THERAPY SESSIONS

Reads: 47  | Likes: 2  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic


Session 1

PATIENT. I’m very insecure, just like everyone else.

THERAPIST. Why do you say that?

(Pause)

PATIENT. Because I try too hard.

THERAPIST… Is that such a bad thing?

PATIENT. Yes.

THERAPIST. Why?

PATIENT. Because it means you want to be perfect, and perfect is unattainable, so you should just stick with what you know.

THERAPIST. But isn’t that trying to be perfect? That illusion that you can go through life without having to try?

PATIENT… What?

THERAPIST. You’ve contradicted yourself.

PATIENT. No I haven’t.

THERAPIST. Yes, you have.

PATIENT. How?

THERAPIST. Well, the idea that you can achieve an effortless existence and just follow what you love is unattainable in of itself.

PATIENT. No it isn’t.

THERAPIST. Yes it is, and it is maybe by dropping this illusion that you can truly stop trying. Maybe that’s what’s holding you back.

(Pause)

PATIENT. I didn’t think of it like that.

(Another pause)

PATIENT. Wait a minute, aren’t we going down a rabbit hole here? You just said that it’s by not expecting an effortless existence that I will achieve an effortless existence. But isn’t that an illusion once again?

(Pause)

THERAPIST. You got me there. I guess I was talking about improving your happiness more generally and finding peace within yourself.

PATIENT. Yes, but I would still be trying, just at something else. Now I would be trying not to expect an effortless existence. I still wouldn’t accept myself.

THERAPIST. I guess we’re going down the theoretical too much now. I don’t wanna argue with you, and I get your point, but I think we’re moving away from talking about how you can improve.

PATIENT. No, you don’t get it. This whole therapy thing and this idea of improving and getting better is flawed to begin with.

THERAPIST. I don’t wanna argue with you.

PATIENT. Okay.

(Pause)

THERAPIST. Why is it so important for you to win the argument anyways? Aren’t we having a conversation? Isn’t this just an extension of your perfectionism and trying all the time?

PATIENT. Hey man, you fell into the argument too. Don’t act like I was the only one trying to egg you on.

THERAPIST. Maybe you’re right.

PATIENT. And this isn’t a ‘conversation’. You have your ideology on how to get better, and you probably use it with every client.

THERAPIST. That’s not true.

PATIENT. I bet it is.

THERAPIST. It’s not.

(Pause)

(The THERAPIST sighs)

THERAPIST. Okay maybe you’re right a little bit.

PATIENT. Told you.

THERAPIST. But it’s not what you think okay? People want me to have the answers. They want me to comfort them and tell them it’s gonna be alright. And sometimes I just don’t know. So I just tell them what I think they wanna hear, and it makes the whole process a whole bunch simpler, and it probably helps them anyways. That security…

PATIENT. Yea but it’s based on a lie.

(Pause).

PATIENT. You know, I would rather you just said: ‘well jeez man, I don’t know, but we’re gonna work together, and if I don’t help you or you don’t feel any different, then feel free to leave at any time’. You know, then I would feel less judged and people wouldn’t need that security in the first place!

THERAPIST. Well damn I’m not the monster here. I’m a therapist. I’m just trying to help people.

PATIENT. But you’re doing more harm than good.

(Pause)

THERAPIST. And what’re you doing?

PATIENT. What?

THERAPIST. What’re you doing that’s so great that you feel like you can judge me? Do you actually help people? Do you know how hard it is to be in my shoes? Every day I have to hear sob stories from people, and it wears you down, but I try my best. What do you do for people?

PATIENT. I never said I did anything for people.

THERAPIST. Well there you go.

PATIENT. Well hold on here. That doesn’t mean you win the argument. It simply means I never claimed to be helping people. That’s all.

THERAPIST. Well then how can you feel the right to judge? At least I’m trying. And why do you always think this is a debate and you gotta win all the time?

