Netflix has a unique way of promoting its shows and get people talking about them. With Never Have I Ever’s Season 2 premiere in July, Netflix brought on two real therapists to react to the therapy session scenes in the show.
In honor of Bebe Moore Campbell Minority Mental Health Awareness month, Netflix brought on Dr. Joy Harden Bradford and Beverly Andre to react to scenes from the show.
The scene they start with is the one where Dr. Ryan calls Devi out for starting the rumor about Anessa. Andre explains that being on someone’s side means rooting for that person to be their best version but also calling them out when they’re wrong.
Dr. Joy added, “I think Dr. Ryan was spot on when she told Devi that she is there to tell the truth.”
The therapists then analyze the scene in Season 1 where Dr. Ryan talks to Devi after she’s able to walk again since the loss of her father. Devi asks if she’s getting any pills, but Dr. Ryan surprisingly brings out a grief journal.
Some people use journals to note down everyday events. Some use them to let out their thoughts and emotions with they feel too overwhelmed; as Andre explains, it helps one express themselves without having to explain their emotions to others. This is similar to what Dr. Ryan tells Devi in the show as well.
Dr. Joy adds that journaling is a great way to pen down all your emotions, especially grief, “I think a lot of complicated things can come up, and so I can see how this could be really helpful.”
Talking about another scene, Andre mentioned that Body Language can reveal a lot about someone. If someone’s anxious or stressed, they’d carry that stress in their neck/shoulders, or their hands are balled up. ‘A lot of times, we respond physically before we say anything.’
Another scene has Dr. Ryan telling Devi to pause and breathe for a moment if she feels a surge of anger. Dr. Joy explained this as ‘a coping kit,’ where a person can listen to a soothing playlist or scent have some Play-Doh if they get fidgety.
What this does is make that person aware of their surroundings and bring them into the moment. So when it feels like it’s all coming crashing down, ‘it de-escalated and takes the intensity out of that experience.’
Andre mentions that a key element for a successful breakthrough is when the client is comfortable with the therapist and trusts them. Talking about the scene where Devi asks Dr. Ryan if she thinks Devi is crazy as everyone else does and talks about her paralysis, Dr. Joy called it ‘beautiful.’
Andre even called it her favorite scene. And if you’ve watched it, you’ll notice that it is evident that Devi is working through her issues and realizing where she’s hurting. Dr. Ryan being there for her is powerful and shows that Devi isn’t misunderstood by everyone.
This scene is also a beautiful illustration of how when therapy feels safe; you feel comfortable being vulnerable.Dr. Joy
It’s really nice, being able to see a realistic depiction of a client-therapist relationship.Andre
Hey, what do we know? We were getting some free therapy while watching a Netflix show?!
About Never Have I Ever
Never Have I Ever is an American coming-of-age comedy-drama television series created by Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher. The comedy is loosely based on Kaling’s childhood experiences in the Boston area.
The series has been described as a watershed moment for South Asian representation in Hollywood and has been praised for breaking Asian stereotypes.
The story centers around Devi Vishwakumar, a 15-year-old Indian-American Tamil girl from Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles. After Devi’s father, Mohan passes away, Devi loses the use of her legs for three months. After a socially horrible freshman year, she wants to change her social status, but friends, family, and feelings do not make it easy for her.