HBO’s The Rehearsal starts with Grandiose CBT
If you’ve ever done Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), the first episode of Nathan Fielder’s The Rehearsal made total sense. It’s essentially a large-scale production of it.
CBT teaches you to document situations that may scare you or cause irrational anxiety, and to play out all scenarios that may arise when confronting your situation. I did group therapy at CAMH for anxiety. We indeed acted out our worst case scenarios (as Nathan and protagonist Kor Skeet do in Episode 1), and compared them against real life. The biggest takeaway from CBT (for me) is that 99% of the time, our greatest fears do not come to pass. Our mind has the power to make everyday situations debilitating, but logic shows otherwise once you document your fears versus reality. Our mind can make our lives a living hell.
When Kor Skeet admits his debilitating fear (owning up to having only a Bachelor’s Degree instead of a Master’s, which all his trivia teammates have), it seems comical because it is not that big of a stretch — in fact, it is entirely understandable given his own personal hangups, and a lie that most people would forgive. It only seems unforgivable to him, because of the judgement he has imposed on himself.
Our minds have the power to cloud our judgement, and therapy gives us windows into other ways of thinking.
I laughed a ton at the first half of the episode (Nathan Fielder brings that The Office humour in an understated/less cringe way), and was almost in tears by the end. I find this series incredibly heartwarming, especially due to my therapy experiences. Here are my top 5 favourite moments:
- When Nathan tells Kor that he has made a replica of his apartment, and rehearsed their meet with an actor
- When Nathan checks out Kor’s trivia teammate’s blog, Cheap Chick in the City, and his deduction is: “Cheap Chick in the City seemed to be a bare-bones website dedicated to low-cost activities in New York. I was hoping it would be a window into Tricia’s psyche, but it seemed like the majority of posts were just apologies for not having anything to post that day.”
- When Kor gets to act out his worst case scenario
- When Kor experiences the real-life scenario he was deeply afraid of — and it is wonderful
- When Nathan decides to congratulate Kor’s win.
Confronting your biggest fears is an essentially freeing human experience — and one of the bravest things we will do. In the words of Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.: Feel The Fear…And Do It Anyway.
Evelyn loves cool art and writes for money most of the time, and for pleasure when they are inspired — it’s been a while. Tweet me @evelynrockon ❤