In Treatment

May 8, 2009

Season 2 of In Treatment is already underway in the US – Paul has 4 new clients and has decided that his sessions with Gina are therapy and not the confused hybrid of therapy and supervision from Season 1. What I like about the series is that it gives some insight into the complexity of the therapeutic relationship and in particular what it looks like from a therapist’s perspective. I’ve used some of the episodes as teaching resources with first year counselling and psychotherapy students and they have been a useful tool to explore basic concepts such as boundaries, transference and counter transference etc. Many people come to a training programme with idealised notions of being helpful and transforming their client’s lives. Few have any thoughts about the challenges of containing and working with very powerful transference from clients and the feelings evoked that can’t always be articulated in the moment.
HBO has produced a 24 minute documentary called In Treatment: Private and Confidential (you can watch it online) – in which therapists and clients talk about what therapy is and how it works and why it can be useful (for some people). It does contain spoilers so you have been warned! NPR also recently interviewed Gabriel Byrne and he has some interesting insights into his character’s thinking.
If In Treatment does nothing more than make it possible to generate insight into how therapy works then it will have been a success in my view..and for those of you interested in more insight into how Gabriel Byrne works check out Belinda McKeown’s interview with him from February’s Irish Times.