Friday, March 07, 2008

HBO In Treatment....The Rest of Week 6


The Sophie Episodes are my favorite. The Jake/Amy ones are insufferable as are the Alex ones, though Alex is earlier in the week. It feels like these people spend an awful lot of time talking about the sessions themselves and going at it with the therapist. For what it's worth, in real life-- at least in my real life-- patients are a lot less focused on me and a lot more interested in telling me about their lives outside of the office. Oh, and my patients are much nicer than Paul's. So there are my thoughts.

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Sophie orders a pizza to be sent to the session-- how cute is that? Deep dish: you go, girl! They end up talking about weight and eating and control and we get to question if Sophie has anorexia like her dad's Italian model girlfriend thought. Then we hear about good old Dad, Sophie's favorite person in the world, who doesn't know about how she OD'd on her shrink's sleeping meds in his office bathroom (gotta love that bathroom). Paul pushes Sophie on why she's keeping this from her father and he shows her that he's found a book with photos by Sophie's dad-- photos of naked women. Sophie gets mad, she tells Paul to "Eat Shit, Paul" and she's ready to storm out. Then she comes back and she screams at him that she's supposed to control the conversation, basically tells him not to push her too hard. He comes back with more shrinky analysis pushing at her how she needs to look at her relationship with Dad. Sophie weeps, Paul assures her that there are safe places besides on her gymnast's balance beam, and says his office is one of those safe places.

Ha! Talk about bad therapy. This is a kid he pushed her buttons and she overdosed in his bathroom. She's told him loudly and clearly that she needs to keep it where she feels safe, float it on the surface. She comes undone when he pushes her, and I thought that when she sat back down, he'd make an effort to put her back together, to smooth things over, and yet, while she somehow doesn't lose it with him (at least doesn't keep yelling at him), he keeps up his plug to go deeper, to look at the painful stuff. We're supposed to believe he gets his message across because he's now chosen the right words, but if you ask me, he's standing next to the fire with an open vat of gasoline. A patient this fragile needs to control the session, she doesn't need a lot of annoying interpretations or to be pushed to look at things she doesn't want to look at . She tries to kill herself when this happens. We're on session 5, we've had a pizza, we've had an overdose, we've told Mom to f--k off, and now he's shoving naked photos her dad took in her face??? Oy. Assess her symptoms (including the possibility of an eating disorder), make sure she's literally safe, report the damn gymnastics coach who slept with her, treat her Major Depression with medications, and talk about school, how it's going at home (if she wants), what she likes on her pizza, and maybe chat about a movie. How many suicide attempts does it take before the shrink figures out that his office isn't a "safe place" if he pushes her to the the brink? Okay, you get my point. See any good movies this week, Sophie?
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Amy shows up alone, no Jake this week. She feels rejected when Paul is a little late and asks her to wait outside for a few minutes. She tells about it. We then hear that she's back together with her controlling husband, and that Jake is now disgustingly tender, she likes it rough. Bad sex with hubby and a fling is set in motion with her boss tonight. She always forgives herself. Oh, and she was a fat and tormented child, dad died when she was 13, her sister was a mean little thing who had to have the red dress. Paul clearly doesn't approve of sex with the boss. Amy goes to the famed bathroom where she blackberries her husband just to hear his voice. And what does that mean?

Is there something to say?
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Paul's psychotherapy supervision has turned in to couples therapy. His lovely arachnid wife, Kate, joins the session. Gina kisses Paul and there's a spot of tea waiting. They worry about their daughter. They bicker about Paul's sexy patient Laura. Paul tells Kate what Gina is saying, cuts off Gina, jumps to conclusions. Gina comes up with theories of Kate's role in Paul's life-- they she started the marriage as a dependent "patient" who was never his equal (to be clear here, Kate was never Paul's patient, she just liked that he listened to her, apparently that puts one in a patient role even in a romance). Paul harshly accuses Gina of "jumping to conclusions" and of rushing the therapy by making interpretations that should wait for months if not years. Funny, didn' t I just say he did something similar with his patient Sophie? Kate weeps and storms off. Apparently you can't have psychotherapy without beverages, a few choice obscenities, and someone storming off.

You know, spell check doesn't like "shrinky" or "oy".