The Celebreality Interview – Dr. Charles Sophy

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As seen in this week’s episode (and in last week’s extras), Dr. Charles Sophy is the lead psychiatrist of the Celebrity Rehab/Sober House team. And though he pops up occasionally on screen, Dr. Sophy tells us he was on hand throughout the filming of this season of Sober House. Below, he gives us his take on this season and working with Jenn, whom he was called in to advise after last week’s blow-up with Mike Starr.

What did you think of the tumultuous nature of Sober House this season?

It surprised all of us. I think it’s been a lot more difficult than we thought and it taught us a lot that we knew but weren’t aware of.

Had you been evaluating everyone all along?

Yes, I had done their initial psychiatric evaluations as they came into rehab and then checked on them regularly.

Where does your work with them differ from what we see them doing with Drew in group?

I think my stuff is much more psycho-dynamically geared towards them. I would talk about basically who they are as people, how they get to the point that they are triggered to use, whether it is more of a disease process in their body or genetics or triggered from self-medication. I would also look at them to see if they have other issues going on, like depression, anxiety, ADHD, or bipolar disorder — things that they may be missing or self-medicating in a bad way.

Is it difficult for you, then, to treat Jennie, whose focus is much more on the sex-addition side of things?

It’s hard because once there is an ingrained behavior, like a shopping addiction or sex, in her case, it’s a hard addiction to break. You are not only addicted to a behavior, it’s a really intense feeling that you are addicted to as well. It’s a double whammy.

What did you take away from your evaluation of Mike?

What I took away is Mike is a lot more disturbed than I think anybody really thought going into the sober house. He was in a less structured facility without a lot of supervision and was expected to step up to that next level of care. He was expected to take care of himself and own himself, and he wasn’t able to it.

He said that authority figures were stressful to him – did you get the feeling you were causing him stress while evaluating him?

I present myself in a different way than other authority figures. I needed to be a safe place for him if I was ever going to be able to treat him. I need to be a neutral authority instead of an overbearing authority. And that’s the part of treatment that has to be delicately danced around.

We also see you come in to help counsel Jenn after her blow-out with Mike Starr. What did you make of that situation?

I felt that it was unfair to both of them. They were both in a situation and they didn’t even realize how they got there. It just escalated to that point. There was too much emotion. I think sitting there with Jenn and letting her emote, even though it was pretty loud and aggressive… it was good for her to let it out and realize that we can move forward and fix it. But keep in mind that the context is that this guy is worse than probably anybody thought. And the end result is that we got the help that Jenn needed.

Did you think she might need that extra support all along?

I always knew that she needed more support. As they get to that sober house stage, more of their personalities and mental health stuff starts to emerge. That’s the way it goes. I saw that this group at the initial take in rehab had a lot of personality stuff going on. And at this point, I think it was exhausting to her. She was physically exhausted and that wears her down.

She’s talked about not being able to reach out to you, I assume due to the show’s restrictions.

Correct.

After speaking with her and knowing that she had a higher level of support, you were confident things would go smoothly?

Yes, I knew that with two people in the house, especially with one that was not tired and stronger to allow the other one to take a backseat a little bit, rest and get her stride again, that the house would continue to run then.

This is, without question, a more difficult group than the first season, right?

Absolutely. There were a lot more mental health issues with this group, a lot more personality issues, and a lot more mood and anxiety issues.

And since that’s the case, did you predict the level of tumult the house would end up reaching?

I thought it was going to be maybe a bit more aggressive. At one point, I thought somebody was going to get hurt. I was shocked that nobody fell off a balcony or got hurt in a shuffle or something like that. I was happy to see that people maintained their personal control for the most part.

With those concerns in mind, it sounds like such a dangerous scenario to foster.

Well, you assess as you go. To Drew’s credit, we were able to pull it together with the production company and really assess it. When Drew and I were able to say it to them, “Hey guys, this is getting wrapped up, we need to put security in place,” we certainly did that then. Loesha was one of them. I came in, too — there were days I was there till midnight. We certainly put things in place.

It’s interesting that you were so hands-on because viewers really have no sense of that.

