Top 10 Fictional Television Therapists, Ranked from Worst to Best


May is Mental Health Awareness Month and therapists have become part of the mainstream media thanks to some stellar depictions on popular television shows.

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Through these characters, viewers saw a direct reference to their struggles in real life.

Here is our ranking of the best fictional television therapists who continued mental health conversations.

10. Dr. Frasier Crane of “Frasier”

During his 11 years, Frasier focused primarily on the eccentric personal life of Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer). However, the psychotherapist used many of his skills on his brother, Niles (David Hyde Pierce), and his father, Martin (John Mahoney). Additionally, Frasier has provided advice to many callers on the fictional radio station, Seattle’s KACL, making him the OG celebrity therapist (get it, Dr. Phil).

The article continues under advertising9. Doctor Rhonda from “Insicuro”

I REALLY REALLY wish the therapy was cheaper because small .. I will be the Molly for your doctor Rhonda Pine

– 🪷777🪷 (@peachypussqueen) July 6, 2020

In the second season of Insecure, Molly (Yvonne Orji) decides to make her first therapeutic appointment with Dr. Rhonda Pine (Denise Dowse) after a bad breakup. Though their sessions were short, Dr. Rhonda often provided Molly with multiple gems about her love life and her relationship with her best friend, Issa Dee (Issa Rae). However, Insecure fans have seen her lawyer choose not to follow her therapist’s advice, and in season four, some viewers joked about her begging her to go back to Dr. Rhonda.

The article continues under advertising8. Doctor Justina Jordan from “You are the worst”

Season 2 of You’re the Worst showed Gretchen Cutler (Aya Cash) participating in therapy for her clinical depression with therapist Dr. Justina Jordan (Samira Wyley). Several psychology outlets praised the actresses for their genuine portrayal of treating clinical depression in therapy during the show.

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“Unlike how comedies usually handle therapy, here the therapist keeps boundaries, genuinely helps, and still shows that she is a human being,” she wrote the show’s Psychotherapy Notes in 2017. “It’s mainly Gretchen’s anxieties about therapy that are played for laughter, rather than therapy itself “.

The article continues under advertising7. Doctor Bales from “Girlfriends”

Fred Willard as Joan’s therapist, Dr. Bales in “Girlfriends” (2001)

– post-hipster ballot altbaguette //// 🪩 (@rinnyriot) May 16, 2020

The friends addressed multiple issues about black women and their relationships. In season five, the UPN / CW series discussed mental health through her main character, Joan Clayton (Tracee Ellis Ross). After arguing with her best friend, Toni (Jill Marie Jones), Joan decided to see a therapist when her hair started falling out.

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During her sessions with Dr. Bales (Fred Willard), Joan found that she couldn’t stand up to Toni or her other friends and had a hard time setting boundaries with them. Although Dr. Bales convinced Joan to say “no” to her friends of hers, she eventually stopped seeing him in Season 3. However, creator Mara Brock Akil told The Breakfast Club in 2020 that the storyline was essential for black women to see.

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“The therapy was [a] conversation around, ‘We need other alternatives,’ ”Mara said of therapy in the black community. “And I wanted to put it out there so we could think about it and consider it. And of course it’s great for storytelling, but it was actually another gift for culture ”.

The article continues under advertising6. Doctor Akopian from “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”

In The CW’s short-lived dramatic musical Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom) realizes her life has spiraled out of control. After deciding to move across the country to reunite with her ex, she walks into Dr. Noelle Akopian’s (Michael Hyatt) office for what she believes is a quick replenishment of her psychoactive drugs.

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But soon, Dr. Akopian convinces Rebecca to open up and diagnoses her with borderline personality disorder, a mental health disorder that affects the way you see yourself and others. Although fans never saw their progress due to the show’s cancellation, Dr. Akopian helped Rebecca add a psychiatrist named Dr. Daniel Shin (Jay Hayden) to her mental health team.

The article continues under advertising5. Doctor Kroger from “Monk”

Adrian Monk’s (Tony Shalhoub) therapist, Dr. Charles Kroger (Stanley Kamel), helped him overcome the grief of his wife, Trudy, and his obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). After having a nervous breakdown in Season 1 from Trudy’s murder, Monk confides in his therapist about trying to move forward through heartbreak. While Monk has received criticism over the years for his portrayal of OCD, the protagonist’s sessions with Dr. Kroger remain some of the show’s most memorable moments.

The article continues under advertisement4. Dr. Maggie Bloom from “A Million Little Things”

Dr. Maggie Bloom (Allison Miller) often offers free therapy to her inner circle in A Million Little Things. Throughout the ABC hit, Maggie offers her friends encouraging advice as she navigates her personal life. Shortly after the drama premiered, Allison shared how she hoped the show would inspire viewers to seek treatment for their real-life mental health problems.

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“These are issues that are really relevant right now and need to be discussed more,” she said in an interview with Glamor. “Depression affects people differently and dealing with loss and grief is something we don’t touch enough. “

The article continues under advertising3. Dr. Violet Turner of “Private Practice”

Dr. Violet Turner (Amy Brenneman) in Private Practice distinguished herself from other Oceanside Wellness Group doctors for her loyalty to her patients. Violet has often pushed the boundaries of a psychiatrist-patient relationship to help them. In the third season of the Grey’s Anatomy spinoff, she proved her loyalty to her patients by helping her former patient, Katie (Amanda Foreman), get out of prison. For context, Katie cut Violet’s baby out of her body in Season 2 before running off with the baby.

Article continues under advertisement 2. Dr. Wyatt from ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

In the fourth season of Grey’s Anatomy, Dr. Meredith Gray (Ellen Pompeo) decides to attend therapy after breaking up with the love of her life, Dr. Derek Shepherd. When she first met Dr. Katherine Wyatt (Amy Madigan), she Meredith did not open up to the doctor during the initial sessions. Eventually, though, Dr. Wyatt showed Meredith how her behavior turned Derek away from her and led her to open up about the suicide attempt of her mother, Ellis Gray (Kate Burton). In their final session, the surgeon general finds the courage to profess her love for Derek in the iconic candle house scene.

The article continues under advertisement1. Dr. Jennifer Melfi from “The Sopranos”

HBO’s The Sopranos was undoubtedly ahead of its time when it came to discussing therapy. In the first episode, fans met Tony Soprano’s therapist (James Gandolfini) after the mobster had a panic attack. After the initial session, Dr. Melfi kept Tony as a client for years and analyzed him without judgment or comparison.

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Although The Sopranos continue to receive praise for her portrayal of mental health, Lorraine Bracco, who played Dr. Melfi, was not happy with the last moments with her and Tony. In the penultimate episode, the therapist left him as a client out of concern that he was a sociopath. Lorraine said her latest episode was “rushed” and didn’t close their six-year journey properly.

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“I wish it were more meaningful,” Lorraine said in a November 2021 episode of the Talking Sopranos podcast.

The actress then added: “I mean, I think she cared about Tony. Even though she was a fucker, and maybe she would never really straighten up… I think she really cared about him. “


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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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