We had the good fortune of connecting with Kerry Kerr McAvoy, Ph.D. and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kerry Kerr, what do you attribute your success to?
I have learned to use my personal failures for the benefit of others.

Seven years ago, I was widowed after being married for thirty-one years. Propelled by grief, I rushed back into the dating world too fast and met and married a very abusive man. For two years I struggled to hold our failing relationship together, then he walked out. Devastated and confused, I began to write my story while I blogged about emotional and narcissistic abuse. This led me to connect with other creators who encouraged me to post on Instagram and TikTok.

In Feb, I published Love You More: The Harrowing Tale of Lies, Sex Addiction, & Double Cross, an autobiographical story of narcissistic abuse. Over the past few weeks, it has ranked in Amazon’s top 100 best-selling ebooks and audiobooks in several categories. As my brand grows, I’ve met so many other men and women like myself: narcissistic abuse survivors who are trying to recover and heal.

I believe a willingness to be radically honest about my story–to vulnerably share what went wrong–has helped me not only to heal but also to connect with others.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I decided to be a psychologist when as a fourteen-year-old I stumbled across an article in a magazine describing the job. Once I started counseling, I realized the fit was wrong. Clients got better, but I was burning out. Then my husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and I closed my practice.

Once widowed, I found myself with way too much time on my hands. I was single with all my children grown. I remarried and divorced, only to find myself in the same position as before. I knew going back to counseling wasn’t the answer, yet I still loved psychology and enjoyed helping people.

So I began to use the written word and short videos to communicate my practical knowledge. It’s been an incredible discovery. Growing a brand has been hard work. The consistency needed is grueling. It also takes distilling a complicated message into a short sound bite.

Honestly? I’ve never been happier. People connect with authentic vulnerability. There’s something special almost magical when that happens.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I moved to Austin, Texas the summer of 2019. What a fascinating place. There’s a saying you hear a lot around here. It’s “keep Austin weird.” That makes sense. Everywhere you go you feel an acceptance to be just yourself.

I love walking along the Colorado River in downtown Austin. Kayaks litter the waterway while couples walk the sidewalk, hand-in-hand. Live music is available at small bars and restaurants. Each year the highlight is the Austin City Limits annual festival that occurs two weekends in early October. Big-name artists and upcoming performers are featured across a large outdoor park for the three-day event.

I’ve lived in several great cities across the United States, but Austin is by far my favorite.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Writing is not just an art, but also a skill. I used to be a horrible writer. So bad, that several of my graduate-level professors expressed surprise I was succeeding as a doctoral candidate.

Shortly after I began writing my book, I joined an online writing group, Ninja Writers. Shaunta Grimes, a published author, offered a year-long program for those who wanted to improve their craft. Each week, Adrienne Grimes, her daughter listened to me read twenty-minutes worth of my story. It wasn’t just Adrienne’s helpful advice and constructive feedback, but her belief that I could successfully write a memoir that helped propel me forward

My skill exploded as I attended editing classes and breakout writing sessions. I owe a huge thank you to Ninja Writers, Shaunta Grimes, and Adrienne Grimes.

Website: https://kerrymcavoyphd.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kerrymcavoyphd/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKLQyhjWUzWrBfoQlC5ZotQ

Other: TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@kerrymcavoyphd

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.