(The PATIENT raises his hands)

PATIENT. Oh wow you’re trying. Big fucking deal! Didn’t we already say that trying is bad – it can cause more harm than good. You know why there’s so much shit in the world? Because people are trying all the time – they’re trying to make a better world. Did you know that Hitler thought he was doing good? Yea, he thought that by eradicating all the Jews he would cleanse Europe and people would be free. There are no actual evil people in the world. Only people who think they’re doing good. So don’t give me that crap about trying! At least I don’t pretend to try. Oh you’re so noble. Well maybe you should just look at yourself and what you’re doing before talking nonsense!

(Pause. The PATIENT breathes in)

THERAPIST. Are you done?

PATIENT. Yes, I’m done.

(Another pause)

THERAPIST. Okay.

PATIENT. What?

THERAPIST. That’s all I’m saying. Okay.

PATIENT. You don’t wanna respond? I just shitted on you.

THERAPIST. No because I don’t wanna argue.

(Pause)

PATIENT. I can respect that.

(Another pause)

THERAPIST. Well do you have anything else you wanna get off your chest?

PATIENT. You mean you don’t mind if I just shit on you?

THERAPIST. No because it’s part of my job. Sometimes you gotta let the client take one out on you.

PATIENT. Wow. I respect that. Suddenly I have a newfound respect for your profession.

THERAPIST. Lemme ask you something.

PATIENT. What?

THERAPIST. Why did you come here? To therapy I mean.

PATIENT. I don’t know, because my mum said I need to get better, and I probably do.

THERAPIST. I thought you didn’t believe in the whole ‘getting better’ idea…

(Pause)

PATIENT. Well maybe a small part of me does.

THERAPIST. Well then a small part of you wants to get better. It wants to be happy. It wants to try.

PATIENT. Who said you gotta try to be happy?

(The THERAPIST laughs)

THERAPIST. Touché my friend. Touché.

(The PATIENT smiles)

(There is a pause. The clock rings)

THERAPIST. Same time next week?

PATIENT. Same time next week. Hey, I really think this is helping me by the way.

THERAPIST. Me too John. Me too.

(END of SESSION 1)

Session 2

THERAPIST. Hey John.

PATIENT. Hey Mark.

THERAPIST. How you’ve been?

PATIENT. Great. I mean, not bad. You know, could be better.

THERAPIST. That’s great to hear.

(Pause)

PATIENT. So Mark: I was thinking something the other night, and I wanna run something by you.

THERAPIST. Shoot.

PATIENT. Great. Well I was thinking about therapy and –

THERAPIST. John, you know we’re supposed to talk about you right?

PATIENT. I know, but this is related to me.

THERAPIST. Okay…

PATIENT. Trust.

THERAPIST. Alright shoot.

PATIENT. Well I was thinking about therapy, and I just wanted to see where you stand on the whole capitalism thing, because obviously, therapy is a business, just like any other business, and at the end of the day, its goal is to make money. I just wanted to know how that works with helping people. How do you reconcile the two? Don’t the two negate each other? – or at least, work against each other in some way?

(The THERAPIST sighs)

THERAPIST. John I thought this was about you.

PATIENT. It is. Trust me. Or at least, it will be once we start talking about it.

THERAPIST. Why do you wanna talk about it?

PATIENT. Just answer the question.

(The THERAPIST sighs again)

THERAPIST. Well, since you’ve asked, the two aren’t mutually exclusive. You can make money while helping people you know. Nowhere does it say you can’t do that.

PATIENT. Yes, but isn’t it a kind of hindrance?

THERAPIST. No, why would it be?

PATIENT. Well, isn’t therapy kind of elitist? I mean, when you start thinking about it, only rich people can afford to go to therapy, so there you go: straight from the outset, a whole section of the population is ruled off, and it is probably the section that needs it the most, if you think about it, you know, since they’re poor.

THERAPIST. Why do you wanna argue?

PATIENT. I don’t wanna argue.

THERAPIST. Then why are you arguing?

PATIENT. I’m just interested to hear your opinion on the matter, you know, since it’s your profession.

(The THERAPIST sighs)

THERAPIST. I don’t know, John. I really don’t know.

(His voice is tired. There is a pause)

(The PATIENT looks up)

PATIENT. Bad day?

