We return to Family Therapy with Dr. Jenn in the middle of Brittany’s mom shouting that she can’t be mad for the lie about the identity about her father. The lie she told Brittany her entire life. Oh, really? Briana is equally upset over the lie – until she sees her daughter Nova – then she’s a happy camper.
Briana brings Nova around to introduce her to the other people she’s been spending the last two weeks with. Get this, Dina is nicer than Sister. Sister tells Briana she shouldn’t teach her daughter to talk to strangers. Oh, really? Message to Briana – Do the opposite of everything Sister tells you and you will be a success.
Brittany joins Michael and the Dash brothers out by the pool and gives them the 411 on what went down. She’s been crying for the wrong man her entire life. Dr. Jenn checks on Brittany and mom-of-the-year, Roxanne, joins the gang, still in defense-mode. I’m pretty sure the Dash brothers would like to excuse themselves, but they’re stuck. Michael is enjoying the exchange.
Brittany has many questions. What was he like? Was he a drug dealer? Who was his mother? Who are his siblings? How did he die? What color was his eyes? What color was his hair? I’m going to go out on a limb and say brown to the hair and eyes, but Dr. Jenn pushes Roxanne to answer. His name was Gerald and Brittany was three years-old when he was shot in the back, walking away from something. Dr. Jenn tells Roxanne that she effed up, but her intentions were good. If you say so, Dr. Jenn.
So later on, the gang is sitting outside, Michael’s telling Briana how lucky Nova is to have three mommies – unlike his kids who only had ½ a mom and ¼ of a dad – when Sister opens her mouth and starts preaching. Once again, she tells Briana her daughter should not be talking to strangers, and btw, Briana shouldn’t be dating either. Woman, please! After two weeks in an intense therapeutic facility, these people are not strangers! And though everyone’s jaws are on the ground at her ratchet rudeness, no one says a word to Sister. They are just sweeping it under the rug. Some therapy! Have you people learned nothing?
Briana gets up to leave, but Sister keeps the disrespect going. Brittany is inside the house, but can hear her sister’s cries. She has Brittany’s back from Sister’s attack. Sister explains that she didn’t make Briana cry, Briana made Briana cry. Woman, go home!
The next day it’s finally time for the Dash mini-session. I’ve been waiting to learn the exact nature of their issues – and it’s complicated. First off, the boys share the same father, but not mothers. And when they explain that their dad left Bobby’s mother for Damon’s mother, then Damon’s mother for Jeremy’s mother, the angst and anger becomes clear. Furthermore, Damon doesn’t feel respected and is resentful his brothers don’t kiss his ass 24/7. Dr. Jenn explains that Damon overrates respect and undervalues his brothers. The brothers then talk over Dr. Jenn several times, giving her zero respect. Funny how that happens.
It’s time for group therapy! This week the group will explore the ripple effects of traumatic experiences. We start with Brittany. She came there to fix things with her sister, but now she’s got all this grief to deal with. Good news! Problem solved with her sister. Dr. Conte gives Brittany two thumbs up for dealing with this loss through sadness instead of anger.
Jeremy goes next and explains he didn’t experience trauma until his father died. He has a lot of guilt for leaving his father that last time in the hospital when he wanted to know how to work the remote. He died and Jeremy is haunted by not staying longer and watching TV with him. He didn’t know his father was going to die.
Damon is up next, and not one to be outdone by his little brother, shares the most devastating thing to ever happen to him was his mother dying when he was 15. His father didn’t come to the funeral and didn’t ask him to come live with him. Ouch! Damon wins. He says this is the day he lost all respect for his father. Ding, ding, ding. This is where Damon got hung up on respect.
April is next. She describes how Bam was given creative license to do any kind of show and decided to have a show where he punked his mom and dad. April shares a story about Bam’s father scaring him half to death when he was a little boy on Incinerator Row. You can see the wheels click into place as April realizes this is where Bam came up with the idea for his show. Breakthrough!
Dr. Jenn thanks everyone for their hard work, but I wanted to hear about Sister’s trauma. Surely it must be huge. Perhaps she was abandoned by her mother. Perhaps her family shunned her. Or maybe she was just dropped on her head as a baby. The possibilities are endless.
Brittany and Damon talk the following afternoon. He gives her excellent advice to start journaling her thoughts. I mean, you never know when a hit single can come from your pain. Just look at Adele and Beyoncé.
Later, Aunt Christina, flies in for a mini-session with Brittany and Dr. Jenn. She brings a framed photo of her real dad holding Brittany. He was a cute guy. So sorry for her loss. Through tears, Christina shares good stories of Gerald and how Brittany has an Aunt Nyesha who always wanted to meet her. Brittany says her anger is coming back, but it’s now directed at the man who shot and killed her father. She contemplates contacting Lifetime Movie Channel for a pitch session.
The group is going on a powerful field trip – to a cemetery. Dun, dun, duuunnn! If it would have been at night, maybe it would have been spooky, but it wasn’t. The group walks up to see enlarged portraits of each of them and grave stones with their names on it. They have begin-dates, but no end-dates, at least not yet. Brittany is like, “I’m outta here. I’ve got to do this in real life.” Briana follows. Everyone else has a look of sheer boredom, except April. This was done just for her – she thinks. She hugs everyone. Dr. Jenn’s parting words are, this is what therapy looks like when it’s working.
Tune in next week when we see what therapy looks like when it’s not working.