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Rock stars don't twerk, according to 'Couples Therapy'

Season 6 | Episode 8 | “Remembrance of Things Past | Aired Nov 18, 2015

Maybe if rock stars did twerk, I wouldn’t feel so guilty about how much I enjoy Couples Therapy, and I wouldn’t be embarrassed about how much of my own personal emotional work I bootleg from Dr. Jenn’s group sessions.

That being said, this week is the episode where they break stuff, and I must admit, it seems really cathartic. You guys know the drill: Dr. Jenn constructs a space for each person to take out their aggression and past anger on a collection of triggers from their past. Then, as the rest of the group looks on, each person takes a turn swinging a sledgehammer (or a mop dipped in paint, depending upon preference) while the doctors ask them how they are feeling. It’s much more therapeutic than it sounds, I swear.

But I’m getting ahead of myself a little, because before you can fully appreciate the secondhand trauma caused by these highly aggressive displays of anger and frustration, you have to know how these folks got to this place. Obviously: Dr. Jenn.

This week’s group was “intense,” to quote Dr. Jenn, and that might have been the understatement of the century. People tend to get pretty intense when they are talking about their father repeatedly raping them, as Janice recounts. Or, like Kailyn remembers, their mother shaving their head bald when they complained about a homemade haircut. Here’s a quick guide to everybody’s most intense, emotional childhood memories and the subsequent adult issues they cause.

Origin Story: Her father was a drug addict and would often slip off to the crack house for days at a time. He contracted AIDS from sharing a needle with another IV drug user and died shortly after his diagnosis. Carmen’s mother, however, lied to her about how he died, resulting in Carmen feeling intense pressure to meet her dead father’s expectations of his “only son.”

Emotional Toll: Carmen is afraid to show her true self to her loved ones, especially Adrian, because she’s afraid she’ll be rejected, or worse, he’ll abandon her. This could explain why she chose to transition without telling Adrian and why there is such a history of adultery.

Origin Story: Janice’s father molested her and her five-year-old sister and used to ask Janice to play “the lollipop game.” Janice reported her father’s abuse to the police, yet they failed to intervene. Janice’s mother never tried to stop the abuse, either, and Janice wonders how she didn’t know. Dr. Jenn suggests that maybe she did know. Always with the good news, Dr. Jenn.

Emotional Toll: She is unable to trust the people she loves, and is constantly worried about betrayal. She has a hard time feeling safe or trusting security, and this is why she is freaking out about Rocky’s insistence on a prenup. This probably has quite a bit to do with her infamous drug abuse, and her addiction history, in turn, is responsible for her insufferable personality.

Origin Story: He claims his childhood was normal, although he doesn’t remember anything before the age of six. Weird, right? He does recall that his parents were both drug users, but went into recovery when he was about seven, which is too convenient to be coincidental. He’s probably blocking some stuff out. He does tell the group that his mom used to “beat my ass,” but Joe thinks that’s just good parenting. Janice (and everyone else in their right mind) adamantly disagrees.

Emotional Toll: He is unable to acknowledge any sort of negative feelings about his parent, and probably anything else. His defense mechanism is to disguise these feelings with obnoxious bravado and transparent male posturing. But that’s just my diagnosis. What do I know?

Origin Story: Her mother abused her continuously throughout her entire life, and even though her dad was an alcoholic, he always came to her rescue. Her dad eventually walked out on her family and left Kailyn alone with her mother. The abuse got much worse, eventually resulting in a severe beating from her mother and a shaved head.

Emotional Toll: Kailyn feels worthless and completely without value. This is exactly why she accepts the low-rate treatment from Joe, and is content to take Joe’s side-piece’s sloppy seconds.

Origin Story: Neil’s father was a secret drunk just like him, and would disappear for days while he was on a bender. Neil’s father was a provider, which Neil admits he’s not. His father took care of his family financially, and because Neil thinks he doesn’t, he feels worthless. It also doesn’t help that Ang tells him he’s worthless.

Emotional Toll: Without even realizing it, Neil is reliving his father’s story, and his and Ang’s relationship mimics that of his father and mother. These negative feelings about himself are worsened by Ang’s constant nagging about what “a piece of sh–t” he is, so he spirals into a destructive pattern when faced with struggle.

Origin Story: Scott’s biological father left Scott when he was very young. Afterward, there was a succession of abusive, violent stepfathers who tortured Scott in horrific ways. Scott’s worst experience came from one of his abusers trying to “beat the demons” out of him while his brothers watched. Sure enough, things get ugly when you bring religion into it.

Emotional Toll: He has a lot of rage directed at his dad’s neglect, and the fact that it resulted in all those years of abuse. Couple that rage with years of undiagnosed psychoses and self-medication, and Scott is a time bomb.

Leave it to Dr. Jenn to hunt down Scott’s biological dad and trot him in for a session. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until next week to see exactly how it goes down. That might be better anyway. I’ll need at least a week to process all this secondhand emotional trauma.

Couples Therapy airs Wednesdays at 10/9C on VH1.

TV Families | EW.com
February 23, 1990 at 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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