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Amanda Stanton Calls Out ‘The Bachelor’ for ‘Therapy Dates’: Asking Women to Open Up Is ‘Not It’

Amanda Stanton Calls Out The Bachelor for Its Therapy Dates
Amanda StantonImage Press Agency/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

Not a fan. Amanda Stanton called out The Bachelor for “forcing” the contestants to share their traumas on dates.

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“We have been watching The Bachelor this season and I have to say, something about the multiple therapy dates this season is rubbing me the wrong way,” the Bachelor Season 20 alum, 31, wrote via her Instagram Story on Tuesday, February 22. “I understand where they were trying to go with it … but forcing girls to ‘open up’ on National TV and then literally judging their sessions or sending them home and making them feel bad if they don’t open up enough is just not it.”

Amanda concluded: “There’s a reason therapy is a private thing and I don’t think this is a good representation of therapy or helping end the stigma around mental health. Just had to say it.”

The Now Accepting Roses author seemed to be referencing the Monday, February 21, episode of the dating competition, in which Clayton Echard went on a couples counseling group date with several of the contestants. After Genevieve Parisi admitted during her session that she didn’t “like talking about [her] feelings” or “being emotional” in front of an audience, the former football player, 28, ultimately sent her home.

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“It’s really hard to see me meeting your family when I’m not able to see what is inside the walls,” Clayton said.

While Genevieve was understanding and confessed that she needed to work on expressing her feelings, the therapy sessions also caused conflict between Sarah Hamrick and her fellow competitors. The emotional conversations also made the Missouri native doubt her authenticity, especially after the therapist told him that someone in his final six was being “performative” about her feelings.

Earlier in the season, Clayton had another group date in which the contestants shared their insecurities and the things they disliked about themselves with the group. Similarly, Katie Thurston‘s season of The Bachelorette also featured an activity where she and the men competing for her heart shared their deepest secrets with each other, and the 31-year-old revealed she was a sexual assault survivor.

The former Bachelorette felt it was “important” to open up about her experience with abuse in the hopes that it would inspire “healing” for other survivors. “As heartbreaking as these stories are, we are healing and starting conversations so we can move forward,” Thurston told Glamour in June 2021. “The producers did ask me if I was comfortable with [sharing] that. I did have the option to not have that aired. I felt it was important to share my story to start these conversations with the viewers, whether they’ve experienced it themselves or to educate people on what consent really means.”

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She continued: “I think what’s going to happen with this episode is so many people are going to come forward with their own stories. Hopefully we can all learn from it and just be better as individuals when it comes to consent and sexual experiences.”

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

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