‘Married at First Sight’: Do the Experts Actually Provide Therapy to the Couples?

Married at First Sight has always had a panel of experts on the show to help the newlywed couples. Some viewers may assume what their work is would be considered as therapy, but is that actually the case? Here is what the experts had to say about what they provide and don’t provide for the couples.

The experts are the matchmakers

Jamie Otis and Doug Hehner of Lifetime's Married at First Sight
Jamie Otis and Doug Hehner of Lifetime’s Married at First Sight Cindy Ord/Getty Images for A+E Networks

A big portion of the experts’ jobs happen before the show starts filming. After recruiters find potential candidates, they are the ones who actually match them.

The experts are the final say. The bus stops with them,” Chris Coelenthe CEO of Kinetic Content, the production company of the show, told E! News “The experts always have the final say and that is an extraordinary level of trust that the network gives to them. And we as producers give that to them as well.”

Dr. Pepper Schwartz also backed up this claim. “I know it’s not believable because there are a lot of other productions out there where it’s highly scripted and controlled,” she told E! News. “But I can give you 100 percent of my word that we get the last word. While the producers definitely have opinions and they will give them, ultimately, it’s up to us and we have gone against the producers’ desires lots of time.”

What do the experts do after matching making? Viewers see them sit down with the couples and talk to them throughout the show. They may also assign homework, but how far does all of that go?

Dr. Jessica Griffin said there are many conversations not seen on the show

The psychologist and trauma/relationship expert wrote about the tactic of gaslighting in toxic relationships. Some fans believed this was because of Luke Cuccurullo’s treatment of Kate Sisk in Season 8. Dr. Griffin wouldn’t confirm that but talked a little bit about the experts’ role on the show.

“Believe me, I have spoken up many times in my multiple roles/jobs over the years. Re: MAFS, regardless of what you may actually see on TV (a week of their lives condensed into minutes) much happens behind the scenes off camera,” she wrote according to Soap Dirt.

“As I’ve said before, the majority of my conversations do not make it to the screen. (It would make for a very long show-most of what I do is probably boring & I’m super long-winded). My private, off camera conversations remain private,” continued the expert.

Dr. Griffin said the experts aren’t their therapists but will recommend it if needed

Although she said there are many things viewers aren’t seeing, the doctor did say they aren’t their therapists. There is a better option for that.

“On every show I have worked on, when I think actual therapy (we aren’t their therapists) is warranted, I work to try to facilitate referrals to treatment in their community,” wrote Dr. Griffin. “People matter to me, more than anything else.”

The experts seem to be there to match the couples and try to guide them. However, Dr. Jessica Griffin doesn’t consider the experts to be their therapists so what their doing on the show probably shouldn’t be considered as therapy.

Read more: ‘Married at First Sight’: What Are Red Flags the Experts Look for in Casting?

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