In Treatment



Daring, mature drama won't interest kids.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Every character -- including the therapist -- is flawed and morally ambiguous. As a result, there are no clear-cut role models. Self-destructive behaviors (from lying to adultery) are discussed in each episode.


Most of the "action" involves two people sitting down and talking. But conversations occasionally mention violent acts, including teen suicide and an overseas bombing that killed a group of schoolchildren.


Sex isn't part of every episode, but a few characters do discuss it graphically. One woman, for example, describes a sexual encounter she had with a stranger in a bathroom stall. The same woman confesses she has sexual feelings for her therapist.


Explicit language (like "f--k" and "motherf--ker") isn't used constantly, but a few characters do use it liberally -- and it's not bleeped.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A few adult characters mention drinking to excess, but they aren't shown doing it.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the plot of this unconventional drama is driven by a core cast of mainly adult characters who share sordid details about their lives with a therapist who has problems of his own. Self-destructive behaviors discussed in each episode range from simple lying to adultery, and one 16-year-old patient is suspected of having suicidal tendencies because she rode her bike into oncoming traffic. While the series is too intense for kids, older teens should be emotionally capable of processing the complex emotions embedded in the content. But the format is so cerebral that it's unlikely they'll really want to watch.

What's the story?

IN TREATMENT follows seemingly successful psychotherapist Paul Weston (Gabriel Bryne) as he meets with both old and new patients (including Blair Underwood and Embeth Davidtz) over the course of about two months. Burdened by fears that he's on the brink of yet another midlife crisis, Paul also begins weekly visits to his own therapist (Dianne Wiest), a woman who just so happens to be his somewhat estranged former supervisor.

Is it any good?


In a departure from typical TV fare, In Treatment airs five nights a week, structuring each episode as a real-time session between Paul and a patient. Over the course of the series' nine-week run, the patients return for another session on the same night every week.

In terms of format, In Treatment is certainly daring. But in this case different isn't necessarily better. While some viewers will undoubtedly appreciate the series' subtle approach to drama -- fueled by dialogue-driven tension and nuanced performances by a crop of fine actors -- others aren't likely to find it enticing enough to stick around and see what happens next. After all, In Treatment not only asks viewers to be patient, but also asks to draw their own conclusions -- and to really and truly think. For most people, that's an awful lot to ask.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how this series (which is based on the critically acclaimed Israeli show BeTipul) takes drama in a new direction by essentially moving the action along in real time over the course of several weeks. Do you think other real-time dramas like 24 might have inspired this show's creators? How else could the show have been structured? Do you think the unusual format makes it more interesting to watch, or does it make the action seem too real -- and therefore boring?

TV details

Cast:Blair Underwood, Dianne Wiest, Gabriel Byrne
TV rating:TV-MA
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of In Treatment was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 11 years old December 5, 2010

for kids age 14+ and up.

i saw it. but it's for kids age 14+ and up. i agree with adriana62. it has swearing.[like f--k s--t and bulls--t]. some sex talk. and the role models arn't that good. it's fine for 14-yr olds. if your under the age of 14, don't watch it.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Great messages
Adult Written byviprubr April 9, 2008
Teen, 15 years old Written byAdriana62 November 12, 2010

Great for teens and adults

I really love this show. Yes, it's verbally graphic about things like sex, but it still has good messages. It's real life stuff.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Great messages
Great role models


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