The Interesting Role The Show Psychologist Plays On ‘The Bachelor’

Reality TV shows like The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are known for pushing contestants to their emotional limits. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense to have a psychologist on-call.

The Bachelor | ABC/Craig Sjodin
The Bachelor | ABC/Craig Sjodin

People like Dr. Steven Stein work with shows like The Bachelor (other credits include: Big Brother Canada, Survivor, and The Apprentice) to not only cast the right people, but to keep them mentally sound both during and after filming.

Stein is an emotional intelligence expert with experience mitigating human crises for people engaged in active combat and counterterrorism for the Canadian Forces, special units of the Pentagon, and the FBI Academy, according to Flare. So, yeah, he knows what he’s doing.

Emotional emergencies

Especially when contestants live in close quarters and especially especially when they’re all competing for the same romantic partner, things can get heated.

Whenever there’s an “emotional emergency,” Stein is there.

Often, these emotional emergencies involve contestants considering leaving the show. From Colton Underwood’s season of The Bachelor, audiences may remember his season winner, Cassie Randolph, attempting to leave the show just before her Fantasy Suite. Ultimately, Underwood convinced her to stay. But it’s not uncommon for contestants to leave.

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Sometimes it can be hard for me to find my words (as you all have seen haha)… it’s so easy for me to over-analyze and get in my own head, especially when my feelings are overwhelming or when big things are happening so quickly. So, here goes my attempt to put the past 6 months into words Stepping out of the limo on night one, I had no idea what was in store for me. The saying “God always has bigger plans in mind” has never felt more real to me than it does now. I’m honestly holding back tears as I write this, trying not to get too sentimental as all the memories and emotions flood over me while I reflect on this whole experience. I am unbelievably grateful for every single relationship that was formed with 29 amazing women, Colton and all the crew involved. It was a truly unique adventure that I got the extraordinary opportunity to experience. Everyone who has been beside me throughout these past 6 months (during filming and post), has helped me grow in ways that I couldn’t ever have imagined. I’ve learned things about myself, relationships, and life in general, that I would never have known otherwise. Thinking back to before I was cast on The Bachelor S23, I get chills realizing just how crazy it is that ONE THING has the potential to change life SO MUCH. ♥️ This past week, I took a much-needed break from my social media. I was allowing the opinions of others, and their sometimes cruel speculations, really get to me. That brings me to perhaps the truest, most impactful thing that this experience has taught me: to stay true to myself. Being real is something we ALL owe to ourselves. Regardless of the outcome, that is the one thing we can do to guarantee no regrets… to make the best decision we can in the moment. So cheers, my friends (and trolls) to The Bachelor S23 finale… may we all live and learn, be humble, and most of all, forever remain open to learning. Thank you for the opportunity to share with you all a glimpse into some of the most pivotal moments of my life. So far :) #thebachelor

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Stein sits down with the contestants and helps them to stay or leave “based on what’s best for their health in the long-term.”

But leaving isn’t the right answer for everyone. Stein told Flare that he’s had contestants contact him years later to thank him for the opportunity to stay and “work through the stress.”

Counseling the villains

Another job of Stein’s and people like him is to help contestants who are branded as “villains” during their time on the show.

The psychologist says that, sometimes, people are shocked to learn that viewers see them as a villain. They thought they had perfectly good intentions.

“I have to prepare them for what’s going to happen once they get out in the world,” he told Flare. “The fact that there are already people who can’t stand them, who hate them.” 

Stein helps villainous contestants “separate the role they play on TV with who they are as a person” by focusing on their real relationships with family and friends to keep them grounded.

But sometimes, people applying for shows like The Bachelor actually want to be the villain.

“Some are reality TV junkies and they’ve seen all the shows. They identify with the villains and they believe they are that character.”

That’s all well and good with Stein as long they’re authentically themselves.

“We want real emotions,” says the psychologist. “That’s what people want to watch.”

Read more: Former Bachelorette Hannah Brown Says Meghan Markle’s Story Is ‘Relatable’ In This Way