Girl, Interrupted

by

Susanna Kaysen

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The therapist who recommends Susanna for admission to McLean deems her hospitalization necessary after a very brief meeting, which Susanna recalls as having only lasted twenty minutes despite the therapist’s later assertion that their firstand only session lasted several hours. Susanna posits that the therapist recommended she be institutionalized as a form of “preventive medicine” after meeting with her and assuming she was in need of “saving” from the increasingly volatile world around her.

The Therapist Quotes in Girl, Interrupted

The Girl, Interrupted quotes below are all either spoken by The Therapist or refer to The Therapist. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Isolation and Seclusion Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of Girl, Interrupted published in 1994.
Chapter 10 Quotes

Take it from his point of view. It was 1967. Even in lives like his, professional lives lived out in the suburbs behind shrubbery, there was a strange undertow, a tug from the other world--the drifting, drugged-out, no-last-name youth universe--that knocked people off balance. One could call it "threatening," to use his language. What are these kids doing? And then one of them walks into his office wearing a skirt the size of a napkin, with a mottled chin and speaking in monosyllables. Doped up, he figures. He looks again at the name jotted on the notepad in front of him. Didn't he meet her parents at a party two years ago? Harvard faculty--or was it MIT? Her boots are worn down but her coat's a good one. It's a mean world out there, as Lisa would say. He can't in good conscience send her back into it, to become flotsam on the subsocietal tide that washes up now and then in his office, depositing others like her. A form of preventive medicine.

Related Characters: Susanna Kaysen (speaker), The Therapist
Page Number: 39-40
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Therapist Character Timeline in Girl, Interrupted

The timeline below shows where the character The Therapist appears in Girl, Interrupted. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2: The Taxi
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
Women and Medicine Theme Icon
Sanity vs. Insanity Theme Icon
Manipulation, Restriction, and Control Theme Icon
Susanna sits in a therapist’s office. The therapist notes that Susanna has a pimple and has been picking at her... (full context)
Isolation and Seclusion Theme Icon
Women and Medicine Theme Icon
Sanity vs. Insanity Theme Icon
Manipulation, Restriction, and Control Theme Icon
When the therapist reenters the office, he announces that he has found a room for Susanna in a... (full context)
Isolation and Seclusion Theme Icon
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
Women and Medicine Theme Icon
Sanity vs. Insanity Theme Icon
Manipulation, Restriction, and Control Theme Icon
...Susanna as “profoundly depressed [and] suicidal; promiscuous; desperate.” A second insert, a memorandum from the therapist who recommended Susanna for admission to the hospital, describes Susanna’s “chaotic unplanned life,” the “progressive... (full context)
Chapter 10: Elementary Topography
Isolation and Seclusion Theme Icon
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
Women and Medicine Theme Icon
Sanity vs. Insanity Theme Icon
Manipulation, Restriction, and Control Theme Icon
...she ended up in McLean. She wonders what was so “deranged” about her that a therapist who she’d never seen before decided to lock her up after less than twenty minutes.... (full context)
Isolation and Seclusion Theme Icon
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
Women and Medicine Theme Icon
Sanity vs. Insanity Theme Icon
Manipulation, Restriction, and Control Theme Icon
Kaysen considers the therapist’s point of view. In 1967, even out in the suburbs, there was a “tug from... (full context)
Isolation and Seclusion Theme Icon
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
Women and Medicine Theme Icon
Manipulation, Restriction, and Control Theme Icon
...difficult to explain—she went along with everything she was told to do. She visited the therapist for a consultation when she was told to, she got in a taxi when she... (full context)
Chapter 18: Do You Believe Him or Me?
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
Women and Medicine Theme Icon
Sanity vs. Insanity Theme Icon
Manipulation, Restriction, and Control Theme Icon
Susanna Kaysen reflects on the initial meeting with the therapist who recommended her for admission to McLean. The doctor reported that he interviewed Susanna for... (full context)
Perception vs. Reality Theme Icon
Women and Medicine Theme Icon
Manipulation, Restriction, and Control Theme Icon
Kaysen, however, tells her readers not to be so quick to believe her therapist, since she has more evidence. There is an Admission Note from a doctor at McLean... (full context)