The Celebreality Interview – Dr. Charles Sophy


Dr. Charles Sophy is one of the new additions to the staff of Celebrity Rehab this season, brought on to examine and treat the mental-health of the celebrity patients. He comes on board with a resume to give Drew a run for his money (he maintains a private practice, serves as the Medical Director for the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, is a clinical instructor at the University of California, Los Angeles Neuro-Psychiatric Institute and lectures regularly). Below, we talk rehab, controversy and Gary with the man Dr. Drew calls “a blessing to our team.”

How long have you known Dr. Drew? How did this collaboration come about?

I was invited to be on his radio show about a year ago and we got to know each other and saw that we had a lot of common interests, that our strengths complemented each other. We both have good pieces of a puzzle, so it works well.

Did you follow the first season of Celebrity Rehab?

I did, very closely. I enjoyed it very much. That’s what started the connection. I was on his radio show to talk about child welfare in Los Angeles, which is my other job, and we started talking about the show and ways to support him and how to make it a notch better. I figured that there was a whole component of mental health underlying all these substance-abuse disorders that we could handle in a more direct way, and get a message out to the world to know that oftentimes, there’s a co-occurring disorder with addiction.

There are still people who are skeptical as to whether addicts can receive truly comprehensive treatment in front of cameras. What are your thoughts on that?

I understand why people think that, but you have to go a little deeper and realize that due to the many layers that the celebrities we treat have, from a narcissistic standpoint, from a mental-health standpoint, from a substance-abuse standpoint, they sometimes need that in-your-face reality shock to really get to the root of dealing with the problem. Sometimes it takes getting in front of all these people while baring your soul to be treated.

In your experience, can Celebrity Rehab be just as effective as a non-filmed rehab program?

Absolutely. And I wouldn’t expect a viewer to always believe that. But being on the set and watching the transformations of a lot of these people was wonderful. They really embraced their treatment. They took it very seriously. Some fought it more than others, but in the end, they came full circle to at least know that sobriety is a possible way of life and the steps and tools to maintain it.

Did participating in the show make you more of a believer?

Totally. Being able to treat people, watching them go through it, was very impactful for me. You have to strip these people down. That’s what the show does: it strips them down, both from the drugs or alcohol and from the emotional standpoint. They’re raw, and you get to watch them rebuild.

Dr. Drew says if given the choice, he’d rather treat a normal civilian than a celebrity. What do you think about that?

I understand what he’s saying. There are many layers to a celebrity, both from an external standpoint and an internal standpoint. Their persona that the world sees is often different from the persona inside or the one that comes out when they’re alone or with their families. So you have to treat both of those components and bring it together effectively. That’s what Drew’s referring to. It’s very difficult to get all that moving forward in one piece.

In your treating of celebrities, was there any sort of awe or appreciation of your patients that you had to get over before treating them?

No. I’ve been in the public eye and was shot in the middle of it last year. Once you’ve been in that sort of limelight and under that kind of scrutiny, you’re just there to treat the person and help them understand that they’re a human being who needs help. Having that perspective enabled me to be able to meet with them and treat them like any other person.

I guess you’re referring to the Paris Hilton controversy of last year. How was it going through that?

It’s nothing that I can really say anything about other than it was another experience in my life.

We saw you treating Gary in this week’s episode. What were your impressions of him? He seems awfully combative.

He’s combative. He’s a little bit on the paranoid side, not really wanting to believe he’s there for help. His perception is skewed, so the way I got to him was to make it real for him. I also helped him understand that the problems he’s had through his life are treatable. There’s something wrong inside his brain that we can help him fix. This isn’t all about addiction, it’s also about what drives you to addiction and finding your triggers. Teaching him that we could help him with medicine made him greatly relieved, and you’ll see that.

For more on Dr. Charles Sophy, check out his official site.

