Thursday, January 31, 2008

In Treatment: Episode Number 3....the sub-blog

ClinkShrink has a GREAT Story about her day, you've got to scroll down to the Donut post.

Episode 3

It's about shrinks and parents, a theme close to my heart these days.

Paul's psychotherapy office, we discover, is in his home. A small boy, maybe 9 or 10, sits at his desk holding a thermometer to a light bulb while Paul and his wife argue in the background. The boy wants to stay home, but Paul doesn't buy the sick plea or the temp of 103. "We could rent a movie and watch it," the boy says, but Paul is stern. Boy must go to school, dad must go to work. The boy says, "You never believe me." The shrink dad cringes, we know there's more to it (damn it, there'd better be), we'll wait for another episode.

Patient Sophie is 16, an only child, an Olympic-hopeful gymnast. The handshake over first names reveals both her arms are in casts, and she's been referred by her lawyer. "I'm here for your professional opinion." Translates to, 'I'm not here for treatment.' Sophie was hit by a car while riding her bike, the question has been raised by the insurance company as to whether it was a suicide attempt, and in fact, Sophie had tried a friend's motorbike 2 years before and crashed into a car back then.

Paul asks about the accident. "I told you, I don't remember anything." She becomes uncomfortable. She's already seen a social worker and she didn't like the social worker because she thought she knew everything about Sophie.

"Can you help me with this professional opinion?"
"It's not like an XRay," Paul says, "It doesn't quite work like that." Sophie says she'll leave, but she doesn't. "I didn't come to talk about myself."

She gets angry. She wants Paul to ask her "shrink-like questions." She thinks Paul spoke to her mom, and she and mom clearly have issues. She came by bus, she'd never let mom drive her. Sophie's close to her dad, he's always there for her, but she finds him by calling "411" --Information-- because he moves so often. And, oh yeah, there's Cy the gymastics Coach who drew the topless mermaid on her casts and who's children she's babysat for.

Sophie is angry that Paul doesn't jump at the opportunity to read the insurance report she's brought him. He says they need to meet 3 or 4 times and he wants to read it alone. "Otherwise it wouldn't be professional." He echoes her words with such finesse.

Paul reads. Sophie wanders about his office. She comments on his collection of ships. He has asthma, she finds his inhaler. "Did you really read all those books or are you just trying to make an impression?" "They're your f***ing books, Buster." Oh my. And Paul is unflappable.

Sophie asks about Paul's daughter. How did she know? They are in the same grade, they once went to the same school, he was on the PTA.

They talk about a show that even I'm not old enough to know about "This is your Life" or something like that. Paul tells an angry Sophie that everyone thinks about death. "Suicidal tendencies, blah, blah, blah," she says.

"It's 10 of and you probably have to turn on your cell phone now," Sophie says to Paul. She asks Paul about his relationship with his daughter, she must call him at 10 of the hour. My real-life daughter and I laugh, I because I turn on my cell phone at 10 of the hour, my daughter because "I always call you on the hour because that's when you answer." Why aren't we on TV?

Paul gets water for Sophie at her request. He gently places a straw in it and asks if she needs help. For the guy who wouldn't watch a movie with his kid, he is the quintessential daddy to this patient who so desperately needs a parent. He gives them both an assignment-- they will both write an assessment of the insurance company's report.

Paul is good. He's really good. My daughter says he's old, wrinkly, gray. Nothing fazes him, he never says the wrong thing, he ties everything neatly together. His eyes light up when he smiles, sometimes even when he doesn't. He's a better shrink than I am any day, oh and that faint brogue to top it all off. When can I tell him my secrets?

13 comments:

The man called Anne said...

Quit watching TV - it helps also
:P

Anonymous said...

That too,plus why the recap? readers who watch the thing will know what happened. I don't realy think this show is worth wasting all your time when you could be blogging about more important things. Or, maybe just wait until the show is over and give your overall impression instead of a play by play.

dinah said...

Chill-- it's an experiment, it only goes as long as I'm having fun. I still haven't decided. I liked the second episode, though I was interrupted 4 times, Camel called twice, family wandered in wanting dinner, husband wanted to restart from the beginning....

Roy: it was a recap of what's come already. I didn't pay much attention, though probably I should have. Tonight's the read LOST thing.

michelle said...

