It was a much-needed night of release for Jennifer Garner, and at the same time, it was more than likely a dig at her philandering estranged husband, Ben Affleck. On the evening of July 12, Jen, close pal Chelsea Handler and a handful of other female friends sipped wine, shared jokes and enjoyed a meal at Giorgio Baldi — the same Santa Monica restaurant where, six days earlier, Ben had dined with his new girlfriend, Saturday Night Live producer Lindsay Shookus, as they went public with their romance for the first time.
In the days after, new details had emerged about the sordid relationship between Ben, 44, and Lindsay, 37 — most notably, that the duo had actually started seeing each other clandestinely before Ben and Jen, 45, had separated (and while Lindsay was still married to her now-estranged husband, ex-SNL producer Kevin Miller). “It’s been just pain upon pain for Jennifer,” an insider dishes. “She’d already endured the heartbreak and embarrassment of Ben’s reported romance with their children’s nanny, Christine Ouzounian. Then, after a number of attempts at reconciliation, Ben moves on with a woman who, it comes out, he’d already been carrying on with behind Jen’s back. It’s incredible.”
And that’s why it isn’t surprising, sources claim, that earlier in the same day before her dinner with Chelsea, Jennifer was spotted coming out of the North Hollywood offices of a therapist who offers neurofeedback — a treatment favored by Scientologists!
MIND OVER MATTER
Neurofeedback involves the analysis of EEG (electroencephalography) brain wave readings to track changes in the brain and influence brain function. The Church of Scientology uses something very similar for its e-meter readings as part of the auditing process. During normal daily activities, certain areas of our brain will need to be active and using a faster frequency called Beta. When relaxing, a different part of the brain will be activated using the slower frequency called Alpha. The goal of Neurofeedback is to improve the brain’s ability to shift between states of relaxation and activity.
Typically, the treatment involves sensors that are placed on the scalp to measure brain activity, which is displayed using a game, movie or sound activity. The patient’s own brain waves control the activity, and the observation of this supposedly helps the brain learn how to improve its own regulation.
“The therapist Jen is seeing specializes in alternative treatments for anxiety, depression and insomnia,” the insider reveals. “The assistance she’s getting is already making a huge difference for her. I hear Jen swears by it, and it’s helping her get through these tough times. It’s definitely made her stronger.”
new help or new horizons?
There’s no doubt Jen (and Ben) probably count a number of Scientologists among their Hollywood acquaintances — “You’d have to be shut up in a cellar somewhere not to interact with them in L.A.,” says the insider. As such, it’s fair to wonder whether Jen’s connection to a neurofeedback therapist signals the possibility of the actress being open to other ideas that Scientologists share.
“Jen is a very open-minded but level-headed woman,” the insider adds. “The fact is, she is still very faithful to the Community United Methodist Church of Pacific Palisades, where she attends services every Sunday with her and Ben’s three children. But she’s also a big believer in therapy” — Jen has publicly discussed how it helped her after her first marriage, to actor Scott Foley, ended in 2003, and she met with sex and infidelity specialist Dr. Holly Hein in 2008 — “so if there’s something that’s helping her, even if it has the stigma of Scientology attached to it, I don’t think she should be concerned. You can’t put a price on happiness or healing, and neurofeedback has apparently been a huge help to Jen.”