Demi Lovato ‘Needs To Focus On Herself,’ Expert Says

Developmental psychologist Dr. Michelle Callahan weighs in on types of treatment Disney star may be seeking.

As soon as news broke late Monday night that Demi Lovato was seeking treatment for “emotional and physical issues,” fans began leaving inspirational messages for the Disney star. And that’s a good thing, according to Dr. Michelle Callahan, a relationship expert, coach and developmental psychologist.

Lovato getting help (and allowing the news to be made public) will certainly help her fans through their own issues, Callahan, who does not treat Lovato, told MTV News.

“It’s very refreshing to hear that Disney is supporting her,” Callahan said. “I think her fans really appreciate what she’s going through and I think the fact that she’s reaching out for help is such a great thing for young people to see, to know that it’s not something that’s OK. It’s not something that should be ignored, and I think that people will give her a lot of credit.”

Details about Lovato’s treatment are currently unknown, but Callahan did weigh in on the possible types of care the singer may receive after leaving the Jonas Brothers’ tour .

“The kind of treatment program you go to kind of depends on how deep your problems are and how extensive they are and also what you can afford to do,” she explained. “Probably since she walked away from the tour, she may be going to an in-patient program because she needs that solitude and separation from the rest of the world. Most people stay in in-patient programs for several weeks. … You shouldn’t assume because you went into a treatment you come out and everything’s fine; it’s something you want to continue to work on over the long-term.

“In her recovery program, she’s probably going to be spending a lot of time in individual therapy,” the doctor continued. “She’ll probably spend some time in group therapy, she’ll spend some time in family therapy and she’s going to be working on all kinds of issues.”

While Demi will deal with her issues in therapy, she may find that she has to face the same issues, even after treatment.

“Some people can go through a program and they’re pretty good afterwards and other people will relapse,” Callahan warned. “Part of the relapsing is that you haven’t figured out a way to manage those symptoms and manage that anxiety. If you can figure out a way to do that, she’s less likely to go back into treatment,” she explained.

“My fear for Demi going right back on tour is that she jumps back into the boiling pot of hot water that is her life. I think when she comes out of her rehab the best thing to do is just rest, just try to take some time off. But the fact that she chose to walk away from the tour is proof-positive that she knows that she needs to get away from that environment and focus on herself.”

Share your well-wishes for Demi in the comments.