the ill sessions

Hiatus AU: Mark drags Damien back across the country in what amounts to the most karmic reverse kidnapping in history, but stopping to take hipster pics of scenic overlooks will not protect you from the scary stuff lurking in the liminal space behind highway truck-stops. (A03)

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I’d like to thank The Bright Sessions for proving, in Dr Bright, that you don’t have to be a Doug Eiffel style slacker to be deeply self loathing. You can be a high functioning, successful professional and still believe that everyone would hate you if they knew the real you. Still act in ways to make that a self fulfilling prophecy.

Most media doesn’t acknowledge that success has no bearing on your inner life, and it’s such an important message.

The Bright Sessions is clearly made by someone who knows what good therapy is but occasionally chooses to deliberately ignore that knowledge. Which is way cool. It’s probably second to “Variations on a Theme” for dealing with mental illness in a respectful, understanding way in fiction. (Welcome to Night Vale is also very good on this score, though in a less overt way.)

I’ve got a lot more to say about the show. And I’m only on episode 6! But it’s really sticking in my head that they’ve chosen to make the therapist a person in her own right.

Her therapy is good. Her therapy, on balance, helps people. And when her therapy has flaws, they’re not flaws because all therapy is bad, they’re flaws because therapists are human and humans are imperfect beings and are sometimes selfish or wrong, even humans whose job is to make you well.

It’s a level of nuance on the subject that I’m not used to seeing from media I consume, and it’s lovely.

(Also did I mention that the show passes the Betchel test more often than it fails? This is the second podcast I listen to where the primary protagonist is a woman, and the first where she regularly talks to other women about things other than men. Very, very cool.)