In anticipation of the third season of “In Treatment” starting this fall, I’ve been “re-watching” season one. I say “re-watching” because I never finished watching it in the first place. When I first started watching the show, I would watch one patient at a time — week one through week nine. Then I would choose another patient, and watch him/her for all nine weeks. I could do this since I had the DVDs.
This time, I’ve been watching the series as intended — week by week, with all 5 patients in a row. It’s interesting how much the viewing order has changed my perception of the show. Originally, I saw things more from the patient’s point of view, rather than Paul’s (the therapist). I had no idea what was really going in in Paul’s life (especially since I didn’t watch the one patient, Alex, at all).
Now that I’ve been watching straight through the week, I see things more from Paul’s perspective. He has a life and various patients — all kids of things happen during the week. His real life affects his mood/actions in therapy (though he’s pretty good at separating the two).
It’s interesting to experience therapy from that perspective, since I’m always the patient. I know that my therapist has other patients – not to mention a life outside of the treatment center – but I’m not really thinking about that during our sessions. I’m only there one day a week, so I guess I expect things to be kind of where we left them the previous week. Granted, things happen in my life between sessions, but therapy stands still. Meanwhile, life at the treatment center moves on.
Another good example of this I’d with email. If I email my dietitian and she doesn’t reply, I get kind of frustrated. Sometimes I’m annoyed, but often I’m thinking “I shouldn’t have emailed her, it was a stupid question, she’s too busy” etc. I forget that it’s a one-to-many relationship. She’s my one dietitian, but I am one of her many patients. For all I know, she could get 100 emails a day. My one email is far more significant to me than it is to her.
Interestingly, this treatment point-of-view changes with level of care. When I was in a 5-day program, there was no time lapse between therapy. We were on the same page. I was THERE for all the other stuff. I was still just one patient, but was in a sense creating a lower patient-to-professional relationship (by occupying a greater percentage of time).
Anyway, the moral of the story is: watch “In Treatment” in order!