In Treatment (U.S. TV series)

In Treatment
Genre Drama
Based on BeTipul
by Hagai Levi
Ori Sivan
Nir Bergman
Developed by Rodrigo Garcia
Starring Gabriel Byrne
Dianne Wiest
Michelle Forbes
Melissa George
Blair Underwood
Mia Wasikowska
Embeth Davidtz
Josh Charles
Hope Davis
Alison Pill
Aaron Shaw
Sherri Saum
Russell Hornsby
John Mahoney
Irrfan Khan
Debra Winger
Dane DeHaan
Amy Ryan
Alex Wolff
Theme music composer Avi Belleli
Composer(s) Richard Marvin
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 106 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Rodrigo García
Stephen Levinson
Hagai Levi
Mark Wahlberg
Warren Leight
Paris Barclay
Dan Futterman
Anya Epstein
Noa Tishby
Location(s) Los Angeles (season 1)
New York City (seasons 2–3)
Running time 22–30 minutes
Production company(s) Leverage Management
Closest to the Hole Productions
Original network HBO
Original release January 28, 2008 (2008-01-28) – December 7, 2010 (2010-12-07)
External links

In Treatment is an American HBO drama, produced and developed by Rodrigo Garcia, about a psychologist,[1] 50-something Dr. Paul Weston, and his weekly sessions with patients, as well as those with his own therapist at the end of the week. The program, which stars Gabriel Byrne as Paul, debuted on January 28, 2008, as a five-night-a-week series. The series' executive producer and principal director was Paris Barclay, who directed 35 episodes, the most of any director on the series, and the only director who directed episodes in all three seasons. The program's format, script and opening theme are based on, and are often verbatim translations of the Israeli series BeTipul, created by Hagai Levi, Ori Sivan and Nir Bergman.

After winning critical acclaim and numerous honors, including Emmy, Golden Globe and Writers Guild awards, In Treatment returned for a second season, premiering on April 5, 2009.[2] The second season built on the success of the first, winning a 2009 Peabody Award. The third and final season premiered on October 26, 2010, for a seven-week run, with four episodes per week.


Each episode of In Treatment focuses on one patient, including Paul, who is seeing his clinical supervisor and psychotherapist, Gina, played by Dianne Wiest. The first season included 43 episodes, each airing a different night of the week, Monday through Friday.[3] The first season covered nine weeks for most of the characters, except in the final week, which did not have Monday or Tuesday night installments.

The series was renewed for a second season on June 20, 2008, with Byrne, Wiest and Glynn Turman returning. Michelle Forbes, who played Paul's wife in the first season, made two brief appearances in the second season. Production on Season 2 began in New York City in the fall and wrapped up in early 2009.[4] According to The New York Times, production relocated to New York from Los Angeles at the insistence of Byrne, who otherwise threatened to resign. The move and the addition of Sunday night to the schedule were considered votes of confidence in the series by HBO executives.[2]

HBO Canada, a multiplex channel that includes The Movie Network in Eastern Canada and Movie Central in Western Canada, aired the program simultaneously with HBO in the U.S.[5] During the first several weeks of Season 1, episodes were available on HBO's website in streaming video. The free service was discontinued, however, when Apple's iTunes and Amazon Unbox began offering the first 15 shows for download.

Season summaries

Paul Weston

Gabriel Byrne portrays Paul Weston, a charming, relentless psychologist, who is seeking his own peaceful existence, free of self-doubt and ambivalence. Paul is a graduate of Georgetown University, where he earned his undergraduate degree, Columbia University, where he earned a master's degree and The New School, where he received his PhD (however, there's a scene in season one in which two diplomas from the University of Pennsylvania are displayed near the door to Paul's office). In summer 1988, he moved to Maryland, where he worked at the Washington–Baltimore Psychoanalytic Institute and later established his private practice in Baltimore.

Season 1

Set in Baltimore,[2] Paul has a private entry office in his home. During this season, the episodes aired on their specific days of the week.

Actor Character Weekday Role
Melissa George Laura Hill Monday anesthesiologist who is erotically fixated on Paul
Blair Underwood Alex Prince Tuesday fighter pilot traumatized by a recent mission gone wrong in Iraq
Mia Wasikowska Sophie Wednesday suicidal teen-aged gymnast
Embeth Davidtz
Josh Charles
Thursday in couples' therapy to decide whether or not to end her pregnancy
Dianne Wiest Gina Friday Paul's own therapist and mentor who plays devil's advocate to his ambivalence.
Michelle Forbes Kate Various Paul's wife who goes to Paul's sessions with Gina as they attempt to salvage their crumbling marriage.


