Tag Archives: celebrity

Predictions for The Bachelorette Ashley and JP and Some Important Information For Couples to Know

4 Aug




Okay, so Ashley Hebert finally pickedJP Rosenbaum on the season finale of The Bachelorette. But what are the chances that this latest couple will survive the fate of so many of their predecessors and never get anywhere near an altar? We conferred once again with Dr. Alisa Robinson, PhD., ofaskdoctoralisa.com to get some answers. In an exclusive Wetpaint Entertainmentinterview, Dr. Alisa explains disappointing success rate of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette when it comes to finding love, and tells us how Ashley and JP can buck the trend.

Wetpaint Entertainment: Why do so many of these couples fall apart?
Dr. Alisa Robinson: In The Bachelor and The Bachelorette in general, I think oftentimes the couples seem to really struggle with watching the show after it’s been taped. That process of seeing someone dating other people at the same time as they were dating you may feel similar to the experience of being cheated on. Even though intellectually the contestant knows that when they go off the person is dating other people, emotionally it can still feel hurtful, and feel as though you’ve been betrayed. Different people can handle that differently depending on their history and their background. I think for JP he really demonstrated that he’s a pretty mature guy. He handled it pretty well throughout the show. So that, to me, bodes well in terms of his being able to handle that period of watching her dating other men.

Read the rest at  http://www.wetpaint.com/the-bachelorette/articles/exclusive-will-ashley-hebert-and-jp-rosenbaum-make-it-an-expert-weighs-in

Some Tips on How To Manage Difficult Problems

1 Aug

Check out my video on some tips on how to manage difficult problems.  Keep in mind that this is just a starting place for how to work on challenging problems in your life.  This video can give you the framework to begin to start dealing with life issues more effectively.


The Complexity of Mother-Daughter Relationships and The Real Housewives of New York

8 Jul

The relationships between mothers and daughters are often complex.  The most recent episode of Real Housewives of New York illustrated this.  I’m sure many women can relate to LuAnn’s attempts at finding the right balance between being a friend and being a mother.  Ramona’s daughter, Avery, expressed frustration with her mom for not being home enough, but also demonstrated respect and admiration for her mother in a very touching way.  This type of mixed feelings is very common in parental relationships.  There is no such thing as a perfect parent, but an emphasis on what is wrong or missing in a parent is often most salient during the teen and young adult years.


It is clear that there is much love between Ramona and her daughter Avery, and it’s is very possible that Avery is what we called “parentified.”  To be parentified means that the family dynamics influence a child to take on an adult role before they are actually an adult.  This can happen when one or more parent has a substance abuse problem. The child ends up being the responsible one, and may take over some patent-like responsibilities, or may act or think like a “little adult.”  Becoming parentified can also occur when a child has many siblings and out of necessity must help to raise the younger children in the household, hence spending more time parenting than being a kid.  Avery demonstrates wisdom beyond her years.  She is reasonable in the advice she gives to her mom and Sonja as they shop for Burlesque clothing.  Yet, she also tells her mom that she doesn’t like being home alone at 9:30 at night when her mom and dad are out.  Although one could be quick to judge these mother daughter relationships, the one common theme is the presence of love.


Perhaps the take away message from watching the complex and interesting dynamics between the mothers and daughters of The Real Housewives of New York is that mothers are human, too.  They can make mistakes and still be good mothers.  They can disappoint us, anger us, or even betray us, but it doesn’t mean we stop loving them.  Mother and daughter relationships are complex and varied.  Although it’s possible that some mother daughter relationships are too damaging and may never be repaired, many women may find peace in accepting their mother for who she is.


Getting to a place of acceptance of your mother for who she is may not make for good television ratings, but it will allow you to have a more enjoyable and peaceful relationship with the person who will forever be your mother.

The Bachelorette Ashley Herbert and how her suitors responded to her interest in Bentley

1 Jul

Sure, The Bachelorette star Ashley Hebert could have been a bit more tactful when she confessed to the boys that she had seen Bentley Williamsin Hong Kong to seek “closure,” but did it really call for the anger and resentment that culminated with Mickey McLean quitting the show? Dr. Alisa Robinson, PhD., of askdoctoralisa.com, explains that the male hive-mind may have been the ultimate force at play in Season 7, Episode 6 — and that guys like Mickey may have been burned once too often.

