Sabaat is mishandling the ‘therapist-patient’ relationship and it is wrong on so many levels.
The drama serial Sabaat is currently being aired on HUM TV and casts the most famous actors from the Pakistani drama industry. Featuring Sarah Khan, Marwa Hocane, Usman Mukhtar, and Ameer Gilani in the lead roles, the drama became a hit ever since its first episode – for many reasons.
However, as the drama is progressing, one thing that can be clearly seen is how it is ‘shadowing’ the importance of ‘mental health’ by showing turning it into a ‘love story’ between a therapist and patient.
Miraal (played by Sarah Khan) seeks help for her mental health problems from Dr. Harris (played by Usman Mukhtar). Miraal asks the therapist to meet her ‘over coffee’ or anywhere outside his clinic. Moreover, it can be seen that both are developing feelings for each other.
Rumors have it that , Dr. Harris will not proceed with the development of a relationship with Miraal but even if he does not, showing such an image is highly inappropriate and might make the empathy of a therapist be mistaken for something ‘much more than that’.
Why it’s a problem
Pakistan is a country where people have little to no awareness regarding mental health. Moreover, going to a therapist is considered a taboo. Depicting such an inappropriate relationship between the two can actually be ‘damaging’ and people might feel hesitant from seeking help.
The portrayal of this romantic setting is highly inappropriate, uncomfortable, and irresponsible. The therapist works on making you ‘free from codependency’ however, depicting an emotional bond simply means otherwise.
The Pakistani drama industry has a viewer base not only in the country but outside as well. Content creators have a huge responsibility on them. Currently, television and the internet are the biggest sources to raise awareness. If issues as sensitive as these are mismanaged and mishandled in this way, the consequences can be serious and can make people more reluctant to seek help.
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