In Treatment -- Paul, week 2

Gina is sitting at her computer when the phone rings. She answers and says "He is not here. He died a year ago. Please don't call back."

Paul returns to see Gina. He coughs and looks upset. He tells Gina that it's true, that Kate has been seeing a man and then makes it that Kate told him all the details, omitting that he pushed for them. Paul feels like everything is falling apart -- he tells her that Alex is leaving his wife, that Sophie is having an affair with her coach and alluded to something going on with his daughter. He says Kate says it's his fault, that she is invisible to him as are the children. Gina says she is confused by all the names and suggests they focus on Kate.

"What am I supposed to do? What am I supposed to do now?", Paul asks. He exaggerates what Kate told him and says he that he always thought sex was connected with intimacy for Kate. Gina asks if he asked for the details and when he admits he did, Gina says Kate wanted to make sure he got it. And confronts him that he knew. 

He takes a cold pill. She offers him tea, he asks for water.

He tells her about Jake and Amy. 

"Ultimatums from two women", Gina observes, Kate and Laura. 

"Two", he asks, "how about three?", looking at Gina.

Gina asks if his relationship with Kate has been a wall that has protected him from attraction to his patients. Gina tells him she is not worried that Laura will breach the wall, but that Paul is hoping she will. Gina points out that Paul is surrounded by women who demand of him that he feel, that he face his feelings.

He tells Gina that Kate hates his work, hates the secrecy. She wants to make changes and he won't let her, because he agrees with her, it's not her space. He says he used to talk about patients in general terms with his family but not any more. 

He asks about the issue with Laura and the bathroom, would she let Laura use the bathroom in the house? That she wanted to breach the wall. Gina asks what he did. He said he panicked, he jumped up because he panicked, he thought she was doing it on purpose. Then he asks himself why he panicked and he doesn't know. Gina asks if that has ever happened with another patient and Paul tells what happened with Sophie and the wet clothes -- a lot more intimate than using the bathroom, Gina observes. Why the panic with Laura and not with Sophie? Why is it all right for Sophie and Kate to meet but Laura scared you?

Paul confesses that he sort of wished that Laura would go into the house and see Kate.  He tells Gina he clearly stated the boundary. Gina asks if he ever entertains the thought of having an affair with Laura. He knows how important it is to set the boundary, he knows it has to be clear that it will not happen. Gina asks further and Paul tells her what Laura said, how much she wants him. "That's a lot to stave off', Gina says. And then she suggests that Paul should transfer Laura to another therapist -- because the situation with Kate has made him angry and injured. 

A female therapist? he asks? You?

Paul is angry with Gina, at her suggestion, at what he thinks she believes. He refuses to consider transferring Laura and tells Gina if it weren't for Kate's cheating, he wouldn't have come back. And his suspicion that because his father cheated on his mother by having an affair with a patient, she thinks he will also. She can't answer.

And then he brings up a patient he had referred to her, a male patient who fell in love with Gina. And that Gina fled to England in the face of it. He accuses her of abandoning her patient. 

Paul admits he was disillusioned with her. And he keeps hitting er with her failure with her patient.

Gina asks him to be honest -- is he attracted to Laura? 

Gina asserts that she is suggesting they *talk* about transferring Laura and look at his reaction -- he is attacking and defending.

The session ends with both of them exhausted.


© Cheryl Fuller, 2018. All  rights reserved.