Couples Therapy

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Couples Therapy TV Poster Image
Celeb therapy series has mature themes, bleeped language.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series underscores the need for communication, honesty, compromise, and hard work in order to make relationships work. But that message is undermined by the fact that couples are seeking this help on a reality show.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Dr. Berman and her staff are trying to help their clients work through their relationship problems, albeit on a reality show. Participants are past reality show characters, so their intentions in appearing on this show are questionable.

Violence

Heated arguments between couples. Child abuse and domestic abuse are discussed.

Sex

Infidelity is a major theme of the show. Miscarriages and having children out of wedlock are also discussed. Videos of cast members in bed together (no nudity is shown). In one episode, both men and women are shown in revealing clothes (partial buttocks are visible).

Language

Words like "d--k," "p---y," "s--t," and "f--k" are bleeped.

Consumerism

The series is a promotional vehicle for Dr. Berman's Couples Center. New music from groups like Say It Twice is premiered on the show; download information is available during breaks. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Alcohol isn't allowed at the center, but at least one cast member secretly mixes hard liquor into their beverages. Cast members discuss the impact of booze-fueled fights and other behavior.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this therapy-themed reality series touches on some very mature topics, including infidelity, child and domestic abuse, and sexual intimacy. Couples Therapy also includes some strong language ("f--k," "s--t," etc.), most of which is bleeped, and drinking. Both heterosexual and homosexual relationships are featured.

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What's the story?

COUPLES THERAPY is a reality series in which D-list celebrity couples undergo intense relationship counseling under the supervision of therapist Dr. Jenn Berman. The five pairs moving into Berman's Couples Center, a Hollywood Hills residential therapy facility, include Jersey Shore's Angelina Pivarnick and her boyfriend, ousted The Next Food Network Star chef Chris Nirschel; The Bachelor winner Vienna Girardi and Kasey Kahl, a former contender on The Bachelorette; rapper DMX and his estranged wife, Tashera Simmons; and reality star Linda Hogan and her younger boyfriend, Charlie Hill. Also joining them is The Amazing Race winner Reichen Lehmkuhl and his ex-boyfriend, Rodiney Santiago. For several weeks the couples participate in therapy sessions and various exercises overseen by psychotherapist Dr. Mike Dow and residential treatment counselors like Rachel Clark, Tom Carouso, and Sarah Michael Novia in order to help them decide whether to live their lives together or decide to separate for good. Regardless of their decision, Berman asserts that the participants will leave as better people thanks to the overall experience.

Is it any good?

Couples Therapy offers a voyeuristic look into the efforts of couples dealing with personal issues and trying to rebuild their relationships into something that will last for the long term. Ironically, most of the cast members are past and current reality stars whose relationships were negatively impacted by the pressures brought on by the expectations of the entertainment industry and the stress of being in the public limelight.

Overall, Couples Therapy deals with mature topics, some of which may upset sensitive viewers. Meanwhile, while Berman appears to legitimately want to help these couples, the series is as much about her and her therapeutic practices as it is about the couples she's trying to help. Some folks may find this show an entertaining form of guilty pleasure, but it's not meant for kids.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about therapy-themed reality shows. Why do people agree to discuss their personal issues in such a public forum? Do you think that this is really going to help them resolve their issues?

  • Are viewers expected to learn or personally benefit from shows like Couples Therapy? Or are they being offered primarily for entertainment?

  • Why do you think these couples have agreed to appear on this show? Does the fact that some of them have appeared on other reality shows make you question their intentions?

TV details

For kids who love reality shows

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