Leaning on the Experts

talk radio expertTalk radio has been a valued service for years because it gives people access to expert opinions they would otherwise not have access to. Programs about sports or the arts serve the purpose of enlightening, informing or entertaining their audience, but programs hosted by mental health experts can serve a more critical role to people. The audience of a talk radio program about psychology is typically in need of mental health advice as a matter of personal wellness. This is a service that everyone should have access to, but there are very few mediums offering it publicly.

Talk radio hosts are always experts in their fields, be it sports, the arts, literature or psychology. They also fill the role they do because they have an amenable celebrity persona, but first and foremost, they are experts. A mental health professional, making their expertise available to the public through talk radio, is a resource that many come to rely on. Personal counseling services are very expensive and are not available to every demographic. Many people have to be creative when seeking counseling or mental health advice. A talk radio mental health expert can become an important figure in the lives of those who are in need of their input.

Talk radio hosts who invite callers in offer them an opportunity to engage, dialogue, share opinions and receive advice. An important part of processing life events is engaging in discussion about them, and an important part of recovering from adversity is receiving credible advice. Many people are forced to forego these ways of coping because they do not have a credible person to take these matters to. A talk radio host, although never as close as a personal relationship, can be one way that people have access to these services. For some people, particularly those in need of counsel, this is an invaluable service that guides them in their pursuit of good mental health.

The Human Need to Make Our Issues Public

radio airing personal mattersThere are some critics of talk radio and talk shows who feel that the cultural practice of airing personal problems in a public forum is narcissistic. They claim that putting personal problems on display in such a manner is vulgar and nothing more than a means of seeking celebrity status. However, there are others who would defend this type of catharsis, arguing that the need to make personal matters public comes from an innate human need to consider the opinion of the group. Its origins lie in our nature as a collective, social species.

Our media has a long history of talk radio and public television being presented in the format of a host in the role of judge and an audience in the role of jury. On television shows, the audience is present at the filming location, where as in radio programs, the audience is typically not present at the broadcast location. Regardless, the people who appear on or call into these programs are subjecting audience members to their personal matters. This practice seems to be logical to some and offensive to others.

It is certainly true that this media format can be abused, as in the case of the Jerry Springer show and other trash talk programs, but when used correctly, the format serves as a valuable public asset and discussion forum. People who serve as talk show subjects are essentially volunteering themselves for critique by the expert talk show host, as well as for second hand judgment from the show’s audience. This gives the subject of the program valuable insight into their own problems, and it gives the listening audience insight into the general problems being discussed.

Psychologist talk radio programs that invite callers to purge their personal matters on air are inviting them into a discussion forum that they trust for direction, and feel secure in. This is a valuable public service, not vulgarity or celebrity obsession.

Personal Advice Talk Radio Topics

popular topics advice radioRelationships are one of the most common advice talk radio topics that can be heard on the air, however, there are a number of matters that apply to the inner lives of individuals that are worthy of being addressed by advice talk radio hosts as well. Personal mental health and other matters that apply to the lives of individuals are extremely important to a person’s well-being. Some of the most important topics that arise are as follows:

  • Mental health matters are a very important topic and are continuing to grow in importance. Mental health is more difficult for us to understand and qualify than physical health, but more and more evidence is becoming available that links the two intrinsically. Mental health studies are very important to understanding how our emotions effect our bodies.
  • Spirituality is a matter that affects everyone, not merely those who are religious. The truest definition of spirituality is being organized and precise on personal morality, understanding its origins and its facets as they pertain to the self. Personal spirituality can be very difficult to understand and is heavily influenced by unconscious biases, so the help of a mental health professional is beneficial.
  • Matters of individual purpose, vocations and careers are very important to our lives and how we understand our place in the world. It is not uncommon that we may need assistance in understanding what direction we should take our lives in, or how to balance our vocations with everything else in life. The advice of an advice talk radio host is valuable on this matter.
  • Lifestyle choices and decisions come with a great many personal questions, especially about whether or not a choice is benefiting the individual and the people close to them. It is wise to get a second opinion on this matter from a trusted source.
  • Grief is something everyone has to confront at some point in life, and it is one of the more difficult things we experience. The guidance of a caring advice talk radio host can assist the grieving process immensely.

