“Our family takes care of your family.”

Following Dr. Addison Montgomery (Kate Walsh) moving to Los Angeles, Private Practice has an identity wholly separate from the show it spun off from, Grey’s Anatomy. The show has its share of bed-hopping madness. Dr. Sam Bennett (Taye Diggs) and Dr. Naomi Bennett (Audra McDonald) are still confused in their friend-ex-marriage relationship. Dr. Cooper Freedman (Paul Adelstein) and Dr. Charlotte King (KaDee Strickland) are involved in their sex romp threatening to become a relationship. Besides dealing with the clinic teetering towards bankruptcy, the show focuses more on the human issues revolving around their cases as well as the interpersonal relationships of the staff.

“Patients come to see us because we take care of all of them. Body, mind, soul.” –Dr. Violet Turner (Amy Brenneman)

The private practice in question focuses on a more holistic approach to their patients. We all seek wellness and wholeness, though like many of the doctors in the practice, we use (on their face, good) things—chocolate, shopping, relationships—to fill a hole inside us. As we go about on our spiritual journeys, we often get locked into our modern mindset, the Greek ideal of perfection; tormented by the guilt of failure because we couldn’t reach this goal of perfection. What we often translate in the Bible as perfection actually should be read closer to the Hebrew idea of wholeness because being complete is something that we can attain.

“You ever miss the good old days when life and death was decided by God instead of doctors?” –Charlotte

Hearing the Good News that we are beautiful and made in the image of God. People of worth. That we’re not quite whole, our feelings, spirit, will, and mind not working in concert as they should, with sin disintegrating what’s normal and desired, unraveling our lives and goodness. We want magic, not spiritual discipline, a more holistic dimension. It becomes about seeking wholeness, humans to be restored in all the dimensions of humanity, being fully human.

As Henri Nouwen says, “in the spiritual life, the word discipline means ‘the effort to create some space in which God can act.’ Discipline means to prevent everything in your life from being filled up.” Part of what it means to follow the way of Jesus is to put on his characteristics, like a coat. It’s all a part of our journey.

“It would be good to not be in control. To let go and let God.” –Charlotte

The thing about journeys is that more times than not, the journey is the destination. It is through the struggles that we learn a lot about who we are. Yes, we may stumble, fall down, fail, but it’s what you do after that happens that’s the important thing. Do you quit your journey? Do you find an entirely different path to take? Or, do you get up, dust yourself off, then continue on your way? Wholeness can be found in continuing your battles, despite the occasional setbacks, as we speak wholeness, life, hope, faith and love into each other’s lives. And though some are “pathologically allergic to human relationships,” that’s what the dysfunctional family that forms the private practice do.

“Life is not assfat.” –Violet

The show’s ensemble cast remains intact and unchanged, the writer’s strike truncating Private Practice’s first season as we were getting to know the characters and how they related to one another. Each character, however, is fully realized despite the familiar territory the show treads in. The show is essentially comfort food, likeable characters doing nothing out of the ordinary. It’s pretty but forgettable.