Friday, February 22, 2008

In Treatment: ....the sub-blog

I've fallen behind and life has gotten in the way, so I'm going to do a combination post as I catch up on this mostly snow day.

Therapist Paul and Patient Alex have a Pissing Contest.

At least this episode didn't hurt to watch. Alex shows up early, Paul lets him in (no waiting room). Alex insists on paying for the extra few minutes of time, and he throws the pro-rated fee in dollars and coins down on the table. Paul says he is demeaning him and showing his contempt. What a way to talk to a patient.

Alex wants to discuss his sexual encounter with other-patient Laura, but first he needs to know if Paul has sexual fantasies about his patients. Paul says he does. Can I go home now?

We hear again about the unsatisfactory sexual encounter, Paul points out some interesting dynamic interpretations to Alex as he makes himself espresso, and it seems Paul is having a difficult time treating patient man who slept with the patient he fantasizes sleeping with.

Suicidal Sophie

Sophie arrives all decked out-- up all night, full of tequila, status post bland sex. She talks about her mother, the shopping trip that led to the red striped shoes she's perched upon, her life after cast removal and her return to the gym. She does cartwheels and a backflip on Paul's couch, and she talks about how her accident was indeed a suicide attempt while Paul rubs her back. Sophie goes to the bathroom in her state of distress and once again, Dr. Paul is at the door asking "Are you okay." She opens the medicine cabinet, where Paul has conveniently left some pills--- freeze frame and I think they are a narcotic combo pill. Proll husband picks up that the bottle says "Baltimore" though the 301 area code sits better with my thought that it's the DC 'burbs. She pours the pills into her hands, we are left to assume she's taken them (oh, honey, not with all that tequila on board!!) and moments later, she passes out as she tries to exit the office.

What can I say? Husband gives his input: It's about therapy stirring the patient up and what kind of psychologist would leave drugs in the medicine cabinet for his patients?

Jake and Amy Bicker

Jake and Amy bicker. Not much else happens and I'm not sure what the point of the episode is. Too much "In Treatment" at once.


Anonymous said...

A shrink, a male shrink, any shrink, should ever rub the back of a sex abuse survivor, one he barely knows, and imagine that itself won't stir things up and leave his own pills unhidden as though we need a knock you over the head with a baseball bat illustration of how he has boundary issues six ways to Sunday? There are no subtle aspects worth debating as with a good book or story; that is what makes it all so silly and why this show is a dumbed down version of what it could have been.

Anonymous said...

I have not been watching this show, but your descriptions make me glad I have not. In fact the descriptions make me wince with discomfort because I find the behavior of Paul (the shrink) so inappropriate and his patients so extreme that I feel it's a negative portrayal of the therapy process. I would hate to have this show give Americans watching it the impression that this is what they would encounter if they went for therapy.

I have never had any therapist (male or female) touch me during a session. My sessions start on time and I wait in a waiting room. My sessions end on time. I pay by check (on time). My psychiatrist will not treat 2 individuals who are romantically involved with each other separately (one must go to a different therapist). He has told me that he has some clients who get angry with him (not me since not getting or expressing anger is one of my issues), but I can't imagine many of the scenes which have occurred on this show being tolerated by my psychiatrist. He'd have the situation under control in a hurry I think.

April said...

I'm not watching the show anymore (no HBO) but I am in therapy and I think people are taking the show a little too seriously. It's not a documentary about therapy, it's a drama on HBO. We don't watch The Sopranos and complain how Tony shouldn't be whacking guys and we don't watch Weeds and say how the mom should sell cookies not weed. And I understand it may be a "reputation" thing about psychiatrists but.... IT'S TV! And I think the show is more about Paul's life and what his patients bring out in him. And, face it, life is ambiguous and people do get caught up in their emotions, professionals or not. Only a small percentage of shrinks cross the line? Well, maybe Paul's in that small percentage? Or maybe we're just seeing what it feels like to be so tempted and still maintain your cool. We'll see. (It's TV, people.)

Anonymous said...

right, thats why "laura" can make it to an appontment any time she likes.

yep it is tv but it is being billed as smart tv when it is stupid tv, so as long as we call it for the drek it is that is fine. the issue isn't so much that it is not exactly representative of real life but more that it is melodramatic really bad tv. good tv is pretty much an oxymoron but it can be done. it has been done. it was that episode of oh i forget the name of the show but some guy named bill was on swearing he never had relations with that woman or something like that. oh and yeah, there was a great car chase in slo mo on years ago-- a white jeep or something --mesmerizing. and also didn't reagan get shot about 500 thousand times an hour and still survive?! amazing tv.the flintstones was really good too

Midwife with a Knife said...

I have to say, I've become tired of this show. I was hoping it would be full of interesting character development. Instead, it's full of boring character cliches.

Sarebear said...

I think Paul's paternalism towards Sophie leaks out - he feels like here's one patient he doesn't have to "put up" with - but he still needs to keep the boundaries, for her sake, anyway. And yeah, on the pills in the bathroom thing.

I'm wondering if Paul might come to a point, soon, where he'll realize if he follows down the path with Laura, he won't be able to stay in practice and help Sophie. Hopefully something like that will sober him up, but good. And sort of set him back on-kilter, for a bit anyway.

I'm not asking for this to be GREAT tv, but was hoping for better than it seems they might be giving (I still think it's too early too tell for sure, though.

Anonymous said...

i don't think that about halfway through is too early to tell. if it looks like a duck..

Anonymous said...

Duck, there was a duck? I guess I was too busy looking at the big 'ol elephant sitting in the office I completely missed the duck, damn.

Anonymous said...

you got the DTs?