Saturday, February 09, 2008

In Treatment: Episode 10....the sub-blog

I'm posting after the fact, but I did watch the Paul-returns-to-Gina episode last night.

Can I give this episode a few sub-titles:
1) Why I don't have a home office.
2) Why don't these people listen to each other?

So Paul returns to tell Gina that Kate really is having an affair: an insurance agent/an employment guy/ a supermarket manager. I guess he wasn't listening. He talks about his disconnection from his childrens' lives and how Kate blames him for his neglect. While Paul has mentioned once last week that a patient says she's in love with him, that "erotic transference" thing, he hasn't said much about it, and Gina repeatedly and insistently-- as if by crystal ball-- comes back to the feelings Paul must have towards Laura as the source of his marital woes, and therefore, we can assume, in having some role in Kate's need for another relationship outside the marriage. He does eventually confess that Laura's beautiful and he 'enjoys' the flattery and the feelings. But well before this, Gina was probing him-- Laura could have been the ugliest, most unavailable woman in the world-- but Gina was insisting. I hate it when therapists do that--sure, patients repress things or don't see the obvious, but in real life, you're just testing theories, and if a patient backs away from an idea, you figure that either you (the therapist) were wrong, or that the patient needs more time or a new way to see this, and you back off. You don't ram your theories down their throats. Or I don't. It was interesting that Paul was eventually hammered into looking at the connection between Laura and his feelings, but it could have just as easily turned into a repeat of last week's screaming sessions, and unlike any of my patients, Paul has the benefit of a professional script writer to compose his lines for him.

Paul talks about Kate's jealousy of his home office, of her feeling excluded and not important to him. He mentions that she was in it after the miscarrying couple left (he didn't mention that she was there because he barked an order for her to come help with the damn spot), and he mocks Kate saying "What Happens In this Office?" Nothing in their real life compares to what goes on here and she never feels like his top priority. I ask my husband if he ever feels that my work comes first, and he says "never" (1 point for Dinah, zip for Paul). I hate to offend anyone, but much of what goes on in a therapist's office is mundane, while neat things happen, or there are frequent I-wish-I-could-write-about-this-on-my-blog moments, it's not that magical.

I think about our real life house-- it was built generations ago by a doctor and some form of doctor has always owned it (--we are the first family in which that doctor is the wife, not the husband). There is a separate entrance, and until the owners before us, the first floor was divided into a physician's office. I don't really know what the layout was, but as we
doing the final walk-through, the former owner (a hospitalist who didn't have his practice at home) pointed out that a radiology tank used to be where our TV now is, the bathroom had been relocated, essentially, our "playroom", family room, laundry area, were all somehow a separate physician's suite. It wouldn't be so hard to reconfigure this into a shrink's office, with the separate walkway and door already there, and people have asked why I don't have an office in my house. So if you watched In Treatment the last few days, you know that spending a few bucks on office rent, especially if you have a family and all those bathroom issues Paul seems to have, isn't such a bad idea.

So we move on to learn that Gina's husband David died just a year ago. And here's a fun subplot: Paul had referred his good friend Charlie to Gina for treatment. Charlie fell in love with Gina and he told Paul that Gina was in love with him. We see from her face this is true. Charlie, like David, is now conveniently dead so we can talk about all this with no hope of fixing it. Paul is angry that Gina's response to her feelings for her patient/his friend was to run away to England on sabbatical with her husband. Huh, Charlie was her only patient? No college tuitions or morgates to pay, I suppose. Paul writes her script that THIS was the reason why? There's no room here for other possibilities--- requirement of David's work, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, nope, without asking, he's told her that she dropped her practice, picked up her hubby, and moved across the big pond to escape Charlie. Gina flinches so we figure it's true, but a little more convincing with the script writing, huh? Why don't these people Ask, try out their theories, consider other options. Paul mentions there sessions are like debate teams where everyone goes in ready to plug for their side without hearing the other's side. Yup. This isn't therapy and it isn't supervision, and it's only by virtue of television that they haven't thrown those pretty water glasses at each other.

Just for the record, Paul says if he transferred every patient he was attracted to, he wouldn't have a practice. Interesting. I don't believe that's the usual.


Rach said...

One more question for you...
What's involved with supervision? Is it the psychiatrist having his/her own therapy? I'm not familiar with the concept - can you clarify?

Anonymous said...