Laura and Paul's relationship grows more complex and difficult to control. After Laura professes her love for him, Paul reflects on his own feelings for her and eventually, in sessions with Gina, comes to the realization that he is in love with her. Midway through the season, Laura decides to end her therapy with Paul after he rejects her advances countless times. She returns, needing to talk to someone, after she learns her father is dying. They run into each other at Alex's funeral, and later, Gina gives Paul the go-ahead to go after Laura, but a panic attack prevents him from going through with it. Laura's personal issues discussed in therapy include the lack of a father figure after her mother died, a pressing need to break up with her boyfriend, and seducing a much older man when she was a teenager.

Alex, who at one point meets Laura and has a brief affair with her, finds it impossible to express his internal struggles. As Paul tries to get Alex to break through to his reasons for running himself to exhaustion and his real feelings about accidentally killing Iraqi schoolchildren when a mission went awry, Alex drifts into instability, eventually deciding to end his therapy, and returns to the military just as Paul is beginning to make progress with Alex's repressed insecurities. Alex is killed during a training exercise, and while his death is originally ruled an accident, Paul is plagued with guilt that Alex's death may have been a suicidal reaction caused by the traumas of therapeutic reflection.

Sophie's ambivalence is elicited and broken down by Paul, who is able to successfully examine her dark affair with her gymnastics coach Cy and its effects on her, as well as her conflicted feelings about her divorced parents and her father's distance from her. In the end, Sophie benefits greatly from her therapy with Paul and begins to repair her relationship with her parents. At the end of the season, Sophie leaves Baltimore to pursue further gymnastic training in Denver. In Season Two, April reveals to Paul that Sophie eventually went to college (we are not told if she abandons gymnastics). April learned this information about Sophie from Sophie's feedback about Paul on Paul's web page on the Pratt (April's school in season two) site/listerv. In her review of Paul, Sophie says that he saved her life.

Jake and Amy's debate on the abortion is just the prologue to an extremely volatile, dysfunctional relationship. During their second therapy session, Amy experiences a miscarriage, but the couple returns to therapy to work on their issues. Amy's inability to hold emotional connection leads her to have an affair with her boss, a man she found "gross" but uses as a buffer against her husband. Both have an individual session, the first in which Jake breaks down his family of intellectuals, and the second in which Amy recounts watching her father die while he was sitting next to her and was hit by a car after they got ice cream. She and Jake finally and sadly decide to end their tumultuous marriage and split custody of their son. Jake thinks the therapy was helpful, but Amy thinks it hurt their marriage.

Throughout the season, Gina and Paul battle each other over issues regarding their shared history and opposing views, but by the finale it appears that they have made peace and will continue therapy.

Season 2

Paul, now divorced and quite lonely, has relocated to Brooklyn, and uses the living room of his small refurbished walk-up brownstone for patient visits. He has brought his books and his patient files with him to his new apartment. In Session 1 he states that he attended Columbia University, but this is in complete contradiction to the two University of Pennsylvania diplomas that hung in his Maryland (Season 1) office next to the patient exit door. He never mentions anything about Penn. He is served with a malpractice lawsuit from Alex's father in the first episode,[6][7] and becomes preoccupied with the consequences.

Paul's personal neurotic and self-aggrandizing behavior was a significant theme throughout the series.[8][9] He identified with all of his patients' issues and interpersonal conflicts on some level. Ironically, he was their composite personality, except he was intended to be the resolution expert. His self-doubt and feelings of personal inadequacy revealed over the seven weeks made him appear even more vulnerable than those he was treating. As the final episode drew to a close, Paul pulled the plug on his own desire for treatment, with the same ambivalence his patients had exhibited. Was it really making a difference? Alex's father has a meeting where he makes this offer: he will drop his lawsuit if Paul will write him a letter taking 100% of the blame for Alex's death. Paul considers this offer but later concurs with Gina's advice and tells Alex Sr. his offer is rejected. The lawsuit was dismissed as frivolous, and his angst involving his professional competency was alleviated, at least temporarily.[10][11]

The final symbolic message Paul delivered to his audience by that decision was, there are times in one's life when therapy is valuable for a person to become more grounded in reality. However, more often than not, therapy alone only serves as a road map to find a patient's way in the world. Paul realizes he "needs to stop analyzing his life and needs to start living it". Given enough time and patience, and by accepting that there are past events that cannot be controlled or changed, everything in life tends to work out by itself and not by recreation or reparation of former deeds.[10][11]

