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Therapy in TV and Movies June 23, 2006

Posted by fajita in Family Science, Media.

I am teaching a counseling course this Fall and I am wanting to gather some TV or movie clips that show counselors counseling. These can be serious or silly.

Here is what I have so far (please add):

What about Bob?

Alias (can't remember which season – anyone know?)

Prince of Tides

Vegietales ("I Love My Lips" music video)

Mr. & Mrs. Smith



1. Mark Elrod - June 23, 2006

“Best of Show” & “Analyze This” come to mind.

West Wing did a great episode where Josh Lyman was working through several issues involving trauma.


2. fajita - June 23, 2006

Does Tony Soprano go to see a counselor?

Anyone see Anger Management? Any counseling scenes there?

3. Marc Anderson - June 23, 2006

Good Will Hunting

4. Phil Wilson - June 23, 2006

There was an episode of Family Ties way back in the day that was Michael J. Fox during a counseling session. It had moments of humor, but it was a great very poignant episode.

Here’s a NY Times thing about it. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B0DE3D7113DF931A25750C0A961948260

And here’s a episode summary of it.

5. ruminatingpilgrim - June 23, 2006

Phil Wilson: that WAS a good one. I seem to remember him talking about his love of money and the therapist dropping random coins in a jar and he could tell which ones were being dropped and how many. a random memory, to be sure, but amusing little moment.

6. John Alan Turner - June 23, 2006

Tony Soprano does indeed see a therapist. There are lots of great clips you could mine from The Sopranos.

Also, there were some really fun episodes of Mad About You where they went to see a therapist (I think it was Mo Gaffney).

And then there’s Frazier Crane…. You could do an entire course on how crazy he and his brother Niles were. Supposedly two of the best psychiatrists in Seattle, and they were two of the most neurotic men on the planet!

7. Keith Brenton - June 23, 2006

I’d vote for “K-Pax.” It gets pretty intense, though.

However, it doesn’t get any better than Kevin Spacey in a role like that: a patient who may or may not really be from outer space.

I think he’s playing the psychotic Lex Luthor in the new Superman Returns flick, too.

8. Jenni - June 23, 2006

There are several scenes in various episodes of 7th Heaven that show Rev Camden in counseling sessions with people….

And yes, there are several in Alias, but I have no idea which seasons/episodes.

9. Matt - June 23, 2006

I’m with John Alan on Mad About You – it was some really funny stuff.

Of course, if you want to go with vintage TV, you can get DVDs of the Bob Newhart Show.

Also, one of my all-time favorite TV shows is thirtysomething. There are at least one or two very intense marital therapy scenes in that one. The episode name escapes me.

10. fajita - June 23, 2006

These are great!! Keep them coming. Anyone know how to get hold of the SNL skit with Bob Newhart? The “Stop It” skit.

11. TCS - June 23, 2006

well there are a number of scenes from Good Will Hunting. That its not your fault scene is really powerful, I still can’t watch it without crying.

my wife said “Nuts” and of course as “Good as it Gets” is a MUST.

12. justin mundie - June 23, 2006

Vanilla sky has some good counselor scenes….

13. Hal - June 24, 2006

In “Ordinary People” (c. 1980) Judd hirsch plays a counselor to Timothy Hutton’s angst-filled teenager. Hutton attempted suicide after his brother drowned in a boating accident which Hutton survived. Mary Tyler Moore plays the cold distant rigid mother; Donald Sutherland is the dad stuggling to keep the peace and keep everybody happy. Many classic family systems dilemmas abound. But Hirsch is great as a crusty, challenging counselor. (I’m pretty sure he’s a psychiatrist.)

14. James - June 25, 2006

Definitely Bob Newhart, and for fun, Boston Legal, especially the episode in which Denny Crane’s therapist provokes Crane into shooting him….twice.

Denny Crane.

15. bek - June 26, 2006

i definitely agree with goodwill hunting and kpax

16. Len - June 26, 2006

Ordinary People
with Mary Tyler Moore

17. Len - June 26, 2006

I didn’t notice that Hal had previously posted Ordinary People.
Another one which comes to mind is “The Good Son”
The counselor in that one thought that the “good” kid was really the bad one.

And don’t forget Bruce Willis in The Story of Us
I love it when the in-laws are in bed with them as they are fighting.
It also shows them in different decades of fighting about the same issues. (Too close to home!) ha

The Sixth Sense
Of course you were talking about live counselors. The boy who sees dead people is cool.

18. stickyweb - July 14, 2006

What about the definitive ‘One flew over the cuckoos nest’!
& for a perfect example of narcissim – the series ‘Blow out’ (dunno what network – was Fox in Australia)

19. Jack Yan - July 14, 2006

Michael Gross played not Michael J. Fox’s Dad on Spin City, but his therapist.
   The Story of Us is on in New Zealand this weekend, I think. I had not heard of it till the TV promo yesterday.
   Matt, thanks for bringing up The Bob Newhart Show. I was wondering how many comments it took before someone brought up that one.

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