HBO In Treatment This Week: April

In this episode Paul is master coach and therapist. April is enraged that he broke what is known in the therapy field as “neutrality” and told April’s mother that her daughter is very ill and is being treated for cancer. April sees his meeting with her mother as a violation of her wishes. She wants to end therapy (but not really of course). The coach and parent in Paul felt that her mother needed to know and he told her. The master therapist in Paul then spent the session helping her to see that black and white approaches tend not to work, perfection is unattainable, and life is messy. Her father comes through for her by buying her a blanket; her mother is at bedside when she awakens. For a moment she feels that everything is ok again; it isn’t OK but she is no longer alone. She has her parents and Paul to help. Paul comes through for April by doing the right thing and by clearly demonstrating authentic caring and concern. At the end of the session she asks Paul to help her stand up from sitting. It is the metaphor of the session, Paul helps her stand tall — with all her wonderful mess.

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