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Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew show page
Celebrity Rehab videos and extras

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  1. dana says:

    May I just start by saying that this “rehab” is like Camp Snoopy! It’s entirely ridiculous and makes a mockery of real addiction and rehabilitation centers!! The yelling, the drooling, the ranting, the raving…the over-acting because of the fact that all these tools know they are being filmed every minute of everyday.
    Gary is an idiot. Period. Nuff said. You guys need to just let Jeff do himself off with his loser of a girlfriend!! They are jokes!! They don’t want to be clean. They don’t want to stay clean!! Clear those 2 beds out for 2 people that will work the program!!! What’s wrong with this picture??? Am I the only one that sits on my couch and screams at the television?!! They are not “hostages” as they are always whining about!! They don’t even admit to the fact that they are addicts!! I can’t take it anymore!! No one cares about Rodney King…no one! He’s a trouble maker and isn’t gonna change his ways because he’s on this #+@###&_!*%`(%@&)) ed show! You people need a huge dose of reality and your show ain’t it!!!

  2. Brent Barclay says:

    I am writing so say that I’m glad that Dr. Drew has done another Show.From the 1st and 2nd shows I’ve seen that Dr. Drew needs a Henchman to remind EVERYONE that Thes Patients have taken a “Trip” with Dr. Drew and they need to understand that He is the “palce word” leader,Captain, Doctor and that they have intrusted their Lives to his care and understand that He is Doctor and is in Charge. Some go off and don’t understand that important Issue. Nobody does this on their own thhey came to Him. People need to see the Doctor instructing and Patient listening. Some are doing this “Amber and Tawny” that I’ve seen so far. Gary , Jeff bring Listeninmg problem’s to the staff and Cameraman!!!! They need to have someone who can Control them. Al walks of lif are being somewhat treated by the Show. Viewers who are in the “Finding Out” stage can really learn that they need help, are Professional Team to gain the Strength to be as brave as the Cast to seek Help.

  3. juni says:

    I don’t know why they allowed Jeff’s attention-grabbing train wreck of a girlfriend into the rehab. She is not a celebrity and obviously is a camera hog. You can see the ridiculous manipulating going on. Dr. Drew needed to cut both of them off and allow them to kill themselves off with drugs, which they are committed to doing anyway. Really, all this trouble to save these pathetic victims of their own self-pity. Some are there to really work it out, but these two need to be dismissed.

  4. ToniSuzanne says:

    I just happened to have seen the first two installments of this show. I’ve never been addicted to anything, but have a brother who is head-injured (as is Gary) and some alcholism in my family.
    That said…….
    I am struck by how good, generally, the female patients look, and how terribly bad the male patients look. Why is that, exactly? Is it that the women are just more vain? That their employment depends more on their looks? Or is there some medical explanation?
    I can’t tell if Gary’s skeletal appearance is the result of bad plastic surgery or his addictions. He is so glassy-eyed…..what’s he ON?
    I can tell you that much of Gary’s behavior is very similar to my brother’s. This aggrandizing idea that he has somehow found the capital-T Truth and is here to share it with others, the speed at which he dumps a ton of what he think is “profound” stuff on anyone passing by…the run-on thoughts. I just wish my brother had the medical coverage to get the help he needs.
    I thought it was creepy when it was the two attractive women Gary was encouraging to seek hypnotherapy.
    What prompted me to look for this website, though, and post is this: The young woman who was on the floor “vomiting”…I think she is an opiate addict….I’ve had the flu, food poisoning, nausea, etc., like any normal person, and I’ve NEVER sat in front of a toilet or trash can and stuck my fingers in my mouth like she was doing. It looked oddly…masturbatory…and I suspect she has a history with bulimia. But she wasn’t vomiting. She was LOOKING like she was TRYING to vomit, a whole other thing. It was disgusting…not the act of vomiting, but the act of appearing to force oneself to for a camera. What narcissism!
    I wonder…are the same pathetic impulses that drive these people to seek fame, the same forces that drive them to addiction? Chicken? Or egg? What will drive an otherwise apparently vain woman to pretend to force herself to vomit ON CAMERA, as she lies on the floor?
    What’s happened to the concept of shame? I see here a lot of SHAMELESSNESS. Sorry to sound cold-hearted. But that’s what I see.
    But as far as cold-hearted….the musician’s mom who chose her boyfriend over her 11-year-old son…can we look forward to seeing her confronted on camera?

  5. JoAnn Holmes says:

    The new season has inspired me to comment about the young man who is a famous rocker… his nightmare and hearing “you think that hurt, you haven’t seen anything yet.” It was a ‘him or me and he paid the bills’ situation and his bags were put out on the corner at 11 yrs. of age. His frustration regarding the love and adoration he got on his musical tour and then returning home to a family that dtill treated him bad.

