Shrink Rap – Heather Mills Review: Porn, Lies & Videotape

February 16, 2010 by  
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SHRINK RAP – HEATHER MILLS: Wednesday 17th February, More4, 10PM ALERT ME

No, it’s not a new fetish site involving Mucca and some cling film, Dr. Pamela Connelly is back with her own brand of talk show – a kind of psychological chat which last year had the likes of Stephen Fry, David Blunkett and Sharon Osbourne bare their souls.

This time it’s Heather Mills’ turn to be in the chair but those expecting some juicy psychological revelations will be disappointed. That’s not to say that she doesn’t go into detail – Mills recounts everything from her first childhood memory to the first time she had an orgasm.

It’s not actually very clear why she’s willing to tell us all this. Why would you go on TV and publicly reveal your innermost thoughts? It’s narcissistic at the very least.

If one were cynical (and I have more cynicism than most people cultivate in a lifetime), you could say that she was doing this as a PR exercise – it’s a chance to get her point of view across without being mercilessly gunned down by the tabloid press.

In that sense it does a very good job. Dr. Pam asks questions in a soothing voice that paints Mills in a very good light indeed. In some ways, that’s not unexpected; psychiatrists are supposed to be judgemental and it’s not exactly Jeremy Paxman doing the grilling here – but it is quite frustrating.

Occasionally we’re given little glimpses of where the interview could go. Statements like, “So you learnt that basic rules like don’t steal and don’t lie didn’t apply to you? open a tantalising avenue of questioning but she never pins Mills on its implications.

In some ways that’s good – people shouldn’t be lambasted for talking openly to a psychiatrist, but it makes the interview seem needlessly one-sided and apologetic. There are questions here which people would like the answers to, they just never get asked.

Dr. Pam spends a lot of time sucking up – Mills is “beautiful, highly intelligent, articulate, and caretaking? – and suggesting possible motives behind Mills’ actions whilst Mills nods in agreement – apparently most of what she’s done was “motivated by survival? and the reason for the press’ hatred is “envy?. Laughable when you look at the catalogue of criticism that’s built up over the years.

It’s interesting in places – Mills’ description of the bike crash that severed her leg is particularly horrific – but anyone expecting revelatory insights is going to be disappointed.

john says:

The interview is of course for television, however Dr.P is a clinical psychologist and would follow some of the guidelines required for dealing and conversing with a personality like H M. Halfway through the interview Dr P refers to HM’s father’s narcissism, which H M readily agrees with, however Dr P quietly points out that narcissism breeds narcissism which H M chooses to ignore. Dr P is quite attuned to this lack of awareness in this personality type and so does not press the point, certainly not in an interview this brief.
It does however simply illustrate what I suspect everyone bar H M knows-that she is an extremely narcissistic person. The constant self-praise about her work for charity, how she is such a “giving” person, how she learnt law herself and beat the system, how men all fall immediately in love with her, how the public all love her. And of course she has never made a mistake or been at fault, Most of it is both classic and blindingly obvious.
Two of the main difficulties in dealing with narcissistic people in a clinical setting are their need to portray themselves as at least equal to and preferably superior to the therapist and the need to treat them with kid-gloves and indulge their fantasies of grandiosity because of the rage that can be resultant in disagreeing with them. They would interpet this as critisism which is intolerable for them. Hence H M had to let Dr P know that A) her mother was a trained psychologist (unlikely-and a sudden new addition to her life story) and B) also that she herself had counselled trauma survivors (with the implication that other lesser people [pscychologists for example?]did not understand them.) Hence also Dr P did little in this first setting other than stroke H M’s ego, agreeing with her version of events and marvelling at how well she had handled adversity.
It probably did little to satisfy hardened H M haters, but for those of us watching (amateur and professional) with an interest in the narcissistic personality and how it can manifest this was fascinating. Love to see a continuation though.

Phoenix225 says:

“So you learnt that basic rules like don’t steal and don’t lie didn’t apply to you? — exactly, so why give this woman a forum once again? It’s been proven over and over (and over) that her version(s) of any portion of her life whatsoever is either straight-up lies, grandiose embellishments, or equally gross omissions… What is the point in talking to her? She was recently interviewed in Ireland and, here we go again, her routine run-down of incessant lies, much including the whopper that she was a multi-millionaire by the time she was 19 years old — no way, no how this is true… She was never a successful model (or even close), and (FACT) the modeling agency her 1st husband bought for her went under in very short order… She doesn’t come even near to the truth, realization, or understanding that McCartney has nothing to do with how the world views her and/or in what (lack of) regard… She and her big fat mouth have single-handedly created the world she finds herself in now… She was doing a great job of nailing her own nails into her own coffin — she hasn’t needed McCartney or anyone else to help her in doing so… I just do not understand, once again, affording this certifiable lunatic any respectable forum in which to continue exposing all of us to her incessant blather… Why???