See: “In Treatment”

July 19, 2010

I just finished watching the first season of HBO’s In Treatment, as it was all the rage with a few of my clients.  HBO will be going into its third season of the show this upcoming fall.  It was a goal for my summer to try to catch up. 

I did not anticipate being so drawn in.  I do not have HBO so I was getting the videos from a service that mails the videos to you.  I started out ordering one at time and that quickly increased to two or three depending on what time would allow.  There were 43 episodes in all, about 1/2 hour per episode.

Dr. Paul Weston, played by Gabriel Byrne, is exquisite as the psychotherapist.  We see four of his weekly sessions with four different clients.  In addition,  Paul is struggling with his own issues when we meet him.  His issues force him back into his own treatment which is an interesting element to the show, and provides the fifth session for the week.   It has been a while since I have seen complex fictional characters on television, and it may have been even longer since I have seen complex African American characters.  Blair Underwood as “Alex”  is just amazing as is Glynn Turman who plays his father. 

If you are pressed for time I would say focus on the “Alex” character.  I found the teenage girl character “Sophie” a little slow at first, but it gets better midway through the season.  Really, all the episodes relate to the others so ideally see them all.

The therapist here is using a predominately psychodynamic style of therapy which focuses on the childhood years of the client’s history as well as howthese  early relationships get played out in the client’s current life.  Information about the client is often revealed in not just what the client talks about but how they relate to the therapist.  Paul makes some decisions that would make strict analysts cringe (what some may call boundary violations), but overall he is a good therapist. 

From the standpoint of learning about this kind of therapy, this program is remarkable.  However, it just makes for interesting and thought-provoking television, and how often does that happen?

If you believe you are ready to find a mental health practioner see:

Ok, now on to Season TWO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One Response to “See: “In Treatment””

  1. E said

    Yeah, I also enjoyed it. I liked how they originally aired it giving you a different client session every night of the week. Well written, complex characters for sure.

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