troperville

tools

toys

Wiki Headlines
We've switched servers and will be updating the old code over the next couple months, meaning that several things might break. Please report issues here.

main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Therapy Backfire
Alice has convinced Bob to attend a therapy session with her for some reason or another (whether it's a group session, Bob seeing the shrink on his own, or with Alice varies). She's doing this because, in her mind, Alice believes the doctor will tell Bob that he's wrong, and Alice is right.

Most of the time, the therapist will side with Bob's beliefs, maybe even pointing out that Alice is at fault. Naturally, Hilarity Ensues as Alice can't STAND the idea that she's wrong.

Some of the possible results that could occur:

  • Group Session: The rest of the group sides with Bob, pointing out that Bob's a brave man for putting up with Alice for so long.
  • Bob and Alice together: Alice will go on a Motive Rant, usually along the lines of "How dare you side with Bob, you quack? Did you get your degree out of a cereal box? You were supposed to say It's not Alice's fault; you're wrong, Bob, so do whatever she says?!"
  • Bob solo: Similar to the Together example, except it'll be revealed (often by the door swinging open) that Alice has been listening in on the session via door leaning, and the same type of rant as above.

In other words, Alice's attempt to railroad Bob into a better man has crashed and burned.

Not to be confused with Critical Psychoanalysis Failure, where the attempt at therapy backfires so badly that the therapist ends up mentally broken.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

     Fan Fic 

    Film 
  • While not therapy-related, a similar situation happened with two girls in Nancy Drew, The Movie Of The Books, when Inga takes Nancy into a clothes boutique to update her "retro" look:
    Inga: Hi? Obviously, someone here needs a little help with their look.
    Boutique Clerk: Oh. It's not that bad.
    Inga: Oh, please. It's a fashion teardown.
    Boutique Clerk: You have some nice pieces. They're just not really working together.
    Inga: Me? I was talking about her! (points to Nancy)
    Boutique Clerk: (to Inga) Oh, sorry. (to Nancy) Wow! Where did you get that dress?

    Live Action TV 
  • It happened in an episode of Home Improvement, during a group session. Of course, Jill is pissed that the whole group sided with Tim, and not her (after all, she did graduate with a 4.0 average).
  • In the Monty Python's Flying Circus "Marriage Counselor" sketch, a man brings his wife into a marriage counselor; the counselor then seduces her right in front of him.
  • Happened in Swedish sketch show Gabba Gabba, (though the details are a bit fuzzy). In short, The Siblings are recurring characters, trying to get their stuff back after a fire. Once, they went to therapy, and the therapist kept agreeing with The Brother, who was always the cheerful fool of the two, whereas The Sister was a bit more overbearing, yet with an angry streak. The therapist agreeing with The Brother caused The Sister to freak, which led to the therapist agreeing more with the Brother, and so on...
  • A bizarre variation, In Community, the Big Bad has a fake psychologist attempt to convince the study group that they are insane, in order to prevent them from discovering his plots. It's because of the therapy that they even realize that Genre Savvy Abed was right and the Dean was replaced with an imposter.
  • In Arrested Development, Lindsay and Tobias attempt counseling after Tobias quits his job to become an actor. A simple role-playing exercise leads to Tobias and the therapist nearly kissing and the therapist not only siding with Tobias, but also quitting his job to become an actor as well. This is something of a subversion as it's the therapist and Tobias who are portrayed as crazy.

    Webcomics 
  • In the webcomic Venus Envy, Zoe's mother tries to find therapists to convince Zoe that she is indeed male. The therapists instead agree that Zoe has GID and a couple recommend therapy for her mother.

    Western Animation 


Super OCDPsychology TropesTherapy Is For The Weak
Theory TunnelvisionPages Needing WicksThis Is Not My Life to Take

random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
9664
7