Golden Globe winner and Emmy-nominated for his role as a therapist in "In Treatment," Gabriel Byrne recently opened up about how preparing for his role in the hit HBO series changed his opinion about therapy.
The New York-based actor says his initial skepticism slowly faded as he learned more about therapy in preparation for taking on the role of Dr. Paul Weson.
"When I started, I was a bit resistant of the whole notion of therapy. You know how, in Europe, there's this idea that therapy is some kind of 'New Agey' American thing, even though it originated in Europe with Freud and Jung in the 19th century," he says.
"But now, when I look over the narrative of my life, I begin to understand how deeply affected I was by my culture, my religion, my upbringing and by my immigration into this country."
Byrne moved to the U.S. in his late-30s and enjoyed huge success on the big screen before taking the lead role of Paul in "In Treatment."
Byrne's oustanding work on the show led to his first Golden Goble win this year, and he was recently nominated for an Emmy for Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series.
"To truly listen and be listened to is a form of prayer. What is it that makes one thing compelling to listen to and another thing boring? Therapists I've talked to have told me how listening to someone in real time really tests the therapist and I am aware that listening in a dramatic situation is a really different thing," continued Byrne.
"But, of course, doing this kind of work as an actor, recording this show over five months does make you think about yourself. Not that I needed to do any more introspective!"