Wetpaint: How could Ashley have better handled the situation?
Dr. Alisa Robinson: When she told them in the group they seemed to have a different reaction than when she told JP by herself. One of the reasons the guys in the group may have responded differently is how they were told. It might have gone over better if it was in a one-on-one environment. What happens sometimes in a group setting is that you’ll have one guy or a couple of guys with a strong opinion, and that can influence or rile up the rest of them — that kind of group mentality. In these shows sometimes, even though each of the men have a bond with the Bachelorette, they also develop bonds with each other. And research has found that men bonding in groups tends to be very strong, like in sports.

Read the rest at:


“The Bachelor” star Jake Pavelka: A Lack of Sincerity. Is it the Show or Just Him?

6 Jul


The answer:  Probably both.

I think most people question the sincerity of the series show “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” (even though many of us may still watch it anyways!) Remember the theme song for his season “On the Wings of Love?”

Aside from the lack of sincerity and phoniness present in series, Jake appears to demonstrate a serious lack of genuineness and authenticity. His facial expressions are incongruent with the content of his speech. For example, he smiles when he is angry. He uses an upbeat happy tone of voice when really he is distraught and unhappy. Jake appears to be hiding his true intentions. He may be consciously deceitful to others in order to get what he is seeking. He may also be out of touch with his true self and have a lack of awareness of who he really is inside- which leads to a lack of sincerity in his interactions with others.

If you know someone who demonstrates a serious lack of sincerity, be careful. Be especially cautious in entering into a relationship with someone if they show other signs of deceit, lack of empathy and poor judgment this may be a sign of a very serious and destructive personality type.

Fear and Bonding in Los Angeles

13 May


Los Angeles- the center of celebrity living- is the backdrop for many reality TV dating shows.  Regardless of where a reality dating show is located, there tends to be some commonalities in the psychological processes that transpire.  One trick that reality dating shows often use to induce affection and bonding in their participants is creating a sense of fear.  I’ve seen this strategy used frequently on the Bachelor and Bachelorette television shows.  For example, in the last season of the Bachelor Jake and Vienna went bungee jumping on their first date.  When people experience a sense of fear or extreme excitement, their body starts pumping adrenalin and other catecholamines, as well as the stress hormone, Cortisol, through the body in massive quantities.  This pumping of catecholamines and stress hormones leads to romantic bonding.

Researchers have begun to find out exactly what happens in the body when people fall in love.  Endocrinologists have cited these very chemicals as being responsible for the creation of romantic love between two people during normal courtship.  If these chemicals are naturally produced during the normal period of romance between two people, imagine what happens when two people are put in a situation in which these chemicals are pumped into their bloodstream in exponential quantities.  Engaging in extremely exciting and fearful situations sets the stage for romantic love between two people, even if they might not normally fall for each other (as in Jake and Vienna, possibly?).  The Bachelor and Bachelorette television producers must be aware of this process because they seem to put their contestants into many fear-producing situations (the bungee jumping date is a common one).

This process that takes place in the human body to create a sense of bonding and romantic love also occurs in other situations in which people feel a sense of risk, excitement or fear.  For example, when two people feel they must hide their relationship from others (work, family, etc.) these chemicals are released at an increased rate.  Think about when people have affairs and hide their relationship from their partners- a similar process is occurring there, too.

Although fear can set the stage for an increased likelihood of romantic bonding between people, it does not ensure an ever-lasting relationship.  Another aspect of romantic love that researchers have found out is that it lasts, on average, a year.  So what does this all mean?  Although being involved in fearful situations may increase the natural bonding process between two people, it takes much, much more to make a relationship last.  So although Jake and Vienna got a boost in their initial romantic courtship, courtesy of the Bachelor producers, only time will tell if they have the other multitude of factors needed to make a long-lasting romantic relationship work.

Kate Gosselin: Why the Question of Victim or Villain is Too Simplistic

26 Apr


A recent article about Kate Gosselin by In Touch magazine poses the question of whether she is a victim or a villain. This question, while it may be intriguing, does not capture the full range of human behavior. Rarely are people all good or all bad. Rarely are they just a victim or a villain. Especially in the case of Kate Gosselin it is quite possible that she is BOTH a victim and a villain. It is likely that Kate is a victim, or feels victimized, and also has acted spiteful, vindictive or mean to others.

Kate’s popularity in the media has had it’s ups and downs, but it appears from recent tabloids, that it is at an all-time low. Part of the public disapproval may be from the judgment that people place on her for making media appearances and shows (Dancing with the Stars) more of a  priority than being a mother. Another reason she may have lost popularity votes and has been seen as a villain is her apparent personality characteristics demonstrated on the Dancing with the Stars show.

