Adapted from the novel, the screenplay MINDING THERAPY is still available for an enterprising filmmaker!
When a burnt-out lesbian therapist with girlfriend problems finally abandons her fruitless attempts at self-help and gets her own head shrunk, she unexpectedly traces the root of her commitment issues to shocking truths her closemouthed mom has hidden from her all her life.
It’s spring, and Daryl Stone, a psychotherapist at a mental health clinic in Providence, is MINDING THERAPY big-time: she feels burnt out in a job where it’s disheartening to see too many clients in too few sessions, and, rather than seek her own much-needed headshrinking, she clings to talk shows and food for answers and solace.
Moreover, on one fateful day, Daryl faces two new life-changing events. Her mom, Nina, requests she come home to Louisville for the funeral of Daryl’s father—though Daryl never knew him—and Daryl meets and falls for a very appealing woman, Angie. But Daryl’s already solidly entrenched in a dead-end and dysfunctional relationship with a woman who claims she’s straight and lives with her boyfriend.
While home at Nina’s, Daryl gets a shocking earful of some of the harsher truths her closemouthed mom has hidden from her all her life. Already shaky and now well on her way to a total meltdown, Daryl returns to Providence and finally puts herself in therapy, hoping for the kind of quick fix her boss expects her to give her own clients. To a certain extent it works, in that she ditches the old girlfriend and starts a promising romance with Angie and even seriously considers developing her own private therapy practice.
Unfortunately, however, she effectively skirts the deeper issues, such as the specter of Nina’s lies and a growing fear of Angie’s dependence on her.
Although avoidant of Nina, Daryl, now freshly reconnected to her past, keeps in touch with her uncle, Jack (the brother of her father), whom Daryl has long presumed to be Nina’s boyfriend. In an attempt at resolution and closeness, Nina proposes that she and Jack come to Providence for a week in August, a visit that will sorely test Nina’s homophobia and will lead to a momentous revelation of yet another secret she’s unfairly kept from Daryl.
It’s a good thing that Daryl has hung on in therapy this long as she prepares for a confrontation that will not only bring her past into clearer focus but also unexpectedly pave the way for a brighter future with Angie.
Having put my submissions on hold for over a decade, I resumed in late 2022, realizing there is now a greater interest in LGBTQIA+ content.
***Best Feature Screenplay WINNER, Mojo International Film Awards, September 2023.
Official Selection, New York Screenwriting Awards, Winter 2023.
Quarterfinalist, Richmond International Film Festival Screenplay Competition, 2023
**GOLD winner, LGBTQ-Unbordered International Film Festival, Fall 2022.
Quarterfinalist, Cynosure, “Female” category, September 2010.
Quarterfinalist, Cynosure, “Minority” category, September 2009.
Semifinalist, Women in Film and Video/New England, April 2009.
**Winner, Hollywood Script (www.hollywoodscript.com), January 2009. They called it…
“…a spunky but deep ‘little story’ that keeps you fully engaged from start to finish. It’s brave, absorbing and ever so honest. In some circles the lesbian aspect of things may make it seem narrow and niche. But it’s anything but…it’s simply a very rich human experience resonating all the realities and verities of existence in a diversified fashion, touching on such things as loneliness, obsession, addiction, passion, career issues, unfinished family business and of course love and sexuality. The protagonist is very relatable, deeply sympathetic, sharp-witted, funny, tragic and as normal as apple pie. Situations and difficulties never stop their entertaining progression, all within a very compelling story. Hip and relevant, with a Bridget Jones’s Diary kind of flavor (because Daryl is funny and is on a similar kind of quest.) Would make a terrific film.”
**Top 10 finalist, Indie Producer, December 2008.