In Treatment: Week 7


Dinah from Shrink Rap reviews three episodes from week 3 of the latest season of HBO's In Treatment, and applies them to psychiatric practice.

The following was originally posted to Shrink Rap


Paul starts with the usual: he blames Adele for giving him bum advice and says she is responsible for Sunil's deportation. Ho hum.

Adele is in his face with how stuck his life is--- hmmm, didn't this guy just get divorced, move to Brooklyn, have his kid, leave his kid? I guess those don't count. Paul announces he's decided on the spot to stop practicing psychotherapy. Independently wealthy, I presume. And yesterday he broke off with his girlfriend and felt nothing. And then, in a rare moment of insight, Paul tells Adele he is stopping therapy, that it is just a repetition of the same patterns and he can't continue with this painstaking examination of transferential feelings. Adele implores him to stay; these people seem to feel that therapy is essential to life and that no change is possible without it. Paul says no, he must go.

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Jesse went to prison for hopping a train to Providence without paying. Another episode for ClinkShrink!

He's back in Paul's office with his dad, and dad doesn't have much use for shrinks. He tells Paul he should have been a plumber. And now that he and Jesse are cool, Jesse doesn't need to come.

Paul talks to Jesse alone. He implores Jesse to stay in treatment, and he puts it in terms of how he cares for Jesse and how Jesse will lose the gains he made. To watch Paul, leaving therapy is a catastrophic event, one that warrants blowing a few cerebral blood vessels. It's a do or die deal.

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ClinkShrink's dream has come true! A session in the jail. Sunil was locked up and soon he'll be deported back to India, and we learn that this was part of a grand plan, his only way to get home to India. He faked the whole creepy/dangerous scenario, aware that if the police came and he refused to show his papers, he'd get arrested and deported. Couldn't he just have shoplifted an apple?

Paul is angry. What was real? Was it all farce on his therapy? Sunil points out his assorted boundary transgressions as he created a therapist/friend scenario, and Sunil says that Paul got something out of the sessions as well in their shared loneliness.

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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?"

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