Relationship Advice Talk Radio Topics

advice talk radio todayOne of the most common and popular advice talk radio topics is relationships. Relationships are something we spend a great deal of time, thought and energy on. We invest a great deal of ourselves into our relationships and their outcome has a big personal effect on us. Because we are all so unique and diverse, relationships perplex us because we struggle to understand the ways we are different from one another. Some of the differences are healthy and some are unhealthy. It can take a lifetime for a person to understand the intricacies of their relationships, which is why having a public radio relationship specialist to turn to for help is beneficial to us. Some of the most common advice talk radio topics that come up on relationships are as follows:

  • Dating is where romantic relationships start and is a very important advice talk radio topic. Romantic relationships are the most intimate ones we form in life and are therefore the ones we need the most help navigating. Dating is the phase of a relationship where we are just beginning to try to understand the other person and we often find ourselves mystified and in need of advice.
  • Marriage is the most intimate relationship that people form together, which gives them a high potential for dysfunction. No one wants to marry and then turn into a divorce statistic so people frequently turn to the advice of a talk radio host for help.
  • Parenting is a family relationship role that comes with incredible responsibility. Every parent encounters situations that they do not know how to handle, and many appreciate the guidance they receive from advice talk radio hosts.
  • Friendships can be as complex as romantic relationships. It is perfectly natural to want someone to direct questions about friendships towards.
  • Co-workers and bosses are relationships that we are surrounded by for many hours in a week. Even if we do not have close relationships with our bosses and co-workers, we still need to know how to approach them in a healthy manner.
  • Difficult people can be found in everyone’s life, either as close relationships or distant ones that are avoided. They can be the most challenging relationships in our lives, and the guidance of an advice talk radio host can be enormously helpful in dealing with them.

History of Advice Talk Radio

the demand for life adviceAdvice talk radio is part of a long tradition of celebrity advice specialists. Some appear on television, some have columns in editorials and some are talk radio hosts. Advice talk radio is typically hosted by someone with a psychology or psychiatry background because it is life advice that is being sought after. In traditional radio format, the programs are made up of statements by the host, guest interviews and calls that the host receives from the public. The portion of the program that is dedicated to receiving calls is the most important part to the listening audience, because it is their chance to connect with an industry professional for solid life advice.

Public opinion on advice talk radio varies. Some people follow their favorite advice talk radio hosts devoutly and catch every program they air in order to absorb their life wisdom. There are many people who attest to the value of advice talk radio who have had serious issues resolved or guided through the help of the program host. However, there are others who call advice talk radio programs “pop psychology,” meaning that celebrity advice figures are merely selling their brand rather than doing any real good for their listeners. People of this mindset are often harsh critics of psychology in general.

Advice talk radio programs are a free service to their listeners. Radio listeners are free to tune in to them or are free to avoid them. Naturally, those who find them useful will tune in to them and those who do not find them useful will not tune in to them. Therefore, advice talk radio programs are indeed a valuable service for those who are positively effected by them. For many, having access to an industry professional who advises on things that apply to the average listener has made a huge difference in their lives and a positive impact on their mental health.

Helping You Through the Tough Questions

talk radio historyTalk radio has been around since the 1940’S. Currently, programs such as NPR and ABC News and Talk are some of the most popular on talk radio. Despite the fact that radio is no longer the hottest medium to draw in an audience, talk radio has managed to stay current and well-attended through its ability to inform, enlighten, entertain and advise its listeners. Talk radio is still respected as a good source of useful information and sound opinion.

Talk radio is a popular way of taking in news and trending information for many people. Particularly for people who like to take in the news while they are driving, talk radio is an excellent alternative to reading and watching news. Some radio news programs, such as Morning Edition and The Sean Hannity Show, are very highly acclaimed news sources.

While some programs aim to provide unbiased, objective news, other programs are known as opinion radio. Hosts such as conservative Rush Limbaugh or liberal Thom Hartmann provide the news they feel is relevant along with heavily opinionated interpretations of it. Many people prefer this kind of talk radio to straight news, usually because the views of the host represent their own.

Another popular form of talk radio is advice radio. Hosts with a psychology background, such as Bruce Williams and Amy Alkon, accept phone calls from listeners who need life advice and use their expertise to help their listeners through relationship problems, mental health issues, substance abuse and addiction and more. These programs, which predate Dr. Phil and Oprah, have a wide fan base and many followers who rely on the advice that the host dispenses.

And lastly, entertainment talk radio is a great way of staying amused at home or in a vehicle. Comedy radio and sports radio are both examples of this. Entertainment media is most often associated with television and movies as they are more immersive than radio, but some still prefer the content driven programs that are talk radio.