The Good Sociopath

The Sopranos: Season 4 Analyzed; Week 7

The Good Sociopath

The Sopranos: Season 4 Analyzed; Week 7

The Good Sociopath
Talking television.
Oct. 28 2002 5:58 PM

The Sopranos: Season 4 Analyzed; Week 7

VIEW ALL ENTRIES

Dear Glen:

Advertisement

I don't want to rehash the question of whether Tony is a sociopath. I'm convinced by your argument that he is not and that he suffers from a vertical split. Given that fact, however, what are we to make of the way he is proceeding with his split? His "bad" side could be manipulating Jennifer like a good sociopath.

You say you are not terribly impressed with his therapeutic progress and that Jennifer is doing about the best she can with someone like Tony. Does that mean we're just granting Chase's aesthetic conceit—namely, that somebody like Tony can be treated—in order to study a very interesting set of psychological dynamics? Or, would you say there would really be a prospect of someone like Tony healing that split? In other words, what sort of exercise are we involved in here?

Joel

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.