Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

Recovering from Michael Jackson’s death as easy as A-B-C?

July 14, 2009

jackson_fansA Los Angeles-based clinical psychologist who says she has personally struggled with grief over Michael Jackson’s death on June 25 has created a special “therapeutic system” to help the King of Pop’s fans cope with the loss of their icon.

Elizabeth Farr calls her therapy “ABC” in tribute to the early Jackson 5 hit song and says she came up with the idea while treating some 10 grieving Michael Jackson fans in her practice in Los Angeles.

“When so many of my clients expressed difficulty dealing with the death of Michael Jackson I decided to formalize a therapeautic approach to help people move forward with their lives after losing someone that meant so much to them for so many years,” Farr said.

“Michael Jackson’s passing is not just another celebrity death,” Farr said. “Many people are having trouble coping with the sudden loss of Michael Jackson and are finding it difficult to perform every day life tasks.  This therapeautic approach helps people get back on track with their lives.”

Farr said that in treating clients who are depressed over Michael Jackson’s death she tries to encourage them to realize that their own feelings are tied up with the superstar and his tragic end.

“In many ways its as simple as A-B-C,” she said. “You Acknowledge what you’re feeling, that’s the A. You look at your Belief system, that’s the B, and the C is your Cognition, your thoughts. Its as easy as A-B-C. We can fix this. When we control how we think, we can alter how we behave.”

Photo: Michael Jackson fans mourn his death in Warsaw (Reuters/ Kacper Pempel)


This has to be a joke. People can’t cope with their everyday lives because someone they HAVE NEVER MET died?Sorry, but if you stop living when a celebrity does, you have some serious issues. I’m 47, and Jackson was a star when I was a teenager. I listened to his music and WAS a fan, long ago. When he turned into a freak, he lost my interest.It’s sad that he died, but people die everyday. We all die. Do you think his life would have stopped for any of us? Of course not.

Posted by rowdygirl | Report as abusive

Rowdygirl this article is a bit ridiculous. However I can’t imagine someone being so unsympatheic. Just because YOU were no longer a fan when he died doesn’t mean that the whole world stopped adoring Micheal. His music brought joy to so many people lives. Maybe! His life would not have stopped for us but that doesn’t mean we can’t mourn what he may have brought to ours.

Posted by excuseme | Report as abusive

So people die everyday uh?, good for you your heart is cold enough to get through your children’s or parents’s death. Real fans don’t lose interest based on apariences. So show some respect for the others and keep those unpolite comments for yourself. As it’s being said: “IF YOU DON’T HAVE ANYTHING NICE TO SAY, DON’T SAY ANYTHING AT ALL”.

Posted by Circe | Report as abusive

I would like to comment on the ABC method, I think it is wonderful. I would also like to comment on “RowdyGirl’s” statement. You are a very insensitive, self absorbed person. YOU do NOT know all of the facts in re “WHEN HE TURNED INTO A FREAK” so… as the saying goes, it is better to keep your mouth shut and remain a fool, then to open it and remove all doubt.” So he had some hard times, you lose interest? HA! I feel sorry for anyone you say YOU care about. Michael Jackson did more than provide us all with great entertainment. His unselfish acts and contributions around the world made him an amazing person as well! I miss him,and have cried everyday since he has been gone. AND YES ROWDYGIRL HIS life would have stopped should u have known him and then passed away. They say ignorance is bliss? I dont want to be blissful! Rest in Peace, Our beloved Michael JacksonJm.

Posted by Julianne Michaels | Report as abusive

Sorry, Rowdygirl has it right. Nothing she said is “self-absorbed.” Look the word up. Something is missing in your life if you can’t ‘cope’ with a celebrity death. You are so fragile that when someone you THINK you know dies affects your life this much? MJ is simply escapist entertainment, at best.Would you push your kid into a household where an aging male, so unhappy with his looks he butchers his face to not even look very human (yes, that’s why we stare at it) sleeps with your child? How sick is that. “Oh but he’s entertaining!”Can you think of a real hero to “worship”? Probably not. Now go ahead and attack me personally to prove my point.

