As Britney Spears was preparing to leave Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after her 72-hour lockdown yesterday, Phil McGraw (a.k.a. Dr. Phil) reportedly “blindsided” the pop star, who then rejected Mr. McGraw’s offer to help her. Since Mr. McGraw was unable to penetrate Ms. Spears’ protective shell, we called celebrity life coach Patrick Wanis, Ph.D., to find out what measures he would take to help the fallen idol.
Before getting started, Mr. Wanis pointed to a comment Ms. Spears made about her father, Jamie Spears, to the Post last April.
“I am praying for my father,” she told the paper at the time. “We have never had a good relationship. It’s sad that all the men that have been in my life do not know how to accept a real woman’s love. I am concentrating on my work and my life right now.”
This single quote, Mr. Wanis inferred, is far more telling than any of Ms. Spears’ recent outbursts.
“Ultimately, our happiness and peace of mind comes from what we feel and believe about ourselves and the world around us. Britney’s greatest challenges relate primarily to her father. She never felt understood by her father,” he said. “That [statement] relates to her subconscious, to the belief that she hasn’t been appreciated as a child by her father,” Mr. Wanis added, before moving on to tell us that it’s possible that Ms. Spears didn’t feel open enough to show affection to her father as a child.
“I would be working, in a very simple way, to determine: What are her beliefs about herself? Who in the world is she angry at? What is the real pain she is trying to escape? Where is the self-loathing coming from?”
Because the press is being told that Ms. Spears may not, at the end of the day, have a true-blue, clinical substance abuse problem—even though it’s widely known that she has been drinking and partying heavily—typical drug rehabilitation is not, in Mr. Wanis’ opinion, the answer to her problems.
“When she’s having these outbursts, like when she’s shaving her head, these are all examples—not of someone screaming out for help—but [of] someone who doesn’t like themselves,” Mr. Wanis said. “I would want to know, in greater detail, the dynamic of the relationship between her and her father, and the dynamic of her relationship between her and her mother.”
After determining the dynamics of Ms. Spears’ relationships with her mother and father, Mr. Wanis said he would establish Ms. Spears’ belief system—“her deeper feelings and emotions, such as anger or guilt or resentment or bitterness.”
Then, after all of this had been determined, Mr. Wanis said he would begin hypnosis therapy to help her release any negative, false beliefs.
“All that means is that if she’s angry at her father for doing something at a subconscious level, she’s replaying that [painful episode] like a movie. So what we do under hypnosis is—not to command her to do anything—but to go back and change those beliefs,” he told us, before listing the motions he would undergo with Ms. Spears during hypnotic therapy. “Number one: to make her realize that’s not happening any more. Number two: to help her understand why her father did this [negative thing]—it had nothing to do with her; there’s nothing wrong with her. Number three: to install a new belief system.”
In Mr. Wanis’ opinion, Ms. Spears “hasn’t fully matured emotionally—not mentally—but emotionally. She’s old enough to mother children, and she’s old enough to be a mother to them. But emotionally, she’s stuck at some age; she’s resenting her responsibilities, even though she has the money to give her all the support she needs to deal with them. She’s not at the level yet of accepting the responsibilities in her life,” he added. “She’s had problems with both her marriages—the one that lasted a day [to Jason Alexander], and then the one with Kevin [Federline]—and she obviously isn’t able to handle the responsibilities of motherhood.”
Before wrapping up our conversation, Mr. Wanis asked us to consider how Ms. Spears’ estranged mother, Lynne Spears, managed her daughter’s career for much her daughter’s life. “How much of that was what Britney wanted and how much of that was what her mother wanted?” Mr. Wanis wondered aloud.
“A lot of these pop stars—or even beauty pageant queens—are living the life that their mothers wanted,” he said.