The season had seven episodes for each character. The "Monday" and "Tuesday" sessions aired back-to-back on Sundays, while the remaining three ran on Mondays. HBO repeated the episodes in sequence, several times each week. The season's executive producer was Warren Leight, who previously worked on Law and Order: Criminal Intent.[2]

Actor Character Weekday Role
Hope Davis Mia Nesky Monday successful malpractice attorney and former patient of Paul's from 20 years ago, who blames him for her present status: an unmarried, childless workaholic, who makes poor choices in men.
Alison Pill April Tuesday Pratt Institute architecture student diagnosed with lymphoma which she has been concealing from everyone but Paul. Appears in denial about the severity of her illness.
Aaron Shaw
Sherri Saum
Russell Hornsby
Wednesday Oliver, the 12-year-old son of Bess and Luke, a divorcing couple, who blames himself for the family chaos.
John Mahoney Walter Barnett Thursday self-confident CEO with a history of panic attacks, who finds his life is becoming overwhelming.
Dianne Wiest Gina Friday Paul's own therapist and mentor who diligently guides Paul away from a mid-life crisis down the road to personal satisfaction and validation.
Glynn Turman Alex Prince Sr. Various suing Paul for negligence, charging him with failing to prevent the death of his son Alex Jr., a former patient who voluntarily discontinued therapy and was killed in a plane crash that was either an accident or suicide. Alex, Sr. and his lawyers contend that Paul's professional responsibility was to contact the military and report Alex, Jr. unfit for duty. (from season 1). Alex Sr. later meets with Paul and makes a loaded offer: if Paul writes a letter taking blame for Alex Jr.'s death, he will drop the lawsuit against him, satisfied to have his belief that Paul is 100% at fault confirmed.
Laila Robins Tammy Kent Various Paul's first girlfriend and, coincidentally, a patient of Gina's..."the most beautiful creature I had ever seen..."

Season 3

Following the final episode of the second season, Leight said in an interview that a third season remained a possibility, but pointed out that the show had been exhausting for everyone involved and also somewhat less than a "breakout hit" for HBO.[12] However, on October 23, 2009, HBO announced that it had picked up In Treatment for a third season. Production began in early 2010 for a premiere in late October.[13] The show remained set in Paul's apartment in Brooklyn, New Yorkthe same location of his office in season 2.

Actor Character Weekday Role
Irrfan Khan Sunil Monday After his wife's death, 52-year-old Sunil emigrated to the United States from Calcutta, per her wishes, to live with his son and daughter-in-law. In deep depression over her death and angry about his daughter-in-law's insensitivity, Sunil is happy to have Paul to talk to, even though psychotherapy is stigmatized in his culture.
Debra Winger Frances Tuesday A very successful actress, Frances comes to see Paul after hearing about him from her sister, who saw him decades ago. Frances is having trouble remembering her lines in the play she is in, but her issues may stem from the fact that her sister has breast cancer, as their mother did, and the fear that she is next.
Dane DeHaan Jesse Wednesday A teenager living with his adoptive parents, Jesse harbors significant anger toward his adoptive family and toward himself. By turns aggressive, capriciously manipulative, fearful, abrasive and vulnerable, Jesse has been peddling prescription drugs and sleeping with older men. Jesse's world turns upside down when he receives a call from his birth mother, with whom he has not had any contact since infancy.
Amy Ryan Adele Friday A psychoanalyst recommended by a neurologist friend of Paul's to prescribe him more sleep medication, Adele points out several areas in Paul's life worth talking about, particularly his relationship with Gina Toll. Despite initial reluctance, Paul finds himself going back to Adele as a therapist.
Alex Wolff Max Various Paul's youngest son, Max, leaves Baltimore, where he lived with his mother, to move in with Paul.
James Lloyd Reynolds Steve Various Kate's new fiancé and Max's future stepfather, of whom Paul is initially jealous.
Susan Misner Wendy Various Paul's girlfriend.
Sonya Walger Julia Various Sunil's daughter-in-law who, along with her husband Arun, enrolls Sunil in therapy. Julia disapproves of Sunil's behavior at home and claims to be concerned about him.
Samrat Chakrabarti Arun Various Sunil's son, who is housing him and trying to help him through his grief.
Dendrie Taylor Marisa Various Jesse's adoptive mother.
Joseph Siravo Roberto Various Jesse's adopted father.

Unlike its first two seasons, In Treatment's third season contains only four episodes per week.

