In Treatment, Week 4

In Treatment -- Paul, week 4

Paul arrives saying he is sorry to be late but he was at the market. And then asks her if she would put his bags in the refrigerator, that they contain fish heads because he is making chowder.

He begins by complimenting Gina on her dress and hair, says that she looks beautiful, softer. She replies she is going out with friends. Paul speculates they are a bunch of shrinks, which she agrees.

Paul talks about having been thinking about a woman he knew from training. Gina reminds him of the previous session, and Paul says it is not the first time he left angry. He says he is angry a lot these days. 

Tells her about Sophie. Paul admits that the pills were his and in the medicine cabinet. Paul says he intervened and asked the admitting psychiatrist to release her, because he thinks she was testing him. He tells her how angry he got when Sophie told him about the guy who said she was like an abuse victim. Gina observes that he thinks he is more effective when he is involved, has an emotional response to his patients. Paul deflects saying he is just trying to tell her about his week.

In Treatment -- Jake & Amy, week 4

Ah, the patients who least interest me again.

Paul is shelving a book, when he takes down a book of photographs of nudes. Then it is 5 o'clock and Amy arrives, without Jake. Amy says she doesn't know if he is coming and then he arrives.

Jake sits down at the opposite end of the couch from Amy. Amy sits there smiling enigmatically. Then Paul says he has to take the phone call - he says  on the phone that as far as he is concerned, she can go home -- indicating Sophie, probably.

He apologizes again for taking the call. Amy asks if he usually takes calls during sessions. Paul again apologizes and says it was important. Jake at first defends Paul then agrees with Amy that at his rates, even a minute is expensive.

Paul notes that both of them keep coming, even when it is difficult. Amy sees it as indicative of their predictability. They argue a bit. Then Amy asks what happened with them. Jake says what happened is that they started therapy, that it has made things worse. Paul observes that maybe their arguments there have become more frequent, but that doesn't mean they are headed to divorce, that maybe they fight there because it is safe.

In Treatment -- Sophie, week 4

If this is Wednesday, it must be Sophie. And remember, at the end of the hour last week, Paul called Sophie's mother.

Sophie comes in looking quite different saying she was at a party the night before and stayed all night and then walked to her session. She tells Paul she had never drunk so much. And alludes to something with a boy there. Her casts are gone as is the neck brace.

She lies on the couch and looks almost as if she were going to go to sleep. She has taken off her red platform shoes, which she says she bought because of him, because he had called her mother who took her shopping. She talks about her mother, how she hates that she is a gymnast, which Sophie says is because she thinks it will stunt her physical development, especially her breasts. She talks about running away to the gym, but that she cannot get rid of her mother no matter where she goes. Paul suggests that she runs away in order to get and hold her mother's attention.

Paul asks about the shoes, says they remind him of Dorothy's shoes. That Dorothy found she could go home any time she wanted, with or without the shoes.

In Treatment -- Alex, week 4

Alex arrives early, running into another patient as he does. He brings a check from Laura. He offer to pay for the additional time, and puts the cash, in bills and change on the table. Paul asks if he feels better now that he has paid, because he sees it as a way of expressing contempt. Alex pushes that aside and asks how many patients Paul has, because he wants to know how much money he makes. Paul asks if he wants to buy him out, become the only patient.

Paul confronts Alex's effort to control, to keep him in his place. Alex asks if he wants to know why he is early and tells him he went to the base today but forgot his ID. The guard tells him he is not on the approved list. Alex's effort to get the guard to tell them he is there fails and he does not get in. So Alex's sense of importance and ability to control were thwarted and he acts out his frustration with Paul.

He then says that his bad week started on the weekend when he slept with Laura. And he asks if she had already talked with him about it. Paul reminds him he cannot discuss other patients with him. Alex says he saw when he got to her apartment he could see that the meal was all about having sex. He criticizes the food, says it wasn't very good. He characterizes it all as a mating ritual implying he was not very interested or engaged. Alex tells Paul he knows Paul already know what happened, but Paul says what's important is what Alex felt, how he experienced it.

In Treatment -- Laura, week 4

This week we first see Laura with Alex as he kisses her -- but then we see that the scene is in Paul's imagination, as Laura speaks his name twice.

Laura is describing her encounter with Alex -- she says he was tentative and did everything she did. She seems to be mocking him a bit -- Alex is weak because he isn't aggressive? Her demeanor is seductive, teasing Paul with the information.

Laura asserts that Alex doesn't like sex, that it was as if it were an assignment for him. (And I think about Alex talking about spending the weekend with his gay friend and wonder.) Laura says she brought herself to orgasm when Alex returned from the bathroom using him by riding his thigh. And then she says she felt terribly sad for him. She expected a sad orgasm but said she was surprised by its intensity and she thought Paul would be proud of her, for connecting with herself.

Paul confronts her with the fact that she began a relationship with his patient and his suspicion that she was getting back at him. She tries to deflect that but he points out that she told him she was thinking about Paul when she was with the man in the bathroom, and that was the session in which she told him she loved him. Paul suggests her sadness was because she was not with the man she wanted to be with. And we see a sadistic element in her telling him about it.

© Cheryl Fuller, 2018. All  rights reserved.