Sunday, April 12, 2009

In Treatment: Week 2 Season 2. The Return of April and Mia


Mia the malpractice attorney is back, this time as a patient. She needles Paul: he had an affair, didn't he? He left his wife for a younger woman, didn't he? He wishes he was close with his daughter, doesn't he? She's uncanny.

Mia remembers every detail of Paul's old office, and she holds him responsible for making the decision that she should have an abortion. Still childless and entering an early menopause, she feels he owes her a child. She implies that maybe they could have a romance-- ah, she asked him out for a drink before asking him to come for a therapy session. And Paul's boundaries are so much better than last season. Mia talks at length about her special relationship with her father, only to stop and announce she doesn't want therapy. Paul notes that this is all he has to offer, and that perhaps he will once again disappoint her.

Patients sometimes remember details in a way that therapists might not. Mia remembers the black and blue colors of Paul's couch 20 years ago, the way the light fell in his office. How Paul goaded her into an abortion. We're left to wonder what exactly Paul said, and I hope Mia's memory has distorted the events that transpired. But who knows, Paul's done some pretty outrageous things. Ah, but at least he has his old notes from his 20 year old sessions with Mia.
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April is back, she's angry and wants to use the phone. Her iPhone battery just died (wow, an iPhone at that). She kicks Paul out of his own office to use the phone. She talks about ex-boyfriend Kyle, autistic brother, Danny. She talks about her fears of relationships and how she slept with Kyle's best friend. Now she's hung up on her ex and "I hate girls like this." She thought of letting Kyle help her schedule chemotherapy. Mostly, the session is about April connecting with Paul. She's starting to trust him, to open up to him. They can talk about her cancer in a more genuine way, she doesn't run out and scream. Ah, but she gets heated when Paul mentions he talked to an oncologist about her condition, without mentioning her name. She yells, "You had no right to do this." Oh, but he did (if he gave no identifying information). They make a deal: He won't talk about her to anyone, she won't leave therapy without calling. The session was about rapport. It went well. And Paul takes note now, in a spiral notebook. The guy's never heard of patient charts?

8 comments:

Michelle said...

I thought it was two very good episodes and it drew me in even more!!!

Anonymous said...

haha, my psychiatrist also takes notes in spiral notebooks, the kind you can get from target or staples or CVS. i always assumed she pulls the pages out and tucks them in a file somewhere afterwards, but yea, it's pretty funny looking. in the beginning it struck me as unprofessional, now it just seems like one of her quirks. guess it's not just hers!

Anonymous said...

Great posting, Dinah! I have to admit that my psychiatrist takes notes in a spiral composition book, too! She doodles a lot in it as well. Sometimes I find it distracting.

Anonymous said...

I love this show! I love the awkward silences. The way Mia confronts, and April prods. As a therapy client myself, I smile. For TV therapy, this is pretty good even if over-dramatic. Keep up the blog.

My therapist also takes notes in a spiral notebook.

Tigermom said...

Personally, I use a chart.

But a wonderful psychologist I know uses a spiral notebook; separate one for each patient.

Anonymous said...

just a q.........did Laura and Paul shag? have some sort of relationship??

how did it end? cos i missed it!!

Retriever said...

Gaah. Not fair to those of us who don't have cable or satellite, and have only the first 15 free Itunes episodes....

Oh what the hay, love what I've seen of it tho it it's pure soap opera (about to spring for the DVD of the First Season, tho)...But am being disciplined and NOT reading your reviews, so as to be surprised when this season's DVD comes out....

My one critique of what is rivetting entertainnment is that the patients are basically so privileged/frivolous/or good looking and successful that it perpetuates stereotypes of therapy as a luxury for the spoiled, rich or petulant. Even that molested gymnast was gorgeous and one knew she would do okay in the end.

It just goes to show that America isn't ready for a realistic depiction of the messy and often inconsistent and inadequate treatment of real, severe mental illness like intractable depression or therapy with developmental disorders. It might be just as dramatic, but I guess it wouldn't be sexy, because Americans can't find anyone or anything sexy who isn't thin and good looking. So the patients in this show (at least in the episodes I've seen) are all YAVIS.

Don't mind me, just jealous I can't see it yet!

www.tarragona-3d.com said...

It won't actually have success, I consider this way.