PolitiChicks asks, “What does Media Psychotherapist/Relationship, Marriage And Parenting Expert Dr. Karen Ruskin have in her purse?”
“What working gal doesn’t have a great big purse with all her important goodies inside? I value a fabulous purse of high quality (thus is sturdy), and is equally elegant and professional to keep all my stuff in. I appreciate my Marc Jacobs purse. My life as a working gal includes: business owner of a mental health and wellness counseling practice based in Sharon Massachusetts; Dr. Karen Ruskin & Associates, National and Local Television Guest Expert, often interviewed on the radio and quoted in print for various magazines and newspapers, author, speaker, and highly regarded relationship expert blogger. My personal joys; mother and wife. In my purse I have the following items:
1. Michael Kors wallet. Holds my credit cards, money, and license essentials. Driver’s license (for obvious reasons), as well as my license as a Marriage and Family Therapist (I have never been asked to prove my licensure status, as an LMFT, but I must admit, I carry it anyway, with pride). I’m honored to be the solo invited keynote speaker for the ‘American Association For Marriage And Family Therapy’for their upcoming leadership symposium. What a privilege to be considered a leader in my field. #LMFT I also carry my health insurance card. (Ah, don’t get me started on how ridiculous it is that I even carry my health insurance card considering the deductible is so outrageously high that my insurance will never kick in to take a big ol’ bite out of what I have to pay for my and my family’s medical needs. As a small business owner I not only have to pay for my health insurance, I also have to pay for all of my and my family’s doctor appointments and medications. Yes, even necessary medication for my son like his asthma inhaler, my skin cancer surgery, my gynecologist appointments, mammograms, my husband’s oral surgery, my son’s sick and well visits. Oh yes, the list is endless, and I am paying for it all. I have written numerous blogs stating my concern about the direction health care is going, and I have spoken on FOX News Channel’s; Hannity’s Doctor Summit prior to the change being made in our countries health care. To my dismay, Obamacare was still passed, of which I have been quite outspoken about, that the Affordable Care Act is not so affordable, with dramatic negative affects on the mental health care industry and the clientele whole).
2. Medical/health supply bag. I carry a mini bag in my purse which holds medical/health essentials, as I live under the philosophy to be prepared and self-reliant. Probably has something to do with growing up in Queens NY with a detective father who taught me from a young age that unexpected things happen, so be prepared. The essentials I have include: wound wipes, Band-Aids, ointment, Motrin, allergy medication, hand wipes, and a nail file. (LOL, nothing that would prepare me for something too unexpected, just the standard unexpected). I also keep dental floss with me. (My pet peeve is food stuck in my teeth. Imagine being in session with a client or on TV and one of my favorite food items that are the most common culprits that wedge in my pearly whites I.e., chocolate, broccoli, are displayed. Albeit funny, not so funny). Also in my medical bag is the Avi-Q. My son has a peanut allergy, thus although he has an Avi-Q, I always carry an additional one in my bag. #BePrepared
3. Face make-up. When it comes to my face make-up, I carry 3 essentials. Clinique lip-liner, lipstick, and Chanel face powder. There’s something about lipstick as a necessity in my opinion to replenish as the day progresses, as it gives the face that energized look. In my early 20’s my husband introduced me to the Clinique brand, as his thoughts were a professional should use quality products. Up until then I just used whatever I grabbed from the local store. Since my 20’s (I am currently 44), I have been a bright red – the redder the better lipstick gal. Within the past few years one of my TV interviews over at the FOX News studio for The O’Reilly Factor, and then again when on for FOX & Friends, two different make-up gals on separate occasions mentioned they thought I might enjoy wearing a lighter shade. Since then, my shade is a soft rose rather than a deep red. In my late 30’s while at a reunion for the summer camp I attended as a teen (Camp Hadar), a gal pal friend of mine named Jodi was looking at my make-up, because that’s what gals do apparently. (I may look girlie but the fact is I am not really a girlie girl). She was shocked that I didn’t have any Chanel products. Without dragging on the story, I tried Chanel on the trip and have never looked back. I do value looking fresh throughout the day so I keep my Chanel powder with me for a quick touch up. The joke that woman go to the bathroom to powder their nose is not so far-fetched after all. (Yes, I admit it, my make-up essentials have been influenced by my husband, a gal pal, and the make-up ladies at FOX News). #FOXNewsMakeUpGals
4. Tissues. I never want to be without a tissue for a potential nose drip. Those who knew me back in Elementary School through High School joke with me that they remember I always had tissues with me. Apparently not much has changed about me according to my old friends. They assert that I am still opinionated and out-spoken about what I believe with a passionate style of communicating. #BeWhoYouAre #BaysideHighSchool
5. Two hair bands. I like to wear my hair back in a pony-tail when the mood strikes. Thus, I always have a band in hand. My son likes to pull it out of my hair and fling it somewhere I cannot find (14 year old humor apparently). Thus, it is always good to carry an extra 1 or 2. For any mother of a teenage boy knows that you need to take the playful interactional moments when and where you can, for they are in that age and stage where they are forever busy. Therefore, I advise you: relish those parent-child relationship moments whenever and whatever they may be. As I tell my clients, share on air, have spoken about in my parent-education workshop that my parenting book is based on; 9 Key Techniques For Raising Respectful Children Who Make Responsible Choices; #RelishParenthood
6. Gum. My husband Seth tells me I chew like a cow (lol, in a loving way of course). This is a man I have been with since 1989 when we were 19 years old and we married at 23. So if he says I chew like a cow, well, yup, he knows me pretty darned well. Whatever I do I give it my all so it is no surprise that even my chewing is with gumption (ha, ha). My son loves to play the sport of the season; he is extremely passionate about and loves playing quarterback for his school’s football team, he adores playing baseball for our town, he likes playing basketball, and I love watching him play each of these activities. Sometimes I enjoy a good chew while watching. The other time I enjoy a good chew is shortly before going on air on FOX News Boston where I have a TV segment called: Ask Dr. Karen. In this capacity I have the gift of doing what I love; answering viewers’ relationship, marriage and parenting questions they submit, as well as analyze timely topics on the news from a mental health angle. I like to pop a piece of gum in my mouth and chew shortly before the segment so I feel minty fresh (of course I spit it out before the segment). Can’t imagine an anchor enjoying a yuck breath guest. (My secret for fresh breath is out now, chuckle snicker). Another fav gum chewing time of day is when I am on the train on route to NYC for an in studio national TV interview for FOX News (e.g., Cavuto, O’Reilly, Hannity, Stossel), or other television business/projects I am working on for additional networks. (I am forever working on potential new projects, as I do so adore the art of providing entertaining education. TV is such a wonderful platform for the de-stigmatization of counseling and mental health issues, and a fabulous opportunity to touch the lives of the masses in a positive way. I am hopeful to continue on my professional journey within the TV genre and become a host of a program someday of which I can touch even more lives with my usual brand of intensity, and humor or seriousness – as per needed. I do so enjoy providing real solutions for real life mental health challenges). #GumChewer #Solutions
(EDITOR’S NOTE: #6 should be just under #12, the blue case.)
