Sunday, April 12, 2009

In Treatment: Week 2 Season 2. The Return of April and Mia

Mia the malpractice attorney is back, this time as a patient. She needles Paul: he had an affair, didn't he? He left his wife for a younger woman, didn't he? He wishes he was close with his daughter, doesn't he? She's uncanny.

Mia remembers every detail of Paul's old office, and she holds him responsible for making the decision that she should have an abortion. Still childless and entering an early menopause, she feels he owes her a child. She implies that maybe they could have a romance-- ah, she asked him out for a drink before asking him to come for a therapy session. And Paul's boundaries are so much better than last season. Mia talks at length about her special relationship with her father, only to stop and announce she doesn't want therapy. Paul notes that this is all he has to offer, and that perhaps he will once again disappoint her.

Patients sometimes remember details in a way that therapists might not. Mia remembers the black and blue colors of Paul's couch 20 years ago, the way the light fell in his office. How Paul goaded her into an abortion. We're left to wonder what exactly Paul said, and I hope Mia's memory has distorted the events that transpired. But who knows, Paul's done some pretty outrageous things. Ah, but at least he has his old notes from his 20 year old sessions with Mia.
April is back, she's angry and wants to use the phone. Her iPhone battery just died (wow, an iPhone at that). She kicks Paul out of his own office to use the phone. She talks about ex-boyfriend Kyle, autistic brother, Danny. She talks about her fears of relationships and how she slept with Kyle's best friend. Now she's hung up on her ex and "I hate girls like this." She thought of letting Kyle help her schedule chemotherapy. Mostly, the session is about April connecting with Paul. She's starting to trust him, to open up to him. They can talk about her cancer in a more genuine way, she doesn't run out and scream. Ah, but she gets heated when Paul mentions he talked to an oncologist about her condition, without mentioning her name. She yells, "You had no right to do this." Oh, but he did (if he gave no identifying information). They make a deal: He won't talk about her to anyone, she won't leave therapy without calling. The session was about rapport. It went well. And Paul takes note now, in a spiral notebook. The guy's never heard of patient charts?