“I Wish Someone Would’ve Warned Me To Beware Of How Mean People Can Be When They’re Jealous Of Your Success”
Words of Wisdom with Dr. Carole Lieberman, a 3-time Emmy-honored Beverly Hills psychiatrist and TV personality
I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Carole Lieberman, a 3-time Emmy-honored Beverly Hills psychiatrist, TV personality, radio talk show host, professional speaker and bestselling author. Her just-released book, Lions and Tigers and Terrorists, Oh My! How to Protect Your Child in a Time of Terror, is the first and only book about terrorism for kids. It not only helps parents and teachers understand how to talk with kids about terrorism, it includes a picture book that gives kids a gentle introduction to terrorism and empowers them to stay safe. Dr. Carole is internationally renowned as The Terrorist Therapist®, who, since 9/11, has been helping families ‘keep calm and carry on’ in the face of terrorism. (She assures me she is not a therapist for terrorists, nor a terrorist herself.)
What is your “backstory”?
“As a born and bred New Yorker, I felt personally attacked when 9/11 occurred, even though I was already living in California. Simply put, 9/11 changed my life. I asked myself what I could do, as a psychiatrist, to help my country-if not the world-cope with terrorism. Indeed, that became the name of my first terrorism book, Coping with Terrorism: Dreams Interrupted, which was published in London as the first year anniversary edition of 7/7, their most notable attack. After 9/11, I dedicated myself to helping families by creating a Terrorist Stress hotline and audio-video relaxation programs that airlines play as their inflight entertainment, doing media interviews, and so on. I currently host “The Terrorist Therapist Show,” weekly podcasts and vlogs, analyzing terrorists and terrorism, and a Facebook page where I post daily commentary about the latest terror news.”
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?
“The years spent at NYU-Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital as a resident, and then chief resident, in psychiatry, were challenging and fascinating — especially nights on-call in the Bellevue emergency room, where ambulances and police cars deposited a never-ending stream of severely mentally ill patients that other hospitals wouldn’t accept. I am grateful for having had this unparalleled education. And a highlight was the months spent in training at the London clinic of Anna Freud, the mother of child psychoanalysis. She was quite the role model, inspiring my work to this day.”
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Are you working on any meaningful non profit projects?
“I am very excited to be able to donate portions of the proceeds from my book, Lions and Tigers and Terrorism, Oh My! How to Protect Your Child in a Time of Terror, by connecting with organizations that help victims of terrorism and their families, first responders, and those engaged in fighting terror.”
Wow! Can you tell me a story about a person who was impacted by your cause?
“I launched my book at the New York City Fire Museum in time for this year’s anniversary of 9/11, and then at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. At the Fire Museum, the first to get an autographed copy of the book was a little boy who looked like Harry Potter. He was adorable and happy to get the book, quite a contrast to the little boys brainwashed and trained by ISIS. It made me feel good to know that the book would help him understand today’s world, learn how to express his feelings, and become resilient.”
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
“When I first started, I wish someone would have told me:
1.‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know’. I spent so much time studying and working that I did not leave enough time for networking. Besides, as an only child, networking was not a natural skill.
2. I wish someone would’ve told me that sometimes I come across like a bull in a china shop. I am so passionate about helping people with my work-and sharing psychological insights-that I can come across as too pushy. It’s the New Yorker in me and I sometimes don’t realize how off-putting it can be.
3. I wish someone would’ve warned me to beware of how mean people can be when they’re jealous of your success. Mean girls are not only a middle school phenomenon. Mean girls — and boys — exist way into adulthood where they try to bring you down because you’re doing something they haven’t had the courage to do.
4. “The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.” This quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt is important to remember in dark moments. Now I keep it on my desktop to spur me on.
5. When you take the road less traveled, you may encounter some rocks. It was a leap of faith for me to follow my heart in devoting myself to helping people cope with terrorism, not a warm fuzzy topic that many immediately embrace. But, it is fulfilling to see families overcome their fears and grow more resilient.”
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this, or I might be able to introduce you.
“I would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Why? Because, as a world diplomat and a mother, she would very much appreciate the value of Lions and Tigers and Terrorists, Oh My!, not only for her own children, but for all kids who are struggling to cope with terrorism, and would make sure it was in every library worldwide, like the saying, ‘a chicken in every pot’.”