The Celebrity Therapist

By: Sherry Gaba LCSW, Psychotherapist, Life and Recovery Coach on Celebrity Rehab on VH1 and author of “The Law of Sobriety” which uses the law of attraction to recover from any addiction. Please download your copy of “Eliminate Limiting Beliefs”, from Sherry’s, Enrich Your Life series. Contact Sherry at for webinars, teleseminars, coaching packages and speaking engagements.

This past Friday, Lohan found herself in trouble… again. She was found in violation of her probation, sentenced to 120 days in jail and ordered to stand trial. At this current moment she walks free, having been bailed out. She is to serve 360 hours community service at the Downtown Women’s Center, helping the homeless and an additional 120 hours, contributing janitorial chores at the L.A. County Coroner’s Office.

The press has used the word “grueling” to describe Lohan’s community service duties. The spin on this situation is also slanted that she is not getting off free, that she was legally bailed out of jail.  Her community service is seen as extremely hard, teaching her the consequences of her actions. While these consequences are not pleasant, it does raise a question. Is Lindsay Lohan getting off  “easy”?

I don’t think that it’s necessary to ponder on if her sentence was “harsh” enough. I also think that questioning if the law was being lenient is needed. Nor do we need to ponder   if Lindsay’s celebrity status affected her sentencing. Those are issues that could be debated till one is blue in the face. What isn’t being addressed is addiction. Are the consequences assigned to Lindsay taking into consideration her history of addiction?

From all accounts these consequences, while seemingly unpleasant, do not address the subject of addiction. In no part of the sentencing was treatment addressed. This can create an environment where the actions, that landed Lindsay in trouble, may be repeated. The legal consequences offer punishment, but they do not deal with the true source of Lindsay’s woes.

While the crime Lindsay is accused of, stealing a necklace and breaking her probation, she has been floundering without a healthy support system. A person’s actions will not change if they do not deal with the issue of “why”. Why is someone acting out? Why is an individual engaging in illegal activities? Why are they not showing remorse for being caught? The cycle of the behavior of an addict can be predictable. How can an addict not repeat the actions that they have become comfortable doing? This is a great example of insanity, doing the same thing over and over again, hoping the outcome will be different. Until Lindsay accepts, and receives proper treatment, it is highly probable that her actions in the future will mimic her actions now.

While the law has deemed their judgment as fair and reasonable, it is difficult to believe that scrubbing toilets at the L.A. County Coroner’s Office will teach Lindsay her lesson. She may not want to end up with that particular consequence again. However, if she can be bailed out repeatedly and sentenced with community service, she may feel that her consequences are manageable. If she is able to manage the punishment, she will not be deterred from repeating the crime. This mindset is dangerous. This mindset tricks the addict into believing they are invincible.  It is my hope that she receives proper treatment to deal with her deeper issues. She didn’t allegedly steal a necklace because she couldn’t afford it. Stealing the necklace was just a symptom of her disease of addiction.

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