This is why, as a young female, I would never see another male therapist. At least if my female therapist is fantasizing about something it is more likely to be about what she is going to cook for dinner rather than what I look like naked. When I terminated with the male therapist he told me he had had fantasies about me since the day I walked in the door & that he was having problems in his marriage - lovely. I can't believe I wasted $$ paying a guy for his fantasies. I think I need to avoid this show like the plague.

Sarebear said...

Yes, I felt from Day 1 Gina was ramming her theories down his throat.

Of course, now we know one reason why she may feel so strongly about said theory. Hell, how can she pretend to be objective on this? She talks so smugly about Paul perhaps not being able to be objective on this, what with all his marital problems, etc. (and sort of like even before she knew about the marital problems' depth, convicted of guilt by being male), and she has all THAT in her history. Heck, Charlie's death being relatively recent, means it is not even ancient history . . . . for some of the feelings it must have brought up.

This sub-plot is what I meant when I referred to additional layers of complexity making things much more interesting even.

Although I wondered, wait, Paul, are you attracted to your male patients? What about Sophie? I am assuming he meant his adult female patients. It's obvious we can see a paternalism in him towards Sophie, so I wouldn't think he has the bad thoughts there anyway.

When it comes to the Thursday patients, I wish the hubby would just jump in a lake and then we could explore the much more interesting wife and her lying, etc. (hrm, that sounds innuendo-ish, exploring the wife, Paul doesn't need that lol).

Anonymous, WTH is up with that asshat (sorry for the swearing, but it fits) therapist telling you that? Like he internally felt he had "permission" to now that you weren't his patient anymore? He should have still acted professional. He's an idiot, and I'm sorry he did that to you.

Oh, and I just found the funniest Freud t-shirt - it has Freud, and in a thought bubble above his head, "Yo Mama". Hee Hee.

Ironic given we're talking about male therapist's thoughts, but funny because you know.

Suicide Malpractice said...

Is there any MD psychiatrist out there who still does this therapy crap? It just won't die.

How much does this twit charge on the show?

Midwife with a Knife said...

anon: Your therapist had no business telling you that. As an MD (and a obstetrician at that!), I have the opportunity to be attracted to my patients, but I just don't think of them in that way, and don't end up attracted to them. I don't understand why Paul's lusting after all of his patients, to be honest.

Also, if I were attracted to a patient, I wouldn't tell her, because that would make her totally uncomfortable, I'm sure. It would violate the "Primum non nocere" dictate.

Anyway, I agree with sarebear. Your former therapist is a jerk.

DrivingMissMolly said...

Anon: Your situation sucks. Sorry you experienced it. Many years ago I had a brand new therapist accuse me of being "seductive." All I did was sit down. It still bugs me. I'm convinced I must have done something wrong but I don't know what. Was it my dress? I worked in a bank and dressed up for work and came from work...


DrivingMissMolly said...

Sorry, I forgot a couple of things in my comment.

Sara, remember, Gina saw Paul for 8years and knows him well. She also knows his family and Kate. That's why she kept saying "Kate said THAT." Or, at least, that's what I thought. And the thing with Laura is that she is a sheep in wolf's clothing. She may look like a woman and be sexy as hell, but she is as immature as Sophie and I think she has transferred her "love" feeling from her former gaurdian "hunk" to Paul.

As an aside to Dinah... you seemed offended by the comment Laura made about her bf's ex being like a "domesticated animal" with her huge nipples and breastfeeding ( I was taken aback by her comments, as well). I got to thinking that it is Laura who is the animal, the way she picked up that guy at the bar to "f*** him in the bathroom." That recalled to me "Wild Kingdom" or some other show where animals were in heat, looking for a mate or mounting each other.

Anyway, Sara, at forst I hated that hubby too, but he may be the most honest person on the show....

On the show, Paul charges $150. I believe this was mentioned in Alex's first session. My Shrink has gone up to $200 and they didn't even tell me last time. I just give his secretary by debit card and I didn't even notice until several weeks later (sigh).

Dinah, is Paul a psychiatrisr or psychologist (other non-medical Ph.D)? I know one can be a psychoanalyst and non necessarily be a psychiatrist, but I thought Paul was a psychiatrist. Do you know?

This show has shown me how selfish the therapeudic process is. For the firsr time I feel like such a "taker." I come in the office, and it's always all about me. Every other person I see I ask how they are, I care. With Thera[ist and Psychiatrist, I am completely selfish. I e-mailed my psychiatrist last week to tell him I was happy, for a change. Lately, our correspondence has been very dark on my end so I wanted to ask him if he was happy and tell him I was happy (doing better). I want to be less selfish. I forgot/forget, they're people. I can only see me.