Zach Braff: ‘I’ve been in therapy on and off my whole life’

I’ll be honest, I hadn’t heard of Shrinking, the new Apple+ series, until today, but I watched the trailer and it looks pretty good. It’s about a grieving therapist played by Jason Segel who starts to tell his patients exactly what he thinks in an effort to help them. Harrison Ford, Michael Urie, and Jessica Williams are also in it. Zach Braff appeared at the premiere earlier this week. He doesn’t seem to be involved in the show, but appeared to support co-creator Bill Lawrence and Christa Miller, both of whom he knows from Scrubs. Zach talked about therapy and how it has changed his life and helped him through specific times of difficulty.

Zach Braff says therapy has been a lifesaver for him.

“I’ve been in therapy on and off my whole life,” the actor, 47, exclusively told Page Six this week at a Paley Center for Media screening of Apple+’s new series “Shrinking.”

“It’s definitely changed my life and helped me through some really tough times when I’ve had to deal with grief and rough patches.”

The show, which stars Jason Segel, follows a shrink who begins to break the rules by telling his patients exactly what he thinks. The comedy series was co-created by Segel, “Ted Lasso” star Brett Goldstein and TV producer Bill Lawrence, who also produced “Scrubs.”

“I think that’s one of the wonderful things about this show,” Braff, who directed episodes of the new show, added, “it’s sort of a PR campaign for the whole industry. It’s showing how it can help people’s lives.”

The “Garden State” actor also revealed that therapy really helped him when he was dealing with the death of his best friend Nick Cordero, who died of COVID, at age 41, in July 2020.

“That was very rough for me,” the actor shared about Cordero’s passing. “And I couldn’t have done it without friends and therapy and family and all the things this show is about.”

Also at the screening were the show’s stars Jason Segel, Michael Urie, Jessica Williams, Christa Miller and Brett Goldstein.

[From Page Six]

I know people go back and forth on Zach Braff. I generally like him and really liked Scrubs and think his OTP with Donald Faison is adorable. I was rewatching Scrubs during covid and as such paid more attention to Zach’s social media than usual and remember him posting a lot about his friend Nick Cordero’s passing from covid. It seemed like that really affected him and it’s good that he turned back to therapy to get help dealing with that. Zach’s father died in 2018 and his longtime manager died by suicide in 2022 so those may have been some of the other points he refers to in the interview. Also, I think it’s really good that he’s admitting that he’s been in therapy on and off throughout his life. There’s been a lot of work the past few years to debunk the stigma around therapy and advocate for mental health, but from my perspective it does seem to mostly be women of color and women in general talking about it. It’s good to emphasize that everyone can benefit from therapy to debunk the myths that it’s “not masculine” or “necessary for everyone.” I’ll probably check out this show. Apple+ is one of the subscriptions I cycle because they don’t have as much content, so I’ll get to it eventually.

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9 Responses to “Zach Braff: ‘I’ve been in therapy on and off my whole life’”

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  1. Steph says:

    What does OTP mean here?

    • Suze says:

      OTP is a term from fandom, means One True Pairing. This can be romantic or platonic. In this case, Zach Braff and Donald Faison have been close friends since Scrubs, and their friendship and interactions are quite lovely to see.

  2. Mcmmom says:

    I totally agree about the need to de-stigmatize therapy. I’ve been pretty open about my history with therapy, though I’m currently on a break because I realized what I really needed to do at this moment was talk and think about myself a lot less.

    My husband has a therapist he’s seen for a while and I know quite a few of my friends whose husbands are or have been in therapy. I just realized that I don’t know how many of my husband’s friends see a therapist, so maybe his friends don’t admit it to each other, which is why I know from wives that their husbands go vs hearing it from the husbands themselves. The stigma is lessening, but it’s still there.

    • Agreatreckoning says:

      It’s so important to de-stigmatize therapy. I don’t know much about Braff. Will recommend watching Jonah Hill’s Stutz documentary. Funny, yet informative & helpful. Stutz is Hill’s therapist. It’s obvious they developed a friendship and love for each other. Little shocked I’m recommending this because I’ve really never have been a fan of Hill’s.

      Funny things: (Stutz has Parkinsons-not funny) Stutz asks Jonah if he wants to do some Parkinsons drugs with him-funny. Towards the end, Stutz asks Hill (paraphrasing) when Hill might stop dumping all his shit onto him.

  3. Faithmobile says:

    Watch Jason Segal’s Colbert interview, he is so open and vulnerable-Colbert was so sweet with him. The interview promotes Shrinking and now I want to watch as I am a Ted Lasso/Scrubs fan. Therapy saved me in my twenties now I use certain podcasts and books in place of talk therapy. So much of therapy is saying a worry out loud, and to rewire old systems that never worked but were too ingrained to confront on our own, both of which is difficult to do on your own.

  4. Tanisha says:

    Actually Zach directed a few of the episodes I believe , so he is involved!

  5. Eleanor says:

    I love the Fake Doctors Real Friends podcast. I’ve been rewatching Scrubs and Ted Lasso. That group of actors/directors/producers are so good at the laugh/cry/think/laugh cycle of tv, love their work. I am happy everytime a person with a high profile speaks up about the value of therapy; the trickle down effect is real.

  6. Blergh says:

    I always kind of liked him, and I’m glad he’s in therapy…… although, man, I would be SO interested to know what his therapist thinks about his whole cycle of dating much younger women until their careers overshadow his own career thing. That’s like a decades long cycle that doesn’t seem to be letting up any time soon.