Dr. Robi Ludwig. Psychotherapist, Author and Media Personality

Dr. Robi Ludwig

How does your environment shape your future? Do your surroundings tell us something about where we are going? Is nature, destiny, and are we indeed a composite of our closest friends? For Dr. Robi Ludwig, the question of how much of an impact these factors have on the development of one’s future self and identity within society is quite settled. Citing the close relationship Dr. Robi Ludwig shares with her two sisters, Ludwig is unequivocal in her belief that these critical people shaped and molded who she is and her perspective on the world. That is why it is important for her to not only celebrate her own accomplishments but also those people who walked with her along the path to success.

And no two people made more of an impact on Dr. Robi Ludwig’s career trajectory than her sisters, Ramy Sharp and Lori Rosenbaum. Referencing her career in psychotherapy, Dr. Ludwig shares with us her inspirations from psychoanalysis and how her own therapy helped her realize her future path. Burnished with media training and brimming with intelligence, Ludwig has become a regular on the media circuity as well as an accomplished author. Noting the massive impact of media, Dr. Ludwig shares with us some insights into how to connect with people using this format. In fact, it is this desire to connect with others, and help them realize their agency as individuals and as couples, that drives much of her counseling work.

It is this desire to help others “help themselves” that pushed her to pioneer new avenues of communication, such as social media, as well as expanding her media presence to include relevant content that helps drive home the central message that each individual has the power to realize improvement through education and awareness. For the photoshoot, Dr. Robi Ludwig selected the Helwaser Gallery where her daughter is developing and curating shows. The gallery’s current pieces from Veronique Cauchefer were a major part of this decision as the artist’s focus on femininity and the creative power of the female spirit perfectly aligns with Ludwig’s messages of individual empowerment.  

You decided to shoot your cover with your two sisters, can you tell us why you decided to take this approach?

As a psychotherapist I am very aware of how siblings can shape our lives and identity. Studies show having a sister, or in my case sisters, can make you more optimistic, kinder, and happier. They can also boost your mental well-being and self-esteem. My sisters Ramy Sharp, the creative director of Ramy Brook (www.RamyBrook.com) and Lori Rosenbaum, the account director at The Key Collective Group have shaped my identity as a person and as a professional. If life gets challenging, I know my sisters will always have my back and provide me with sound and excellent ideas. When looking back at my career, I know I would not be the professional I am without our special bond with one another. I am very grateful Totalprestige Magazine allowed me this opportunity to do this photo shoot, to not only celebrate me but to include my two younger sisters.

From left to right Lori Rosenbaum, Ramy Brook Sharp, Dr. Robi LudwigART: Veronique Cauchefer, L’ascenseur, 2021, Acrylic on canvas, 39 3/8 x 39 3/8 in (RIGHT) Veronique Cauchefer, Beautys, 2021, Acrylic on canvas, 31 7/8 x 39 3/8 in (LEFT)

From left to right Lori Rosenbaum, Ramy Brook Sharp, Dr. Robi Ludwig
ART: Veronique Cauchefer, L’ascenseur, 2021, Acrylic on canvas, 39 3/8 x 39 3/8 in (RIGHT)
Veronique Cauchefer, Beautys, 2021, Acrylic on canvas, 31 7/8 x 39 3/8 in (LEFT)

You also were very deliberate about where you wanted this photoshoot to be done, at the prestigious Helwaser Gallery on the Upper East Side, on Madison Avenue.

Yes, my daughter Jaimie, who works in the fine arts industry was managing the Helwaser Gallery this summer (www.HelwaserGallery.com ),curating shows and interfacing with artists and buyers. We chose to be photographed at the Helwaser Gallery during their exhibition of the Parisian Artist Veronique Caucherfer titled ‘Emoi entre Deux Murs’. The Exhibition examines the ever-changing relationship between women and their domestic interiors, touching upon societal expectations and practices regarding beauty and motherhood. Cauchefer fills her canvas with vibrant colors and eclectic patterns, resembling the style of Henri Matisse adapted through a quintessential female lens with a surrealist twist.

