Back In Treatment

In the 1970”s, during Phil Donahue’s heyday, there was another show on in the same time slot, The Stanley Siegel Show which my ex-wife, Aliehs and I would sometimes  watch.  Stanley’s “gimmick” was that he was just himself…no artifice.  One of his segments included a real-time session with his psychotherapist.  He would lie on a couch and have a mini-session with his real life shrink.  What makes me think of this, is that the column I’m writing here may have more than a passing  resemblance to that kind of self-indulgence.

A while back, I wrote that I had quit my therapy around the same time as the main character (Gabriel Byrne)  in HBO’s In Treatment quit his.  My guess is that when the new season starts, he’ll go back into some kind of therapy-he has a lot of unresolved issues. ( Hopefully, it will be  with someone more interesting and a lot hotter than his former therapist, played by Diane Wiest).    I had been  thinking about going to see a new therapist and I thought there would be an interesting symmetry if he and I start anew at the same time.  The new In Treatment season will probably not start until the spring.  Unfortunately,  I couldn’t wait that long.  

I’ve had a number of therapists in my life….all of them men.  I decided I wanted to have the experience of being in therapy with a woman.  With that in mind, I got the names of a few  therapists located in downtown Brooklyn.  I decided to interview two of them.   Both of the women I saw seemed smart and insightful and  I felt that either one would be a good ‘fit’ for me.  Although  I was initially torn in choosing which one I would continue with,   I  rather quickly came to a decision.   There’s a locker room joke I barely remember but the setup has something to do with a man interviewing for a new woman assistant. There are many applicants each of whom seems  more qualified than the last.  He  quickly picks one.  A friend says, “How were you able to make a choice so quickly? They all seem so qualified.”  The man answers, “Easy, I just picked the one with the biggest tits.”    In my case, picking the therapist also turned out to be  easy…I  simply picked the one that took my insurance.   Sadly, a sign of the times.

As I mentioned, I thought I would use this column in the way that Stanley used his show.  But as I’m writing, I’ve realized a few things.  Not that I don’t trust and love you all, but I don’t think I want to expose myself in that way.  And, I seem to recall that Mr. Siegel had some kind of breakdown after the demise of his show and fell into some kind of  downward spiral.  So,  he may not be the best  model to emulate.   What’s more, he was getting paid oodles of money for  being so risky with his privacy.   As you may have guessed, the pay  here at the Ironicman blog factory is rather low.  So, I’m taking a step back here from the brink of being overly confessional and revelatory.  Which, as I think about it, is probably the best thing for the blog adventure, as well.    I don’t know about you….but there’s only so much of that kind of stuff I can read.


6 Responses to “Back In Treatment”

  1. jackie Says:

    Huh. Hot shmot. Diane Wiest was good. Was she not so “interesting” to you because she didn’t have big tits, or was middle-aged? If some hottie (say Charlize Theron) had the same script, would you have found her more interesting? When you went looking for a female therapist were you also looking, on some level, for someone who is “hot”? Hmmm. Verrrrry interesting.

    • iron(ic)man triathlon Says:

      jackie… i hate to disagree with anyone who actually reads what i wirte…but two things (not THOSE two things)… first, i thought diane wiest’s character, gina had a very limited range. and secondly….i went soooo out of my way to say that i made a financial decision when i chose a therapist. frankly, i never even looked at them(either of the therapists). i still don’t look at her.
      btw…cherlize theron; great choice!

      • jackie Says:

        But c’mon, you did say you’d have liked it to see someone hotter in the role…you really think that would have broadened her range? Never mind; still love you and your blog.

  2. Claire Says:

    neil: you are such a sweet and tender guy, and a feminist (basically). why are you making yourself out to be a chauvinist sexist pig? Definitely something to take to therapy, no?

    • iron(ic)man triathlon Says:

      i’m glad you wrote that…so i can make it perfectly clear….that is NOT a joke that i tell. i am MERELY repeating a joke that SOMEONE ELSE may have told. only to make what i thought was a clever analogy. or maybe i’m just a part-time feminist.
      this is all too complicated for me.

  3. ed Says:

    What would this installment have looked like if it’d been The Morton Downey Jr. Show?

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