The Celebrity Therapist

The Celebrity Therapist

Anna Nicole Smith: The Price of Fame

posted by sherrygaba

ansBy Sherry Gaba and Whitney Ashton

 Mary Harron’s “The Anna Nicole Story” biopic premiered on Sunday to record ratings and mixed reviews on the Lifetime Movie Network. Known for wanting to be “the next Marilyn Monroe,” the former Guess girl turned reality TV personality died of an accidental drug overdose in 2007.

Smith’s time as a reality star on E!’s “The Anna Nicole Show” fueled rumors that the star had a substance abuse problem. The show was abruptly canceled after two seasons. In the Lifetime film, Smith (Agnes Bruckner) pops champagne and pills simultaneously. Her peers casually supplied the goods she needed to perform what some would describe as “a circus act.”

In 2006, the model and actress gave birth to her second child, a baby girl named Danielynn Hope Marshall Stern. Tragically, three days after the birth, Smith’s 20-year-old son Daniel was found dead of a drug overdose in her hospital room.

Less than six months later, Smith, 39, was found dead in her Florida hotel room. Although investigators found no illegal drugs in her suite, they did find several prescription drugs, including methadone, Provigil, Xanax and fentanyl according to the New York Daily News.

Methadone is a powerful pain killer, and can remain in one’s system for up to 59 hours – making overdose a high risk. According to media reports, Smith was seen drinking heavily in the hotel bar hours before her death. The cocktail of painkillers, antidepressants and alcohol was a recipe for disaster… a deadly combination.

Unfortunately, celebrity overdose is not new in popular culture. Many musicians and actors have died untimely deaths from addiction and many more will die in the continuing drug and alcohol epidemic.

As a LCSW, psychotherapist, author and life coach, I have worked with countless celebrities who have had to face the same demons that Smith fell prey to. Staying sober for celebrities versus the average person may be an even tougher battle. These stars are fighting an uphill battle when drugs and alcohol are the norm – but it is not impossible. Sobriety is a life altering decision. It will take effort, work and the ability to recognize a dangerous situation before it is too late.

For more information about the death of Anna Nicole visit: http://alcoholism.about.com/b/2007/02/10/anna-nicole-smith-an-unintentional-overdose.htm

Sherry Gaba LCSW, Psychotherapist, Life, Love & Recovery Coach is featured Celebrity Rehab  on  VH1. Sherry is the author of “The Law of Sobriety” which uses the law  of  attraction to  recover from any addiction. Please  download your free E book “Filling The Empty  Heart” and your “Are You a  Love Addict Quiz?” at www.sherrygaba.com Contact Sherry for  webinars, teleseminars,  coaching packages and speaking engagements. Listen  to Sherry on “A Moment of Change with  Sherry Gaba” on CBS Radio Take  Sherry’s quiz for a free eBook Filling the  Empty Heart: 5 Keys to  Transforming Love Addiction.

 

Michael Madsen’s Treatment Order: Can It Work?

posted by sherrygaba

michael madsenWhile you may not recognize Michael Madsen’s name, you would certainly recognize his face. He has stared in a number of major movies and TV shows and series over the years including the very graphic Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill and Donnie Brasco. His character is usually a tough guy with a good heart, but he always seems to be a bit on the edge, regardless of the character he is playing.

How much of his life, like many other actors’ lives, may be a close approximation to reality rather than a work of fiction? Here is a professional actor with over 150 movies that seems to have a self-destruct mentality that is now impacting his personal and professional life. In the last few years he has had several brushes with the law including a child endangerment charge and prior DWI in 2012 where his blood alcohol level was reported to be twice the legal limit.

His last arrest in Van Nuys, California has finally prompted a judge to order him into a residential alcohol addiction program for a minimum of 30 days. While this temporarily resolves the issue of his drunk driving, can a court ordered rehab program be effective for Michael Madsen or any other star?

