November 15, 1992
HOLLYWOOD. Calif The glib and the glamorous and the glitzy some of Hollywood’s brightest stars have sought help on the psychiatric couch.
Steve Martin, Goldie Hawn, Billy Crystal, Barbra Streisand and Jack Nicholson are among the celebrities who relate their experiences in an article by David Ragan in the current issue of Cosmopolitan.
“It took many years of analysis to discover I could be famous and still be me,” Ms. Hawn said. “I was afraid of it at first. 1 feared analysis might make me lose what I liked about myself – the little person who delights in little things, a woman who doesn’t need diamonds and furs to be happy. But I found that analysis made the ‘little me’ bigger and stronger. After seven years, I came away with more awareness and confidence.”
Kathleen Turner was another one to hit the couch to deal with fame.
“I had this feeling there was a Kathleen Turner who was getting a lot of attention and who was more important than I was,” she said.
“And I was helping her! I thought, ‘This is sick!”’
Now, she said, she can separate the public and private Turners.
Billy Crystal’s therapy involved personal, not professional, problems.
“When I was younger, I went into the pain palace a few times.” he said, “and I put down a lot of heavy emotional luggage The two worst years of my life were after my father died, when I was 15. What’s terrible is that my dad and I had an argument the night before he died, so I never had the chance to say, ‘I’m sorrv’.’ 1 was jealous of guys who had fathers, and jealousy is a bad drug. It’s frustration, it’s guilt.
“But you know what happens to people who feel guilty – they either run away or do something about it. The last route is the one I took.”
Barbra Streisand also knows about guilt.
“If I could change anything from my past, it would be to have started therapy earlier,” she said. “I lived so many years feeling guilty â– – Jewish guilt. Through therapy, I began finding out about life, talking to people, hearing how they feel and think. People are afraid of their own feelings, their own sexuality. We’re just so laden with guilt.”
Glenn Close is another strong believer in psychoanalysis.
“1 was going through some difficult relationships that weren’t right for me,” she said, “and I didn’t know how to extricate myself I couldn’t cope by myself anymore and needed to get to the bottom of patterns in my life 1 didn’t like. Analysis provided the answers I needed.”
Steve Martin’s problem was more crippling.
“I went through a stage of anxiety attacks,” he said. “I couldn’t stay in a restaurant for more than five minutes, or I couldn’t go into a movie theater or other public places. I was fearful – 1 had to get out.”
He said he “worked it out with the help of a psychiatrist.”
Jack Nicholson’s therapy was different.
“My therapy was Reichian, which is all sexual,” he said. “If you’re not releasing sexual energy in your life, you’re in trouble. It’s not that sex ic the primary element of the universe, it’s just that when it’s unfulfilled, it will affect you negatively.”
Not all the stars applaud their stint on the couch.
Bette Midler said, “When I was about 19,1 was in analysis for a year, but I didn’t get much out of it. I finally had to go to another shrink so he could tell me how to get rid of the first shrink.”