Interview with Dr. Jennifer Freed, author of 'Stanley the Cat'

For more than 25 years, Jennifer Freed, Ph.D., has been a licensed marriage and family counselor, group psychotherapist and educator. She was the Clinical Director at PACIFICA GRADUATE INSTITUTE, one of the country’s leading centers for depth psychology, where she continues to serve as a professor and workshop leader.
Dr. Freed is a recognized expert on behavioral matters such as teen bullying, character development, marriage and family relationships, and diversity issues. She has provided thousands with the practical tools to compassionately reassess personal behaviors and make significant life changes.

National media appearances include GOOD MORNING AMERICA, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO, ABC NEWS, FOX NEWS, SIRRIUS RADIO, AIR AMERICA, USA TODAY, DISNEY.COM, LIFESCRIPT.COM, and others. Jennifer Freed currently hosts the popular radio program FREED UP! on Voice America.

Jennifer Freed is the co-founder/director of the highly successful teen program called THE ACADEMY OF HEALING ARTS (AHA!), which serves more than 1000 families annually in the state of California. AHA! is dedicated to the development of character, imagination, emotional intelligence, and social conscience in teenagers , while helping them set goals, support their peers, and serve their community. For The Academy of Healing Arts, Dr. Freed created the educational book series “BECOME YOUR BEST SELF”, which includes workbooks on Relationship Wisdom, Character, Compassion and Creative Expression, targeted to teens and young adults.

In addition to the workbook series, Dr. Freed has published THE ULTIMATE PERSONALITY GUIDE, a popular interactive guidebook for understanding personality typologies. Her latest book published by Penguin, LESSONS FROM STANLEY THE CAT: Nine Lives of Everyday Wisdom, inspired by a beloved feline friend, has received rave reviews. To learn more about Stanley, please visit

Dr. Freed is the recipient of the 2009 Santa Barbara’s Local Heroes Award and THE HOPE AWARD from Sierra Tucson Treatment Center, in recognition of her innovative curriculum for high school teenagers, which led to a 75% reduction in school suspensions. The Academy of Healing Arts was just awarded YOUTH PROGRAM OF THE YEAR by the City of Santa Barbara in 2010 and AHA! is also the recipient of the 2010 Southern California Teen Coalition Teenie Award in the category of Be the Change Award – this category recognizes youth/teen groups/organizations that are working to help teens make a difference in the world or in their community by projects, activities or personal changes that actually make tangible differences. The membership of the SCTC is about 500 strong with about 70 or more agencies represented.

She also was the founder of the statewide program called THE MEDIA PROJECT which worked with teens to produce media products for the prevention of drugs and violent offenses.

Additionally, Jennifer is a renowned psychological astrologer with thousands of clients all over the country and the world. She is the director of Astrological Counseling Seminars which has provided classes to over a thousand students. She has also maintained a clinical practice in Santa Barbara serving individuals, couples, and families for 26 years.

You can visit her website at

Q: Thank you for this interview Dr. JENNIFER FREED Can you tell us what your latest book, is all about?
LESSONS FROM STANLEY THE CAT:NINE LIVES OF EVERYDAY WISDOM is my psychological translation of the witty lessons my cat of 19 years gave to me.

Q: How did you come up with the idea?
My cat passed away and he inspired me to pass on his wisdom.

Q: What kind of research did you do before and during the writing of your book?
Lots of contemplation on CAT psyches but no formal research.

Q: If a reader can come away from reading your book with one valuable message, what would that be?
That Teachers come in all shapes and sizes and we can learn much about LOVE AND LIFE if we pay close attention to all the people and creatures around us.

Q: Can you give us a short excerpt?

  • Trust your instincts and stay away from people or creatures who smell like bad things or bad moods.

  • If you pay close attention, you will find that you can sense when someone is not going to be kind to you. They give off a certain odor of irritation and their posture looks cranky. There is no point in trying to smooth out someone else’s foul mood. Keep your attitude clean and positive and eventually their dark cloud will pass.

Q: In your own experience, is it hard to get a nonfiction book published today? How did you do it?
I think it is incredibly difficult however I was blessed with lots of angels who opened the right doors for me.

Q: What’s a typical day like for you?
I get up at 7 am and write till about 11 am and then I work two jobs to support myself and continue writing. I co-direct and I am also an educator/therapist/coach

Q: What’s next for you?
A sequel of course!!!!!!

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Dr. Freed. We wish you much success!
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