I found myself relating to Cauchefer’s works as she touches upon collective female memories. An example of this can be seen in the painting ‘Beautys’ (2021), which offers a voyueristic glimpse into the sometimes tantalizing and other times empowering process of pampering, depicting generations of women getting ready together. It parallels the feminine themes in my family, growing up with two sisters and a very glamorous mother.

ART: Veronique Cauchefer, Beautys, 2021, Acrylic on canvas, 31 7/8 x 39 3/8 in

ART: Veronique Cauchefer, Beautys, 2021, Acrylic on canvas, 31 7/8 x 39 3/8 in

Dr. Ludwig, please start by telling us about your career as a psychotherapist.

I always tell people I decided to be a therapist when I was in 2nd grade. I remember this childhood day so clearly. I was leaving Milton Elementary school talking to a friend. I declared that I wanted to be a psychologist when i grew up. As my mother reminded me, I actually thought I was a therapist from that moment on. I came from a psychologically savvy family, so I have always looked at the world through a psychological lens.

What influenced you to work in the field of psychotherapy?

I was very much influenced by my own therapy and psychoanalysis at the time. I so admired it and looked up to my therapist, Dr. Vicki Semel. She worked within a modern psychoanalytic modality, which I later studied at The Center for Modern Psychoanalysis in the West Village in New York City. Later my supervisor, Dr. Patricia Bratt, was also a great source of inspiration and information who helped shape the psychotherapist and television commentator that I am today.

You have an extensive media resume and have worked regularly with Nightline, CNN, TODAY, Court TV and The Fox News Channel. How did you transition from working as a psychotherapist to working in the media?

I realized in High School that I wanted to combine my love of psychology with television. My uncle, Irv Gikofsky ( Mr. G.) was and still is a New York City weatherman and a local celebrity and icon in his field. I was influenced by the glamour of television and the impact it can have in sharing information. When I saw Dr. Joyce Brothers on TV it was an aha moment for me.
I majored in Communications at college and psychology. So, I had a dual focus throughout my educational career. But getting into the TV business can be challenging. I took a course at NYU (it was a gift from my husband) for people who wanted to get into the TV profession both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. I found and hired a coach who trained me to speak on camera and write packages. I put together a resume tape of my work, which helped me to get my foot in the door. I was fortunate that my national appearances raised my profile to be known as an expert in my field and the rest is history.

Tell me about your experience of working on television shows and the impact it has had on your career.

I have so loved my experience working in television. This aspect of my career has brought so much pleasure, passion and joy into my life. It’s very creative. Each television show has a different feel and energy. The TV business is a very social career. I have met so many interesting people and friends throughout my journey in television.

Through my various shows I have had the opportunity to share important psychological information in a digestible way that’s easy to understand. My work on television feels very much like teaching, with the perks of getting my hair and makeup done.

In 2006, your book, ’Till Death Do Us Part: Love, Marriage and the Mind of the Killer Spouse was published. What was the writing experience like and what did you learn from it?

I loved writing my first book. Writing a book is a labor of love. There’s a lot of research involved which I really enjoy. And delving into the psychological intricacies of the murderous mind is endlessly fascinating. This first book was not my idea. It was suggested to me by my literary agent, Andrew Stuart.

I saw myself as more of a self-help type of gal. After giving it some thought, I was very interested in exploring how someone could fall in love with a person who would end up killing them. This question was a driving force for me to want to find out the answer to this very intriguing idea.

You followed up ’Till Death Do Us Part: Love, Marriage and the Mind of the Killer Spouse with a new book in 2016, titled, Your Best Age is Now. It is safe to say it is a departure from some of your previous work on crime. Firstly, tell us about the book.

You’re so right. My first and second books are very different from each other..
I choose what I want to write about based on what I am curious and feel passionately about. At the time I wrote Your Best Age is Now, I wanted to delve into some of the cultural misconceptions there were (and still are) about midlife and aging. At the time, most of the books and articles about midlife were negative, funny but derogatory, and centered around loss and losing relevance. It was not in sync with what I was observing around me, so I wanted to look deeper into this curious divide. And the research confirmed what I had theorized, that midlife can be a time of thriving, growing and yes, relevancy and beauty.