THERAPIST. You could say that.

PATIENT. Annoying clients?

THERAPIST. Yes… I mean no. Maybe a little bit annoying.

PATIENT. Am I one of those annoying clients?

THERAPIST. Of course not.

(Pause. Both look at each other)

THERAPIST. Well what do you want me to say?

PATIENT. Hey, I mean I pay you so…

THERAPIST. I didn’t say you weren’t. It’s my job. I’m not complaining. You just asked me a question and I told you the truth.

PATIENT. Right…

(Pause)

THERAPIST. Anything else you wanna talk about? Let’s talk about you. How are things at home?

PATIENT. Hey man, we’re not done with our previous conversation.

THERAPIST. I’m not interested in our previous conversation.

PATIENT. Is it because you don’t have an answer?

THERAPIST. No, it’s because this is a therapy session, and we’re supposed to talk about you, the client, not about the ethics or morals of therapy, I’m supposed to help you.

PATIENT. Number one: this is helping me.

THERAPIST. My ass it is. You just get off on arguing.

PATIENT. No it is. Trust me. And number two: don’t you always say that you want a conversation? Well this is a conversation, and sometimes conversations go off-topic. That’s the nature of conversations – you can’t control them. And plus: a conversation where we would just talk about me wouldn’t be natural, now would it?

(Pause)

PATIENT. Would it?

(The THERAPIST grumbles)

THERAPIST. No it wouldn’t.

PATIENT. Of course it wouldn’t. I am merely conversing with you as two equals, and I am interested to hear your opinion.

THERAPIST. You know we’re not supposed to be buddies.

PATIENT. I know that.

THERAPIST. Yea right…

(Pause)

PATIENT. So?

THERAPIST. So what?

PATIENT. So what’s your opinion?

(The THERAPIST sighs)

THERAPIST. Can’t you just let it go?

PATIENT. No I can't.

THERAPIST. Look I don’t know man okay. Yes, the world isn’t perfect, and we can’t help everybody, but at least it’s better than nothing.

(Pause)

PATIENT. Was that so hard?

THERAPIST. Shut up.

(Another pause)

THERAPIST. Actually I have something else to say. Just because someone is poorer doesn’t mean they need more help. Did you know that the highest suicide rates are in the rich countries, not the poor ones? The highest is in Japan I think… So now, your point doesn’t fully work now does it? But I get what you mean though…

PATIENT. Are you serious! That’s because they’re too busy surviving and getting food to worry about mental health. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have problems. It just means they bury it inside and ignore it.

(Pause)

THERAPIST. Maybe you’re right.

PATIENT. Thank you.

(Another pause)

THERAPIST. Can we talk about you now?

PATIENT. Why do you get so uncomfortable whenever we talk about you or your profession?

THERAPIST. Because it’s not supposed to be about me. I’m supposed to be interrogating you.

PATIENT. Answer the question.

THERAPIST. Why are you so hell-bent on preventing me from doing my job properly?

PATIENT. Because I don’t want you to do your job properly. It’s so boring. Now answer the question, and I won’t tell anyone if you won’t tell anyone.

(The THERAPIST sighs. He starts whispering)

THERAPIST. Look I may be having doubts as to my line of work…

PATIENT. You think? I could tell you weren’t really behind your words back then.

THERAPIST. Was it that obvious?

PATIENT. Dude you said: ‘maybe you’re right’. A true therapist would never say that. He would never give in that easy…

(Pause)

PATIENT. Why’re you having doubts?

THERAPIST. I don’t know, I guess I’m having a mid-life crisis. I’m starting to question whether anything I did was worth it. Did I really change much? Did I really help people?

PATIENT. Sure you did. You helped me.

THERAPIST. You don’t count.

(The PATIENT laughs)

PATIENT. And why is that?

THERAPIST. C’mon, you’re the most unorthodox patient I’ve ever had. You refuse to talk about yourself, and when we do it’s only for a few minutes until you bring it back to a debate. It’s as if you like confrontation.

PATIENT. It’s fun.

