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Drew Barrymore’s therapist responds after she said he quit due to her drinking

The actor spoke about the moment of tough love in a recent profile where she also touched on her divorce and drug addiction during her childhood.
Celebrity Sightings In New York City - January 11, 2023
Drew Barrymore in New York City on Jan. 11, 2023.Raymond Hall / GC Images

Days after Drew Barrymore revealed that her drinking became bad enough after her 2016 divorce that her therapist quit, the actor’s therapist is sharing why.

In an interview with the  Los Angeles Times,  Barrymore detailed how alcohol became more challenging to avoid after her split from Will Kopelman, with whom she shares two daughters, 10-year-old Olive and 8-year-old Frankie. Eventually even her therapist, Barry Michels, had to step aside.

“He just said, ‘I can’t do this anymore,’” Barrymore said of Michels. “It was really about my drinking. I said, ‘I get it. I’ve never respected you more. You see I’m not getting better. And I hope, one day, that I can earn your trust back.’”

In an emailed statement to, Michels explained why he stopped treating her at the time.

“Occasionally, a therapist has to suspend treatment until a patient is willing to stop certain chronic self-destructive behaviors that are impeding the therapy,” Michels said. “Fortunately, in this case, I was dealing with Drew Barrymore — one of the strongest and most stalwart people I’ve ever met. She did the right thing for herself, and we were able to resume our treatment together.”

The psychotherapist and author’s name might be familiar to those well-acquainted with lifestyle and wellness companies. Gwyneth Paltrow has touted his name for years and has collaborated with him on podcasts and articles on her website.

Barrymore said she did eventually stop drinking, and two years after her sessions with Michels ended, she returned to resume treatment.

The opportunity to do “The Drew Barrymore Show” in 2019 — she explained in the profile — ultimately pushed her to make the conscious decision to get a handle on her addiction.

“I was like, ‘I can’t handle this unless I’m in a really clear place,’” she explained.

Barrymore’s sobriety has been a topic of media coverage for nearly as long as she has been a figure in Hollywood, which began to take shape in her early childhood.

In the years since, the “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” actor has been frank about having a childhood marred by addiction. In 2005, she spoke about having a drug addiction as a 10-year-old in an interview with NBC’s Dateline and about having been forced to enter rehab by the time she was 13.

These days, fortunately, Barrymore says her life is very different.

“My worth has been so wrapped up in this job and this life because it’s given me so much,” she explained in her profile for L.A. Times. “I realized that just with me and my girls, I am truly happy. I’d always thought I’d be on this hamster wheel for this whole life. But maybe there will be something different before the lights go out.”