Small Steps of Progress

The Sopranos: Season 4 Analyzed; Week 7

Small Steps of Progress

The Sopranos: Season 4 Analyzed; Week 7

Small Steps of Progress
Talking television.
Oct. 28 2002 10:58 AM

The Sopranos: Season 4 Analyzed; Week 7

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To respond to your question, Joel, I think that Tony's alleged impulse control with the crack addicts is far more related to his survival instincts and the presence of A.J. He sees the proximity of the crackhead's gun and knows that he might not be able to get to his own piece before he gets blown away. He also realizes that A.J. could be a casualty. This situation is a Darwinian street scene where Tony's therapy has little relevance. Nevertheless, over the four years of the show, we have a bit of evidence that the therapy may be helping him. While what your friend says is true about sociopaths, we'd be hard-pressed to squeeze Tony into that category. He has far too much concern for others (e.g., Meadow) and has an active conscience (e.g., feeling responsible for Gloria's suicide).

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Glen

Glen O. Gabbard, M.D., is a professor of psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine and author of The Psychology of The Sopranos, inspired by this discussion. Philip A. Ringstrom, Ph.D., Psy.D., is a senior faculty member at the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles. Joel Whitebook, Ph.D., is on the faculty of the Columbia Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research. Margaret Crastnopol, Ph.D., is on the faculty of the Northwest Center for Psychoanalysis. All are practicing therapists as well.