“It’s hard to admit that I need help, but I do. For 45 days from the end of December to early February, I was in inpatient therapy receiving guidance for the issues I’m facing. I have a long way to go. But I’ve taken my first steps in the right direction.” – Tiger Woods (in his televised confession on Friday, Feb. 20, 2010)
*I believe in therapy. Having personally gained clarity, coping skills and strength through sessions with various counselors over the years, I can tell you firsthand that psychological therapy is an empowering way to deal with real problems. But, when improperly or unnecessarily used, therapy (like medications) can become a crutch or a dodge to avoid addressing one’s true issues. And for the rich and famous, therapy is often used as a public relations ploy.
That’s why I’m skeptical that Tiger Woods needs psychological counseling to figure out why he ran around with all those women behind his wife’s back. Is Tiger facing a crisis in psychology or a crisis of values? Did he suffer some kind of mental breakdown? Or are his actions indicative of a breakdown in personal morality?
Since I do not hold a degree in psychology or psychiatry, I may be completely off base in what I’m about to say (if so, I would love for an expert in the field to point out where my logic runs off the rails). But the idea that Tiger Woods committed adultery over and over again because he’s addicted to sex sounds nonsensical to me. Tiger seems like an ordinary guy who yielded to the extraordinary temptations that go along with being the most famous, successful and wealthy man in his field. His behavior was no more clinical than that of countless athletes, entertainers, politicians, tycoons and even regular folks who – because of their personal charisma and status – draw the attention of people who are more than willing to help them ignore their wedding vows.
Before he started talking about “needing help” from a counselor, Tiger Woods admitted that he had messed up morally. Early in his 14-minute mea culpa, Woods stated:
“I stopped living by the core values that I was taught to believe in. I knew my actions were wrong, but I convinced myself that normal rules didn’t apply. I never thought about who I was hurting. Instead, I thought only about myself… I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me. I felt I was entitled… I was wrong. I was foolish. I don’t get to play by different rules. The same boundaries that apply to everyone apply to me.”
Woods knew that what he was doing was wrong but he chose to ignore that fact and to forget about the feelings of his wife and kids because it was more fun to keep running around with all those eager, constantly available (and equally unethical) women. A man who convinces himself that he “deserves” to cheat on his wife is way out of pocket morally, but that doesn’t prove that his mind is out of whack. Tiger Woods has obviously been selfish, nihilistic and undisciplined…but the brother ain’t crazy.
Thanks for listening. I’m Cameron Turner and that’s my Two Cents.