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Bravotv.com: Do you think being Italian helped you with this group of fellow Italians?
Dr. V: Coming from a big, loud, volatile and awesome Italian family, maybe I was able to zero in on certain dynamics that a non-Italian might not be so quick to pick up on. Like when to get under the table because a kitchen knife's about to whiz by. Don't get me wrong, regardless of race, color or creed, EVERYBODY'S family has some crazy in it. It's just that I'm a little more familiar with the Italian Style Crazy.
Bravotv.com: Were you surprised to hear that such a big fight broke out before you even arrived?
Dr. V: That would be like being surprised a lit firecracker exploded.
Dr. V: It felt more like Shark Week than Real Housewives... only I didn't have the protection of a cage. I wanted to feel slightly removed and clinical so I could be most effective at being the cool, calm third party who was going to help these folks resolve some problems. But it's hard not to get swept up in the frenzy when you're sitting in the middle of it. I couldn't help but feel slightly anxious being surrounded by upset, angry people. On the upside nobody tried to bite any limbs off like on Shark Week.
Bravotv.com: Were you expecting Joe to say that he wasn't ready to make things work with Teresa? Did you suspect that he actually was ready?
Dr. V: No, I totally thought a golden rainbow would appear in the sky and we'd join hands and sing "We Are The World". C'mon?! If Joe was ready to make things work I'd be at home watching this on TV instead of in the middle of it trying to help. When Joe told me he wasn't ready to try and repair his relationship with his sister, I feel like what he was really saying wasn't that he wasn't ready, but that he was scared. Because to try and resolve this stuff probably means having the courage and strength to be vulnerable again.
Dr. V: Because until they escaped all the B.S. and noise created by everyone else, there was no space for the two of them to just cool down, clear their minds, and really remember who they are as brother and sister. Our siblings are the only other people in the world who truly know how crazy our parents are -- it's important to keep that relationship healthy...if you can.
Bravotv.com: What was it like when you brought Teresa and Joe together? What do you think caused the breakthrough and tears?
Dr. V: I always feel like when my work goes best, I'm hardly doing anything. Joe and Teresa did the work to get to that breakthrough, all I did was clear out the crazy (for now). I think because they were able to rise above all this rotten crap that's been really hurting them both and the whole family along with them, they were able to look at one another and remember "Oh, yeah. I love you, ya big lug."