According to the Podcasting Historical Timeline and Milestones, podcasts have been around since 2004. Even though there is no specific date, the launch of podcasts was 17 years ago, and we can credit it to Adam Curry and Dave Winer. Since then, millions of individuals have created, listened to, and participated in thousands of shows. Most of us turn to podcasts during long drives, a few free hours after work, or in the never-ending days of lockdown. They are—and always have been—a great source of entertainment. That is why it is no wonder Maryellen Dance, Licensed Mental Health Therapist, turned to this media to provide help to others.
At the age of 27, Maryellen Dance started her own mental health practice in Rochester, New York. In the beginning, she had $1,000 in her bank account and the passion for helping those struggling. Nowadays, four years later, her office is the workplace of four other therapists and one office manager. She was able to grow her dream into a reality and make sure her practice became a safe space for different patients.
What differentiates Dance from other therapists? She does not believe in the term “self-care” and is one hundred percent honest about how messy she can be. For this reason, she has labeled herself as an “okay-ish therapist” who is trying to debunk the myths about therapy and mental health. With this goal in mind, she started her podcast, Okay-ish, six months ago. This show is dedicated to discussing how, in her opinion, the culture of self-improvement is actually hurting individuals and helping them understand what therapy is for and what kind of work can help improve your mental health.
The Okay-ish podcast gives listeners the opportunity to hear emotional, honest, and raw insight from a licensed specialist. Maryellen Dance says her audience will “almost always [find her] talking about how taking a bubble bath or doing yoga does not help anxiety.” This opinion was built on her belief that although self-help can be positive, it can be negative. Dance says, “self-help does not ‘cure’ mental health.” That is why she wants to use her platform to share her message, staying positive and upbeat.
The first episode of Dance’s podcast went live August 17, 2020, and ever since she has been posting an episode per week. For those 15 to 20 weekly minutes, the audience gets to listen to a licensed professional who is significantly down to earth. She shows them her work is dedicated to getting to the root of their problems without merely asking “how does that make you feel?”
For many years now, Maryellen Dance has been in the business of helping people feel better, being okay-ish. Her goal has always been to show clients and listeners a positive way to become the best version of themselves. Although she does not believe in self-care or self-help as a magic cure for mental health, she believes everyone can improve and work on their mental health. That is the message she has been spreading through her Okay-ish podcast for the last six months.
Maryellen Dance is the okay-ish therapist everyone needs in their life.