From left to right Lori Rosenbaum, Dr. Robi Ludwig, Ramy Brook Sharp

From left to right Lori Rosenbaum, Dr. Robi Ludwig, Ramy Brook Sharp

Why did you decide to move away from the true crime genre?

As for moving away from the crime genre, I still talk about and do commentary about crime and true crime topics regularly on Court TV. I just like to give myself the freedom to write about what speaks to me in the moment. And it’s all psychological, so that’s the common theme for me.

Tell us about the counselling services clients can book with you. How can people improve their mindset working with you?

I work with adults both individually and do couple counseling. I have worked with my patients both long term and short term. I have seen some patients for over 20 years. As far as mindset goes, most people who come to see me are motivated to work on themselves and their lives. They want to feel better and have more agency over their lives. All patients need to do is show up, say what comes to mind and be open to looking at themselves and their lives from various viewpoints. And over time, this approach helps my patients to feel better and do better. It’s extraordinary to witness this process unfold.

Dr. Ludwig, along with writing, counselling, and successful psychotherapy practice, you are also the Executive Producer and Host of the Facebook Live Show “Talking Live” on Facebook Watch and the Podcast “Talking Live with Dr. Robi Ludwig” How did you become involved with the show? What topics do you cover?

I was originally approached by a former producer I worked with at The Montel Williams show, at the beginning of my career. He and his partner approached me with the idea of doing my own show on Facebook Watch. From there I decided to also convert parts of the show into a podcast. Many of the guests initially were people who I had worked with and admired. The beauty of being the creator and host of this platform is I get to drive the content and shine a light on topics I feel are important to tell or share. I interview thought leaders who are sharing their talents and skills with the world. This experience has really opened up my world in ways I could have never imagined.

As a busy entrepreneur, writer, and media star, how do you find time to be creative and begin new projects?

It’s definitely challenging. I am always thinking about new ways to convey and present ideas I find exciting, meaningful and thought provoking. It’s just the way my brain works. I am motivated and feel excited about sharing content and psychological ideas I feel passionately about. There’s always a way to make room for activities that feel exciting!

ART: Veronique Cauchefer, Vision, 2021, Acrylic on canvas, 23 5/8 x 28 3/4 in, (60 x 73 cm)

ART: Veronique Cauchefer, Vision, 2021, Acrylic on canvas, 23 5/8 x 28 3/4 in, (60 x 73 cm)

Dr. Ludwig, how is a day in your life?

Oh, wow… let me give this some thought. I have my patient/private practice days. Those days are primarily committed to seeing patients. Occasionally I will have a TV segment either before or after I see patients. On my TV days I will prepare to go into the studio. I do a regular Mental Health segment at NBC studios for NBC News Now’s Mental Health Check segments, which will require me to get TV ready. My TV days can be more flexible where I’m also able to connect with friends and colleagues.

What is something most people don’t know about you?

Hmmm – good question! I love to match people up, I’m a little bit of a publicist in my own mind and I am an avid jewelry collector and even designed my own inspirational jewelry line for QVC and ShopNBC several years ago.

Choose two of your favorite quotes and write them here

My wise mother and grandmother would always say, “Bloom where you are planted.” I do believe starting where you are is the best way to get to where you want to go.

I’m also a big fan of Norman Vincent Peale’s positive philosophy of life. My favorite quote of his is “Keep thinking, keep interested, keep praying, keep dreaming.” – DR. NORMAN VINCENT PEALE

If you had the power to change just one thing in the world, what would it be?

I’m a big romantic. I suppose I would wish that everyone would find their soulmate. Finding love and having a healthy loving relationship is a great way to make the world a happier place.

To know more about Dr. Robi Ludwig please visit https://drrobiludwig.com

Images credit: Vital Agibalow
Location: Helwaser Gallery
Hair & Makeup: Jade Voight
Fashion: Ramy Brook Fall Collection

 

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