“The Big Bang Theory”: Therapy Friend-to-Friend, Psychiatrist Mom

The highly-rated and popular sitcom The Big Bang Theory starts its new season soon. If you haven’t seen it, two of the main characters are roommates—Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon (Jim Parsons)—who are both brainy physicists.


I. Friend-to-Friend “Therapy”

Can friends give friends therapy?

An episode entitled “The Pants Alternative” that originally aired a few seasons ago features Sheldon dealing with anticipatory stage fright while preparing to accept an important award. While each of his best friends tries to help him in different ways, Leonard’s contribution is to be his “therapist.”

From Wikia, a summary:

He…tries to interpret Sheldon’s dreams, discusses the standard inkblot test and the Adler Inferiority Complex. Leonard thinks Sheldon might subconsciously think he doesn’t deserve the award…

…The session dissolves into Sheldon discussing how Leonard is still angry at his mother reducing Leonard to tears. Sheldon feels cured because if someone like Leonard can crawl out of bed every morning, he ought to be able to face a room full of people.

II. The Psychiatrist Mom on The Big Bang Theory

Last season’s first episode, “The Skank Reflex Analysis,” involves a return visit of Leonard’s mom, Dr. Beverly Hofstadter (Christine Baranski), a psychiatrist and neuroscientist and author who has the same cold humorlessness and overly analytic traits of Sheldon. “Beverly would appear throughout the series to undermine her son while striking up a close bond with his roommate Sheldon (Jim Parsons),” states Express.

In response to Leonard being in emotional pain regarding his love life, Sheldon surprises him with the advising presence of Mom Hofstadter via Skype—which hardly seems what Leonard actually needs:

“Buck up, sissy-pants,” is not exactly the best piece of advice either a mom or a shrink can offer, is it now?

Eventually Dr. Hofstadter leaves the series.

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