JEFF Brazier has revealed that he underwent psychotherapy for two and a half years to deal with abandonment and rejection in his childhood.
The 41-year-old TV presenter, who has written a book on coping with grief, was placed in foster care at five years old when his teenage mum struggled to raise him alone.
Still dealing with the scars, the dad-of-two, who had sons Bobby, 17, and Freddie, 16, with his late ex Jade Goodie, explained to Dave Berry’s Dadpod podcast that he wanted therapy to become the “best version of himself”.
“I’ve been in psychotherapy for a process called re-parenting,” Jeff explained.
"[It’s] to do with the childhood rejection and abandonment, you know, of being in foster care for however long I was in there.
“The last two and a half years have been absolutely vital for me becoming the best version of myself, if you like, the version of myself that I may have been if the circumstances were different when I was younger.
“I appreciate that not everybody can afford the different types of therapy that are available to you but if you are brave enough to do it, it is nothing short of life-changing.”
Jeff’s biological dad walked out after he was born, and died in the Marchioness boating tragedy in 1989.
When the relationship between his mother and step dad broke down, he and brother Spencer spent time living in a women’s refuge in Yarmouth before a short time in care.
The former footballer admitted he felt “lucky to be here” after his mother, who fell pregnant at 15, was encouraged to get an abortion.
“I got across the line if you like, and that’s the way I actually look at life,” he continued.
“I’m just lucky to be here because really the odds were stacked against someone falling pregnant at that age and sort of seeing it through to having it.”
While the experiences were traumatic, Jeff believes his unsettled childhood helped him to be a better parent to his boys, who lost their mum in 2009 after a battle with cancer.
He explained: “It makes me appreciate my boys. All parents love their kids, you know, but I really, really appreciate them because I appreciate that I can have a relationship with them.
“I would have really loved to have had that with my biological father.”
In the same candid discussion, Jeff revealed the reason behind charging Bobby rent, after the up-and-coming model joked on social media he would be “kicked out” of the family home if he didn’t pay £200.
The presenter explained that it was a “motivational tool” to instill a “good worth ethic” in his eldest son, who debuted on the catwalk for Dolce & Gabana at Milan Fashion Week in January.
“If the work ethic isn’t there, I would put some things in place in order to encourage that, such as charging Bobby rent,” he told Dave.
“That’s something I decided to do because I believe in that as a motivational tool for him to go and, you know, work for four or five hours doing a pot wash in the local caff or the restaurant.”
Wanting to make time for fun with his boys as well, the loving dad said that lockdown had provided an opportunity for him to connect with his teenage sons in a new way.
“It’s been a very difficult time for everybody, but in terms of my family, I’d say we can take small positives in the fact that we were able to reconnect in a way that teenagers don’t usually allow.
“We went on our bike rides, we walked, we learned maybe a little bit more about each other than we would have otherwise, and I think it gave us all a bit of time to reflect.”
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