I wish they did because it would really help everyone understand that there were precautions in place. We did jump in there. I was there till midnight many nights sitting on the balcony with Mike working him through, talking him through stuff.

Is it safe to say that Mike was your main point of focus?

He became my main point of focus halfway through Sober House.

Anyone else you worked intensively with?

Jenn: helping her cope, getting her through, supporting her. Those two became the focus for three quarters of it for me because it was really about keeping him safe. Also, from my assessment, if I could get him in tact than the others would unravel less. He was scaring everybody with his stuff.

Do you think that having cameras up in this volatile mix helped or hurt the process?

I think it helped. I think it will help show the world that there is a significant amount of stuff that can go on after the initial rehab. Just because the drugs are gone, the alcohol is gone, just they are not in your body and are not in your life necessarily, it doesn’t mean that the residuals aren’t still there. There are mental health problems. There are personality issues.

And I guess the cameras provided a safeguard, right? I mean, Jenn didn’t have immediate help, but there were always a set of eyes on her and whatever was going on.

Yes, absolutely. It wasn’t a misguided thing where we were just watching people, waiting to see if they were going to walk into a wall.

Related content
Jenn Gimenez responds to Sober House controversy
Sober House with Dr. Drew cast reveal
Sober House with Dr. Drew show page
Sober House with Dr. Drew videos and extras
Connect with fans of Sober House

  1. Gina says:

    Wondering why Jennifer wasn’t fired. Also wondering what she is taking that her side of the story would be SO wrong. She was aggressive, she hit Mike but told him not to touch her. She appears to be full of herself and her power to throw people out. BOOOO to Jennifer. Won’t watch if she’s on next season. Didn’t like her last season, like her even less this season.

  2. jay torrance says:

    Dennis Rodman is the most self centered and selfish person I have ever observed. I also think he is of low in-telligence and emotionally detached. I don’t
    think he has ever cared about anyone but himself. He will never admit his addiction and is ashamed of where he is at this age.
    I say kick him out and let him crash and burn which he will
    most certainly do.

  3. Patricia says:

    I love Dr. Drew, but I’d love to see a psychiatrist talk to him about his unwitting incitement of Lindsay Lohan’s abusive father. Those statements about Lindsay were poorly thought out and still carry the potential for causing real harm to any parents who take them too seriously.

    Does Dr. Drew have some support system of his own? He’s working in a profession where secondary PTSD is a natural workplace hazard. In his statements about Lindsay, Dr. Drew engaged in black and white reasoning, and tunnel vision — two well-known hallmarks of the kind of post-traumatic, fear-based thinking that goes on in someone suffering from PTSD.

    I’d love to see a clip of Dr. Drew with Dr. Sophy, talking about post-traumatic thought and speech patterns and what he can do to avoid them.

  4. Cleavy says:

    Sophy is a robot, isn’t he?

  5. Jody says:

    I LOVE Dr. DREW!! I soo Think He Is Amazing, Will, Bob… I just want to say How I love watching Celebrity Rehab.. My Heart goes Out to the Patients, I pray Tom Sizemore Really Stays clean, I believe He will Have his career back, Dennis Rodman Who I never really knew, Has a Huge Heart,, (watching this an How he ran after the ambulance for the country singer) I think He has Masked who He is, Which Is very Sad… He Wants to be loved an Excepted!! Now to Mike, He Is My Absolute Favorite… (I have 2 nephews who Are addicts) I was never an Alice an Chains fan, I just saw Mike for the first time On this show, Please Dr. Drew, Don’t like Mike out Of Sober Living. He Needs A six month Program At least!! I see his pain, An I soo Want him Well.. I believe with a few More months His life will be changed.. I just love how He has really worked the program, After that many years Of shooting Up, It is a hard battle, An I soo give him credit for doing what He is doing!! I pray for all Of them, I just think Dont Let Mike Out,, He Needs support. An I think He can Have a life back too!!

  6. Rose says:

    I am in complete shock that someone that is meant to be a professional would act in such a way as Jen towards a patient. She was completely out of line in her communication with Mike and acting in a behavior to influence a patient to leave. She is meant to encourage sobriety and instead she acted in a manner that would strain the patient to use. I am completely disgusted that someone like that would be able to work in a rehabilitation facility as she is completely unprofessional, uncaring, and immature. If she is not released from working in the facility I would be completely shocked and it speaks for those that are in charge. I CAN NOT SAY ENOUGH HOW DISCOURAGING AND UNETHICAL HER BEHAVIOR IS!

