Score another one for therapy. Dara-Lynn Weiss’s therapist has helped her to earn the title “New York’s Worst Mom.”
Here’s the story.
Weiss’s 7-year-old daughter Bea was overweight. Weiss was distraught so she decided to solve the problem by putting Bea on a diet and telling the story in Vogue.
Nothing like a little humiliation to spice up your diet.
Weiss was not sure about whether she should include a picture of Bea in her Vogue spread so she, prodded by her husband, asked her therapist for advice.
The New York Post reports his reaction:
“His response was quick and definitive. The magazine article must be written. The book, too. The issue was an important one . . . However, Bea should be left out of it, he said. She should not collaborate on the book, as I had considered. And she should not appear in the Vogue magazine photo. This was my work; Bea should be kept separate from it.”
Apparently, this therapist, more concerned about the “issue” than about the fact that his patient and her daughter would be held up to public ridicule insisted that she expose herself in the pages of Vogue.
It’s called martyring your patients for a cause.
By exposing the story Weiss would not only be shaming her daughter, she would also have to tell the world about her own eating disorder.
You see, Weiss had her own history with food. Rather than keep it private and teach the value of discretion, the therapist counseled moral exhibitionism.
When young Bea learned of the therapist’s decision she reacted badly, so Weiss decided to allow her daughter to be part of the photo-shoot.
The result, via The Post:
So Weiss shamed her daughter as fat in the pages of a national magazine, held the child — and herself — up to ridicule and scorn. But at least she got that book deal. “The Heavy” hit shelves last week.
Don’t expect a mea culpa.
Now, Weiss feels badly that she allowed her daughter to appear in Vogue. For reasons that defy reason, she regrets not taking her therapist’s advice.
Let’s attempt to clarify this muddle.
In the first place, the therapist recommended strongly that Weiss go public with a story that would make both of them look bad, thus damaging the emotional well-being of both of them.
This is grossly irresponsible, but not very surprising.
Second, the therapist advised keeping the daughter out of the story.
Nice thought, but as long as the mother’s identity is revealed in Vogue, the daughter’s identity could not have been kept secret.
It does not require an advanced degree to figure this out.
Besides, don’t you think that the Vogue editors would have had an opinion in the matter? Do you think that they would have accepted the story with only a picture of the mother? What would the therapist have said if they had told Weiss that it was either both of them or neither of them?
The therapist’s advice, in other words was not only damaging, it was intellectually incoherent.
Third, Weiss concludes that she should have taken the therapist’s advice.
This shows us how therapy fails to teach people to think clearly. In truth, she did take the therapist’s advice.
When the therapist insisted that the story be written, because it was important for her to humiliate her and her family, he added that it was her work and not her daughter’s.
But, her daughter’s weight loss was her work. It would be helpful if the therapist, at the least, could think straight. The therapist was pulling a classical therapist trick. By having it both ways he was cleverly avoiding all responsibility.
Weiss would have been called “New York’s Worst Mom” regardless of whether her daughter had been with her in Vogue, so, as a said, score one for therapeutic ineptitude.