Posted by NottaHata | Report as abusive

everybody is affected differently by a core unifying depressing event such as the death of someone who generated so much love in the world. it is only natural now that with that bond being severed, it has shortcircuited the network of love michael jackson weaved through all of humanity, and so we all suffer in one way or another. not only is it sad that michael passed away, but also sad that his network of love can now only be his legacy. we all have some adjusting to do, and need to remind ourselves that michael only went first, the rest of us will follow at one time or another, guaranteed. who knows what the true source of sadness is, but you can’t deny it’s there.

Posted by paul stanley | Report as abusive

Listen to me!… When someone whether it be an artist/close friend who influences your life a great deal dies, it does effect you. For example, when martin luther king II or elvis died many were unable to cope for much longer than the news. Michael Jackson inspired me to dance. I decided to make my living out of it and still do. With or without MJ, I still dance but losing my greatest inspiration has made dancing harder for now. it is sad that an ispiration of mine is now dead and under such sad circumstances ESPECIALLY. WE are not just mourning his life we are mourning the circumstances of his life and death!… IT SOUNDS SILL TO THOSE PEOPLE WHO DONT GIVE A S*** OR JUST LIKED A SONG OR TWO… BUT REMEMBER some people (not me) have spent their lives in some way following his journey. He is like the soundtrack to their lives and memories.. ALSO Michael Jackson was a fighter and First they thought he was too young to be in the J5 (he proved them wrong), then they said he was too much of a J5 memeber to be soloist (he proved them wrong), then they said black can not have a big enough demographic audience to be the MOST successful (he proved them wrong), after OFF THE WALL they said he couldnt do better (he proved them wrong), then they said he could not put on the biggest tour ever (using his OWN money to give his fans the biggest show ever, he proved them wrong)…. They then said he would not be able to dance well in the late 90s or pull crowds (he proved them wrong)… the said he could not make his comeback in 2009… OK they were right about that… but without the cardiac arrest he would have proved them wrong again… WHEN you see what this man went through ADN ALL HE ACHIEVED considering this you have tounderstand that it inspires people… it is a huge loss to see him die. Its like having a pen pal that inspires you all your life, you never get to meet them and then they die… he spoke to his fans through his art and actions. THOSE WHO HATE HIS GUTS WOULD NOT UNDERSTAND…. Those have been on the journey with him will surely feel loss to know that long journey (some fans for 40 years) is over… Who says these people will not mourn OR do not have the right to mourn are simply not understanding the influence MJ had on the people of the world!!! IT is obviously much greater than they realise and unfortunately beyond their world experience. His death is being mourned all over the world because that is how far his inspiration reached in his short life. Not bad for a poor kid from Gary Indiana! : )

Posted by kashi | Report as abusive

ABC method is useless. I’d never been so depressed and sad over someone’s death. Michael was someone special to me. He’s not just an entertainer, he’s like some close beloved intimate friend to me. I still can’t get over the fact that he’s gone. I love him dearly and I cry everyday because I miss him.

Posted by dora | Report as abusive

People are depressed about MJ’s death because of the way he was treated in his life. He did so much good for people (see “Michael Jackson Triumph and Tragedy” by LInda Grasse) After making millions off of him, corporations like Pepsi and Disney and many of his “friends” dumped him when he was falsely accused. He was a victim of extortion but the media make everyone think he was a villain. He suffered terribly from pain from burns, vitaligo, lupus, a spider bite necrosis, and anxiety. Many Americans abuse prescription drugs. Just look in your medicine cabinet. Could someone call you an addict from what is in there? Just when he was on the verge of a chance at a new beginning, he died. It is tragic because he was a sensitive, caring, tortured soul.

Posted by Anne | Report as abusive

This is preposterous. I completely agree with rowdygirl. Michael Jackson was an icon, a terrific musician and performer and someone who was part of many lives for many years. But Michael Jackson the person was not our family or our friend. His children can grieve, his brothers and sisters and parents can grieve but we are fans and while we may miss his music we don’t miss a person we don’t know. If you have trouble with every day life tasks because MJ is dead, it’s time to reevaluate your life and priorities. Really.

