A psychiatrist becomes romantically involved with the sister of one of his patients, but the influence of her controlling gangster husband threatens to destroy them both.A psychiatrist becomes romantically involved with the sister of one of his patients, but the influence of her controlling gangster husband threatens to destroy them both.A psychiatrist becomes romantically involved with the sister of one of his patients, but the influence of her controlling gangster husband threatens to destroy them both.
Hitchcock Style Thriller Based on Unethical Clinical Practices
It might help to explain points of my review by giving some background information.I am a counseling psychologist and psychotherapist,with 20 years experience.Watching this film initially,in February 1992,almost contributed to a heart attack.Whoever did the screenplay to this atrocity hadn't the faintest idea of what constitutes appropriate clinical practice.Dr.Isaac Barr muffs the handling of this case from the onset.One wonders as to how he got through his psychiatric residency,let alone his training analysis,supervised cases,and what was going on in his personal analysis at this time?The pathological antics indulged in in this film would cause anybody else to get into serious trouble BIGTIME with the local psychoananlytic association,the American Psychoanalytic,the American Psychiatric,the AMA,and the State Board of Medicine.People have had licenses suspended for less.Where do we begin the critique?Let's start.A woman enters into Barr's office one night,claims to be a client's sister,and starts pumping Barr for information.He complies with her request.Now wait a darn minute-if I came into the office,claimed that I was the sister(I am 48 years old and have a full beard),would he give me the same courtesy?I seriously doubt it.You never release ANY information without having the client sign a specific release of information,with details as to who the data is going to.Barr could get sued out the wazoo for a stunt like this-and he'd deserve it.Then he and Heather go out to have coffee and discuss the case.You NEVER engage in professional activities outside of the work setting-your malpractice insurance won't cover it,and if something should go awry,won't assume any financial liabilities.Then,Barr and Heather end up making love-but it isn't love.This is not a relationship between equals,it's countertransference getting out of hand.She's extremely vulnerable emotionally(not really,but you're led to think that she is)and it is Barr's responsibility not to exploit a needy person.The onus is on the therapist to respect the boundaries.Barr is acting on his pathologically needy state,rather than reflecting as to what is going on.Dr. Lowenthal,upon being made aware of this situation,should have insisted that Barr re-enter therapy at once,and establish a supervisory relationship pronto.Noncompliance would involve informing the authorities.The Freudian psychoanalysts are very careful about not contaminating a therapeutic relationship,and this involve getting involved with family members of their patients.Barr should have refused to have anything to do with Heather AT ONCE.I wonder if the screenplay writers wanted to do a hatchet job on the psychiatric profession.
- Dec 9, 2000
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