    The event was so traumatic that he was sure at the age of 11 that if he grew up and made alot of money, he would then be loved and accepted by his biological family. Having grown up in similar circumstances, I too made this same type of conclusion as an 11 year old. I believe that he drew the only logical conclusion ANY 11 year old could make. Traumas experienced by children affect that child differently according to their own level of emotional development as well as biological/physical/brain age.

    I am 55 yrs. old and went to therapy for 2 yrs when I was in my late thirties to deal with my problems. It was really hard but I learned that numbing my pain also numbed my ability to feel love- a double-edged sword. I could see from his visitors that he has people who love him unconditionally. I could also see that he is an extremely sensitive and loving person… he feels the pain hideously.

    I wish him the best and truly want him to know that it will get better. I believe that it would help for him to be in therapy other than drug rehab.

    Thank you for letting me say my piece.
    JoAnn Holmes
    Kodiak, Alaska

  6. C.B. says:

    I really think that Gary deep down is a good heart, The accident that damaged his brain really shows just how wired the brain is.
    Hopefully Dr. Sophy can help him pull it together and become aware of his damages , and learn how to deal with it in his day to day issuues.

  7. Psych Doc says:

    Regarding Rodney King- I have treated Mr. King while in jail (more than once) and am a former LAPD officer.
    The thing about Rodney that has always bothered me throughout the years is his inability to accept or acknowledge or take responsibility for the actions leading up to his “infamous”arrest.

    Mr. King denies being under the influence and also likes to leave-out the part about traveling at a rate of speed of 105mph while running from the police-both of these statements are false and well-documented. In this week’s episode he actually tells Dr. Drew that he stopped for the red lights!

    In my opinion, he will never have a true recovery if he does not deal with the reality of the situation. I realize it is a defense mechanism for him and I wish him well in this program, but having seen him personally return to jail several times the last couple of years leads me to believe he is not yet ready to recover.

  8. DB Ocean says:

    Wow! Thanks! for the reality!

  9. Jacqui says:

    Hello and Peace to all…

    I am a big fan of the show, and I want you to know how much I enjoy this show on many levels. For me it is more than just entertainment. I myself am a student of human nature, and I find all the interactions, psychology and drama fascinating!! The celebrities are no different from the rest of us, they just happened to become famous, but, they still have to deal with life’s difficulties, and experience all the pain that goes with that. Its great to see people as they really are, even if its not so nice sometimes…we can all relate I’m sure. Please keep this show going, I look forward to it every week, and watch the reruns.

    I love you guys, and my prayers of Light and Love are with you!!


  10. Robert Matthews A.K.A Tripp says:

    I’ve learned alot watching your show,alot about the celeb’s but more importantly about myself. I was also kicked out of my house at a young age,and turned to drugs to hide the pain. My father never really cared for me because I was not his bio child. unlike my younger brother who was. he always treated me like the outcast, I never realized the effects it had on me untill watching and listening to your mother was all I had and then when my step died she started dateing another. we did not get along and I had to go.(he paid the bills). I did not know how to take care of myself, sleeping in boats or apartment pools, I had to steal food from quicky stores to eat, or my younger brother bringing me p.b and j’s down the street.Finally I got a job laying hot asphalt and started earning a living. I married a girl who was an alcoholic and abusive, she would scream and beat on me , when the cops showed up I went to jail.even though she lied to them I had to go to jail . 10 years of this before I finally left. I moved out west and wanted to be known as Tripp, I was no longer Robert. it took along time before I trusted a woman enough to have a relationship and now I have a hard time letting my gard down. I never had the luxery of rehab, been on and off of pain pills all of my life and always had to get up every morning and go to work. ( sick and depressed ) I strugle with my adiction every day. and all I know is I gotta get up every morning to work so I wont have to steal my food or not have a place to sleep. This is not an attempt for pity, beleive me Im embarrased about my life and what I’ve had to go through with my adiction. I know only one thing for sure, my life will always be a strugle and I’ll always have the ups and downs that go with my aflictions. I wish I can get past the pain in my heart from my past but honestly dont know how. maybe someone who reads this can help me, I guess this is a cry for help. this comment was true and alot more horrible things happened I did not write about. its been a real hard road, Im 44 years old and Im ready to go on home if you know what I mean. thanks for listening and I’ll be waiting for a responce. your truly Tripp

