In Treatment -- Jake & Amy, week 9

Jake and Amy both arrive for their session. Jake says he will miss the office -- he likes the feel of it and the clutter. Paul asks why he says they will miss it. Amy says they are getting divorced. Jake says it is because of Paul, of therapy, that therapy did them good. Amy says good if you mean a disaster.

Amy asks Paul if he has ever been through a divorce. Paul suggests maybe they could start with talking about the last week. Amy says they didn't see each other all week. Her tone is brittle and angry. Amy says she doesn't want to talk about her week, that therapy has just made her miserable.. Jake says that's not how it has been, that Paul has helped them see how they bring out the worst in each other.

Amy continues to be angry. Jake seems more at ease.

Amy says she heard Jake play when she was outside where he was but she didn't go in. Jake asks why she didn't come in. Amy says because of Paul because she couldn't remember how they used to make up. Jake says sex, that was what they did. Amy says she regrets ever having come to therapy. Jake says he thinks it is complicated, that coming to understand more feels good even as he is upset that it is falling apart.

Paul summarizes what he knows about them, how their relationship has developed. Amy says she was depressed when Lenny was born, Jake was elated. Paul says they have tried to illuminate their patterns and how they have coiled around each other. Now that the patterns have been revealed they can't enact them any longer.

Jake says he felt betrayed by Amy's depression after Lenny. He thought he was rescuing her from unhappiness and when she remained unhappy he felt he had been tricked. Amy says she is sorry he felt that way. Jake apologizes also. 

Amy says she will miss their family. 

Paul says he sees two people who have loved each other deeply, that they have come to he same place together. He asks that they consider not turning away. Jake asks if he is saying they shouldn't get divorced. Paul says therapy can help couples come together or feel better about separating. Amy wants Paul to tell them. Paul says he can't.

Paul asks if they are going to share custody. They each agree. Amy says she is not working. She says she was fired because she slept with the boss. She says she is relieved, that she got a severance package. Jake says he has a producer interested in a few songs. Paul says they need to talk about the details.

Amy asks if Jake has told his parents. He says he has and his parents were upset. He says they will figure it out, work out custody. Paul asks if they have talked to Lenny. They say not really but he has picked up on things. Jake and Amy are able to be joined in their concern about Lenny.

Amy looks very sad and says they are over and she cries. Jake also looks sad. He doesn't look at her as she sobs. Jake says they should get going because Lenny's piano lesson will soon be over. Jake also says he can't be there any longer. He tells Amy he can pick her up after he gets Lenny if she wants to talk with Paul more. We see a couple outside. Jake asks who it is and Paul says his next patients. They leave.


It is no surprise to me that Jake and Amy are divorcing. That is a decision that was made before they arrived. Therapy helped them learn a bit about themselves and each other so they are able to separate without inflicting further injury on each other Often this is what therapy accomplishes with couples. Jake came to feel better about therapy even though it did lead where he was afraid it would. One hopes that each of them will go on and do some individual work -- Jake because he continues to shape his life around not being like his father, and Amy to deal with her terrible guilt about her father's death. It seems difficult to imagine they can make better partner choices in the future without working through some of these individual issues.

Paul seems to keep trying to get them to decide not to decide yet. Perhaps this comes of his own hopes for his struggling marriage. If Jake and Amy can find their way through this terrible time, if they can survive her infidelity, maybe Paul and Kate can survive too. This no doubt underlies some of Paul's desire to get them to go on a bit and it may well be unconscious on his part.

© Cheryl Fuller, 2018. All  rights reserved.