Can anyone, celebrity or average person, be ordered to become clean and sober? Research shows that drug and alcohol recovery programs that are forced on a person can, in fact, be highly successful. Then tend to have about the same rate of sobriety one year later than those that are entered into voluntarily. Often the combination of the arrest, hitting bottom, loss of public support and even the inability to deny the problem actually helps the celebrity addict to see that he or she has to make a change to maintain celebrity status without becoming a sad story.

However, the biggest hurdle for most celebrities, even with a successful court-ordered rehab stint, is returning to the real word and making lifestyle changes to support sobriety. Celebrities tend to spend time with other celebrities and when drugs and alcohol are the norm the recovering celebrity is fighting an uphill battle. The good news is that celebrity’s in rehab can make life altering decisions and choose to live clean and sober lives, it just take effort, work and the ability to recognize a dangerous situation and make a change.

Sherry Gaba LCSW, Psychotherapist, Life, Love & Recovery Coach is featured Celebrity Rehab on  VH1. Sherry is the author of “The Law of Sobriety” which uses the law of  attraction to  recover from any addiction. Please download your free E book “Filling The Empty  Heart” and your “Are You a Love Addict Quiz?” at www.sherrygaba.com Contact Sherry for webinars, teleseminars,  coaching packages and speaking engagements. Listen to Sherry on “A Moment of Change with  Sherry Gaba” on CBS Radio Take Sherry’s quiz for a free eBook Filling the  Empty Heart: 5 Keys to Transforming Love Addiction.

 

 

All That Glitters isn’t Gold

posted by sherrygaba

bling ringSherry Gaba LCSW, Psychotherapist, Life, Love & Recovery Coach is featured Celebrity Rehab on VH1. Sherry is the author of “The Law of Sobriety” which uses the law of attraction to recover from any addiction. Please download your free E book “Filling The Empty Heart” and your “Are You a Love Addict Quiz?” at www.sherrygaba.com Contact Sherry for webinars, teleseminars, coaching packages and speaking engagements. Listen to Sherry on “A Moment of Change with Sherry Gaba” on CBS Radio Take Sherry’s quiz for a free eBook Filling the Empty Heart: 5 Keys to Transforming Love Addiction.

 Sherry is available for psychotherapy and life coaching by phone and  in the following cities  Malibu, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Moorpark, Simi Valley, Newbury Park, Agoura Hills, Agoura, Westlake Village, Westlake, Calabasas, Camarillo

By Whitney Ashton

Sofia Coppola’s film Bling Ring chronicles the real life story of a gang of fame-obsessed teens who allegedly burglarized multiple stars of young Hollywood including Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Orlando Bloom.

Five teenagers composed the infamous burglar bunch: Rachel Lee, Nick Prugo, Diana Tamayo, Courtney Ames and Alexis Neiers. Between October 2008 and August 2009, the ring had allegedly stolen close to $3 million in clothes, cash, jewelry and more.

The kids resided in and around Calabasas, Calif., an affluent city in L.A. County. The group’s obsession with wealth, fame and celebrities materialized into targeting stars whose pricy wardrobes they coveted, and going “shopping” in that celeb’s home. The gang’s twisted activity fueled by celebrity worship quickly grew into an organized criminal enterprise and soon spiraled out of control. After a ten-month period, the coterie’s pursuit of fame landed them all in the big house.

Some members of the Bling Ring have admitted to having alcohol and drug dependency issues at the time the burglaries were committed. In fact, Neiers perhaps the most infamous member of the bunch is now a volunteer at Acadia Malibu, her husband’s sober living facility.

So, why did these affluent teens commit an A-list crime spree? Their obsession with celebrity caused them to crave that luxurious lifestyle – something that they felt entitled to or just an example of the self-destructive behavior addicts and alcoholics engage in when their disease is left untreated?

