By Katie Fallon
As a local resident and area psychologist, Dr. Richard Blue may sound like an ordinary, suburban husband and father.
Except, however, the 61-year-old father of two grown children has also crafted himself a following of thousands, and maybe millions, through his weekly appearances on Star94’s “Cindy and Ray” radio program.
Every Wednesday at 5:30, Blue takes to the airways to help callers who need his advice about everything from personal issues and romantic relationships to problems in the workplace and family dysfunction.
Blue, who received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UNC Chapel Hill and a PhD in counseling and psychological services from Georgia State University, has lived and worked in Sandy Springs since 1991.
With his Lake Forrest Drive office a solo practice for the last nine years, Blue’s voice is now recognizable to more than just the patients who visit his office. In his third year with the Cindy and Ray Show, Blue said his stint on radio began by accident.
“It’s like everything is linked,” he said. “I gave a talk to a doctor’s group. In that group was a woman who knew Mark Kanov, who is the station’s general manager. It was the right place and the right time. They said I could just come once.”
Blue, however, came more than once and just celebrated his 150th show on Oct. 3. He said despite the sometimes emotional nature of the calls he receives during his segment, the radio appearance is still a thrill for him.
“I like talking and speaking to groups, but this is really the highlight of my week because I do one-on-one therapy,” Blue said. “Anytime I can give talks, but the radio is truly the icing on the cake.”
The bulk of what Blue’s callers come to him for is various forms of relationship advice.
“Everything’s relationships,” the psychologist said. “It really has to do with dealing with the stress in the relationship. ”
For instance, one caller on a recent show called Blue because her husband had just been arrested earlier that day. Because it was the husband’s second offense, the caller said he could go to prison for three to five years. She needed Blue’s advice because she did not know whether to be angry at her husband, whose offense she did not describe, or worried about the family’s future.
Blue’s advice? Take it day by day, care for her children and not worry about what the future holds.
Blue said he hopes to continue his appearances on Cindy and Ray. As he walks the radio station’s halls on the way to the show’s studio, everyone from receptionists to promotions personnel offer a chipper “Hi, Dr. Blue!” when they see him.
“It’s just fun,” Blue said. “I come down to the station and everybody says hi. From an ego point, everybody recognizes my voice and asks if I’m on the radio. I’m very appreciative because like everything else, nothing is forever.”
Blue’s brand of on-air psychology is much like the counseling he administers in his private practice. One approach he preaches often is keeping a positive attitude.
“Anybody can get into the negative,” Blue said. “It’s making a new beginning with a focus on staying positive. Whatever you do, think about what’s going right, not what’s going wrong.”
Blue said his practice hasn’t grown exponentially since he began appearing on the radio, but that the publicity “doesn’t hurt.”
A member of both the Sandy Springs Business Association and Leadership Sandy Springs, Blue said he wants to become more involved in the community outside of just his practice.
Blue’s life also includes Israeli-born wife Esti, to whom he has been married for 33 years. The two met while Blue was volunteering in Israel during the Yom Kippur War of 1973.
In his spare time, Blue also enjoys running and working out five times every week at one of the two local gyms he is a member.