In Treatment's third season aired on Mondays and Tuesdays and, like season 2, had seven weeks of sessions.

On March 30, 2011, HBO said In Treatment would not continue in its existing form but the network was talking with the show's producers about possibly continuing in a different format.[14][15] The final result was the ending of the series, with the third season being the last.

Critical response

The series was generally well-received, attaining positive reviews. On the review aggregator website Metacritic, the first season scored 70/100,[16] the second season scored 85/100,[17] and the third season scored 83/100.[18]

The Los Angeles Times' Mary McNamara called it "cleverly conceived," well-written and -acted, though "stagey" and "strain[ing]... believability".[19] Variety's Brian Lowry deemed it "more interesting structurally than in its execution".[20] On Slate, Troy Patterson found it tiresome for its "nattering" and "ambitious hogwash".[21] In Entertainment Weekly, Ken Tucker gave it a "B+", with "lots of great soapy intrigue".[22] The New York Times praised the show: "In Treatment [...] is hypnotic, mostly because it withholds information as intelligently as it reveals it. [...] The half-hour episodes are addictive, and few viewers are likely to be satisfied with just one session at a time. [...] In Treatment provides an irresistible peek at the psychopathology of everyday life — on someone else’s tab."[23]

Differences from BeTipul

The script of the first season of In Treatment was heavily based on BeTipul's Hebrew script, and the Israeli writers are credited in the episodes' final credits. The following are the main differences between the shows:

Awards and nominations

Paris Barclay and Warren Leight at the 69th Annual Peabody Awards for In Treatment


  1. Schwartz, Dana (October 2008). "'In Treatment' gets the treatment". American Psychological Association. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Orange, Michelle (April 2, 2009). "Sessions and the Single Man". The New York Times. Retrieved April 28, 2009.
  3. Karpel, Ari. "Winter TV Preview: Inside 18 New Shows". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 16, 2008.
  4. Weprin, Alex (June 20, 2008). "HBO Goes Back 'In Treatment'". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved June 21, 2008.
  5. "The doctor is in...a new season of In Treatment begins April 5 on HBO Canada". CNW Group. March 10, 2009. Retrieved April 28, 2009.
  6. "In Treatment: Complaint Document, Roland Prince v. Paul Weston, Ph.D." (pdf). HBO. 2009. Retrieved June 7, 2009.
  7. "In Treatment: Laura Hill's Deposition" (pdf). HBO. 2009. Retrieved June 7, 2009.
  8. Hawkins, Kristal (April 7, 2009). "In Treatment Gina: What's the Meta, Paul?". New York Magazine. Retrieved June 7, 2009.
  9. Hawkins, Kristal (April 28, 2009). "In Treatment: Eating Themselves Up Inside". New York Magazine. Retrieved June 7, 2009.
  10. 1 2 Hawkins, Kristal (May 19, 2009). "In Treatment: The Fighting Cure". New York Magazine. Retrieved June 7, 2009.
  11. 1 2 Hawkins, Kristal (May 26, 2009). "In Treatment Season Finale: Analyze This". New York Magazine. Retrieved June 7, 2009.
  12. Sepinwall, Alan (May 25, 2009). "In Treatment: Warren Leight Breaks Down Season Two". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved October 23, 2009.
  13. Andreeva, Nellie (October 23, 2009). "'In Treatment' picked up for third season". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 23, 2009.
  14. Andreeva, Nellie (March 30, 2011). "UPDATE: HBO's 'In Treatment' May Continue In Different Format". Retrieved March 31, 2011.
  15. Levine, Stuart (March 30, 2011). "EXCLU: HBO no longer 'In Treatment'". Variety. Retrieved March 30, 2011.
  16. "In Treatment: Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
  17. "In Treatment: Season 2". Metacritic. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
  18. "In Treatment: Season 3". Metacritic. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
  19. McNamara, Mary (January 28, 2008). "'Treatment' cures the rerun blues". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 5, 2008.
  20. Lowry, Brian (January 18, 2008). "In Treatment". Variety. Retrieved March 5, 2008.
  21. Patterson, Troy (January 28, 2008). "Crazy Talk". Slate. Retrieved March 5, 2008.
  22. Tucker, Ken (January 18, 2008). "In Treatment (2008)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 5, 2008.
  23. Stanley, Alessandra (January 28, 2008). "Television Review 'In Treatment' Four Days, a Therapist; Fifth Day, a Patient". The New York Times. Retrieved January 28, 2008.
  24. "In Treatment (HBO)". The Peabody Awards. May 2010. Retrieved September 22, 2014.
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