Friday, February 01, 2008

In Treatment: Episode 5...the sub-blog

Paul returns to therapy. It's been a while, he can't remember where to park, he takes the therapist's chair. She tells him about how awful it is to be 60. She asks for his drink order, offers him a piece of sugar-free cake. They talk about Gina's deceased husband.

We hear about Paul's kids-- Max is 9, Rosy is 17, Ian is at college.
"I called you last night because I needed to talk to somebody. I feel that I'm losing my patience with my patients. There are sessions where I can barely restrain myself from an outburst. I wish everyone would go away.

He talks about how badly he feels for telling the couple to have an abortion, he talks about Laura's erotic transference. "If patients could see what goes on inside my head..."
Paul talks about the fighter pilot who bombed the Iraqi school. All the time I listen as if it's's so disgusting."

"Were you insulted that the patient called you a murderer?" Gina asks.

Paul talks about the lack of praise one gets from the lack of an audience, Gina talks about how she meant they had no one to criticize or critique.

Gina talks about how angry Paul was with her when he stopped coming 10 years ago, how he was so angry he didn't come to her husband's funeral. She talks about how Paul had accused her of interfering with his practice. Gina is retired. She's trying to write a novel. Go for it Gina! No wonder I like this show.

Paul tells Gina that he and his wife, Kate, argue non-stop. Kate has taken Max to a class for gifted children behind Paul's back. "If you cared as much about your family as you cared about your patients....she says I don't love her that I'm always a step ahead of her....she says I never have any perspective. All I can see is rupture."

Gina was his supervisor for 8 years. Now they talk about whether he's talking to her as a therapy patient. "You keep saying you didn't come to talk about Kate and you keep talking about her."

So Paul has been so unflappable, here we see him flap. I'm a little disappointed. Paul worries that his wife is lying to him, she doesn't take her sneakers when she says she's going to the gym, she doesn't answer her cell. Shades of his patient Jake. And sex is out of the question. "Once a month if I'm lucky.... I think about it ALL the time."

He makes a Freudian slip and refers to the patient with the erotic transference instead of his wife. Gina says it's a test of his marriage. "Please don't draw any conclusions because there are none to be drawn."

This is a heated session. "What are you trying to prove here Paul, that you won't talk about Laura?" Paul gets angry, "You twist everything." They are fighting. She asks Paul if he slept with Laura. "You're making it really difficult for me to come back here to talk to you....was I that big a disappointment to you?"

"I hope your novel doesn't stink this're failing at everything."

I take it back, it's not a heated session, it's a Hostile session. I'm tense just watching these two people. "You are not being helpful," Paul says.

"What role have you assigned me?" Gina screams.

This is....therapy? supervision? oy. Gina tells him how hard it's all been on her, how confusing it is.

"You've been waiting for this to happen, Paul the failure."

The two agree this wasn't such a good idea. Gina suggests professional help. Paul doesn't need it. "I'm not angry, I'm really not."

This was hard to watch, nothing about it felt good, nothing about it felt helpful. Therapy, supervision, whatever the hell that was, it needs some warmth, some trust, the anger, if there is overt anger, needs to be a sub-plot, not the fuel for the relationship. These two people need something. I could use a Xanax.

My husband's opinion: "Winner of the most annoying patient of the week award goes to the psychiatrist (Paul)."


Rach said...

Yeah, Dinah, this was RAW. Nothing but raw, raw dialogue that resolved nothing at the end of 28 minutes.

I can't wait for them to post next week's episodes. As stupid as it sounds, In Treatment makes me think less about my own problems, because I'm too obsessed with all of the characters' various issues and dilemmas. Crazy, huh?

Anonymous said...

I voted yes in your poll, but I motion for a once a week recap and discussion rather than daily.

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of an article on therapist burnout I came across the other day:

mingalls said...

My one comment on this episode...
*grumble grumble* What's the point of sugar free cake??

(of course, that's coming from someone who has very few dietary restrictions)

I'd also agree with Michelle- once a week recap and discussion rather than daily. I'm more interested in what yall have to say about the show then what's happening in it.

Sarebear said...

I voted yes, but I like the daily! Every other or Every third day, 2-3 times a week, would be great too. Anything you decide, but it's interesting! I just watched episode one last night and kinda disagree with many, but then I'm hypervigilant and so perhaps noticed nuances that others didn't? I don't know . . . . she certainly isn't me.

I could imagine though if she had been sitting out there for 4 hours, that some of what she said WOULD come off a bit rehearsed (not in an actress kind of way, but in a patient running through over and over how to say something, or imagining how they want it to go . . .)

Again, she's not me, but perhaps ya'll shrinky types are starting to think denial, there. I can empathize w/out being like her!

Anonymous said...

I agree with mingalls: I would love more of your shrinkish commentary on the show. I would like to know what you think about the characters and Paul. I am having a great time with the show-is the pilot gay? Is the teenager suicidal? Is Paul burning out?

Anonymous said...

I'm not a regular commenter here, though I read all the posts. I, like the others, voted YES to continuing with the sub-blog and I also agree that I'd rather hear about a shrink's reaction to what's going on than a recap. Anyone who watches the show already knows what happened and most of the people who don't probably don't care about the details. Maybe I'm speaking for others when I shouldn't be though...

One of the lines that really got my attention from Friday's show was when Paul says if his patients knew what he was really thinking, that they would run for the hills. What is your reaction to that? Is that an accurate sentiment or a symptom of his current issues?

What do you suggest for patients who obsess over what their shrinks are really thinking?

Dr. Deb said...

I have found the episodes a bit flat. It's a good start though at showing how therapy sort of works. As an analyst, I found The Soprano early episodes more realistic than this show.

Sarebear said...

Woohoo, hi Deb! I haven't visited you in too long.

Oh, and now that I've SEEN this episode, I think there was ALOT there that was kind of between the lines, and just beneath the surface; I think there was ALOT there, that is, in part, set-up info and some of it will make more sense as we find out more of their past history.

I still think she's an uppity wench, though. Gina.