It’s a peculiar thing for a celebrity to want to sit down for a televised therapy session. Why would you want to share your most intimate thoughts, feelings and fears with millions of strangers? But if you’re going to do it then Dr Siri Sat Nam Singh of SBS VICELAND's The Therapist is an empathic and soothing soundboard.
On the show, Dr Singh counsels a diverse range of performers from the music world including rapper Waka Flocka Flame, metal rocker Corey Taylor of Slipknot and pop sensation Katy Perry, resulting in some incredibly raw and insightful television.
Back in June, Perry conducted a Big Brother-style 72-hour live stream Witness World Wide to promote her latest album, Witness, captured by 41 cameras set up in an LA apartment. It was a bizarre mix of yoga, cooking with Gordon Ramsay, sleeping, a dancing shark and domino art, among other oddities, and 49 million fans from 190 countries tuned in.
But the most illuminating part was when she sat down for a therapy session with Dr Singh, which features in The Therapist, to bare her soul. As the mascara streamed down, here’s what we learned...
Katy is both goddess and child
It’s clear the dichotomy between Katy Perry, the successful pop star and “goddess”, as Dr Singh calls her, and the emotionally “unevolved” Katheryn Hudson (her real name) is a wrenching conflict for the singer. Perry talks of them a little like Jekyll and Hyde. Katheryn is the girl brought up in a strict born-again Christian household with a lack of freedom that left her in arrested development. Katy is the confident, strong and adult side of the coin. But Katheryn is always there, Perry explains. “Katheryn represents this child. I have such a connection to children because I am childlike,” she says.
One ex really stood out from the pack
Perry has a five-point checklist for the perfect partner: a music lover, humour, intelligence, spirituality and power. She tells Dr Singh she’s had a lot of great relationships, but one man seemed to tick all the boxes. “One of them in particular has been a really amazing example of a man.”
The singer says he “mended my wings” but she had to “push pause” on the relationship because she needed to grow more as a person.
Who this mystery man might be is anyone’s guess, but we think we can strike off muso John Mayer and ex- Russell Brand. But naked paddle boarder and actor Orlando Bloom could be a contender. The pair broke up in March of this year, Perry’s live therapy session was in June and there were reports they had reunited in August.
She’s thought about suicide
In one of the session’s most emotional segments, Perry breaks down when Dr Singh asks her if she’s ever wanted to give up on life. “It’s hard because I’m ashamed,” she says of having suicidal thoughts brought on by depression. The singer says she wrote the track "By The Grace of God" on her 2013 album, Prism, about the issue.
The song includes the lyrics:
"Thought I wasn't enough
Found I wasn't so tough
Laying on the bathroom floor
We were living on a fault line
And I felt the fault was all mine
Couldn't take it anymore"
She admits she’s been a troll
“Revenge is not yours," Perry says. "Don’t be so catty, don’t be such a troll on the internet. Try and be an example, be kind.”
Is she referring to her long-running feud with Taylor Swift? It’s hard to be sure, but she did express her wish to make up with her nemesis in an interview with Arianna Huffington for the Thrive Global Podcast during the Witness World Wide live stream.
“I forgive her and I’m sorry for anything I ever did, and I hope the same from her,” she said. “I love her, and I want the best for her. Like maybe I don’t agree with everything she does and she doesn’t agree with everything I do, but I just really truly want to come together in a place of love and forgiveness and understanding and compassion.”
These are just some of the highlights of Katy Perry’s therapy session with Dr Singh. There are many more revelations, so you’ll just have to watch the episode to find out what they are.
Watch Katy Perry and other celebrities work through their problems on The Therapist airing Fridays at 10:15pm on SBS VICELAND, and at SBS On Demand.