Monthly Archives: May 2013

Therapits on TV

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It’s no secret that I’m going for a Masters degree in Mental Health Counseling. One of the classes that I took involved doing a small (very small) study on the perceptions of therapy. I’m in the process of expanding it and got to thinking that therapists aren’t always portrayed in a positive light in the media. I started thinking of the therapists that I’ve seen in the shows that I watch and wondered, are there more “bad” therapists than “good”.

When I sat down to write this post, the first show that came to mind was The Mentalist. So, I thought I’d start with The Mentalist, as I thought of two therapists off hand that had been featured in the show and as I sat down two write, realized that there were even more. Lets start from the beginning, shall we?

In the “Pilot” (the only episode without some form of the word red in it) the murder, Dr. Wagner, is a therapist. Ok, so he’s a MD and a psychiatrist, which is a bit different. However, most people will lump a psychiatrist in with the rest of the counselors, even though they don’t always see clients on a regular basis. So, for The Mentalist, that’s one bad, zero good.

Dr. Wagner

Then, in the same season, in the episode “Red Brick and Ivy” we meet the lovely Sofie Miller. We learn, during the episode, that the ever lovable Patrick Jane spent some time in a mental institution where in Sophie was his therapist. Now, this in and of itself is not bad. Jane’s family had just been killed by a psychotic serial killer. However, it is very strongly suggested that their relationship was less than appropriate. This saddened me for more than one reason, the first being that I’m a big Jane/Lisbon shipper, so that was just depressing, to think that Jane could have had “feelings” for someone so soon after his wife died. The second reason being that any sort of relationship between clients and therapist is strictly forbidden. Not just frowned on, but forbidden. Like you can loose your license forbidden. New count: 2 bad:zero good.

Sophie Miller

The third episode of season two, “Red Badge”, was another case of a therapist being more than just a bit naughty. First, Dr. Carmen holds Lisbon’s clean bill of health up simply because he wants to (which is really against most of the ethical codes you’ll find out there). Then, he helps basically convinces herself and everyone she works with that she’s crazy and committed murder. Then he shows up at her house, there’s a boundary violation there, and Lisbon confronts him about framing her for a murder that he committed. Yup, we’ve got another murder on our hands, though Dr. Carmen has something that Dr. Wagner didn’t, he’s got the added bonus of framing his client for the crime that he committed. He is a gem of a therapist that one. Bad 3:Good 0.

Dr. Carmen

Now, this next one might be stretching it a bit. In the season three episode “Ball of Fire” we see the return of Dr. Wagner from season 1, episode 1 (he’s the first bad example on the list) who has information on a psycho who kidnapped Jane because he put her father in prison and he died. The stretching bit is that at one point the psycho, Sherrie Winger/Rachel Bowman, had posed as a psychology student to get information out of the ever lovable Dr. Wagner. Now, I don’t know if she really is a psychology student or not, but she makes the list. Even though she’s not a therapist, she still fits the nitch of someone who might want to examine your brain. That, and the psychological torture she puts him through is something out of a text book on how NOT to treat people. Bad: 4, Good: 0

Sherrie Winger/Rachel Bowman

Now, I’m not claiming that this is an exhaustive look at therapists and the like on The Mentalist, though it would seem that the writers have taken a break from poking my future profession lately. I didn’t put down the “spiritual advisers” that are used throughout as they are there just to be poked fun at and are generally there just to show how much Jane doesn’t like them, that and that would be an entirely different post altogether. Next time I plan to do a few more shows and try to find some examples of good therapists.

As a last note, what are some shows that you watch that you think have good/bad examples of therapists or therapy in them? I’d love to know.

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Riding Off Into the Sunset

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So, I’ve been trying to get into better shape. Nothing serious, nothing drastic. I just decided that I wanted my boobs to stick out further than my stomach again. This isn’t particularly hard, as the girls aren’t exactly small, so probably ten pounds. I figure at the rate I’m going I’ll be there in about a year. Just in time for swimsuit season 2014!

Anyway, I’ve been walking at the park near my house again, it really is a beautiful house. And, as it was well above normal for this time of year (it shouldn’t hit 90+ till after the kids get out of school) we didn’t make it there until the sun was already going down. I’ve been trying out a new exercise tracking ap on my phone (the last one was a pedometer, which made it difficult to use my phone and get an accurate count while walking) and noticed that it had a camera button! Of course I had to try it out. So, this was the view I had during a portion of my walk (because running is definitely out of the question).

1368497296488Isn’t that lovely? Ok, so this was taken with my phone and not edited in the least bit by me, so it’s not the best picture, but it is what it is. I managed to walk a mile in 15 minutes. This is sad as I used by be able to run a mile in eight minutes (those were the days).

I just wanted to share the loveliness that was my evening walk. Enjoy.