The third season of Couples Therapy is over, and it wasn’t without its share of emotions, drama, and tears. The entire group seemed to gel (though we know that it took some time for them to warm to each other), but in the final few episodes, Joe Francis’ behavior ended up alienating some of his cast mates — perhaps bringing the rest of them even tighter while ultimately driving him and Abbey out of the house a day ahead of schedule. We spoke to Dr. Jenn Berman to discuss the dramatic ending to this group’s journey.
Joe has continued to tweet negatively about the show. Now that it’s over, do you have any final thoughts on Joe? What I will say about the situation is this: Above everything, I am a therapist. As a therapist I have boundaries and ethical guidelines, and I have those as a human being as well. I care about Joe despite what he has said about me and I wish him well. I also wish he didn’t say terrible things that diminish the great work that I did with him and Abbey. I think it’s unfortunate he would say such things when I provided him with nothing but high-quality, heartfelt therapeutic care. It saddens me that he would attempt to harm my professional reputation and the show, which to me are one and the same.
I feel a great obligation to take the high road because, first of all, Joe has been betrayed by so many people in his life and I don’t want to contribute to any more pain or suffering he experiences, and I also feel that I have a responsibility as a therapist and as a role model to my fans to be dignified about this situation.
Let’s move on to the rest of the cast and give them their due. Chingy and Temple made their decision to break up this week. Is that a decision you helped them arrive at or did they come to that entirely on their own?
I was really proud of them for not only coming up with that solution but also doing it in such a dignified and respectful way. I think Chingy and Temple are an amazing role model for couples who are in a place where they need to end a relationship. They were gracious, they were honorable, they were kind, and they realized hey, we are not meant to be together but we care enough about each other, let’s do this in an amicable way.
What are your final impressions of the other couples? Let’s start with Catelynn and Tyler.
They grew so much during our short time together. It was amazing to see the insight, the tools, the maturity. It was so impressive. And the courage it took for them to postpone their wedding, I just thought it was such strength of character that they did what was right for them and I was excited to see them grow as individuals and as a couple.
What do you think of where Flav and Liz ended up?
Flav and Liz came so far, I am so proud of them. In the end he really got it. He really got where Liz didn’t feel heard and he needed to make changes as a man, and as a fiance. It was wonderful. It was beautiful to see. And it really woke Liz up and made them closer and stronger than they were before. I’m really proud of them.
And finally, Dustin and Heather.
Dustin and Heather came later in the group and they just hit the ground running. They were probably in the most difficult situation because they walked in to a group that was already bonded and was already close, it was a really tough situation, especially for such a young couple, and they came in and just jumped into the therapy work and participated in such a meaningful way, I was so impressed with them. What Dustin said at the end about how the experience was life-changing for him, it brought tears to my eyes. It was really meaningful.