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Would You Seek Treatment from These 4 Fictional Therapists!

November 10, 2010

Dr. Wyatt – Grey’s Anatomy – played by Amy Madigan

If there was ever a collection of people in dire need of therapeutic intervention it’s the residents and attending physicians of the fictional Seattle Grace-Mercy West! Dr. Wyatt has treated Meredith Grey and Owen Hunt, neither of which being particularly receptive or engaged in the work. Dr. Wyatt isn’t always adept at maintaining boundaries, allowing patients to barge in to session to declare exposition while Wyatt is in the middle of treating someone else’s story arc.

Dr. Darryl Nolan – House – played by Andre Braugher

Dr. Nolan is a lot better therapist than ever-truculent Dr. House deserves. Of the four, Dr. Nolan seems the most pragmatic, though at times veers dangerously close to magical negro territory!

Dr. Edna – Mad Men – played by Patricia Bethune

Dr. Edna is by far the most educated and accomplished of the bunch. While she primarily treats children, she’s not above treating adults who act like children. In the case of Betty Draper, Dr. Edna had her number from day one. Not so sure if I agree she’s been as helpful to poor, put upon Sally Draper.

Dr. Jennifer Melfi – The Sopranos – played by Lorraine Bracco

Dr. Melfi wears incredibly skimpy skirts, yet there’s nothing skimpy about her psychiatric knowledge or capabilities. As a professional whose cultural knowledge enhances her ability to treat patients, Melfi wasn’t always skilled at maintaining healthy boundaries or prevent her curiosity from getting the best of her.

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17 Comments leave one →
  1. November 10, 2010 5:46 pm

    I specifically looked for a pic of Melfi wearing pants. 🙂

  2. IrishUp permalink
    November 10, 2010 6:47 pm

    LOL – How hard did you have to look? In a lot of ways, I loved the relationship btwn Tony & Melfi, but, I could never get over how inappropriate a lot of it was, too. Not just her skirts – though, in my experience, actual shrink types tend to go the complete OTHER way to avoid the issues that come up with women+attire. There is a reason there was a Birkenstock store AND an EMS right down the street from the old Radcliffe campus, yo.

    Dr. Wyatt is my favorite. In part because I have had a huge crush on Ms. Madigan since “Field of Dreams”. But also, she is most like the people I know IRL who do this kind of thing for a living and are GOOD at it. But then again, I don’t watch House, which sounds like too bad, since I really like Andre Braugher.

    I can’t help it. I compare all TV shrinks to Robert Hartley- how easy is it to forget that the character’s name wasn’t Bob Newhart, too!

    Years later, Newhart can still sell it:

  3. November 10, 2010 7:03 pm

    I love Dr. Hartley! He is by far – not counting Dr. Nolan – the most pragmatic and hilarious of the fictional shrinks.

    LOL – How hard did you have to look? In a lot of ways, I loved the relationship btwn Tony & Melfi, but, I could never get over how inappropriate a lot of it was, too. Not just her skirts – though, in my experience, actual shrink types tend to go the complete OTHER way to avoid the issues that come up with women+attire. There is a reason there was a Birkenstock store AND an EMS right down the street from the old Radcliffe campus, yo.

    Ha. I nearly lost it when Tony brought Melfi a box of Tide. Oh, Tony!

    Also, did you know that Ms. Madigan is married to the lovely and talented Ed Harris??? Two very lucky peeps!

  4. November 10, 2010 7:07 pm

    I love Dr. Edna’s knowing smirk. I think she’s the only person Sally’s ever respected.

  5. November 10, 2010 7:08 pm

    I’d like to see Dr. Edna take down Don!

  6. November 10, 2010 7:09 pm

    Don’s somebody’s dissertation waiting to happen.

  7. November 10, 2010 7:38 pm

    @IrishUp: “stop it or I’ll bury you alive in a box!” is still a very popular motivational line in my brain!

    I would totally go to Dr. Foster from Tell Me You Love Me is I needed a sex therapist, because I know she is getting it on too!

    [WARNING, NSFW link!!]

    http://www.vidivodo.com/106482/jane-alexander_tell-me-you-love-me

  8. IrishUp permalink
    November 10, 2010 9:11 pm

    “Also, did you know that Ms. Madigan is married to the lovely and talented Ed Harris??? Two very lucky peeps!”

    I did NOT know this. Good for them – ranks right up there with Paul and Joanne and Kurt & Goldie, I say.

    @Redlami – hahhahha! bet you 7 internets some Psych grad already IS doing a DD dissertation.

    @raymondj, that line gives me the giggles at random moments. I am still looking for the right time to use it, though I have some candidates in mind. For some reason, that link is directing me to a page that appears to be in Turkish? maybe? I’ve never heard of Tell Me You Love Me, so my curiosity is astir.

  9. November 10, 2010 9:44 pm

    aw damn, I was trying to post the Jane Alexander sex scene! oh well. here’s her actually being a therapist.

    I highly recommend this show — it’s sort of a mini-series, as it was only one season long and it pretty much ended resolved, though still wanting more!

  10. November 10, 2010 10:02 pm

    @snarkysmachine @redlami Ditto on everything Dr. Edna-related. I hope they bring her back next season.

    @raymondj Thanks for posting that clip. I like the idea that it’s only a season long and its self-contained. Think I’ll add the show to my Neflix queue!

  11. cindy permalink
    November 11, 2010 12:10 am

    Is that Mo (Moe?) in the “stop it or I’ll bury you alive in a box” scene?? I can’t remember her last name, but I didn’t realize she was acting back then. If it’s her.

  12. November 11, 2010 12:51 am

    Mo Collins! I loved her on Mad TV so much, what is she doing now? Some sitcom, right?

  13. evmaroon permalink
    November 11, 2010 1:42 am

    I am fond of Monk’s therapist for his gentleness. And then I was touched by the actor’s tribute to Stanely Kamel, the actor who played him, after he passed away suddenly.

  14. cindy permalink
    November 11, 2010 3:35 am

    Mo Collins! I loved her on Mad TV so much, what is she doing now? Some sitcom, right?

    I don’t know, but I didn’t realize until you identified her that this is actually a sketch from Mad TV! Ha. Doy. I’m all, she was an adult in the 70s???

  15. November 11, 2010 4:07 am

    Ha. At first I was thinking that Newhart looked kind of old for the 70s.

    Also, RaymondJ you have gotten me addicted to another show! *shakes fist*

  16. November 12, 2010 8:09 am

    What about Dr. Paul Weston? (In Treatment) I wish I could find a therapist in real life that was that caring about his patients.

  17. November 12, 2010 10:37 am

    Dr. Weston gets caught up in erotic transference with his patients, which makes him fascinating (to me) as a character, but immediately disqualifies him as a practitioner. Therapy is not a bar or a club. Generally speaking, one does not go to therapy to break them off a piece of yum yum.

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