  7. Sandy Carr says:

    I think everyone must remember that this IS a reality show, with all the limitations that come with it. I am an MSW working with and in the addictions population. I would love to work with Dr. Drew and his staff, since I feel there is much I can learn from them.

  8. Sandy Carr says:

    Jen is not a professional…she is a recovering addict with some serious sobriety. That is why she was allowed the latitude she was….I commend her for putting her recovery in jeopardy…

  9. Wiselady says:

    I am absolutely in love with the comforter set off the reality show Sober House on VH1 it is the purple, green, and silver comforter in Jennifer’s room. Where can I get it?

  10. Monica says:

    My mother died at 33 of a drug overdose in the early 80′s not far from where Sober House was filmed. I did not identify any of the paitents as celebrities. They were just real people with real addictions that needed intense help. It became clear as the show went on that some struggle with mental health issues that lead to addiction like my poor mother. Having witnessed all of those behaviors as a child, the show has impacted me greatly. I pray that all of you keep fighting, learning and accepting the love and kindness of those who can help keep you alive. I am now 45 and I miss my mom everyday. There is no dignity in dying the way she did. You all deserve peace, love and a sober life no matter who you are. Keep fighting! XOXOXOX

  11. evelyn says:

    Why doesn’t someone address the issue of soboxone .. is it being used? What are effects?

  12. Wendy says:

    I ALSO am absolutely in love with the comforter set off the reality show Sober House on VH1. It is the purple, green, and silver comforter in Jennifer’s room. Where can I get it? I have seen another person ask about this as well. Is there anyway we can find out?

  13. Scott Thenen says:

    Charles E. Sophy bully that lost
    I have 2 complaints against Dr. Sophy with the FTC: File # 2620803 and 262523428

    Recording my phone conversations without permission
    Using malware to infect my computer

  14. Scott Thenen says:

    There is an erronous blog on the bottom of this page with my name attached to it.

    This is not a story about that. This is a story of overcoming personal tragedy into personal triumph. There are only a few reasons people watch this show and read the blogs.

    1. To be entertained
    2. Compare similiar stories in your life to what you see.
    3. Is to get help

    I am a 52 year old man that finally can live in his own skin with joy. I had great mentors in my life the 2 greatest with James (Jim) Dube. The greatest drug treatment specialist to ever live. Jim died and is no longer with us but he remains in the hearts and minds of thousands of peoples life’s he touched. The other is Robert (Bob) Coy and that is a deep and intimate mentor. This man has probably touched millions of lifes. I grew up in South Florida, and if you want to research either man. James Dube Miami Community College and Bob Coy Ft. Lauderale.

    I never new their was such a thing as social aniexty disorder. I learned about it by being a devout Miami Dolphin fan and seeing Ricky Williams have it.

    All my life hands sweat, blush easy when there is anything embrassing, and really in mind feeling locked up. I couldn’t wait to be alone and to be by myself to get relief from this crippling disorder.

    Dr. Sophy was the man who changed my life forever, despite having incredible mentors. Medical field is always primary. Treatment secondary.

    I am now free from that mental torture thanks to medication and the application to the medication prescribed by Dr. Sopphy.

    I always want to triumph over personal trageties. The way it works is simple. I embrace every feeling that I have. I love it. From the happiest time, saddest time, most embrassing time, the angriest time, the thrill, the boredom. When you can embrace all your feelings you can get rid of every feeling you don’t like to feel. I stand strong at all times.

    What you do is use the bad moments, the sad moments, all of it as fuel to triumph. Overcome is passive and triumh is victory. I walk with joy released from it all. If you going through a situation in your life and have no control you can still always win. Disarm the emotion and use it to fuel your life.

    Dr. Drew what you do I have no idea. Dr. Sophy in one word greatest. Kobe Bryant in your field.

  15. 353887 says:

    What a lovely day for a 353887! SCK was here

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