Friday, November 19, 2010

In Treatment

I had a fascinating conversation with an Iranian-American psychiatrist in LA last year.  I asked him if the therapy scenes in The Sopranos seemed authentic to him.  He said yes, but recommended an even better portrayal in the HBO show - In Treatment.

We're now almost finished with Season 1.  In Treatment shows the weekly sessions of four patients with their psychotherapist, then the psychotherapist's session with his own psychotherapist.  Monday is Laura (Melissa George), a beautiful young anesthesiologist who tells the psychiatrist Paul that she's in love with him.  Tuesday is Alex (Blair Underwood) a black Navy pilot whose fighter pilot identity brain compartment is beginning to leak into the human being identity compartment.  Wednesday is Sophie (Mia Wasikowska), a Olympic gymnast hopeful who hates her mom, with whom she lives, and idolizes her father who photographs models in New York.  And Thursday we have Jake (Josh Charles) and Amy (Embeth Davidtz).  He's a marginal musician and she's a very successful MBA and fighting is their main form of communication.  Finally, on Friday, the psychotherapist Paul (Gabriel Byrne) sees his own psychotherapist (Dianne Wiest),  a former teacher of his he's known for a long, long time.

The episodes in the first season showed each day of the week, Monday through Friday.

This is a sensational, very intense show,  dealing with issues that everyone can relate to and usually lie below the surface of normal conversation.   In Treatment also raises serious questions about psychotherapy.  A terrific way to get a sense of psychotherapy and to get a better understanding of people in general. In Treatment is based on a highly successful Israeli show.

The acting is incredible.  All of it. 

The third season began in October, but we'll have to wait until the DVD's are available.

In Treatment website.

In Treatment on Wikipedia.


  1. Oh, god, it's Woody Allen in a series! At least, that was my first reaction as I read reviews here in London. A NYC psychotherapy based drama? So what else is new?

    I guess I might actually look at one episode some day. Some day, but not right away.

  2. Actually, the psychotherapist's home office is set in Baltimore. This is definitely NOT Woody Allen. This is serious stuff. Good stuff.

  3. My impression of the review stands corrected.

    I'll look into it after finishing a few more books on my short list. I would think our common German heritage gives us convergence on some matters of taste... .

  4. And Gabriel Byrne - the psychotherapist - has a noticeable Irish accent.


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