Posted by Understood | Report as abusive

I didnt really read this article.Yes we can feel sad for the loss of Michael Jackson, the way i felt when George Best died but when people start getting hysterical etc then they really should look at their own lives.Although I say all this my obsession with the simpsons is on grand proportions, I just dont know what I will do if Homer every dies.By the way has anyone picked up on one of the wittiest headlines of the year.

Posted by braidsy | Report as abusive

If you play, sing and listen to his songs…. Michael Jacson will live forever. ILdL2fT6NYDon't be shy to sing outloud.

Posted by AJ | Report as abusive

Hi i love MJ….i think he was THE GREATEST…i just love hi music and all his good works are worthy to apreciate….he had a tough life in his last part.but he was a man of great courage

Posted by Navid | Report as abusive


Posted by sayuimemoirs | Report as abusive

Michael was a great human being. If it weren’t for the money he raised and donated to charity, some of those who benefited may not be here today. I admit I’ve been pretty depressed over the fact that he died. I cried every time I saw him in the media for about a week. It’s just so sad. MJ was kind and caring, and his childlike innocence was so refreshing. He had his faults to be sure, it’s very sad that he turned to drugs. But his good outweighed the bad and it was nice to just know someone like him was in the world. Sadly he died, and all that’s left is the cold, uncaring society filled with cold uncaring people like Rowdygirl. Maybe not everyone, but it’s getting hard to find people who aren’t jaded. That’s what I’m truly depressed over most of all.

Posted by Rita | Report as abusive

I miss michael so much!! He gave this world so much love. N the world humiliated him again n again! Even after his death people are not leavng him in peace! Please have some respect for not only the greatest entertainer but the greatest human being that ever lived.

Posted by leila | Report as abusive

Here’s the deal…Those of us who are mourning the loss of Michael Jackson are actually feeling real grief, though we ourselves even struggle to understand why.It’s great that people who adored Michael and are saddened by his death can unite online – strangers in support of each other. It’s therapy for us and helps us know that we’re not alone in our grief.What is truly sick is the hypocrites who hated Michael and obviously are obsessed enough to seek out posts by his fans just to try to shoot us down and ridicule us. Let it go, man! You hated Michael, so just let it be. There is no reason to ridicule his grieving fans except that you’re that hateful, mean, and cruel.

Posted by Angela | Report as abusive

Please people, to understand how we feel and how are lives changed a lot, just go to our websites and try to understand we didn’t see him as an artist only. For many of us he was a friend,a surrogate father, a brother so please, don’t judge us without knowing how we feel.Knowing someone, who you love soooo much, has been killed for greed and neglection hurts so much that you can’t cope with it.Take care all.


If you are having difficulties dealing with your sadness from this loss, I am starting a “MJ Grief Support Group” in Santa Monica, CA. Everyone is welcome to join us to talk about your feelings, listen to others sharing our same pain, celebrate his magnificence, and simply cry and pray together. I think Michael would love knowing that we are all together, supporting each other and praying together.This SUNDAY 11/8 at 4pm, on the Santa Monica beach, in the sand, a few yards South of the Pier (with the giant ferris wheel), half way between the bike path and the ocean. Bring a chair or blanket to sit on. We can only have about 50 people without a permit, so the first 50 people to respond will be the first group, and the following weekend we can gather with the next 50 people, and so on.Please email me back at if you would like to join in. Looking forward to meeting many of you. Hang in there. With love, peace and blessings,Rev.

Posted by Rev Jill | Report as abusive

Any other MJ fans planning to watch the TV Guide Network’s Michael Jackson special, Gone Too Soon, on June 25th? I’m really looking forward to it! It may be the only thing that I have to look forward to on that day :(

Check it out: 8c  /305026

Posted by rheather | Report as abusive

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see