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Nancy Berk, Ph.D.
Nancy Berk, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, humorist and author. Armed with a doctorate from Vanderbilt University, her “Stand-Up Psychology” blends comedy and behavioral expertise to put everyday life on the couch. Nancy’s book >College Bound And Gagged: How to Get Your Kid Into a Great College Without Losing Your Savings, Your Relationship, or Your Mind, tackles the tightrope millions of parents walk during the college process by throwing them a net and some laughs. It can be seen in the feature film Admission starring Tina Fey and Paul Rudd. A lifestyle, education and entertainment expert, Nancy hosts the iTunes’ celebrity podcast Whine At 9 and writes the online entertainment column "Showbiz Analysis" for Parade Magazine.

Entries by Nancy Berk, Ph.D.

Thank You Jon Stewart! Shifting Gears After 50 Doesn't Mean Retirement

(0) Comments | Posted October 22, 2015 | 4:13 PM

I don't know who I loved more this morning, Jon Stewart for once again setting the record straight, or the CBS This Morning's Gayle King for showcasing that the continuously creative Stewart is not hanging up his career, just "settling into his new rhythm."...

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Oprah's O Magazine Turns 15: The Psychosocial Components of Its Continued Popularity

(1) Comments | Posted April 7, 2015 | 3:49 PM

As Oprah Winfrey fans celebrate next month's crystal anniversary of her popular magazine, it's hardly surprising that O, The Oprah Magazine continues to witness circulation success. In a climate of fail-and-fold publications, O addresses the important components that attract its strong demographic and keeps them coming back for...

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Steve Harvey: From Family Feud to The Formula for Success

(5) Comments | Posted March 2, 2015 | 4:06 PM

2015-03-01-SH_shot_02_0029.JPG (photo courtesy of Rogers and Cowan)

Steve Harvey's résumé may read like a non-stop success story, but the Emmy Award-winning television host, radio personality, and bestselling author would hardly describe his personal journey as seamless. In fact, for Harvey, some of the most...

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Vegas Rolls Out Red Carpet for Celebrity Chef Affair

(0) Comments | Posted December 11, 2014 | 12:35 PM

Emeril Lagasse, Buddy Valastro, and Daniel Boulud hit the red carpet (photo courtesy of The Venetian Las Vegas).

What happens in Vegas probably won't "stay in Vegas" once the world catches wind of the city's recent food and entertainment achievement featuring three...

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Actors' New Book Reveals Hidden Images of Old Hollywood

(1) Comments | Posted December 10, 2014 | 9:57 AM

(photograph by Mark Tierney)

Angela Cartwright grew up behind the scenes in Hollywood working with iconic film and television stars in legendary productions. So it seems fitting that The Sound of Music and Lost in Space...

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Baby Daddy Producer Heidi Clements' Fictional Memoir Tackles Aging in Hollywood

(0) Comments | Posted May 30, 2014 | 4:51 PM

For those who are quick to proclaim that "50 is the new 30", Hollywood writer/producer Heidi Clements would beg to differ. "I don't think there's anything sexy about aging. I think that the secret is you have to learn to laugh at it. So that's what I try...

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6 Second Act Career Tips For Baby Boomers

(1) Comments | Posted March 20, 2014 | 6:35 AM

When I left a career in academia to pursue humor writing, there were plenty of outspoken and silent skeptics questioning my motives. Why would a 40-something woman with a Ph.D. (and a clinical psychologist at that) walk away from a steady paycheck? What kind of woman, after years of training...

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5 College Student/Parent Holiday Pet Peeves

(1) Comments | Posted December 20, 2013 | 2:12 PM

By now, most college kids have wrapped up finals and headed home. Their transition from independence back to family living is exciting and sometimes a little bumpy. When I posted this college kid advice in 2011, I didn't recognize its staying power, but some things never change. Below is my...

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Sounding Off on The Sound of Music

(16) Comments | Posted December 3, 2013 | 4:01 PM

This Thursday evening the world will be watching the talented Carrie Underwood step into some big shoes and Austrian-inspired braids to bring The Sound of Music, Live! to a new generation of television watchers. The world has long been fascinated by the magical musical and iconic film. For...