  11. Angela X says:

    My God! Trying to sit through the snippets of scenes with Steven’s mother was excruciating! I wanted to throw a chair at her myself.You don’t even have to see too much of her to know what a sick, guarded, manipulative, and SELFISH woman she is.I found myself yelling at my TV screen while this totally self absorbed, poor excuse for a mother, tried to make everything about her, EXCEPT all the ugly stuff she has imposed on her son.She couldn’t even take responsibility for abandoning her child..TWICE, that we as an audience are aware of. You don’t blame an 11 yo child for being rejected from his home.Trying to say that an 11 yo boy has more power and control than a grown & married woman is nauseating! It hurt to see Steven try to wake her up & admit to her part in her disgusting lack of being a nurturing, loving, & caring mother.I’m surprised Steven is as healthy as he is.He’s got a child-like innocence & sweetness that draws people in.I’d be really surprised if he wasn’t a Borderline Personality Disorder from his mother’s detached emotions & lack of nurturing/protective care.I got an impression that perhaps SHE is a Borderline.And although that is a legit Dx,should she have that (cuz she HAS to have SOMETHING inherently wrong with her), I must say that I found myself unable to empathize with her & her excuses.;just like Gary.Although there is a known organic cause for SOME of his behavior,it’s hard to apply that when trying to deal with his intrusive, immature nature.Of course where Steven is concerned,the audience is rooting for our “hero”,rather than his icy mother-figure,because we have gotten to know the guy & have invested some time & energy into wanting him to recover & “win”.The mother-figure works well for dramatic effect, of course, but I found her exceptionally angering to the point that I could barely watch.I know her kind.I want to tell her to back the f^&k off Steven-quit using him when he’s vulnerable,then rejecting him when he asks (maybe even begs) for morsels of acceptance & love.She’s going where the money is, it’s so obvious.So she agreed to be filmed showing up at the hospital, for her sick son (don’t strain yourself, ma).And what’s even more sick is that she probably won’t even be able to “see” herself for who/what she is while she rewinds and watches “her” scenes over and over again.The rest of the videos will probably never be watched by her.I hope the best for you, Steven!I am rooting for all the rest of the cast too!Keep up the hard *_@$+`@#^`+^$#@ work! And Rodney,thank-you for letting us get to know you.You are truly a gentle soul!I’m so sorry that you had to become a poster child for the horrors of bigotry.You are holding up amazingly. Keep on shining!

  12. Mae Arthur says:

    I am glad to see the addition of Dr. Sophy. He is inherently likable and seems caring and intelligent (obviously). I think a lawyer needs to be added also to help people like Stephen, who lost his money to a woman who neglected and allowed him to be abused. I’d like to see him get control of his money again, get control of his addiction, get this horrible woman out of his life and head, and get his success back.
    Hopefully he can see that he can get beyond his mother’s rejection and become successful again in spite of her. You just know that she’s a damaged individual too, and will never be able to own up to the rejection and heartache she caused her son.
    He’s is truly very sweet. This is a cautionary tale about how much damage a mother can do.

    Also, I’d like to know what’s going on with Sean. He seems completely normal, although somehow you know he’s got issues with living in his (neglectful) father’s shadow. I’d tell him to take control of his life, work on his obvious talents until he’s successful in his own right. But, that’s why I’m not the doctor–I’m sure it’s much harder than just ‘cowboy up.’

    On a lighter note–it was good to see Dr. Drew in his black t-shirt and I’d like to see Dr. Sophy in one too!

  13. cheryl says:

    I think Dr. Charles Sophy is a wonderful addition to the show! I loved how firm he was with Stephen’s terrible mother as she tried to deflect any blame for abandoning him.

  14. Lisa G says:

    Well done having Dr. Sophy join. Wouldn’t mind seeing him in a black t-shirt as well :)

  15. Irene says:

    That’s what happen with people that has tooo much money tooo much free time, and maybe 2 responsavilitys in thier hands, they don’t know what to do with the money,

    I whander ! If they pays taxs?! this people is those ones needs be cut the incom down, so they would have something to wuorry about, like those poor peoples like me,