In Treatment--Jake&Amy, week 3

I confess that I find Jake & Amy the least interesting of Paul's patients. So I didn't even watch this episode until this morning.

Amy arrives alone. She is smiling and says she feels fine. Paul reiterates his stance that in couples' therapy, they don't meet unless both are present. She asks what if she wants to see him for herself and Paul tells her in that case he would refer her to someone else.

Jake doesn't know she has come to the appointment and would not want her to. Amy tells Paul she believes she does not feel bad enough about the pregnancy loss. She is subtly both oppositional and flirtatious.

Amy's phone rings for the second time -- Paul wonders if it is Jake, ad she says it is. She has an unlit cigarette in her hand.

Paul confronts the flirtation.

Amy asks about the stain, expressing surprise when Paul says it came out easily. The stain, the loss of the pregnancy -- both too easy, one suspects, for Amy. Paul suggests this and now tears appear in Amy's eyes and she looks upset for the first time. Jake comes in.

Jake and Amy begin to argue. They are tense, unhappy, angry. Jake turns the attack onto Paul. The sparring between Jake and Amy continues as they bait each other.

Jake believes Amy is always on the prowl for men. Paul suggests that the pregnancy was a way for Jake to rein her in, have control.

Amy angrily gets up to leave and tells Jake she did not want the baby and she is glad it is gone. Jake goes to the door. 

Paul turns on music and stretches out on the couch, looking tired. Kate knocks and then comes in. They begin to fight -- about Kate's absence each evening, that she is going away the next week. When pushed she tells him they are going to Rome, one of the places she and Paul have enjoyed together. They end with bitterness and anger as she leaves.

Jake & Amy seem mostly to serve to bring Paul and Kate's problems to the fore. As he was leaving, Jake implied that continuing to see Paul will just push them to divorce and Paul told him if they both come, perhaps divorce need not happen. But neither Paul nor Kate seems the least inclined to head off what looks to be their own impending divorce. The anger and tension between both couples is palpable, and both men seem to be the injured parties, using their injuries to fuel their rage.

Paul's stance with Amy at the beginning when she seems to be angling to have him to herself as her therapist is an excellent one and one that I endorse. But there are other models as well. Many therapists would be willing to see either or both parties separately as well as together Yet another model deals with the couple by working with each one separately n only seeing them together at widely spaced intervals. And still others see couples work as a specialty for those specifically trained for it. There is no clear consensus on what is the best practice, as it varies by theoretical orientation and therapist preference. I have limited my own work with couples as I do not find it as rewarding as individual work.

© Cheryl Fuller, 2018. All  rights reserved.