Media and much more below!
Hello Asha! Congratulations on all of your success! Talk about your background and how you became a therapist ?
“I am a psychotherapist, life coach, speaker and advocate who has been providing counseling and consultation to individuals, couples, and families for 18 years. I graduated with a Masters in Social Work and pursued post graduate training after several years of doing community work to become a psychoanalyst. For the past 4 years I’ve owned a very fulfilling and thriving private practice in NYC. For the first 14 years of my career I worked for other people but it was in those last few years I decided to do things on my terms and become an entrepreneur and I’m so glad that I did!”
Mental Health Awareness is becoming more prevalent in today’s society. We have stars like Jenifer Lewis, sharing their struggles. Are you finding that this is making a positive impact in our communities?
“I believe celebrities help demystify some things like overwhelming responsibility and stress, which has begun to make them more relatable to people. However, I still believe the average person has a lot of fear about seeking professional help from someone they don’t know. Additionally, the costs of out of pocket mental health care and some of the limits on insurance, it’s still a service that people of color sometimes aren’t willing to invest in without at least knowing someone who’s been helped by a mental health professional. So, in some ways, yes it provides an open door to our community to start the conversation, but beyond the conversation most people I meet don’t start therapy with me because of a celebrity they know. They start therapy because the costs of suffering is more, the loss of jobs, relationships, or because not being able to sleep or slow down causes them debilitating problems.”
How do you determine whether or not you’re the right fit for potential clients?
“Well, if a client is initially apprehensive it’ll show in the consultation call. When I hear that I give them the time to think about the commitment and their motivation for treatment, along with a little space to reflect and either get back to me or to refer them to someone else if once they work with me we both agree that their needs aren’t being met. I’m at a stage in my work where I want what’s best for my clients and for me. No one should ever feel convinced to be in a space that doesn’t feel right for either party.”
How do you implement your services?
“My services are offered to clients in NYC in the office and by video and phone sessions remotely either weekly or biweekly.”
With today’s social climate in the Entertainment industry, what do you think plays a big role in all of the turmoil that we continue to see?
“This might be a big brushstroke to swipe, but people are people typically everywhere and emotional and psychological suffering is everywhere! Sometimes people think that those with privilege are immune to pain, loss, sadness, anxious feelings, doubt, and despair. However, my experience with friends in the entertainment industry as well as my work with people who work in the entertainment industry tells me otherwise. I wouldn’t assume that these social-emotional issues are new to many people, but the labels and plethora of ways to avoid ourselves is abundant. So, when something is masked with layers of covering and the underlying issues aren’t resolved, more stressors make hiding those things that more difficult. We all need to work on being human first, compassionate and thoughtful and less competitive, less aggressive and less conforming.”
Entertainers and business owners seem to have the toughest time maintaining a healthy lifestyle, what are some tips that you would recommend?
“If you can keep at least 1 person in your life, preferably someone that was with you before the clout and recognition around you whom you trust, do that. It’s important to know someone who really knows you too, that you can tell anything to and not be judged for it. They should be someone with discernment and should have your best interest at heart. They shouldn’t be envious of you nor jealous of what you have. If you don’t have that, seek a professional therapist because then at least you’ll have an objective relationship that doesn’t rely on your accomplishments for their worth.”
From your experience, Is there a significant difference in the way Women in Entertainment handle stress versus Men?
“No, I can’t say that stress is necessarily gender or status specific. There are healthy and unhealthy ways both men and women handle stress. Just like there is male body dysmorphia and female body dysmorphia happening, an unhealthy form of self conflicting constructs versus other things people do to cope with high anxiety, depression or stress.”
What do you say to the aspiring entertainer who may be suffering from depression & is still trying to discover themselves ?
“Self discovery is life long, so get used to it and learn to accept that. However, if mentally one feels persistent worry about that, know that life doesn’t necessarily get easier as you age, it gets more complicated and requires more of you. So find support through outlets like being in nature, exercise your body and your mind in new and productive ways. Having a hobby, spending time with people who make you feel good and care about you as well usually helps. Also, don’t be afraid to ask someone for help, whether that’s through counseling, meditation or prayer, or all three!”
Talk a little bit more about your brand and what your supporters can expect from you this year?
“My brand is expanding and getting more involved in helping people of color confront trauma by way of my public speaking and my podcast, www.blackpeopleheal.com/podcast. I have also recently introduced my followers to 31 Days of Affirmations on my website, www.LifeCoachAsha.com and on Instagram @ashatarrymental. My work is focused on transforming people’s mindsets and subsequently, their lives. I look to change the face of self care, self love and community well-being through my work. By the fall, I intend to host some live and interactive events, begin selling some products online and let the messaging speak for itself! In my private practice, I’ll also be expanding into couples group work so my existing and prospective clients can look out for that.”
How can people seek your services?
“I’m very easy to find, www.LifeCoachAsha.com and everywhere on social media @ashatarrymental on Instagram, @ashatarry on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google. My social justice work can be found at www.BlackPeopleHeal.com which is also on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.”
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), 7.7 million adults in the United States live with PTSD. Be sure to keep with Asha and her services!