By Rebecca White

Over a year ago, Dr. Darcy Sterling received an email inviting her to audition for a new reality TV series, Famously Single, which focuses on helping eight single celebrities work through their relationship problems. Having made her television debut on E! in 2011, the network was familiar with her, so she flew out, auditioned, and the rest is history. Her experience as a licensed clinical social worker and relationship expert facilitates her work to help individuals and couples who want more out of life. She hosts workshops focused on psychology and runs a Q&A blog. In our exclusive celebrity interview, Dr. Darcy dishes on the Famously Single cast members, from who was her favorite to who surprised her the most, and shares her best relationship advice.

Dr. Darcy Dishes On Famously Single Cast In This Celebrity Interview

In the latest celebrity news, before filming the show began, Dr. Darcy reveals that she was most concerned about working with Jersey Shore star Pauly D. “Based on what I knew of him, which was very little, he’s a big prankster always making wise cracks. I thought he was going to be the difficult, oppositional child in the classroom,” the social worker shares. “He actually turned out to be one of my favorites! Not that a mom really has favorites, but he was a delight to work with. He came in so earnest and really showed up with an openness to the process that made it so easy to work with him.” However, now that she’s finished filming the show, Dr. Darcy says that Somaya Reece surprised her the most. On the show, Reece shared her story of domestic abuse and became a poster child for resilience. “How she bounced back from that was mind-boggling,” Dr. Darcy says. “It speaks to human resilience and she is such an inspiration.”

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The main premise of the reality TV series is to teach relationship skills to celebrities who are infamous for being single. But since filming ended, the celebrities who have the best chance of finding love after this experience are those who were able to learn about themselves. “Those celebs that walked away learning about themselves, taking personal responsibility, recognizing that they’ve made mistakes in the past that having nothing to do with being famous are the ones who have the best chance at finding love,” the therapist says. While being famous supersizes relationship problems, notoriety doesn’t create problems that didn’t pre-exist. With Dr. Darcy leading the group therapy sessions, these celebs can’t use fame as the reason for their relationship issues. “The fact that they’re famous is not justification for why they’re single,” the psychologist shares. After discussing their issues and teaching them relationship skills, the celebrities have had a chance to practice these skills through interacting with each other and mock dates.

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The celebrity couple who made the biggest splash in the headlines was Brandi Glanville and Calum Best, who began dating on the show. Although their courtship has ended, Dr. Darcy says both celebrities have learned a lot about themselves from the experience. “Brandi is much more aware of certain things she’s done and Calum has thrown himself into yoga, which is major progress for him,” she adds. “The show wasn’t meant to create long-term sustainable change, though. It was intended to provoke a level of awareness in everyone and ignite a desire in each individual to go on their own journey and do their own work.” After working with the celebs, the therapist says that Glanville does tend to pick the wrong people for her, but that there is a reason she’s attracted to certain types of people. “Brandi has done a lot of work on herself and her work’s not done,” she says. After all is said and done, Dr. Darcy said filming Famously Single was an amazing and challenging experience, saying, “I would love a second season.”

Reality TV Therapist Shares Best Relationship Advice

From filming a hit reality TV show to managing time with her clients, Dr. Darcy has a busy schedule. However, she knows that her relationship needs to be her top priority. “You cannot give everything you have away at work,” she says. “You have to come home with a little reserved. It’s unacceptable to come home on empty.” The reality TV therapist says that relationships require work every single day and that it’s a fallacy that relationships “shouldn’t feel like work.” If you’re struggling to manage your relationship and busy lifestyle, think back to what created your relationship. Think back to the beginning when you courted, seduced, supported, encouraged, and admired your partner. After the honeymoon phase, relationships are about self-discipline. “You have to incorporate it into your everyday life,” Dr. Darcy says. “This is the person you want to show up most for, not the least.” In her own relationship with her wife Stephanie, it is all about self-care. The duo makes sure they are highly involved with hobbies, such as yoga, dance, meditation, and CrossFit. “Steph and I try to walk the walk,” she shares. “There have been times when we haven’t engaged in the level of self-care we need to and our clients reflect that. They don’t absorb the information if we don’t walk the walk.”

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The most important skill to maintaining a healthy relationship is communication. “You have to be willing to listen to your partner, even when you’re tired and feel like they’re picking on you,” Dr. Darcy says. It is crucial that you actively listen, remain quiet, and control the impulse to be defensive. You have to mirror back and paraphrase what they said so they know you listened to them and you know you understood. Most of the time, your partner just wants to be heard. “If you can deliver that to your partner, you have a basis of a great relationship,” she says. Once you learn the basic relationship skills, all of your relationships will improve because you will use these same skills with your family and friends. “I really hope people are motivated to learn about relationship skills because the quality of our lives is predicated on the quality of our relationships,” Dr. Darcy reveals. “It’s the most important thing in our lives and nobody teaches us.” At the end of the day, the best love advice from Dr. Darcy is the metaphor: “Use the good china every night.” Relationships are about showing up for your partner the same way you would for a stranger or company that you’re trying to impress. Make every day a date and bring romance into everything you do.

Famously Single airs on Tuesday’s at 10 p.m. on E!

You can keep up with Dr. Darcy on her website or Twitter.