Dr. Orna Guralnik Discusses Her New Showtime Docuseries, 'Couples Therapy'

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On this episode of Zucker, Dr. Orna Guralnik, who stars as the therapist in the new Showtime series, ‘Couples Therapy,’ joins host Andrew Zucker to talk about the project. Among other topics, Dr. Guralnik discusses the threads between the couples, as well as the trepidation she felt about couples talking honestly on television.

On how she became involved in the show: The show came about from the directors. They’ve been thinking about it for a while. And at some point, they did a search and reached me through my psychoanalytic institute, NYU Postdoc. They found me through my institute and started talking to me about it and slowly got me really interested in the project.

On what she learned by participating in the project: I learned many things about what I do by doing it on camera and doing it the way we did it. Because what happened was during the whole six months of shooting and doing the work, I had very intensive conversations with the directors and the editors basically articulating the arc of the treatment. So in a way, I had to be accountable and articulate what’s going on in each and every of these treatments ongoingly, so that the whole team studied kind of what it means to have a psychoanalytic arc for a treatment. And even though I’m an academic and I write a lot, this was way more intensive than anything I've ever done as far as like articulating the process, and articulating the narrative arc, and what are the different dynamics that go on in each treatment.

On whether she was nervous that couples wouldn’t be forthcoming: I think we were all very nervous about that in the beginning. I mean, we didn't know if it was going to work. It was kind of an experiment, but it was pretty amazing how quickly the cameras kind of disappear and fade into the background, and the life of the couple kind of comes into being, and the force of the work takes over.