In Treatment -- Sophie, week 6

Pizza delivery arrives and Paul asks who ordered it. Paul says okay he'll take it but the delivery guy makes him say what kind of pizza. 

Sophie is eating pizza. She says she realized she was hungry when she was on the way so she sent a text message and ordered it delivered to his office. She says she needs to gain weight. She asks how he is, how his mood is. She says he was grumpy the week before. She seems cheerful. Sophie asks if he was having a bad week and he says yes, and maybe some of it spilled over into this room. Sophie says she likes that side, the no bullshit side of him.

Paul asks why she said she needs to gain weight. Sophie says she has lost a little and she should be gaining because she is working with weights. Sy won't let her lift weights until she gains back what she lost. 

Sophie asks if she can eat there because she knows there are a lot of rules. Paul asks what rules. She says the no suicide rule which Paul says is a pact. And she says also the one that he can't undress her. Paul says she can eat, and that he thought she was enjoying eating, with gusto. Then she stops and she says she doesn't want more. She has eaten only half a piece.

Paul asks if she knows what gusto means. And she says it's how fat people eat. She tells him about a model her father dated who used to bring chocolate to her and tell her father she was anorexic. Sophie says she has heard a thousand times before that she has an eating disordered. She protests that she is not anorexic, that this is just how her body is. Paul asks if her father took seriously when he was told that she was anorexic. She says no, that her father likes how she looks, tells her that she could be a model. Paul asks how she feels about her weight. She says she likes being light and thin, that she could slip away through a crack. Paul asks if there was ever a time when she wished she could slip away, like when the boy took her into the bedroom. Sophie says he doesn't get the slipping away thing -- that it is a girl thing. She stops and won't talk more about it.

Sophie asks about his daughter. He says she is fine and she asks if she is still with that guy. Paul turns back to the fact that her father still doesn't know about the suicide attempt. Sophie angrily says she does not want to talk about it. He asks what she is thinking about and she says her test tomorrow. Paul observes when they get close to something important, she retreats into thinking. She says she has a stomach ache now. Paul says he thinks she was enjoying the pizza until he commented on her gusto.

Paul asks what food means to her. She says it is the enemy. She says that is what happens to gymnasts. Paul asks why she didn't tell Paul that her father is in Miami. She says her father would decide that Paul was a quack if he knew. He would be devastated if he knew, she says. Paul says she tried to kill herself and she doesn't want to tell the most important person in her life. Sophie is angry and tells him to get off her back. She wants the session to end. They look at each other. She looks at a book on the shelf, Image/Archetype. They remain silent. Paul reminds her that in the first session she had mentioned those book. He says he realized that one of the books has photographs by her father and he takes down the book. It has images of breasts on it. She says he photographs the women he fucks. Paul makes a connection between eating and sex. He asks her to stay with it and she says "Eat shit, Paul."  She is very angry and upset. Paul points up that the very first time she came she talked about the books. She accuses him of trying to ruin the one good thing in her life, her father. How could you, she screams, you are just like everyone else and she goes to the door. Paul asks her please not to leave.

She returns to the couch. Why did you do that, she asks. He asks if she means the book. He says he thinks that the book is connected to her wound and that opening a wound is painful and frightening. "I have never been sexually abused", she says. Paul says he never said anything like that. Paul tells her she wanted him to see the book. He thinks she is angry, very angry at her father. He tells her she can't slip through the cracks, her mind tries but her body can't. She tells herself that it isn't happening to her but it is. He knows she will try to regain control when she leaves. And that when she gets up on the beam, that is where she detaches and that she doesn't have to go there to be safe, that she can be safe in that room. Sophie is quiet and tears run down her face. She goes to the door and leaves, with a little wave.

Paul picks up the office ad he hears the phone ring in the house. It continues to ring as the credits roll.

Again, Paul is at his best with Sophie. He slowly teases out her eating disorder and the door is opened to sexual abuse, which we can pretty safely predict was at the hands of her father. She wanted to run but Paul keeps passing her tests even though he makes her very angry. 

We see in this episode the way a good therapist ha harp observation skills so Paul can knit together Sophie's comment about the books the first time she came with her look at the book of her father's photographs and make the necessary links. This is what we do when we are doing good work.

There is not a lot else to say about this episode. Sophie will be back. More of her story will unfold. 

© Cheryl Fuller, 2018. All  rights reserved.