As a psychotherapist and life coach for clients like the ones in the Bling Ring, my passion is to help them to discover purpose in their lives so they can replace their addictions with something meaningful.  My book, The Law of Sobriety was partially inspired by The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, and concepts from the law of attraction by applying it to addiction recovery.  The idea is that your thoughts create your realities. Positive thoughts create a positive reality; negative thoughts create a negative reality.  The Secret, however, failed to provide the action steps that it takes to achieve the goals one sets out to achieve.

The media has had a field day saying that Neirs and her family were followers of The Secret when in truth she stated in an interview with Vice that her family studied the teachings of Ernest Holmes and was raised on his book The Science of Mind.  These teachings are over seventy-five years old; only to be re-introduced in the media as of recent in the movie The Secret.

In my book I state that in order to recover one must find purpose with intention. “To live your life on purpose, you need to surround yourself with people who align with your purpose.” For the kids involved in the Bling Ring, the past cannot be changed, but they always have the opportunity to change the way they interpret it and understand it [the past]. Certainly Neiers is an excellent example of living on purpose and the principals of the law of attraction by taking action steps to change her life by being sober, working a recovery program and helping others in their recovery process.

Further Reading

For more on the Bling Ring check out the Vanity Fair article “The Suspects Wore Louboutins” by Nancy Jo Sales that inspired Coppola’s film and Sales’ book The Bling Ring.

When Relationships Turn Deadly

posted by sherrygaba

deadlySherry Gaba LCSW, Psychotherapist, Life & Recovery Coach is featured Celebrity Rehab on VH1 and is the author of The Law of Sobriety which uses the law of attraction to recover from any addiction. You can download free E books at www.sherrygaba.com or contact Sherry for webinars, teleseminars, coaching packages and speaking engagements. Listen to Sherry on “A Moment of Change with Sherry Gaba” on CBS Radio. Struggling with your own love junkie dramas? You’re not alone. Join my free newsletter community to get the support you need to stop the madness before it affects your next relationship or the one you are in now.  – Get the Love You Truly Deserve!

With the ongoing Jodie Arias trial the correlation between obsessive love, domestic violence and homicide is again in the news. In this case the murderer, Jodie Arias, is the alleged victim of domestic violence. However, in the vast majority of domestic violence homicides it is the perpetrator, the abuser, who ends up killing the abused partner.

Just how common murder is in domestic violence situations is open for debate. In many situations the violence may be largely emotional, psychological or financial until the victim actually leaves the relationship. The abusive partner, feeling their control over the relationship slipping, may actually escalate in their abuse and move to physical attacks in an attempt to restore their control.

According to the American Bureau of Justice Statistics the vast majority of victims of domestic violence are women. Women are the victims in 4 out of 5 reports, which may partially be a result of the social stigma attached to a man reporting abuse by a female partner. Single females with children tend to have the highest risk for being victims of domestic violence. In addition women that are age 20 to 34, have alcohol or drug addictions or women that live in poverty are at increasing risk for experiencing domestic violence.

In homicides including intimate partners the numbers reflect a downward trend overall. From 1976 to 2004 a key study, The Silent Witness National Initiative, shows the number of women murdered by an intimate partner is always higher than the number of men. The total number of murders for the years of the study was 23,506 men and 40,823 women.  This number, when compared against all female murders, indicates that about one third of all women that are murdered are killed by their intimate partner.

If you are in a situation where you are abused, fearful or concerned about your intimate partner’s behavior or emotional control there are some things that you can do. It is important to:

1.     Report the abuse to the authorities as well as to friends, support people and safe people in your life.  Do not assume it will get better if you remain silent and with the person.

2.     Get away from the abuser as avoid returning to the abusive situation because of guilty, remorse, or  love. If they are not going to change the situation is going to escalate over time and the risk of serious harm or death becomes greater.

3.     Seek counseling and support to understand the relationship and how love addiction may be putting you in negative relationships that are more likely to result in abuse.

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