Reflections on “In Treatment”

Season 1, Episode 2

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photo by author

There’s a joke among therapists that the customer (client, patient, consumer) is never right. Sorry, it’s not a very good joke. Actually, only therapists of psychodynamic schools of therapy tell that joke, the Freudians, Jungians, Adlerians, Kleinians, Bernians, and Lacanians among us. Cognitive Behavioral Therapists might chuckle, too; as would any garden variety addiction counselor. But no other kind of psychotherapist would ever think the joke was funny.

The point of the joke is that people kid themselves, they practice denial, and throw up their defenses against knowing the truth. It’s the therapist’s job to get past those defenses and…


Chapter 56

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Image by Gerad Noble from Pixabay

While our attention was on the Weather-Beaten Man in a Cowboy Hat and Kenilworth’s Resident Saint, as well as the writings of the Lisping Barista, the Geeky Guy had gotten married in his mind. Who did he think he was married to? You guessed it, the Lisping Barista.

No marriage license was necessary; that’s just a piece of paper. No ceremony had been held; that’s just for the relatives. There was no reception, no ring, no gown, no honeymoon, no corsages, no awful gowns for seven bridesmaids, or ill-fitting tuxes for seven groomsmen. They’d just be a waste of money…


Chapter 55

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Image by Sergei S. Scurfield, Wikimedia

When he wasn’t killing or not killing his cat, Schrodinger, the eminent and perplexing physicist, wrote a book that defined life. A living being, he said, is a pocket of order, surrounded by chaos. What’s more: living beings grow more orderly as they evolve; in the same way that everything else gets more disorderly. Life is the exception to the second law of thermodynamics, at least as long as it lasts.

By that measure, it was not entirely clear whether the Weather-Beaten Man in a Cowboy Hat was a life form or not, at least by looking at him by…


The Reflective Eclectic

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Image from Pickpik

My Uncle Jacques is one of those people who knows how to talk to a kid. I once was a kid he could talk to, even though we speak different languages.

This shows that you don’t really have to talk to be able to talk to a kid. At least, you don’t have to use big words or express sophisticated thoughts that require a common language. You can use simple words and convey basic things, even speaking different languages. It may be better that way.

The most basic thing Uncle Jacques conveyed was that he was interested in me. He…


A Field Guide to Feelings

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Image by kylewhadley from Pixabay

The most feminine people I know are men who dress up and call themselves drag queens. The fact they can do that so convincingly, calls into question the notion of femininity and masculinity.

According to Judith Butler in her book, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, gender is constructed by repeated performance of behaviors that belong stereotypically to men or women. Girls play with dolls; boys shoot each other with guns. Women wear dresses; men only wear pants. Women use makeup; men seem unconcerned with how they look. Women flounce; men hulk. Women lilt; men proclaim, when they…


Chapter 54

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Porphyria of the SuicideGirls

What a difference a day makes. By the next morning, the rest of the Epiphany Café, as well as the general mental health of the Kenilworth area, was far worse because the Therapist Emeritus retired; but the Lisping Barista seemed well rested, collected, calm, and back to her happy self. She had all her piercings in. Her tats glowed with a vibrancy they have not had since she first got them. She could be overheard singing a song from the Spellbinding Fish Fry. How could this be after working a double yesterday? Was it especially restful, sleeping in her car?


Learn something.

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Image from Pixy

You keep having the same argument with your partner. You’re always going around in a circle, on and on and on. You never get anywhere, never resolve anything. You’re getting sick of it, and maybe a little bit sick of her. What are you doing wrong?

You’re not learning anything.

Remember what school was like? You sat at a desk and listened to the teacher. You squirmed in your seat until recess came. You formed groups and delivered presentations. You wrote papers, figured out equations, started art projects, and sang songs. You groaned about all the homework you had and…


Chapter 53

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Image adapted by the author from Pexels of Pixabay

Those of us who spend a lot of time tapping on our laptops at the Epiphany Café know that the mood there varies according to circumstances and the characters who walk in through the door. It’s most often energetic, ebullient, and elated; seldom staid, sluggish, or sleepy. It has the personality of an over-educated grad student home to see his parents; someone who has plenty to say but can never be understood. As a gathering place, the Epiphany Café will never be mistaken for a barbershop where events of the day are combed over, or a diner where they’re chewed…


Reflections on “In Treatment”: Season 1, Episode 1

And what should happen if you do?

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I heard the critically acclaimed series, In Treatment is coming back this year for a new season, so I thought I’d catch up and see what the excitement is about. It’s an unusual show that’s set entirely in a therapist’s office. I’ve avoided the series so far because, why I would want to watch therapy in my time off when I’m seeing clients as a therapist all day long? It seemed to be a drama best left for a wanna-be therapist, in the same way as, when I watch football, I imagine myself as Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen.

However…


The Reflective Eclectic

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Image from Pixy

Back when I worked at a large mental health clinic, the receptionist came into the lunchroom and said a vampire had stopped by and was asking to see a therapist. She asked, who wants to work with a vampire? Everyone’s hands shot up because vampires are fascinating. The receptionist must have liked me best because I got chosen. She showed the vampire to my office and I finished my lunch.

When I made my way back to my office, I thought the vampire must have changed her mind because the lights were out. …

Keith R Wilson

Mental Health Counselor and Writer www.keithwilsoncounseling.com

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