THERAPIST. Sure, but therapy isn’t supposed to be fun.

PATIENT. Who said that?

THERAPIST. I don’t know. Some asshole.

(Both laugh)

THERAPIST. No but seriously, why don’t you like talking about yourself? I barely know anything about you, apart from the fact that you’re stubborn, a perfectionist and a constant pain in the ass.

(Both men laugh again)

PATIENT. Well I don’t know Mark. I guess it just feels kind of weird. Who enjoys talking about themselves for an hour? I mean, how self-centred do you have to be?

THERAPIST. Therapy isn’t supposed to be enjoyable.

PATIENT. Oh, quoting the mysterious asshole again I see…

(Both men smile)

PATIENT. No but seriously, how do you expect me to talk about myself like this? I could frame the whole narrative, form ideas in my head, start giving you half-truths which then develop into lies, and you wouldn’t have a clue, and you know what? – maybe I would become unaware too.

THERAPIST. Most people would jump at the opportunity to talk about themselves you know…

PATIENT. Yea, well not me.

(The THERAPIST uses a mocking tone)

THERAPIST. Why? Is it because you’re so different from everyone else? Special?

PATIENT. No, actually quite the opposite: it’s because I’m the exact same as everyone else. I have nothing interesting to divulge. I am just trying to survive, like everyone else.

THERAPIST. Well then this brings us back to the same old fucking question: what the fuck are you doing here?

PATIENT. I don’t know!

(Both men laugh)

PATIENT. Okay, maybe I know.

THERAPIST. What?

PATIENT. Well, maybe it’s because I just like talking to you. I mean what: would that be such a crime?

THERAPIST. No it wouldn’t. Actually it would be the most normal thing I’ve heard in a long time.

(The PATIENT smiles. The clock rings)

PATIENT. See you next week.

THERAPIST. See you next week. And John?

PATIENT. What?

THERAPIST. The feeling’s mutual by the way.

(The PATIENT smiles)

PATIENT. I thought I was an annoying patient.

THERAPIST. Eh. Good annoying. Let’s say you’re an annoying breath of fresh air.

PATIENT. I’ll take that.

(He EXITS. END of SESSION 2)

Session 3

PATIENT. Mark?

THERAPIST. Hmm?

PATIENT. Do you think I’m gay?

THERAPIST. Why do you ask?

PATIENT. Just answer the question.

THERAPIST. No, not particularly. Why do you ask?

PATIENT. Oh nothing… I was just checking.

THERAPIST. Hold on. I wanna hear this. Is it because we talk all the time?

PATIENT. Maybe…

THERAPIST. Well what’s so bad about that?

PATIENT. Don’t you think it’s kind of weird?

THERAPIST. No I don’t.

PATIENT. Oh right, I forgot. You’re a shrink. It’s normal for you.

THERAPIST. What is?

PATIENT. Talking all the time…

THERAPIST. And what? That makes me less masculine? Since when did talking become a sign that you like other men?

PATIENT. I didn’t say anything like that. I merely said it’s a part of your job. Talking about feelings.

(Pause)

THERAPIST. I think you’re just being insecure about it.

PATIENT. I probably am.

THERAPIST. Why does it bother you so much?

PATIENT. I don’t know. I guess I’m trying to find some justification as to why I like talking with you.

THERAPIST. Well, can’t it be that we’re just two guys who like talking to each other? Why do you jump on the gay wagon all of a sudden?

(Pause)

PATIENT. I don’t know.

(Another pause)

PATIENT. You know, when I was a child once, I smiled at some guy in the bus, and he called me gay. He had a disgusted look on his face. I got all defensive and denied it. Then, when I got back home, I started to question it. Was I gay? I mean, I very well could be. It was definitely possible. That’s the thing: you don’t know at that age. It stayed in my mind for weeks, even months. Even now sometimes I think about it.

THERAPIST. And so?

PATIENT. What?

THERAPIST. Were you gay?

PATIENT. No! I was just confused. A kid.

THERAPIST. And you’re telling me this why?

