Hollywood And Rehab - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/22/07

Hollywood And Rehab

When Britney Spears shaved her head last week, the public really began questioning her sanity. Whether it was a PR move or a genuine attempt to get help, Spears checked herself in and out of rehab three times in the last seven days. 

ETMC Behavioral Counselor David Wheeler says celebrities often bounce in and out of treatment, because rock bottom simply isn't low enough.

He says, "When they can go for 15 days, maybe to placate somebody, maybe it's a business manager or an agent or what have you, and leave; you're not scraping the bottom of the barrel.  You're not living on skid row. What's your motivation?"

Whatever the motivation, Spears is the latest in a long line of celebrities to use therapy as part of an image makeover. Remember Mel Gibson after the anti-semitic tirade last summer? What about Isaiah Washington's homophobic slur against his "Grey's Anatomy" co-star? Then, there was Michael Richards' infamous racist rant at an L.A. night club.

And it's not just celebs anymore. Evangelical Pastor Ted Haggard went through three weeks of therapy after admitting to sexual immorality, and Florida Republican Mark Foley checked himself in after allegations of having sex with congressional pages.

Wheeler says, unlike the clients he sees everyday, celebrities often lack what it takes to get and stay clean.

"I mean, you look at a lot of these folks who have attained fame, and in many cases they have not had to develop emotionally as the average person has. They have not had to suit up and show up the way we do.," says Wheeler.

With this third trip to rehab, Spears PR camp is hoping she'll get clean. That way, they'll never have to hear her say, 'Oops, I did it again' again.

Lindsay Wilcox/Reporting lwilcox@kltv.com

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