Tuesday, November 02, 2010

In Treatment: Frances, Week 2

Week 1: Sunil - Frances - Jesse - Adele
Week 2: Sunil - Frances - Jesse/Adele
Week 3: Sunil - Frances - Jesse - Adele

Week 4: Sunil - Frances - Jesse - Adele
Week 5: Sunil - Frances - Jesse - Adele

Paul starts off the episode at the neurologist. We watch the exam, no dialogue, and we won't find out why he has a tremor or if he has Parkinson's Disease, at least not during this episode.

Frances is a little less obnoxious this session and a little more sympathetic. She talks about her courtship and marriage, her teenage daughter, and her dying sister. She is provocative with her questions and her sexuality. She's scheduled an appointment to see if she has the breast cancer gene --the BRCA breast cancer susceptibility gene. Finally, it seems she lied to Paul when she told him she'd asked her sister--his former patient-- for the referral and said it was fine with sis if she came to see the same therapist.

Last week, when Paul heard that the sister had stage 4 breast cancer and was dying, he immediately asked if she was in therapy. Today, we hear he's spoken to the sister and she is, indeed, in therapy. I found whole line of thinking interesting-- that the process of dying should necessarily be accompanied by a psychotherapist, with no other questions asked. Do certain stressful life events get negotiated better if one is in therapy? Is it a given that they need therapy? Do we, as psychiatrists, want this assumption supported, even by a fictional character on a fictional show?