Wednesday, March 05, 2008

HBO In Treatment....Back for More

Laura un-fires Paul as her therapist. She shows up with maple syrup. They sit on the couch together and she talks about her father in the ICU and Paul declares his "very deep feelings" for Laura. She talks about her regret for sleeping with an older man as a teenager, her anger that he'd slept with her at all. Paul holds a distressed Laura, he talks about his own longings for a teacher who agreed to a kiss, but then Paul got scared and left. Paul assures Laura he won't abandon her, he hugs her, offers reassurance and a kiss on the forehead. Laura leaves to go negotiate her father's care. Paul holds his head in his hands. Laura runs into Kate who is taking out the garbage and looking a little less than glamorous. And did I mention that Paul's daughter was in the beginning of the show, upset at finding her father's couch made up as his bed?

Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries. It's a no-no to breach these boundaries with any patient, but there is something particularly distasteful about doing it with a woman who is talking about her distressing past sexual relationship with a male authority figure. Mercifully, the episode was only 23 minutes long.

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On Tuesday, we discover that Kate is not happy about seeing Laura outside. "I thought you said she quit therapy." And Alex arrives: "I'm glad you came back" says Paul. Really? He spars with Paul, talks about how he's killed people, offers a dream. And of course he drinks water. It's another therapy/beverage session. I didn't make it through the whole session.....tell me if I missed anything....

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So one of our commenters asked:

I really enjoy reading a psychiatrist's impression of the series. I have been following the series and am really shocked! All the patients seem so hostile toward the doctor. In real life, do you see this type of anger when people try to get help and work through problems? I just think it is so weird. Thanks!

Dear Anonymous Commenter: No, in real life people are not hostile towards the doctor. It's not that people never get angry or annoyed, but a) it's occasional b) it's not this kind of instant outrageous hostility. I think this is pretty weird, too.