‘Married at First Sight’ Pays for Off-Camera Therapy, Dr. Viviana Coles Says

TL; DR: 

  • Married at First Sight will pay for additional therapy for participants, Dr. Viviana Coles says. 
  • The show’s experts meet with cast members at least five times during their eight-week marriages. 
  • Some MAFS fans think the experts should intervene in unhealthy relationships. 

RELATED: ‘Married at First Sight’: Pastor Cal Says Some People ‘Are Dishonest Throughout the Process’ Amid Alyssa-Chris Disaster

Dr. Viviana Coles is answering all your burning Married at First Sight questions. The relationship counselor and sex therapist recently took to social media to share some insight into what goes on behind the scenes at the popular Lifetime reality series. One revelation? The show will pony up for off-camera therapy if participants ask for it. 

‘Married at First Sight’ will pay for participants’ therapy sessions 

In an Instagram Live posted on April 8, Coles offered a “refresher” on how Married at First Sight works. She also answered some questions from her followers about the show. One person wanted to know if participants had the option for therapy sessions beyond what is seen on the show. 

“We always – we meaning the entire production, everyone included in production – encourage people that if they already have therapists they’re working with prior to coming into this process, that they continue that. Absolutely,” she said. 

Not only is additional therapy encouraged, but the show will help cast members cover the cost, Coles said.

“The production will pay for therapy, for couples therapy, for individual therapy, after the process [and] if they need it during the process,” she added. “We are a very pro-therapy.”

How often do the experts meet with ‘Married at First Sight’ couples? 

Whether or not they pursue therapy off-camera, every Married at First Sight couple has multiple sit-downs with the show’s trio of experts during their two-month marriage. Coles explained that participants meet with either her, Pastor Cal Roberson, or Dr. Pepper Schwartz at least five times over eight weeks. And if cast members feel they need additional support, they can reach out. 

“We are always available to talk to them, especially if they want us to,” she said. But, she added, “we can’t force ourselves on them.” Production also keeps the experts abreast of what’s going on with the couples. 

Some fans think the ‘MAFS’ experts should intervene more often 

Alyssa and Chris sitting on a couch during an episode of 'Married at First Sight' Season 14
Alyssa and Chris from ‘Married at First Sight’ Season 14 | Lifetime via YouTube

Though Coles said that the MAFS experts keep a close eye on what’s happening with everyone’s relationship, some of the show’s fans have wondered if they need to take a more active role in the show. 

On this season of Married at First Sight, many viewers were disturbed by Alyssa’s behavior toward Chris during their honeymoon. Others have called out what they see as red flags in Olajuwon’s relationship with his wife Katina. 

“At some point the @MAFSLifetime team is going to have to start protecting the emotional and mental health of the participants,” one Twitter user commented on Alyssa and Chris’s toxic relationship. “What she’s doing to him can be mentally damaging.”

“The way her yells, berates, interrupts, accuses her. I just can’t. And the crew allows it to continue,” one fan commented on Instagram after Katina and Olajuwon had a major blow-up over a dating app on her phone. 

One person thought the Married at First Sight experts were missing an opportunity to teach viewers about the warning signs of unhealthy relationships. 

“When people … show signs and behaviors that are abusive, step in and use them as a lesson to those who watch, of these warning signs and how to get out of an abusive relationship,” they wrote on Instagram

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