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Elvira, Mistress of the Dark's Halloween Costume Confessions

(5) Comments | Posted October 30, 2013 | 3:13 PM

Image Credits: Photo by Kevin Scanlon, courtesy of Elvira, Inc.

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, has been rocking Halloween 365 days a year for more than three decades. And it seems that Cassandra Peterson, the woman behind the campy vampirish persona,...

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I Told You So: The Common App Hammers Home the Side Effects of Procrastination

(3) Comments | Posted October 15, 2013 | 5:38 PM

This month I had a huge "I told you so" moment thanks to the Common App. It wasn't a good feeling, especially given that plenty of high school seniors and their parents were having down-to-the-wire panic attacks over the system's software fail. But these glitches have hammered home...

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From M*A*S*H to Last Man Standing: Can We Predict Sitcom Success?

(0) Comments | Posted September 24, 2013 | 5:16 PM

As Hollywood rolls out a new season of sitcoms, I couldn't help but wonder if there's a formula for success. Can seasoned hit sitcom writers predict what an audience will love? Are viewers fickle? Do audience demographics and senses of humor shift? I recently had the opportunity to quiz a...

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The 5 Browns on College Admission, Juilliard and Creating a Great Music Portfolio

(0) Comments | Posted September 17, 2013 | 7:00 PM

One of the most challenging pieces of a college application can be the sports, music, art or film portfolio. The best advice often comes from those who've been there and become successful in the process. I recently had the opportunity to ask five musical success stories their suggestions for creating...

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Parental Warning: U.S. News & World Report Releases Best Colleges Rankings

(3) Comments | Posted September 11, 2013 | 9:01 AM

Like every year, as summer wraps and college-bound parental panic begins to surge, U.S. News and World Report shares its rankings of Best Colleges. While one can appreciate the painstaking data collection and the voluminous amount of information packed into one document, the highly publicized lists...

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Humor in the Job Interview Is No Laughing Matter

(4) Comments | Posted August 29, 2013 | 2:36 PM

As a psychologist and comic, I was intrigued by The Today Show's recent report on a Career Builder survey of employers. The results found that a good sense of humor was the top influencing characteristic in the potential employee comparison and selection process. That sounds nice, but without...

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5 College-Bound Conversations to Have Before Your Kid Hits Campus

(0) Comments | Posted August 12, 2013 | 7:59 PM

When the Princeton Review released its list of top party schools this week, parents of college-bound students began pumping up their lecture material on drug and alcohol use. While these safety conversations are critically important, there are also a few conversations most parents don't think to have until...

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Dorm Decorating: Putting Parents in the Mix

(0) Comments | Posted July 23, 2013 | 6:46 PM

This month, Target launched a back-to-college marketing campaign that gives every college-bound kid and their parents a reason to shop. The retailer has captured a family-driven milestone and the myriad of emotions, needs and wants associated with it, while providing problem-solving solutions that are easy on the eyes,...

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After High School Graduation: Summer Strategy for Parents

(1) Comments | Posted May 22, 2013 | 2:53 PM

There's nothing quite like the thrill of high school graduation. For teens, it is a rush of relief and anticipation of independence. For many parents, it is a rush of relief, followed by anxiety related to that same independence. Still, the pride and excitement that floods commencement auditoriums and stadiums...

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School's Out for Summer: 5 Reminders for Family Harmony

(3) Comments | Posted May 7, 2013 | 8:03 PM

After semesters of freedom, moving back home can be confusing for college students. Greeted by gushing relatives, overflowing refrigerators, and clean bed linens, who wouldn't begin to expect continued concierge service?


The problem? Your "hotel" isn't staffed for that. If you're anticipating a tiny...

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Pet Projects

(8) Comments | Posted April 3, 2013 | 5:19 PM

Recently, our Chihuahua Bob and his late brother Gryffyn were featured in the photo-laden humor book A Canine's Guide to the Good Life. Penned (or is that pawed?) by adopted shelter dogs Frankie and LuLu, with a little help from owner/author Donna Cavanagh, the book captures tips that are sure...

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