October 2015 is Bullying Prevention Month: Defeat The Inner Bully Lifetime TV UnREAL’s Rachel Goldberg (Shiri Appleby) and Quinn King (Constance Zimmer) are the quintessential bullies. They use, torment, humiliate, tear down, and pit their reality show women contestants against each other for a chance at Everlasting love. Love is the key word here. Because it isn’t love that’s being offered. It’s a trick. The women contestants have sold their souls to do everything and anything to be the one that wins over Adam Cromwell (Freddie Stroma), a rich British playboy. They want to believe everlasting love is possible. The bullies (Rachel and...

The women of Litchfield were robbed of their power long before they got there. Piper, with her courtyard pulpit plea for self-respect in Season 3 of OITNB, is the new inspirational speaker on women’s empowerment. Granted, she’s got a lot to gain monetarily from convincing her fellow inmates to go along with her stinky panty plot. Yet, Piper’s (Taylor Schilling) pretty high on the idea of putting one over on the patriarchy and everyone else who has ever made her feel less than good about herself. So, she has quite a lot to say about standing up against self-hate. Self-respect is power -...

It’s Independence Day – and no one in Wayward Pines has any independence at all. In such a situation, paranoia is to be expected. When you live in a world made up of lies, secrets, and threats, you’re left with one big question about what is real and who - if anyone - can be trusted. Everyone in Wayward Pines lives with this kind of fear. Even David Pilcher, that megalomanic man known as Dr. Jenkins to most - the one who’s stolen people’s lives to create his own version of a Brave New World. Apt title, Episode 7: Betrayal. Yet,...

Never stop a depressed person from talking. Never say, “It’s all in your head.” It’s not. There are reasons for every depression. Including Soso’s, in Season 3 of Orange Is The New Black, if Healy cared to listen. Certainly, never say: “No wonder you don’t have friends. No one wants to be with a sad person who mopes around.” That’s cruel - and only makes the self-loathing voice (in every depressed person’s mind) louder. Therapy should be a safe place to talk about anything – to be listened to without judgment. As Berdie Rogers (Marsha Stephanie Blake) says: "When someone's feeling...

The people of Wayward Pines can’t watch out now. It’s too late. But, it’s important to distinguish between an arrogant person and someone who wants to help. Arrogance gives you no Choices. There couldn’t be a more ironic title for Episode 6 of Wayward Pines. No one who ended up in Wayward Pines really had a choice. Did they? As Episode 6 unfolds, we see that everyone in Wayward Pines is a casualty of scientist David Pilcher’s (Toby Jones) arrogance. Either his grandiose ideas about a new “extraordinary life” seduced them. Or, they were strong-armed because they had no other options. Mostly,...

“Manipulative” is a throw away description that never tells the whole story. Piper may be manipulative, but really she’s desperate for love (and scared of it). Wily ways to get what she wants, even out and out lies, might seem the best way to go. Especially since openness doesn’t work so well with her mom and dad. In the first 5 episodes of Orange Is The New Black’s Season 3; we see the emotional costs of Piper’s hurt. Piper (Taylor Schilling) tries to be tough but she’s far from it. As Season 3 begins, Piper is struggling with whether or not...

We’re being led astray in The Truth, just like the people in Wayward Pines. The big reveal seems far from the real story. Otherwise, why was Dr. Jenkins (Toby Jones) AKA David Pilcher in Seattle telling Ethan’s boss (who wanted to call it off), “It’s been done, Adam. Nothing for you to worry about.” Why did Ethan (Matt Dillan) ask, just before he crashed, “Who is David Pilcher?” I seriously wonder if this town is a place that wayward people are sent when they ask too many questions, know too much, or have gone over some line somewhere. Or maybe M. Night...

Ethan Burke (Matt Dillon), Secret Service agent, apparently made a mistake and let someone suspicious go. Apparently, 621 people died. This weighs heavily on his conscience. Other mistakes weigh heavily, too. Such as having an affair with his partner, Kate Hewson (Carla Gugino) and hurting his wife and son. Yet, as four episodes of M. Night Shyamalan’s disturbingly strange world of Wayward Pines unfold, we begin to wonder if it’s all a hallucination in Ethan Burke’s mind - or something else. We can expect a surprise ending from Shyamalan. But, from my vantage point as a psychoanalyst, let’s take it as...

We’re left to wonder: what will become of Don Draper (Jon Hamm)? As Coca Cola’s hilltop jingle ends 7 seasons of Mad Men – we have questions that don’t have answers. Has Don changed? Or, is he just the quintessential ad man - a man who escapes into his stories because they’re better than his personal reality? Don’s early trauma has had some devastating effects.  If Don has changed, there’d be some very specific signs. First, though, to understand how he’d change, the crushing effects of his childhood trauma must be highlighted: Don doesn’t trust love He was neglected, abused, and abandoned....

We’re all still talking about Mad Men. And, yes, I agree - the characters often hit close to home with many of life’s painful realities. Yet, I have to say that the tongue in cheek jingle at Mad Men’s finale was a bit too disturbing. Leaving Sally (Kiernan Shipka) doing dishes in the kitchen with a dying mother and no father walking through the door is almost unbearably sad. We’re faced with the fact that one cry, a few encounter groups in an Esalen kind of therapy, just aren't enough to change the effects of Don's (Jon Hamm) traumatic childhood. His children are left to repeat...