I like the experiment. It adds a touch of lightness to life. Plus, a lot of interesting blog topics could be inspired by the show. (Does erotic transference really happen a lot? Always wondered that. And do therapists really have their own therapists? How do you handle/overcome frustration with a patient?). IMO, TV is cathartic, it serves a real function for many. It's also an interesting reflection of society (albeit exaggerated). So, blog on! :)

Rach said...

You could always do one MEGA In treatment post on the weekend (or anytime you can sit down and watch all 5 shows in a row if you watch on Sunday night or download from iTunes).

I agree with Michelle - lots of interesting of topics could come out of this.

Ladyk73 said...

I love the show! It must be my erotic transference about Paul (is that his name?)

I don't have HBO, so I hope they will keep it on HBO.com.

I love this kind of stuff.
I think it is great for the budding mini therpist in me. Trying to think of what I would say...blah blah blah (doing my own mini dramatic assessments)

But most importantly...he is hot

Midwife with a Knife said...

I don't want to spoil it for anybody that hasn't read it, but episode 3 is the first one I really liked. :) Something about that teenager... I dunno.

Rach said...

MWWAK - I agree. I liked Sophie too. I could relate to her. I think her character will really evolve over the next little while. I'm not so sure about the other two though.

NeoNurseChic said...

MWWAK and Rach - I agree, too. Could relate to her quite a bit from back in my teen years! Although I was never that forward - I have always been afraid to say what I really think for fear of what the other person will do with it. This can create some problems with therapy, since it's supposed to be all about saying what you really think, and half the battle for me is getting out the thought. There was one point where Sophie said, "I don't know" - and I said to Jason that "I don't know" means I really don't want to talk about that right now - I use it all the time, too. :-P

At any rate, I did like that episode more than the others, even though she was still a stereotype! I'm starting to see the attractiveness in Paul - he didn't strike me as super hot right from the start, but the more I see him... :)

Take care,
Carrie :)

NeoNurseChic said...

"They're your f***ing books, Buster" - When Sophie said that, Jason cracked up laughing, slapping his knee and everything, and said, "That's awesome! That's exactly what I would say to a shrink!" Haha... He is always asking me what would happen if he just sat there and said nothing, or answered in one-word answers - he says it would turn into a mind game that he had to win. You should hear the things he says about my appointments...! But he realizes the appointments are helpful for me (even if he doesn't have any understanding as to why they are helpful), so that's enough for me.

I don't think I could handle it if my mom had a job where I couldn't get ahold of her. That would drive me nuts. I get annoyed when I call my mom and she can't answer the phone because she's not at her desk. I've officially been spoiled! That and I'm 27 but still talk to my mother like 5 times a day, starting with at 6:30am on the way to work, and ending with sometime before bed. I would say that there's something wrong with that, but I really don't want to change it! Today I haven't talked to her since around 1pm, so I definitely feel weird! If my mom was a shrink, then she would never get anything done in between patients because my family never stops calling her. Poor mom. haha

--Carrie :)

Rach said...

Yup. Paul is hot. In a "you should trust me, I'm a trusting and trustable human being. Oh and I'm cute" sort of way.

Dreaming again said...

Carrie ...treasure that ... very closely!!! Don't let anyone tell you that you need to stop ..or time to grow up ... or any such nonsense!

Treasure it. Guard it with your life.

I'm loosing my mom (lost)to dementia ... those days are gone for me ... I don't have a mother anymore but a child to take care of.

Keep her as your mom every moment you can!

Sarebear said...

Yup. You never know when all of a sudden, a bunch of doors slam shut, when you thought you had your whole life to do stuff.

So even though I don't have HBO, I can watch it on their website? cool.

And keep blogging it as long as you enjoy it, Dinah . . . . Although there was something you said about one of the patients that is a painful problem for me in the therapeutic relationship (and no it's not the love/lust whatever thing). That is okee-day, it actually kinda gives me a different perspective on how mental health people think about it, the way you so casually rattled it off a couple of times.

Anyway, I wonder if I'm like Pavlov's dog, except I'm being conditioned with a rolled up newspaper, and patted on the head, good boy, every time the fear successfully trains me.

Oy, this is a big thing that has blown up.

DON"T be afraid that you just messed me up even more, I'm my own person etc. yadayada, I'm just kind of talking out loud. Ooops, 3:30 am, gotta go to bed lol.

Bye gnite.