Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Psychotherapy in Theater
I don't know if psychotherapy was successfully dealt with in drama--either in films or theater--before The Sopranos, though it had certainly found its way into comedy. The President's Analyst was a hoot, for instance, and Christopher Durang made hay with analysts and analysands alike in more than one play. Equus did something with the process of psychotherapy as a theme, but ugh, what a Freudian bore, full of quasi-mystical Jung/Freud-isms I find dull, and probably wrong. But, since The Sopranos, we've had In Treatment on HBO and Shining City, which I saw last night, by Connor McPherson. I'm sure there's a lot more I've forgotten or not seen, but judging from HBO and McPherson alone, I'd say that psychotherapy has finally matured as a theme ready for dramatic exploration, much as other institutionalized experiences of contemporary life long ago found their place. I'm relieved and delighted to see this happen, though I do wish I'd hung on to the hundreds of hours of marital counseling sessions with my ex-wife I used to own, but threw out in a pique. Damn.