Emily Roberts, MA, LMHC is a psychotherapist, also known as The Guidance Girl, and is the author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Being Who You Are. Emily is an intensively trained Dialectical Behavioral Therapist, mental health expert, and media contributor. She has been working in the field for over a decade and with Hartstein Psychological Services since 2013.
Emily is a licensed mental health counselor and has a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology from St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas. Emily has worked in academic, hospital, and private practice settings in both Texas and New York. She utilizes her background in neurochemistry, nutrition and solution-focused tools to help clients heal from the inside out.
Emily utilizes a variety of approaches uniquely tailored for each client, including Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Solution Focused Therapy, and Trauma First Aid Training (TFA).
Before joining Hartstein Psychological, Emily ran a private practice, created educational workshops and groups for building self-esteem in children and adolescents, and was a staff therapist for the adolescent unit of Cedar Springs Eating Disorder Treatment Center. She specializes in working with children and young adults, as well as their parents, helping them manage life transitions, trauma, adoption, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, and personality disorders. Emily also works with Neurogistics, a wellness program based in Austin, TX, as their Children’s Program Therapist, consulting with parents and families of children who’ve experienced early childhood trauma.
Emily has been featured in many media outlets, both broadcast, including Dr. Oz and Dr. Drew, and print. She is a thought-leader in mental health featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, MindBodyGreen, Authority Magazine, Thriveworks, Bustle, Business Insider, The Chicago Tribune and much more.
Emily is the creator of Rock Your Worth: Therapist-Approved Tools for Transformation, healing tools that reduce anxious thinking patterns, reinforce positive thoughts and actions, while creating cognitive changes in one’s brain.
Emily’s extensive experience with teens and young adults prompted her to write Express Yourself: A Teen Girl’s Guide to Speaking Up and Being Who You Are, published by New Harbinger Press. Express Yourself is rooted in DBT principles and filled with tools for readers to learn how to communicate with confidence.
1. Why did you choose to become a therapist?
The teen years are complicated for everyone—and as a young adult with an anxiety disorder, coupled with moving across the country, I had a lot to unpack—literally and figuratively. These years were incredibly difficult for me and it was hard to navigate them without guidance. In high school and my early college career, I struggled with low self-esteem and finally found the right therapist for me—one who listened, provided guidance and helped me feel supported. I felt she understood who I was and what I needed. This motivated me to get my masters degree in Psychology, start a practice, begin speaking and writing in a way young people could relate to, and essentially, become the therapist I wished I had when I was younger.
2. What’s your favorite thing about being a therapist?
There are so many things that call me to my work. I love learning from my clients and being able to support them on the path to achieving their goals. I also love the educational component, learning and sharing my mental health knowledge and expertise with the world. My role as psychotherapist has allowed me to speak to audiences around the country, on TV and in person about the importance of mental health—this allows to break down the stigma and help people access the resources to help them heal.
3. What is your general philosophy and approach to helping?
Everyone has mental health, I make this an important part of my work with others, to let them know that everyone has struggled, including me. I meet people where they are, and help them reach their goals. Authenticity and radical genuineness helps me break down barriers that interfere with connection. Since I’ve been “on the other side of the couch,” I know what it’s like to feel validated, heard and helped—conversely, I know what it’s like to feel like a “patient.” I make a valiant effort to make everyone feel comfortable. In my one-on-one work, my groups, videos, media appearances and interviews, I try to make mental health digestible. I want people to feel supported and share a little bit about myself, in order for others to see that mental health impacts us all.
4. If you weren’t a therapist, what would you be doing instead, or what would your life be like?
I would have been a stand-up comedian (according to my friends). I have a way of using humor to connect with others and find it a wonderful antidote for healing.
5. What do you do as self-care? (Mindfulness practices, exercise, etc.)
I think of self-care as non negotiable for my mental health. These things are not always fun or soothing but they keep me emotionally well. I have a daily meditation practice and I work with a meditation and mindfulness coach, who helps keep me accountable. I try to do some movement most days of the week (running and Pilates), as they cause me to be super mindful and in the movement. Making time to be present with my husband and our two dogs (without electronics) is vital for my happiness and gratitude practice. And, a daily gratitude practice. I spend time each day making note of what I’m grateful for—it improves my mood greatly.
6. What’s your favorite quote or mantra?
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be?
7. What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
I’d give her my book and let her know it gets so much better. Also, the people who gossip really turn out to be the most insecure of them all, so don’t let the actions of others interfere with your confidence and your path, they are just distracting you from your greatness.
8. If you could invite three famous people to dinner, alive or dead, who would they be?
Tough question. It’s a toss up between the people I haven’t been able to see in person since the Pandemic started, or Mohandas Gandhi—I’m certain he would have some wonderful guidance for dealing with the state of the world right now. Brene Brown, because I’ve been in awe of her research for years. And probably Oprah—I admire her and her ability to share wisdom, from all different modalities, to the world. Plus, I want to be on her podcast Super Soul Sunday.
9. What’s something you are most proud of?
My book Express Yourself—I always wanted to be able to give people a toolkit for feeling better, so this book really was a dream come true. The writing and publishing process was challenging, but I persevered knowing that people really needed, and wanted, these tools for developing confidence. Recently a young woman in Turkey sent me a message on Instagram saying that “your book has helped me feel so much better about my friendships. I felt so alone and then I read your book, I feel like it will get better.” The fact that a young woman halfway around the world was able to get this information, blew me away! Also, that it was translated in Turkish, that was cool too. Bottom line, I was able to get the tools to people who need them. That’s a goal I always wanted to accomplish, and one I will continue to work towards. My book was just one avenue and one I’m very proud of.
10. What do you wish other people knew about mental health?
That everyone has mental health. Honoring our emotions, and the emotions of others, rather than judging or ignoring them, is healthy. The more accepting we are of others the kinder and more positive this world will be.