Monday, December 06, 2010

In Treatment: Frances, Week 7


Sunil doesn't come for his scheduled session. Instead, we get Frances.

Frances continues to struggle with her relationships with her teenage daughter, Izzy, and her terminally ill sister, Patricia. She now has to balance Izzy's wish to prolong Patricia's life with Patricia's wish to die peacefully at home. Should she "pull the plug?" She tells Paul how special it was when Patricia said she loved her, and how she feels like she'll be left alone with no one. Does Paul know how that feels. Indeed, he does.

The session bounces back to how sister Patricia was Paul's patient years ago. As she leaves, Frances asks, "Were you in love with her?" Please, Paul, just say no, she was a patient, her sister is now a patient, why would you have been in love with her and if you were, why would you have ever agreed to treat her sister, much less admit you had such feelings. Therapists don't owe their patients the right to every inner thought. Paul doesn't really answer, he just says that he cared about her a lot, an acceptable feeling to have for a patient.