Culture May 14, 2019

Howard Stern says therapy is what taught him how to 'be a man'

WATCH: Howard Stern on what he learned in therapy, abandoning 'pure id' persona: Part 1

Howard Stern may be famous for his ability to get celebrities to reveal private details of their lives on his show, but the longtime radio personality said he was never able to open up himself and have a "real conversation" until he went into therapy.

The radio host spoke candidly about how therapy changed his life and helped to destigmatize mental health care for men in an interview with "Good Morning America" co-anchor George Stephanopoulos, saying he first sought out mental health treatment when he was going through a divorce in 2001.

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"I'm the father to three daughters," he said, adding that he was "scared outta my mind" during the divorce.

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Beth Ostrosky, Howard Stern and daughter, Ashley, attend the Utah Jazz vs New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 9, 2008, in New York City.

"My daughters are the most important thing in the world to me ... How do I, as a man, have a relationship with my daughters ... if my wife is no longer there to facilitate that?" he said. "How am I going to have a successful relationship with any woman or man, for that matter, if I don't even know -- if I don't know what's up and what's down?"

Stern says when he got into therapy, he started learning how to "be a man."

"I didn't have any lessons," he added. "I didn't really have that level of communication with my own father."

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Stern recounts how therapy changed his life in his new book, "Howard Stern Comes Again."

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While as part of his job he is known for being able to have conversations with anyone, he says it was in therapy where he first experienced being "alone in a room with a man, where he heard me and listened to me."

"The first session I went in, I'm sitting there, and I'm telling him stories about my parents," Stern said, adding that he had never been to -- nor thought he needed -- a psychiatrist.

"I have it all together," he quipped. "And I'm doing some of the best radio routines I've ever done. I'm doing impressions of my mother. I'm doing impressions of my father."

"He turned to me, and he goes, 'None of this is funny,'" Stern recalled. "'He goes, 'Why don't you get real with me? Some of what you're telling me sounds very sad. And yet ... you're laughing at it.'"

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Howard Stern and Beth Stern attend the North Shore Animal League America's Annual Celebrity "Get Your Rescue On" Gala at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers, Nov. 30, 2018 in New York City.

Stern said the conversation was "mind blowing."

"No one had ever said that to me, and I had never had a real conversation like that before," he added. "And as the years went by, I got more and more turned on by being listened to."

He believes learning the power of listening has also helped him professionally, and made him a better radio host.

"I said, 'What would it be like to really hear what someone has to say?'" he said. "And it has led to some incredible conversation."