In Treatment: Adele

A synopsis of the latest episode of the HBO series In Treatment, and how it applies to psychiatrists in the real world.

The following originally appeared on Shrink Rap.

Paul goes to a new psychiatrist because he wants a prescription for Ambien. He ran out three days ago and it's 5PM on Friday and he can't wait until Monday when he's scheduled to see a neurologist. The new shrink, we learn from her diploma on the wall, has an M.D., a pH.D. and she's a psychoanalyst. By my count, that makes her about 80, but Paul is quick to repeatedly comment on how young she is. "I'm sure whatever grade you're in, you've learned to write."

Paul wants a script, that's it. And he came to a psychoanalyst for it? He's hostile, irritable, angry, and condescending. He gets annoyed when she asks him what dose. He's kept awake by a dream, but he's been analyzed by Gina and he knows what everything is about and he won't tell her the dream, only that it relates to his patients, his frustration with his work (...being with a patient is like being two mice trapped in a glue trap), and his certainty that he has Parkinson's Disease. Oh, but when you hear how he takes extra Ambien in the middle of the night, it's kind of got me wondering if he hasn't misdiagnosed himself and isn't in withdrawal during the day, ...but I suppose we'll find that out next week. My guess is that Paul's tremor is psychogenic...but again. Oh, yes, ClinkShrink reminds me he is a TV character and not a real person.

Gina, his old analyst whom he used to fight with miserably, has written a novel and Paul has brought it with him. Got it in a book store on the way to the appointment and he wishes he'd asked for a bag. He gets defensive when Adele questions his treatment with Gina: she was your teacher, your supervisor, your analyst, and your couples therapist? He is offended, after all what does this newbie pipsqueak know? Adele apologizes. Twice. And she's extremely tolerant of Paul's patronizing and demanding demeanor regarding the Ambien prescription.

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