Friday, February 01, 2008

In Treatment: Episode 5...the sub-blog








Paul returns to therapy. It's been a while, he can't remember where to park, he takes the therapist's chair. She tells him about how awful it is to be 60. She asks for his drink order, offers him a piece of sugar-free cake. They talk about Gina's deceased husband.

We hear about Paul's kids-- Max is 9, Rosy is 17, Ian is at college.
"I called you last night because I needed to talk to somebody. I feel that I'm losing my patience with my patients. There are sessions where I can barely restrain myself from an outburst. I wish everyone would go away.

He talks about how badly he feels for telling the couple to have an abortion, he talks about Laura's erotic transference. "If patients could see what goes on inside my head..."
Paul talks about the fighter pilot who bombed the Iraqi school. All the time I listen as if it's nothing...it's so disgusting."

"Were you insulted that the patient called you a murderer?" Gina asks.

Paul talks about the lack of praise one gets from the lack of an audience, Gina talks about how she meant they had no one to criticize or critique.

Gina talks about how angry Paul was with her when he stopped coming 10 years ago, how he was so angry he didn't come to her husband's funeral. She talks about how Paul had accused her of interfering with his practice. Gina is retired. She's trying to write a novel. Go for it Gina! No wonder I like this show.

Paul tells Gina that he and his wife, Kate, argue non-stop. Kate has taken Max to a class for gifted children behind Paul's back. "If you cared as much about your family as you cared about your patients....she says I don't love her that I'm always a step ahead of her....she says I never have any perspective. All I can see is rupture."

Gina was his supervisor for 8 years. Now they talk about whether he's talking to her as a therapy patient. "You keep saying you didn't come to talk about Kate and you keep talking about her."

So Paul has been so unflappable, here we see him flap. I'm a little disappointed. Paul worries that his wife is lying to him, she doesn't take her sneakers when she says she's going to the gym, she doesn't answer her cell. Shades of his patient Jake. And sex is out of the question. "Once a month if I'm lucky.... I think about it ALL the time."

He makes a Freudian slip and refers to the patient with the erotic transference instead of his wife. Gina says it's a test of his marriage. "Please don't draw any conclusions because there are none to be drawn."

This is a heated session. "What are you trying to prove here Paul, that you won't talk about Laura?" Paul gets angry, "You twist everything." They are fighting. She asks Paul if he slept with Laura. "You're making it really difficult for me to come back here to talk to you....was I that big a disappointment to you?"

"I hope your novel doesn't stink this long.....you're failing at everything."

I take it back, it's not a heated session, it's a Hostile session. I'm tense just watching these two people. "You are not being helpful," Paul says.

"What role have you assigned me?" Gina screams.

This is....therapy? supervision? oy. Gina tells him how hard it's all been on her, how confusing it is.

"You've been waiting for this to happen, Paul the failure."

The two agree this wasn't such a good idea. Gina suggests professional help. Paul doesn't need it. "I'm not angry, I'm really not."

This was hard to watch, nothing about it felt good, nothing about it felt helpful. Therapy, supervision, whatever the hell that was, it needs some warmth, some trust, the anger, if there is overt anger, needs to be a sub-plot, not the fuel for the relationship. These two people need something. I could use a Xanax.

My husband's opinion: "Winner of the most annoying patient of the week award goes to the psychiatrist (Paul)."