Many have described her behavior on the show as diva- like. Just looking at her facial expressions during the show and her interactions with her dancing partner give an indication that she is likely a difficult person to get along with. Kate’s hostility and anger may be a reaction to feelings of inferiority and insecurity. Sometimes people act angry towards others when they feel vulnerable or when they negatively compare themselves to others.

When people have deep feelings of insecurity, it is not uncommon for them to lash out at others as a self protective mechanism. This does not excuse one’s behavior, but may give a context in which to understand it. Think about school bullies often times they lash out at others because of feelings of insecurity and worthlessness that come from within. They lash out at others (sometimes at one particular target) as a way to compensate for their own feelings of self hatred and confusion.

When a person’s insecurity leads them to lash out on others, they end up getting negative responses from those around them. They end up alienating people, and then feel further isolated and unworthy. It can become a vicious cycle. These types of people build up walls against others and lack trust. They may not trust other people because they feels that those around them are against them. But in actuality, the people around them may be responding to their angry and unpredictable behavior.

People who attempt to guard themselves by being hostile, defensive or angry towards others, end up creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. They are creating the exact reaction in others that they fear. Their psychological defensiveness turns people away and they feel further isolated, which in turn, leads to an increase in their aggressive and defensive posturing. Professional help or therapy can help these types of people find a new way of interacting with others and help them build their self esteem. In the meantime, people with this type of psychological defensiveness can be very difficult to live with, and can draw attention from others (or the media!) who are trying to make sense of their seemingly senseless behavior.

Sex Addiction: Is It Real?

19 Apr


The issue of infidelity and sexual addiction has been a hot topic in the media recently. Just because a person has been unfaithful to a spouse or partner does not mean they necessarily have an addiction. With that being said, sexual addiction does exist, and for many people this addiction can ruin their careers, relationships and lives.

Like most human behaviors, sexual problems fall along a continuum. The question often boils down to how much the person’s behavior is interfering with their ability to function normally or how much stress the behaviors create in their lives. Does their sexual behavior interfere with having normal healthy relationships? Does it interfere with their job? Does it put them at risk with the law? Someone with a sex addiction is compelled to act on their sexual urges. Their sexual compulsions begin to dominate their life. Just as with other addictions, the individual eventually begins to sacrifice what is most important to them in order to continue to engage in their sexually destructive behaviors. Some behaviors common to sex addicts are: compulsive masturbation, multiple affairs, prostitution, exhibitionism, excessive use of pornography, multiple anonymous partners, cybersex, voyeurism, and molestation/rape. A person does not have to engage in all of these acts to be a sex addict. Some sex addicts only engage in one of these types of sexual behaviors, others engage in many or all of them.

Many people often wonder why someone would cheat on a partner that seems to be such a good catch (Haley Berry, Sandra Bullock, etc.) But when someone has a sexual addiction it is not about their partner, or lack of a “good” partner. Although problems in one’s marriage or relationship can fuel a desire to stray, when someone has a true sexual addiction, their compulsion to act on their sexual urges and fantasies can over-ride even very healthy, stable and happy relationships.

Blaming infidelity on sexual addiction may be a ploy for some, but it may be a very real problem for others. It’s important to recognize sexual addiction as a serious problem. Educating yourself about the signs and symptoms of sexual addiction may help you to identify problem behaviors in yourself or others. Sexual addiction can be treated. Many people have been able to create healthier, happier lives once they treat their sex addiction.

Celebrity Narcissism

18 Mar

Narcissism is nothing new. However, the increase in narcissism among celebrities appears to be on the rise. Dr. Drew Pinsky, a medical doctor and addiction medicine specialist who works with and treats celebrities and their addictions, has written a book about the prevalence of narcissism in media and the impact that may have on those who look up to these people. 

Narcissism is a personality characteristic and is also an official personality disorder according to the DSM-IV (the so-called bible for psychological diagnoses). Individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder tend to present themselves with a grandiose sense of importance. They often believe they are superior to others and may only want to associate with other people that they believe are at their level. These individuals often lack remorse for others, and their feelings of empathy may be shallow. There are varying degrees of narcissism, from what is called “healthy narcissism” to extreme versions of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Healthy narcissism refers to a high level of self-esteem and sense of self-worth. It refers to the ability to put yourself first sometimes. But it does not mean that you have a lack of regard for the feelings and needs of others. Extreme narcissism, on the other hand, refers to individuals who exhibit many of the characteristics of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  Individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder demonstrate elitism. The person feels privileged and important above others (even if they do not have commensurate achievements).  They often present with what is called “histrionic” features. They may be sexually seductive, enticing, glib and clever, and can be pathological liars.

Individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder seem to have high levels of self-esteem but their view of themself as grandiose and important is actually serving to counteract deep feelings of inferiority. It is as if they are over-compensating by creating illusions of being superior, exceptional, and admirable. Some individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder will also demonstrate deficits in their conscience. They may be unscrupulous, deceptive, and amoral. Criminals with psychopathic traits frequently have extreme levels of narcissism. It is also often seen among celebrities and those in the entertainment business. These people may have no problem in stepping on others to get ahead. They may use relationships with others to advance their own careers and may switch from one partner to the next based on who has the highest status (or who raises their status by association).

What Dr. Drew and other researchers have found is that narcissism is very common among celebrities, especially reality stars. It seems that individuals with high levels of narcissism tend to be drawn to the spotlight. They are also often quite charming and likeable to others. However, this tendency for others to be drawn to them only lasts so long, as they tend to not make good mates. Being in a relationship with someone who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder can be very painful. Imagine being in a relationship with someone who is only concerned with self-interest, who is unwilling to admit wrongs, and who is increasingly likely to cheat.

Research has found that narcissistic traits are highly correlated to an individual’s likelihood of cheating (Buss & Shackelford, 1997). Although narcissists may not openly scheme to exploit and take advantage of others, they often end up treating those they are in relationships with badly. People who are in relationships with them often feel depressed, demeaned and frustrated. For many people who are in a relationship with a narcissist an important step is to understand this personality style and then use the information to help you decide how much of a relationship you truly want to have with that person, to learn how to set limits with them and take care of their own needs. I have worked with people who have had parents with Narcissistic Personality Disorder and this often leads to low self-esteem in adulthood. A narcissistic parent can be very damaging. A good resource for those wanting to understand narcissism better is the book “Why Is It All About You? The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism” by Sandy Hotchkiss, LCSW.

Once you begin to understand narcissism and how it manifests, you will become much more able to spot it in individuals in your life.  You will also likely begin to recognize it in popular culture and media. You may begin to understand celebrity behavior and antics better. Hopefully, by seeing celebrity narcissism for what it is, we can begin to de-glamorize celebrity bad behavior and see it for what it really is.

“Nice Guy” Bachelor: Real TV or Real Life?

23 Feb


Jake Pavelka, the current Bachelor on the ABC series, has made comments about breaking the adage that “Nice guys finish last.” It appears that Jake is hoping that this reality show will be the platform that will enable him to overcome his difficulty in finding “the right one” and meet a woman that he can settle down with and marry. When Jake was a contestant on the Bachelorette with Jillian, he was turned down for being “too perfect.” My guess is “perfect” is code boring and dis-ingenuine. This season Jake still seems “too perfect.” But is he really?

Obviously something has gotten in the way of Jake finding love and settling down up to this point. On television Jake comes across as a “nice” guy with his big grin and conservative values. One may assume that he wants another smiling woman with similar conservative values. However, Jake continues to pick Vienna week after week as a woman he may want to marry. This seems in such contrast with what people would expect from him. Is this a reality show set up (as in producers encouraged him to keep her on for the drama) or is he really considering her as a potential mate?

So is Jake really the nice guy who finishes last, as he proclaims?  His niceness seems over-the-top and insincere. It’s not just his words that indicate this, but his facial expressions, too. He is always smiling.  Even when is talking about something painful. Jake seems to be someone who covers up his real emotions with a smile. He gives cheesy lines and is not congruent with how he’s really feeling. His intention may be to be a “nice guy,” but he’s trying so hard at it that he is likely stuffing down his true emotions.  He doesn’t want to risk showing any emotions that others may deem acceptable. If this is Jake’s pattern, then it makes sense why his past relationships haven’t worked. When people mask their true emotions and stuff their true feelings they often end up feeling resentful of their partner and the relationship falls apart. Also, this incongruence between the situation and his facial expression indicates to his partner that he is not genuine and people probably find it difficult to make a real connection with him.

How do you make a connection with someone who is not being true to their feelings? You end up connecting to the “fake” them, and not the real person. The lesson for Jake is that confrontation is not necessarily a bad thing. It is important to directly express to your partner your feelings- good and bad. And to be less concerned with appearances and more authentic with your true self. Only time will tell if Jake will reveal his true self, and if he will no longer be “the nice guy who finishes last.”