SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Mayor Filner announced Friday that he plans to attend a behavior counseling clinic to deal with his inappropriate actions. But what will that therapy entail, and will it work?
Filner made it clear he needs help. The first question is, what exactly does he need help for? We asked psychologist Dr. Mark Kalish.
"What we're talking about here are people that use sexual acts as a means of aggression and intimidation," he explained.
So the next question is, how exactly can that be fixed? Kalish says it depends on the program, but it usually involves a number of steps.
"We'd do some behavior modification, psycho education, and then we'd do some psycho therapy. Then they can see how their behavior has affected them and the victims," Kalish said.
We've seen a number of high-profile people full a mea culpa and admit they need help. Perhaps none bigger than Tiger Woods, who sought counseling at Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services. Carolin Smith is a counselor there.
"Breaking through denial of the seriousness is the first task. Many times denial is an acronym that stands for don't even know I'm lying," she said.
She added that if people stick with the program, they can truly change.
"I'm a firm believer that anybody motivated to change can change no matter their age or health conditions facing them. We can come to our own assistance but we can't do that until we face the truth," Smith said.
Commitment is one thing, but it's complimented by time. Kalish doesn't know if that's something Filner has.
"It may be a start but I'm really at a loss to know what kind of program thinks it can fix the problem in two weeks," he said.
The mayor added this is only the first step. He says he does plan on going to regular counseling after his two-week clinic.