Therapy’s great — and stars like Sarah Silverman and Lena Dunham attest to that in a new web series from Girls alum Alex Karpovsky and designer Teddy Blanks, who work together under the name Spielbergs.
Each episode of the series, titled Shrink, is centered on a two-minute video interview with an artist talking about their experience in therapy. Electronic duo Tanlines created an original score for Shrink, which also features episodes with writers Susan Orlean and Gary Shteyngart along with director Kimberly Peirce, best known for Boys Don’t Cry, and Orange Is the New Black‘s Natasha Lyonne. It premiered online Monday, Sept. 25, on National Psychotherapy Day.
For Silverman, she says she owes “so much of the best of me” to her therapist. In her clip, she talks about her therapist helping her identify the cause for self-deprecation and how to stop it from becoming harmful. “I remember my therapist just saying, ‘Look in the mirror less,'” Silverman recalls. “It got me starting to stop talking s—t about myself, lovingly correct myself when I do. Like, ‘Oh, look at my thighs are disgusting!’ And then I go, ‘My thighs are strong and they work and I love them.'”
As for Dunham, she initially went to therapy as a child to deal with obsessive-compulsive disorder. She says that after defining herself by her disorder for most of her life, she started to let other things define her in a process that really began in college. “That was the thing that started me in a direction where my obsessive-compulsive disorder no longer defined my life,” she remembers, “which it doesn’t anymore.”
Although Lyonne admits she’s “never been a big fan” of therapy, she notes, “Probably the most helpful tool of all my years of therapy and self-help, in general, would be this idea that I’m not broken.” Meanwhile, Peirce calls the experience “a huge influence in my life.” “I’ve done all kinds of therapies that have been helpful in different ways,” she reveals before going on to explain psychodrama, a type of psychotherapy involving acting.
According to Karpovsky, the idea for Shrink came after he asked a friend to briefly describe his experience in therapy. “After thinking about it for a second, he was able to tell a really tight, moving, funny self-deprecating, insightful, and vulnerable narrative about his epiphany,” Karpovsky told BuzzFeed. “That experience, even though it was so fleeting, stayed with me for a few days and I told Teddy about it. He was like, ‘Maybe there’s something there.'”
See all six episodes over at the Shrink website.