A Conversation with Dr. Jerome Burt
By:  Jeremy Snow

Mar 14, 2017
"I live and breathe this work. And if you want to know my truth, it doesn’t even feel like work. Because there is nothing so beautiful to me as watching you evolve as you learn to own your truth and start really connecting with your community." -- Dr. Jerome Burt

 

Are you ready for TEDxNashville 2017? We’re ecstatic to have Dr. Jerome Burt presenting this year. He is a clinical psychologist at Heritage Medical Associates, specializing in working with people who suffer from chronic mood and anxiety disorders. Earlier this month he took some time to reflect on his upcoming Talk:

 

What got you interested in speaking at TEDxNashville?

Every self-described great idea that comes to mind about improving peoples’ lives….to me TED audiences are the best for implementing or putting any passion to practice.

Can you recall where you were and what you were doing when you found out you were selected?

Simply in the middle of my work day. What was going through my mind? Wow! And of course a lot of magical thinking “what does this mean…what’s the universe trying to say to me?” Stuff like that because I believe the TED stage is the holy grail of stages for communicating ideas that change the world for the better.

What are you looking forward to the most from your talk? The event in general?

 People being moved by the talks. People feeling a deeper sense of community and enthusiasm for living in Nashville as they sit with and speak with other awesome attendees. I want people to buy-in to my message as well as the other speakers’ messages.

What places do you recommend out-of-town attendees check out?

When I want show off Nashville, make people gush or want to live here, [I say] running or walking the trails at Percy Warner, cycling all the neighborhoods on the same day, and dining at any venue owned by Strategic Hospitality (because the Goldberg boys know how to set the stage for a dinner party).

Do you have any favorite TED Talks that inspired you or that you would want to tell others about?

My favorites: Jill Bolte Taylor’s My Stroke of Insight (which was so touching it elicited more tears in 20mins that The Color Purple in 2 hours); Brene Brown’s The Price of Invulnerability (a TEDx Talk before she did TED and the one that made her one of my wellbeing gurus); Ester Perel’s, The Secret to Desire In A Long-term Relationship (I generalize her points in this to our relationship with everything…wanting and having tap different anatomical systems….just good stuff to fully appreciate.

Do you have any moments of inspiration that led you to choosing your career-path that you could share?

I was busy teaching “jerobics” and being a self-described fitness guru when my dear friend Lisa Miles challenged me to do more with my life. She believed I had a higher calling and responsibility to the black community. Psychology was naturally appealing because I felt as a trainer I was already doing this and nothing intrigues me more than human behavior. And soon after, I met Michael Lambert, the first African American psychologist I’d ever met or even knew of. He further inspired and encouraged me. These two changed my trajectory in life. A serious hook up because being a psychologist accounts for me feeling like my life is immensely meaningful, fulfilling, most joyful.

TEDxNashville.Jerome.Burt

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