So WTF Is Love Rehab, Anyway?

This morning, we told you about how Rihanna is reportedly headed to Recovery Ranch, a love and relationship rehab located in Tennessee. The reason? Rihanna is supposedly still not over her ex-boyfriend Chris Brown. The couple split up in 2009 after he beat her, and then got back together this past year, but broke up again a few months ago. A source (dubious, but a source) told Grazia magazine, “Rihanna is still desperately in love with Chris. It’s like she’s obsessed with him and, although he’s told her it’s over, she just can’t get over him.” So, to deal with that, she’ll allegedly be taking off time from her world tour to attend the Centers for Relationship and Sexual Recovery program. But what is a relationship rehab, anyway?

To start with, the program is focused on treating sex and love addiction in women. According to the program’s website, patients receive gender-specific, trauma-focused therapy; group therapy; equine therapy; and 12-step meetings. The program is fully gender-separate so women can focus on healing (they also run a separate program for men). The program aims to “and eliminate problem patterns of sexual behavior, while helping our clients regain dignity, self-respect, and the trust of those they love.” The program focuses on early childhood trauma and patterns of abuse that may have led the patient to pursue and stay in abusive relationships as adults.

“In all seriousness kudos to the girl,” said author Jo Piazza, who just released Love Rehab: A Novel In 12 Steps, about just that. “She is young and was obviously caught up with a very bad man. We all know how hard those are to get over. It is brave to enter treatment for anything, but particularly something like this.”

It’s easy, after all, for people on the outside of an abusive relationship to tell an abused person to walk away, but much harder to actually do it if you’re not equipped with the proper tools and self-esteem to do it. Piazza is hopeful that if Rihanna does go through with the problem, she’ll have a second chance at happiness. “The fact that she is getting help now, means that she will likely be able to have healthy relationships going forward.”