7. Keys (house, car, office), with gym membership card attached. Taking care of one’s body is an important part of physical and mental health. I go to the gym 3 mornings per week, after I see my son off to school before I go to the office. My routine is: I go on the elliptical for 30 minutes chatting up a storm with my elliptical buddy Ted. Topics we discuss run the gamut from politics to football, to, well, whatever topic strikes our interest that morning. Then I head over to the floor matt and do my 30-45 minute work-out routine which includes light weights, either by myself, or with my gym pals Lisa, Sharon, and/or Connie, depending on if any of them are at the gym that day.
8. Business cards: three sets. One card type is my professional business card as a mental health professional, for when I meet someone who wants me to be their therapist this provides them with my contact information. The other is my practice’s main business card, when I meet someone who wants counseling and I refer them to a practitioner in my group. My third business card is for media professionals which provides my direct media phone number so they can reach me pronto and directly for a TV appearance request. #BusinessWoman
9. Two phones. 1) My Iphone. Clients, media professionals, friends, and family can contact me wherever I am, via email, text or call. 2) Separate cell phone which is my direct line for TV media professionals specifically.
10. Crime thriller book. Whichever book I am currently reading I like to have with me. I find reading stimulating, exciting and relaxing. My favorite authors are: Joseph Finder, Lee Child, David Baldacci, and Brad Thor. And of course, my special bookmark which is a picture of my son playing football. When your child has an interest in something, a genuine passion, one of the best feelings you can ever have as a parent is to watch your child do what he loves. He was a miracle birth, a true gift that I was able to conceive. Each day I am mindful and appreciative of how truly blessed I am that I was able to have a phenomenal child with my husband. #MiraclesDoHappen
11. Pen and paper. (My pen has the Dr. Karen Ruskin website printed on it). I always carry this pen and paper so wherever I am if the media calls (TV, radio, print), I am ready to jot down notes to myself regarding the topic my insights are requested for. I often have thoughts which pop up about varied topics that I don’t want to forget (ranging from something I need to purchase at the supermarket, to a blog idea, to a new therapeutic concept . . . ), thus I like to have a piece of paper to write it down. #AlwaysThinking
12. Neil Cavuto thank you card. I carry with me a personalized note that Neil sent to me after one of my guest appearances on his show. It is so special to me that he took the time to send me a note, written by his hand. I keep it with me as it is a touching reminder that if you have passion for something stick with it. For as far back as I can remember, I have enjoyed analyzing human behavior and coming up with real solutions for real life problems. I have also always enjoyed the art of providing educational entertainment. My passion since childhood has been to analyze and educate, this dream has been achieved via the vessel of which the media has provided to me. To appear on shows that aim to provide timely information to the masses is such an honor, such a privilege and a true gift. I am living my dream and the note from Neil is a reminder of that. FOX News provided me with the opportunity to do what I love. My unique take on timely topics in the news has been embraced and for that I am grateful, as I documented in a blog article: Psychotherapist Thanks FOX News. #DreamBig #Passion #DreamsDoComeTrue
13. Dr. Karen’s Marriage Manual. I am the author of this cutting edge book (if I do say so myself), as discussed on FOX & Friends. I have been told by men and women the book is a smooth read with real answers, and they feel like I am talking right to them. Whatever phase or stage of a committed relationship you are in, whether newlyweds or couples who have been together for 30+ years, my book provide practical tips to help couples re-connect, enhance, and improve their marriage. Intimacy, infidelity, communication, top marital do’s and don’ts and the most frequently asked marriage questions answered – all this and more is included in my tell-all-tell-it-like-it is book. Everything I recognize couples need to know from my working with couples as a Marriage Therapist for 20+ years is included. I invite you to take action on enhancing your marriage today. I am happy to autograph your copy with a personal message if you desire. #Marriage
14. 10 Seconds To Mental Health. I am super excited to announce my newest book release, just in time for the holidays! Makes for a great gift for one’s self or for another: 200+ tips, real advice – 1 tip per page that is motivational and inspirational. Not your typical self-help book. This book provides real advice for personal, relational (e.g., marriage, parent-child), and professional growth. Action items you can take each day to achieve mental health and wellness. I invite you to take my mental health challenge and order your autographed copy today! #MentalHealth