Dr. Jenn Berman On Couples Therapy Episode 6: Baby On Board

On this week’s episode of Couples Therapy, we got a huge shock when we learned that Liz and Flav were expecting a baby. They were the most volatile couple in the house to begin with, and this news made their situation even more precarious, with the added hormones, stress, and anxiety.

We spoke to Dr. Jenn Berman about Liz, Flav, and the rest of the cast to find out why Liz was so upset and overwhelmed by the baby news.

Taking a pregnancy test is emotional and full of anxiety for your average person, but Liz had a lot more reason to be scared about a positive result, and it made me sad for her that she was so upset about it. Did she have any hope or positive feeling about the pregnancy at that point?

Heavy question. You know, Flav was really excited about the pregnancy, and Liz just felt really overwhelmed. Finding out the news for sure — I think that they had suspected it for quite some time — the timing of it in terms of where their relationship was at, Liz expressing that she wanted to leave, the conflicts that they had had, Liz was so overwhelmed by the news that i don’t think she was really able to take in how this would impact their relationship. It left her feeling kind of trapped.

Flav says at one point in group that their issues are heavier than everyone else’s. In a group setting though, where everyone is hurting, it seems like that’s not a fair thing to say.

I can’t disagree with him. He was referring to more than the pregnancy though. If you really listen to what I say to the group, there are some times where a couple is dealing with issues that are so intense and major that I deal with it separate from the group, and sometimes it won’t get shown on the show. That’s what I really respect about my producers and production company, they really look to do what is most therapeutic, and there are some things best left unshown. There are some private issues that were really significant but really private.

Can you get into why Liz was acting so erratically and was so out of it?

I can’t discuss her medical issues for privacy reasons, but I do think viewers are starting to get a clearer picture of why Liz is the way she is, from her severe childhood abuse, to her relationship with Flav, and now knowing she is pregnant and hormonal and dealing with the stress of their relationship conflicts, it’s just a lot. She was under a lot of stress.

I liked the fact that she sought out Catelynn for advice and that is the first person she went to.

Yeah, I thought that was really terrific. I always love when the cast members are able to support each other during a difficult time and Catelynn was the perfect person to talk to about this pregnancy and her feelings about it. Besides what Catelynn has been through, she’s just so compassionate and just really wanted to be there for Liz.

With Heather and Dustin this week, it was interesting to hear Heather talk about how hard they have to work at their relationship.

I don’t think there are any couples in long-term relationships that have it easy all throughout. I think all couples go through hard periods, nobody escapes that. They’ve only been together a short time, but the experiences they’ve had in reality TV and the intensity of that has expedited things for them. And I think she asked a great question, “Is it supposed to be this hard?” and I think that some relationships are more challenging than others.

Dustin said that he threatens to leave her for attention. What drives that?

When you come from such a chaotic, intense family environment, you don’t always know how to ask for your needs and ask for attention in ways that aren’t that provocative. It’s one of the skills I tried to teach him, asking for what you need.

I think the biggest surprise for me in this episode was Joe’s negotiating skills. I really thought he just wanted to butt in to Chingy and Temple’s business and be the center of attention, but he got results.

Yes! I know. You know, Joe is incredibly smart, incredibly articulate, and when he puts his mind to something, he makes it happen. He really used all those great skills with them this week.

It was the first step for Joe’s redemption, in my eyes.

I love that!

[Photos: VH1]