Upon completing the fourth season of Big Love, I provided husbands with some advice about plural marriage. Now, watching In Treatment, I feel moved to do the same thing for therapists with plural patients.
Why would you, a therapist, want to father children by your own patients? Because God put you on this Earth to father children and you have a barn full of fillies (to borrow from Secretariat) ready at hand. Or should I say, a barn full of brood mares? You stallion, you.
– Refuse all patients with fertility problems. You’re a shrink, not a gynecologist.
– Refuse all male patients. You won’t be bringing down souls from heaven by spending time with dudes. Exception: accept a couple of those guys who want to be cured of their homosexuality. They’ll do all the talking and you won’t have to listen to a word of it; this will relieve the bad optics of an all-female practice, and provide a little walking-around money for you.
– Situate your office next to a motel run by a known polygamist.
– Drug the Evian.
– If a tall, good-looking client walks in, don’t say “Wow, do those legs go all the way up?”
– Ask her about her dad. What does he look like? Try to have her show you his picture. Does he have facial hair? Go to the costume shop and get some like it. Cold-call him to hear his voice, and then mimic it during your sessions with her. Read the Electra Cliff Notes.
– Ask her about her husband, but only the bad parts. He doesn’t understand her.
– Tell her that she’s beautiful.
– Hire a model to walk in every time she’s leaving. Have the model move past her and into the room, to her recently-vacated chair, in a way that would make Freud forget that a cigar is sometimes only a cigar.
– If she’s a Mormon, ask her how many children she has had. No matter how many, look disappointed and disapproving.
– If she’s a Catholic, ask her how many children she has had. No matter how many, ask her in an accusatory way if she’s been using contraceptive methods. Try to sound like a German, Polish, or Irish priest.
– If she’s a Buddist, sit in silence for the full 50 minutes with an erection.
Some dialog hints:
Patient: Doctor, I… I love you.
You: Myrtle, where do you feel this love?
Patient: In my heart.
You: Where else?
Patient: …In my head?
You: Where else?
Patient: Doctor, I can’t stop thinking about you!
You: Edna, I’m going to show you something that will distract you.
Patient: Oh, Doctor, stop! I can’t have another child!
You: You can’t?… Or you won’t?