In Treatment: Jesse. Adele. Week 2.

What happened in the latest episode of HBO's In Treatment, and how does it apply to real-life therapy?

The following originally appeared on Shrink Rap.

Jesse is obnoxious. Paul is obnoxious.


Paul has his second therapy session with Adele. She sits stiffly and while she listens with interest, she isn't warm and fuzzy. Paul tells her that Max showed up on his doorstep. He talks about having Parkinson's Disease—his fears of disability and decline and of passing it along to his children. The neurologist said he didn't have enough symptoms to meet criteria for Parkinson's, but that doesn't give Paul any relief-- he's going for a second opinion, as though he must hear that he has Parkinson's. He even talks about telling Max that he has the disease, the one he hasn't been diagnosed with, and he finally tells Adele about the dream. Oh, and Paul is reading Gina's book and he's angry: he feels that he was is the self-defeating character in the novel and Gina hasn't returned his phone calls.

Paul's session with Adele is not as contentious as the first session, but it's still tense and full of one-upmanship.

Is this what real-life therapy is like? Would anyone ever be a psychotherapist if therapy were anything like what is portrayed on In Treatment? Would anyone voluntarily subject themselves to this?

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