7 Intriguing TV Shows to Stream as You Pursue Your Master's in Counseling - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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Graduate Studies
December 27, 2021

7 Intriguing TV Shows to Stream as You Pursue Your Master's in Counseling

Television can be entertaining and relaxing, but these days, the best shows are also educational. This is true not only of documentaries, but also for the comedies and suspense-heavy dramas we love to binge-watch.

Aspiring counselors, in particular, can benefit from watching shows that delve into psychology. Better yet, programs that portray mental health counselors as they work with a variety of clients. There are plenty of options available for anyone wondering: What TV shows have therapists?

We've highlighted several favorites below, along with reasons why they're good viewing material for anyone seeking a Master of Arts in Counseling. Many of these are conveniently available for streaming on Netflix, Hulu, and other platforms—so get ready for the ultimate binge-watching session.

  1. Big Little Lies

Based on the popular novel by Liane Moriarty, this HBO hit centers around a group of women who witness a shocking incident in their home town of Monterey. The relationships between these women, their significant others, and their children can be complicated, but that's exactly what makes the show so fascinating.

Especially noteworthy? The role abuse plays in the marriage and family life of Nicole Kidman's character, who, despite appearing to have a picture-perfect life, actually deals with considerable personal struggles. Counseling students may take interest in this character's therapy sessions.

Many professionals have praised the therapist-client relationship portrayed in the show's first season for its believability as it highlights many common counseling techniques and their effect on an abuse victim in crisis. The second season has seen some criticism for its portrayal of play therapy, but it may be worth viewing as a guide for what not to do.

  1. The Therapist

If this Viceland show's name is any indication, it's a must-watch program for anyone with a future in therapy or counseling. It centers around Dr. Siri Sat Nam Singh—a licensed therapist who works closely with a variety of musicians and other creative types. The goal: to determine what, exactly, drives these stars and how they are able to overcome difficult circumstances.

Familiar names and faces abound, including Waka Flocka Flame, Katy Perry, and Corey Taylor. Their conversations are often uncomfortable, but each episode provides a powerful glimpse at the inner struggles that drive today's most compelling lyrics.

Dr. Singh is just as worthy of interest, in part because of his earnest approach to interacting with a diverse clientele. He knows how to get musicians talking but also manages to bring comfort to those who clearly need it.

  1. Freud

Whether devoted to—or skeptical of—his work, many counselors have demonstrated a clear fascination with the famed neurologist Sigmund Freud, who is best known for developing the clinical process known as psychoanalysis. The Netflix show named after this influential figure re-imagines his younger years, placing him at the center of a criminal investigation during his early 30s.

The account of Freud in this show may be purely fictional, but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable for counseling students. Anyone keen for a break from the challenges of academia will be especially appreciative of this mesmerizing show, which is the epitome of binge-worthy.

  1. It’s Okay Not to Be Okay

This romantic South Korean drama delves into multiple mental health and neurodevelopment concerns, such as autism and antisocial personality disorder. Trauma is the driving force behind many characters and plot points, making this an essential watch for students learning about the most empathetic and effective way of dealing with these concerns.

The show demonstrates how those grappling with difficult emotions can find comfort in the genuine connections they form with one another.

As a Netflix series, this show's interest among counseling students may stem, in part, from the psychiatric ward that employs one of the main characters. The OK Psychiatric Hospital forms the backdrop to many of the program's most meaningful relationships. Several noteworthy characters are either staff members or patients there—and as in the real world, all have complicated stories and nuanced personalities that go beyond their individual diagnoses.

  1. Legion

At first glance, a show based on a Marvel character might not seem like a go-to for a future counselor seeking TV-based insight. In reality, however, David Haller's efforts to control his mutant powers should provide a glimpse at the struggles many clients face. Like Haller, many find that their chief mental health obstacles are sometimes also their greatest sources of strength.

From the counseling student's perspective, Legion is valuable in that it highlights the problem of the unreliable narrator. When watching Legion, it quickly becomes evident that the protagonist's view of reality is distorted. Similarly, many patients may struggle with memory gaps or perception issues that make it difficult to truly connect with their counselors.

Just as importantly, the show is genuinely fun to watch—especially for hardcore Marvel fans. It can be streamed on Hulu or purchased via Amazon Prime Video.

  1. This is Us

Arguably the most emotionally compelling show currently on network television, This Is Us follows twins (who survived a triplet pregnancy involving a miscarriage) and their adopted sibling. Its reliance on flashbacks mimics a common therapy technique. Check it out on Peacock or Hulu.

While the show's complex relationships provide many fictional case studies that counseling students will find intriguing, the brief appearance of a main character's therapist may be even more noteworthy from the future counselor's perspective.

While the therapy scenes initially focus primarily on the patient (the aforementioned adopted character Randall), when he begins to build trust and commit to the process, the audience sees more of Dr. Leigh. She encourages Randall to move beyond his comfort zone and accept that he cannot control all circumstances in his life. She has been described as "unflappable"—a quality to which many counselors aspire.

  1. Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist

An early favorite on Comedy Central, Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist gives comedians a chance to vent their frustrations, fears, and insecurities. While Dr. Katz himself is a lousy listener and a mediocre therapist, the humor found in this unique-looking show is top-notch. Comedians such as Jim Gaffigan, Dave Chappelle, and Todd Barry spill their guts to Dr. Jonathan Katz, who is more interested in his own problems than those of his patients.

While the show essentially serves as a jumping-off point for comedians to do their best jokes and routines, the out-of-office antics of Dr. Katz and his ne'er do well son Ben make it even more memorable. The patients may not get any closure on their various issues, but Ben and his father always seem to bond over the absurdities of life. While Dr. Katz is a case study in what not to do as a therapist, his parenting skills can never be called into question.

Sadly, this show is not currently available to stream online. If you're able to get your hands on the DVDs, however, it's definitely a worthwhile purchase.

From learning opportunities to pure entertainment, a variety of shows promise to amplify the Master of Arts in Counseling experience. After a successful study session, reward yourself with a meaningful viewing experience that allows you to apply all you've learned in class to your binge-watching session.

For more information on how Geneva College can help you pursue your career goals, contact us at 855-979-5563 or web@geneva.edu.

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