Impressed by her quick wit and sense of humor, Ballance began featuring her in a weekly segment.
Schlessinger's stint on Ballance's show led to her own shows on a series of small radio stations.
She has ascribed some of the difficulty to extended family rejection of her parents' mixed faith Jewish-Catholic marriage.
Schlessinger said her father was "petty, insensitive, mean, thoughtless, demeaning and downright unloving".
By 1979 she was on the air Sunday evenings from to midnight on KWIZ in Santa Ana, California.
She described her mother as a person with "pathological pride", who "was never grateful", who "would always find something to criticize," and who "constantly expressed disdain for men, sex and love".
After she began dispensing personal advice on the radio, she obtained training and certification in marriage and family counseling from the University of Southern California, and a therapist's license from the State of California.
In August 2010, she announced that she would end her syndicated radio show in December 2010.
Her radio program consists mainly of her responses to callers' requests for personal advice and has occasionally featured her short monologues on social and political topics.
Her website says that her show "preaches, teaches, and nags about morals, values and ethics".