A thirst for one's own medicine

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The Independent Culture
Family Therapy (9.05pm BBC2) closes tonight with the sixth episode, and those who have devoutly followed the tribulations of Jack, Marian, Rachel and Sara over the last weeks will no doubt tune in expecting some glorious, Chekhovian denouement. If, like me, you only saw the first episode, it may be worth idly tuning in to the last to ponder the results of nine months' intensive soul-searching.

Sara, now 18, is the reason the family volunteered for shrinkage in the first place - she was "friendless, depressed and childish". Now she's well on the road to recovery - when she fails her driving test for the third time, she stoically resolves to pop some trankies before the next one. The parents' difficulties have been probed and somewhat ironed, and Rachel, the elder daughter, has - to her evident relief - left home.

Naturally, the most compelling enigma left at the end of the programme is the therapist himself, Eia Kasan. Is there something weird going on between him and the female colleague with whom he watches videotapes of the family sessions, in a darkened room at that? Kasan admits that therapists make mistakes in their own lives too: cue an outrageously wry smile from the woman in the background. Physician, heal thyself? Well, you can imagine a surgeon doing an adequate job on his own ingrowing toenail, but therapists are clearly all as mad as hatters.

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