PATIENT. I don’t know. I just thought I should share it. It might explain why I’m so insecure about us.

THERAPIST. Well, let me qualm your fears. No, I don’t think you’re gay. This is perfectly normal what we’re doing.

PATIENT. Is it?

THERAPIST. Yes it is.

PATIENT. Thanks.

THERAPIST. You’re welcome. And what would be the big deal if you were anyways?

PATIENT. That’s not the point. I just wanna know where I stand and where other people think I stand.

(Pause)

PATIENT. Are you gay?

THERAPIST. Why, do I give a lot of gay vibes? And what is a gay vibe anyways?

PATIENT. You know: effeminate, sensitive.

THERAPIST. Do you think I’m sensitive? And do you know how offensive that is?

PATIENT. C’mon, you know I’m not serious.

THERAPIST. You better be.

(Pause)

THERAPIST. And what if I am gay?

PATIENT. Are you?

THERAPIST. No. But what if I am?

PATIENT. I would want to know.

THERAPIST. Why? Would it change our relationship in any way?

PATIENT. It might.

THERAPIST. How?

(Pause)

PATIENT. I don’t know what I’m saying.

THERAPIST. Clearly.

(Another pause)

PATIENT. You don’t need to get so defensive about it man…

THERAPIST. No but seriously it bothers me. It’s because of people like you that gay people can’t feel comfortable in their own skin. Stop worrying about it all the time.

PATIENT. People like me? You don’t think it’s the guy who thought a smile was gay that’s the problem?

THERAPIST. You thought talking was gay.

PATIENT. Only because we’ve been at it for weeks. And I thought it was a question we needed to address.

THERAPIST. Why do you need to address everything? Why do you always gotta sap the mystery out of stuff?

PATIENT. C’mon, we’ve been over this. And I thought you were the therapist. Shouldn’t you be the one pushing and probing all the time?

THERAPIST. I don’t have any responsibility towards you. You’re not an ordinary client.

(The PATIENT laughs)

THERAPIST. You know, I’m still trying to figure this out as I go along.

PATIENT. Isn’t that the whole point of therapy?

THERAPIST. Maybe it is. I don’t know.

(The clock rings. The PATIENT gets up and walks out of the door)

PATIENT. See you next week.

THERAPIST. John?

PATIENT. What?

THERAPIST. I’m gay. See you next week.

(He closes the door)

(END of SESSION 3)

Session 4

PATIENT. I hate therapy and I wanna give up.

THERAPIST. What’s happened?

PATIENT. It’s not doing anything for me. I just wanted to let you know: this will be our last session together.

THERAPIST. John, what’s happened?

PATIENT. Nothing’s happened.

THERAPIST. Obviously something must’ve happened for you to be in this state.

PATIENT. Nothing.

THERAPIST. Is it because I’m gay?

PATIENT. Of course not.

THERAPIST. You did say our relationship would change…

PATIENT. No, that has nothing to do with it.

THERAPIST. You did say it though.

PATIENT. Yea well I was wrong. I was dumb actually.

THERAPIST. John himself, admitting he was dumb. Am I hearing this right?

PATIENT. Look I’ve just been going through some shit and I don’t feel like therapy anymore. Is that too hard to understand?

THERAPIST. Then let’s talk about it.

PATIENT. No.

THERAPIST. Let’s talk about it.

PATIENT. No.

THERAPIST. Then why did you come here?

(The PATIENT sighs)

PATIENT. I need to vent.

THERAPIST. What’s happened?

PATIENT. My girlfriend has left me.

THERAPIST. She left you?

PATIENT. Yes.

THERAPIST. Why?

PATIENT. Because she thinks I’m going out with you.

THERAPIST. Are you?

PATIENT. FUCK NO! I’m not gay!

THERAPIST. Dude I’m just trying to provoke you.

PATIENT. Why?! Aren’t you supposed to be my fucking therapist?!

THERAPIST. Well apparently not anymore…

(There is a pause)

THERAPIST. What did she say?

PATIENT. She said that I keep talking about you all the time saying how you’re the only person I can talk to who truly gets me and bladibladibla…

THERAPIST. And are you?

