Monday, September 11, 2023

Q&A with Bernard J. Owens Jr.



Bernard J. Owens Jr. is the author of the book The Only Thing Wrong With You Is That You Think Something's Wrong With You. He works as a clinician in mental health crisis intervention and suicide prevention, and he lives in Washington, D.C.


Q: What inspired you to write The Only Thing Wrong With You, and what impact did writing the book have on you?


A: After years of successfully working in the mental health field as well as managing my own mental health journey, I realized that so many people struggle with the same issues of loneliness, isolation, and low self-worth that I had once wrestled with. 


I wrote the book as a road map and love letter to anyone who could benefit from a little guidance and additional support.


Q: How was the book’s title chosen, and what does it signify for you?


A: The title is a manifestation of the no-nonsense approach my paternal grandmother took to having a positive outlook on life and the freedom that comes from self-acceptance.


Q: You include song lyrics at the start of the book’s chapters--how did you choose those?


A: The song lyrics are meant to act as fun and reflective mile markers along my life’s journey, signify specific points in my life, and in many ways, reflect the mood of what I was feeling at that moment.


Q: Who do you see as the audience for the book, and what do you hope readers take away from it?


A: The audience for my book is anyone who’s felt confused, left behind or hopeless. My book is for anybody who has felt like a nobody at some point in life.


Q: What are you working on now?


A: I am currently preparing to record a TEDx talk in Atlanta, Georgia. I will address loneliness, isolation, misunderstanding, and the importance of human connection in healing relationships.


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: My life is dedicated to inspiring the lives of others and reminding people of their inherent worth.


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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