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|First Appearance||"Surrender Benson"|
Dr. Peter Lindstrom is a private practice therapist known primarily as Sergeant Olivia Benson's therapist.
Lindstrom is first seen treating Detective Olivia Benson after her kidnapping by William Lewis. She recounts to him how she beat him while he was handcuffed and tells him how he pushed her buttons and taunted her. Lindstrom tries to reassure her that she was in a vulnerable state. (SVU: "Surrender Benson")
Lindstrom and Benson are later seen a few months after the attack and Benson explains that even with Lewis in prison, faced with several felony counts, she is still angry about everything that could have been done to stop Lewis. Benson tries to undersell her trauma but Lindstrom confronts her that she is a victim too. They then discuss her current job situation and Benson talks about how she doesn't want to be pitied. After returning to work, she continues to see Lindstrom and tells him that she is doing better. (SVU: "Imprisoned Lives")
Benson visits Lindstrom when she nearly attacks a man who for saying derogatory remarks to her. She tells him that guys do that all the time but her reaction this time was unusual. Lindstrom connects this event to Lewis holding her at gunpoint, but Benson is skeptical. Lindstrom then mentions her beating Lewis and her attacking this man in tandem. He then tells her that her reactions are not uncommon for victims of assault, using her previous job experience. He then tells her that she needs to control her emotions and remember this next time. Benson asks what to do if she can't, and Lindstrom just responds with the fact that healing is a process. (SVU: "American Tragedy")
He is next seen counseling Benson again. After they finish their session, Benson inquires about next week. Lindstrom reminds her that he will be out of town then and Benson makes a joke about having abandonment issues. He comforts her by giving her a necklace meant to replace one that is currently in evidence, and she thanks him. (SVU: "Internal Affairs")
Benson stops by at Lindstrom's office early for a session because of stress she is feeling concerning her latest case. When approached by him, Benson tells him how she feels the work she is doing isn't enough in that when one pedophile is caught, three more will take his place. Lindstrom asks if Benson she sees herself as a savior, and she implies someone has to. He responds that if it always has to be her. Lindstrom then comments that she has taken care of people her whole life and wonders if she ever wanted someone to take care of her. She doesn't respond with anything but a smile, implying he is right. (SVU: "Dissonant Voices")
When Benson is preparing to testify at William Lewis's trial, she meets with Lindstrom to prepare herself mentally. Lindstrom comforts her, saying that surviving what Lewis did is much harder than to face him in court and she can. Benson then asks what to say about her assaulting Lewis on the stand. He advises her not to tell the entire truth on the stand. Benson is skeptical but he reassures her that if she played a part in setting Lewis free, she would never forgive herself. Because of his advice, Lewis is eventually convicted on some of his crimes. (SVU: "Psycho/Therapist")
Benson still continues to see Lindstrom about the stresses of her recent promotion. He comments that being a boss is similar to being a mother. This opens up a dialogue in which Benson talks about the fact she thought she was pregnant until she got tested and confirmed she wasn't. She begins to only talk about how Brian Cassidy is relieved, but Lindstrom convinces her to tell him how she feels about it. Benson mentions how she imagined this other life for her if she was pregnant. (SVU: "Wednesday's Child")
Lindstrom is later arranged to perform a psych evaluation of a repeat sex abuse victim, Jenny Aschler, through Benson. He cautions Benson that this is only a consultation and she agrees to sit in for the psych evaluation. Jenny tells Lindstrom that she would never trust her husband Gary with her daughter, Maddy. She later goes into detail about how Gary's brother Bobby made her strip and have sex with his friends. When Lindstrom asks about her childhood, she shuts down and demands to get Maddy back. He suspects her abuse spans further back into her childhood and is eventually proven right when she is seen in sexually implicit photos and videos with a pedophile/rapist. Lindstrom later recommends a therapist for both Maddy and Jenny. Benson later meets with Lindstrom to discuss Jenny's reaction when Benson tells Jenny about the photos and videos. However, he reminds Benson that she is her patient and they begin discussing her relationship with Brian and how they aren't compatible anymore. During the session, Jenny buzzes Lindstrom's office. When he opens the door, she angrily implies Benson was discussing about her behind her back. She then starts hitting on Lindstrom and takes off her clothes to seduce him. Lindstrom and Benson manage to calm her down as she starts crying. (SVU: "Downloaded Child")
When William Lewis commits suicide and frames Benson of murdering him, Lindstrom consoles Benson and tells her that Lewis is dead and what he put her through is no longer in effect. He tells Benson that she has closure on the matter and she should move on with her life. When a grand jury is impaneled to file charges on Benson, she voices her contempt at the fact that everyone else gets to testify and she can't because either way, Lewis ruined her life. Lindstrom comforts her with the fact that she saved Amelia (one of Lewis' would-be victims) just like she saved Luisa (another would-be victim). Lindstrom then implies that all those girls she saved were really surrogates of her as a child and she is saving herself. He tells her that it is time to let Lewis go. (SVU: "Post-Mortem Blues")
During the course of the rape case involving Deputy Chief Charles Patton, Benson arranges for Detective Amanda Rollins to see Lindstrom to deal with her own rape. Rollins arrives at his office for the appointment but leaves suddenly without warning. (SVU: "Forgiving Rollins")
Benson eventually gets her life together and eventually adopts a little boy named Noah Porter. She sees Lindstrom about her experiences on raising Noah. She then tells him she is worried about Noah's medical history, but Lindstrom reassures her that she will be fine. (SVU: "Intimidation Game")
Lindstrom runs into Sergeant Benson outside the courthouse as he prepares to testify in defense of Darius McCrae when he is tried for murder. He warns her about her testimony but is pleasantly surprised when Benson actually supports Darius, despite his actions. Lindstrom testifies that Darius’ immature impulse control and fear of being thought of as gay pushed him toward these actions, not hate. Under cross examination, O’Dwyer pushes back hard and despite Lindstrom defending his stance O'Dwyer manages to put a major dent in his theory. (SVU: "Transgender Bridge")
- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit:
- Season 15: "Surrender Benson" • "Imprisoned Lives" • "American Tragedy" • "Internal Affairs" • "Dissonant Voices" • "Psycho/Therapist" • "Wednesday's Child" • "Downloaded Child" • "Post-Mortem Blues"
- Season 16: "Intimidation Game"
- Season 17: "Transgender Bridge" • "A Misunderstanding" • "Heartfelt Passages"