FYI Network’s newest show, “#BlackLove” follows the lives of five successful, modern Black women, including newly single Monet Bell from season one of “Married at First Sight,” as they deal with the issues hindering them from finding a fulfilling and loving relationship in New York City.
The fabulous women will receive counseling and dating advice from relationship gurus to assist them with making better choices. Among the experts is psychotherapist Jack A. Daniels, aka “The king of breakthroughs.” Daniels is a best-selling author, award-winning speaker and TV personality.
Rolling out had a chance to catch up with Daniels to find out why he chose to join the show, the reasons Black women can’t find a man, and why Black men are choosing to date other races.
What is your role as a psychotherapist?
I am a guy who specializes in getting people unstuck and helping them overcome the fears that they have been perplexed with for a number of years. I also specialize in helping people find confidence, their voice and, of course, love.
What motivated you to make such a fascinating career choice?
I was actually working in corporate America and I went through a horrible breakup that put me in a state where I had to figure out how to heal. As I was healing, I ended up touching the lives of other people through writing and speaking. Someone finally asked me if I could help them and I didn’t know I had this talent. I helped her extremely fast and she passed my information on to about three of her friends and it kept spiraling from there. I began to take it seriously and went back to school and later retired from the job that I hated. My clients range from celebrities to single moms to athletes and a lot of high-profile executives. I am in a unique position.
What is the toughest part of your job?
The most challenging part is not having enough time. My purpose in life is to help people and I try to do that in as many ways as I possibly can. The most frustrating part is that I have helped so many people to the point where I can’t remember any of their names. It sort of gets into a blur after a while because I pour so much of myself into people. It is really about focusing on the issues and not the individual. I know that I should see people for more of who they are, but for me I am always thinking about how can I help this person break through.
How did you get cast for FYI’s “#BlackLove”?
They reached out to me and it was because of all the work that I’ve done. I have been offered to do a number of shows and have also been featured on some. I am really selective about what I do because I have seen too much of what reality television has done to the image of Black women. It has degraded them in a number of ways and I didn’t want to be a part of that. The network assured me that this was a show that would uplift them. I only want to be a part of something that is going to help move our culture forward and change it in a capacity that highlights them and doesn’t hurt them. This show is a reality great chance for people to see Black women and Black relationships in a positive light.
When watching the trailer for the show, the women appear to be very successful and career driven. Do you think that deters Black women from finding love when their focus is primarily on their careers?
I think that is their individual choice. I tell them all the time that what they focus on is what they will find. If you’re focused on a career and getting to the top, then that is where you’re going to be, but if you’re focused on your family or marriage, then those are some of the things that are going to come to fruition. I know there is a stereotype for successful Black women to find a good man, but it is all about your focus. Strong women will only intimidate weak men. As long as you keep attracting weak men, then that is going to be your story. With this show, we are going dispel some of those rumors and stigmas.
We often hear the term Black love, but do you think Black women feel it still exists with some Black men choosing to date outside their race?
That is definitely a perception that is out there and I’m not saying that it isn’t true. There are guys that are just into that. What’s funny is that you can usually tell the guys that are into other races. You know if he likes White girls. I was talking to a childhood friend of mine who I went to middle school and high school with. She was talking about a couple of guys we knew who married White women. I was not surprised. These two guys weren’t selected by Black women when they were young because they were nerdy. They probably felt rejected and now won’t date them. You have to go back to a person’s childhood and past. The same thing goes for athletes. They get sent off to predominately White colleges and so they date what they are around. We are what we see.
What do you anticipate “#BlackLove” will do for Black women and the Black community?
I hope they take away solutions that get them outside of their comfort zone and their norm. I hope that it challenges them to do something different, so whatever they have been doing in their routine they will change. These changes can help bring them someone that has qualities and can bring them, love. I hope this show will start a dialogue and a conversation that challenges them to think differently.
What are your career expectations for 2016?
I am working on a tour for next fall and I have a few books that I am working on coming out with. There is also another docu-series type show that I am in, but I can’t say too much about it. The books will be coming out by spring and they do not have titles yet. I have three of them in the pipeline, so it really depends on which one they select first. [There are] going to be a lot of great things happening in 2016.
Watch “#BlackLove” on Tuesdays at 10:15 p.m. EST on FYI Network.
View a preview of the show on the next page.