PATIENT. Well, yes. But that’s beside the point. She shouldn’t leave me if I haven’t cheated on her. I’ve done nothing to deserve this.

THERAPIST. Well think of it from her perspective. See how she feels. You’re constantly talking about someone else to her as if she’s unworthy, as if she’s not enough. At some point, I wouldn’t be surprised if she goes: ‘fuck it, I’m out’. And that’s what she did, as a matter of fact…

PATIENT. What are you saying? That I deserve it? You know, it’s your fucking fault if I can’t recover this.

THERAPIST. What are you so upset about? Seems to me like you two weren’t made for each other.

PATIENT. Oh what you're a couples counsellor now? You don’t know anything about us man.

THERAPIST. I know that she’s not enough for you. I know that you can’t speak to her like you’d wish to. I know that you can’t be yourself around her like you can around me.

PATIENT. So what you wanna get married now?

THERAPIST. No thank you, I already have a husband.

PATIENT. Are you trying to make me single?

THERAPIST. No, I just want you to be happy.

(The PATIENT puts his hands over his head).

PATIENT. Man, what am I gonna do?

THERAPIST. Well first off: take a breather.

(The PATIENT smiles)

PATIENT. Do you do this with all your patients?

THERAPIST. Only the angry ones.

PATIENT. What, you think I’m angry? Nah man I’m over the moon. According to you I have cause to celebrate!

THERAPIST. John…

PATIENT. What?!

THERAPIST. Take a breather.

(The PATIENT breathes in slowly. Then he breathes out)

PATIENT. This is bullshit.

(He takes another breath, but this time with his eyes closed. He focuses on the moment. He listens to the clock and continues his breathing)

(By the time he opens his eyes again the session is almost over)

PATIENT. Wow, it’s already ten-two.

(The THERAPIST is watching over him)

THERAPIST. How was that?

PATIENT. Weirdly fine. I lost complete track of time.

THERAPIST. I saw that.

(The PATIENT looks up)

PATIENT. How did you–

THERAPIST. I have my ways.

PATIENT. I thought you didn’t know how to do therapy. I thought you wanted to quit.

THERAPIST. That was all part of the act. To get you in the zone.

(The PATIENT leans back. He is dumbfounded)

PATIENT. Are you serious?!

THERAPIST. Nah man. Of course not. Who do you think I am: Jesus?

(The PATIENT starts smiling again)

PATIENT. You one sleeky motherfucker.

THERAPIST. Right back at you.

(The clock rings)

(The PATIENT gets up)

PATIENT. See you next week. You know all of that shit before about this being my last session, you know I was joking right? I wasn’t being serious.

THERAPIST. Of course not, John. Of course not.

PATIENT. Good session today.

THERAPIST. Good session it was.

(He exits. The THERAPIST stays seated. His phone rings. It is his WIFE)

WIFE. How was it with the John guy today?

THERAPIST. Oh, good good. He still believes I’m a homosexual. I swear these people are so gullible.

WIFE. Well, whenever you wanna stop fucking with your clients and get back to your ‘husband’, just give me a call, and I’ll do a barbecue for you.

(The THERAPIST laughs)

THERAPIST. Will let you know when my shift is over.

WIFE. Okay sweetie. Love you. And remember: have fun.

THERAPIST. I always do. Love you.

(The WIFE hangs up. The THERAPIST puts his phone back down. He stares at the clock. He watches it tick. He smiles. A few minutes pass)

(There is a knock on the door)

PATIENT 2. Mr. Damien?

THERAPIST. Come in.

(The client walks in and sits down)

THERAPIST. Please call me Mark.

(The door closes)

(END of PLAY)

(Word count: 4103)


Submitted: February 11, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Theo Villepo. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:


Facebook Comments

More Other Scripts

Boosted Content from Other Authors

Short Story / Mystery and Crime

Book / Young Adult

Short Story / Other

Book / Action and Adventure

Other Content by Theo Villepo

Short Story / Other

Short Story / Other

Script / Other