‘Couples Therapy’: Dr. Jenn Berman Dishes On Farrah Abraham, New Season
Did you feel at any point like you were just being played?
I felt that she did such authentic therapy and this was a woman so in need of therapy that there was no question in my mind that we did great work.
But he was never her public boyfriend…
There were pictures of them together and actually we had a body language expert who came and did some exercises and she saw the picture and she said “This is a woman who is genuinely happy in the presence of this man.” So to me it became less important that this therapy work I did with her was so authentic and there was such… she just did such great work and genuine work. She has been through so much in her lifetime that it broke my heart. I actually have a lot of respect for her. I really do.
At the end of the day, do you feel like you were able to help her?
No question, yes. And to me as a therapist, that is what matters. If I can make a difference in someone’s life and help them to make less painful choices, then I have done my job.
Will the public have a different understanding of her?
I think if someone watches the whole season they will. If they see her evolution, they will see a more human side of Farrah.
It has been reported that you are going to bring on other ex-boyfriends to participate in her treatment.
I am always willing to do whatever it takes to help someone have insight into how they view relationships. Sometimes an ex-boyfriend or a parent or someone from a person’s past can give me insight. One of the cool things about Farrah is once Farrah realized how [truthful] the therapy is — which she realized rather quickly — she was saying “I’ll do whatever you want me to do. I don’t want to live my life like this anymore. Something is really wrong and I am willing to do whatever you tell me to do.”
Did you see her interview with Dr. Phil?
I did and I really understand exactly why those interviews were as they were. [laughs]
Does she finally admit to being a porn star?
I will let you watch this season and see what happens. You will see her evolution. There are some things from my work with Farrah that I will never actually share. It is a much more complicated situation than meets the eye.
Maybe you guys should continue working together?
I am always in touch with all of my [previous] cast members. As a therapist, it would be unethical to abandon them. She and I formed a very strong bond and we did great work together.
Speaking of TEEN MOM — Amber Portwood was just on Dr. Phil’s show and is reportedly making another special for MTV. What do you think of her being back in the TV spotlight so quickly after getting out of jail?
You know, I never watched any of the TEEN MOM shows, so I know very little about them, but if she wanted help, I would love to work with her.
Let’s talk about Taylor Armstrong for a moment… She brought her personal assistant to therapy!
Last season Joe Francis brought a butler. So this one didn’t faze me after Joe with the butler. But yes, she did bring an assistant to help her unpack and get organized.
Does he stay?
No. He doesn’t stay. I don’t do therapy with assistants [present]. But there are a lot of assistants who could probably use therapy.
Did you find Taylor to be different than you expected?
Taylor is very raw. Her pain is very, very raw. I got to see every side of Taylor as you will see. Taylor had such great contributions and grew so much throughout the sessions. And so did John. I didn’t think that he was going to embrace therapy. I thought he was like the guy who was coming in to support his fiance. He is a businessman. He is super successful. He is not someone who is really familiar with therapy. And I think he really grew from it, too. I think it really helped their relationship a lot.
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Is the plan for you to keep making more seasons of the show?
As long as VH-1 will have me, I would love to keep doing these. In my private practice I don’t have the resources to do the [same] kind of therapy. The depth of therapy is unparalleled. These people are trapped with me for three weeks.
Who would you most like to work with next season?
I would love to get Billy Ray Cyrus. He and the ex have kind of broken up and gotten back together a couple of times. I would love to know what is really going on there and help them. They would be my first choice.
COUPLES THERAPY premieres January 2 on VH-1.
Will you be watching? Let us know in the comments section below.