In Treatment has taught me that I wouldn't make a very good therapist
by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 28th 2009 3:38PM
I've been watching In Treatment since the first season. At first, I was intrigued by the format (five half-hour episodes each week), and then I got into therapist Paul's story and the sagas of his various patients. The show is, if possible, even better this second season but it's also shown me that I absolutely could not be a therapist. His first patient each week this season is Mia, a former patient who alternates between flirting and intentionally antagonizing him.
She's illegally looked at his legal documents, ignored his policies and rules, pushed him around and been so alternately pissy and clingy you'd think she was bipolar. And somehow Paul sits there as calm as can be, and you know she's driving him crazy underneath. It's a tremendous acting performance by Hope Davis, fully embodying this tragic and tortured soul. It's becoming almost difficult to watch, there's so much "crazy" in the air you never know how she'll react to anything Paul says.
Every week Paul has to fight these little battles with Mia for half of the session before she's even willing to start talking in a reasonable and meaningful manner. I wouldn't make it that far with her. She stays combative through the entire sessions generally. I think he's going to have to break her down completely before he'll be able to get anywhere with her, but she has twenty years of resentment and bitterness to work through. And somehow I don't think Paul would approve of my diagnosis of a shoe upside the head and a swift kick toward the door.