THE UNMAKING OF A HOLLYWOOD THERAPIST:
A MEMOIR ABOUT HOW SMALL DECISIONS CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE
With personal determination and an unwavering desire, Annie moved to Los Angeles in the mid -1960s, venturing off into the great unknown, armed only with her imagination and a unique brand of moxie. After working at a series of medical-related positions, she stumbled upon a dream job in the film business, becoming the personal assistant to the legendary Orson Welles, whom she adored. Annie also rubbed elbows with the Hollywood elite, such as with actors Michael Douglas, Sylvester Stallone, Robert Redford, and Kevin Costner — before he became famous.
When her job with Orson Welles abruptly ended after the film he was making lost financing, she went on to work with director Adrian Lyne on the hit movie Flashdance, experiencing the exhilaration of being attached to a movie that was a huge commercial success.
In Annie’s private life, a deep romance with an up-and-coming artist ended tragically when he was killed in an accident at the age of 27. This event sent her into grief counseling that proved to be another turning point, as it led to her true passion — assisting others, just as her counselor had helped her through her own grief.Finally, she went back to school, and passed the licensing exam to become a Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), and opened up a private practice, specializing in “stress in the entertainment industry”. Annie saw celebrity clients, and was interviewed in magazines, and on radio and TV. Additionally, she volunteered to help victims of Hurricane Katrina, along with other notables such as Oprah Winfrey and Sean Penn.
Annie was now living her “California Dream.” She furnished her office with fancy antiques and Tiffany lamps, and wore the latest designer clothes. When she married attorney Bruce Toor, he used to proudly refer to her as the “Jaguar of therapists.” Annie seemed to have it all.
Then one night in 2008, all of this changed. Driving home from having a few glasses of wine with an old friend, she was arrested for drunk driving, got a DUI, and spent the night in jail.
As the result, Annie’s life was no longer her own. The law swept in and for the next three years, she was under the thumb of the Superior Court, the DMV, The Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS), and attorneys.
She was ordered by the court to take classes such as driver’s education, attend AA meetings, and go to counseling, as well as pay heavy fines and fees. After that came the bi-annual renewal application for her psychotherapy license from the BBS. On the form was a Yes or No question asking if she’d had any legal issues since last renewing her license. Annie checked “Yes” and sent it in, along with her paperwork proving she’d fulfilled the court requirements. She then waited three months to find out her fate.
When the BBS responded, they instead gave her another two years of requirements, including probation. Annie was now on the horns of a dilemma: Should she go along with the Board’s new demands and subject herself to this probation in order to keep her license to practice her beloved career as a psychotherapist? It certainly didn’t feel like the “freedom” Annie had come all the way to America to find. Or should she surrender her license and get her freedom back? “No professional licensing organization should ever have this much control over the professionals under its care,” she states.
The Unmaking of a Hollywood Therapist, published by Timberlake Press is available on Amazon.com for $17.95.