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Dina Lohan: The Mother of Denial

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Dr. Michelle GollandAs a mom and a psychologist, I am horrified by Dina Lohan's level of denial about her daughter's emotional problems and drug and alcohol issues. While watching her interview with Matt Lauer last week, I wanted to stop her and rush her straight to a therapist's office for her very own intervention. Dina is the classic case of a mom who, because of her own narcissism and fear of failure, is unable to see how her continued minimization of her daughter's issues is completely contributing to her child's self-destructiveness.

Dina Lohan

In the interview, Dina pointed fingers at everyone but herself. According to her, Lindsay's dad, Michael, was an absent father; Judge Marsha Revel played hardball and (of course) the media published negative propaganda against Lindsay. Dina chalked up Lindsay's behavior to her young age and avoided the topic of Lindsay's other stints in drug rehab. Her defensive posture showed me a bitter, angry woman who is afraid to face the seriousness of her daughter's problems, for fear she will then have to acknowledge and address her own shortcomings. Dina is afraid to take a long, hard look at how she truly failed her daughter -- and is continuing to fail her by going on television and trying to "spin" the truth. In doing so, she's undermining Lindsay and jeopardizing the success and health that could come from her daughter's incarceration and rehab.

Lindsay's bottom was jail, and Judge Marsha Revel knew that and acted accordingly. The problem with celebrities is that their bottom is often death: They have enough money, power and enablers (people who stick around because of the money and power), so the bottom is harder to reach, in a sense. Enablers like Dina keep moving the bottom out from under the addict. They move it by denying the problem, they move it by blaming others and they move it by colluding with the sick behaviors.

After the "Today" interview, Dina shared with a friend that she'd felt "ambushed" by Matt Lauer and hadn't thought he would be so tough on her. What Dina is failing to see is that Matt Lauer -- and all of us watching -- are NOT in denial like she is. We are focusing on the heart of the matter, not on the distractions and spin that Dina desperately wishes we would focus on.

Clearly, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree of denial and victimhood in the Lohan family.


next: One Mom's 'Formerly Hot Life'
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