- Michael: "Do you believe in evil?"
- Dr. Friedlander: "No. No I don't. I'm a man of science. Evil is a construct made by people who wish to indulge childish fantasies, or... by people who wish to judge others."
- ― Dr. Friedlander to Michael
On his official website, Dr. Friedlander is said to be a psychotherapist, media personality, secular Buddhist, and keen model boat enthusiast. In a conversation with Michael, Friedlander reveals that his nickname in school was "pube head," due to his curly hair. Friedlander received a bachelor's degree in marketing from the University of San Andreas, Los Santos in 1984 and a doctorate degree in psychology in 1986 from an unknown defunct learning institution. He has also travelled frequently in Asia.
Dr. Friedlander has been widely praised for exposing the culture of narcissism in the ganglands of 1980s San Andreas and also criticized for its "overuse of hyphens". He is a leading authority in the field of sociopathic personality disorder and has treated both celebrities and criminals. Friedlander has become one of the most respected and in-demand therapists in Los Santos as of 2013.
Events of GTA V
Dr. Friedlander is portrayed as an over-the-top version of a Hollywood psychotherapist. He charges exorbitant rates for sessions (as seen in an email where he raises his rates by a "reasonable" 75%) and does not appear to care much about his patients and their problems. During Michael's therapy sessions, he is seen looking at his watch waiting for the session time to expire. He appears unconcerned about Michael's behavior as the latter confesses that he is able to kill without remorse.
Later in the game (in an optional visit), he tells Michael that he has been offered his own TV show and will be leaving Los Santos. He then informs Michael that he needs to find a new therapist and implies that he is going to use Michael's case on his show. Angered by this, Michael chases after Friedlander. Michael then has the choice to kill him or let him go.
If killed, more than $2,000 can be looted from his corpse and an Internet article confirms his death. The Internet article, posted in the news reel from Los Santos Meteor, reveals that Friedlander published details of Michael's sessions in a best-selling book, (using the pseudonym "Marky De Santos") describing him as an "idiotic, if terrifying and amusingly deluded sociopath".
If spared, the news about his death will still appear. However, after some time, Friedlander will send an e-mail to Michael, confirming that he is alive. In the e-mail, Friedlander explains how sorry he is about what he did to Michael, but now he can help more people with his new radio program and TV show. He also says that he values the time spent with Michael and that they should both forget what happened between them and move forward. Michael has the option of replying to the e-mail; if he does so, he will threaten to kill Friedlander should they ever meet again.
- GTA V
- Franklin and Lamar
- Marriage Counseling (Post mission phone call)
- Chaos (Boss)
- Evil (Boss)
- Did Somebody Say Yoga? (Voice)
- Minor Turbulence (Post mission text message)
- Negativity (Voice/Boss)
- Derailed (Post mission text message)
- Fucked Up (Voice/Boss)
- Reuniting the Family
- Abandonment Issues (Boss/Can be killed)
- An after credits scene shows his Psychiatric Evaluation which notes the player's behavior. This includes, but is not limited to, the way the player makes friends, laziness, addiction to chaos, whether he thinks Michael justifies his actions, how often he partakes in hobbies like Yoga, and how he handles women.
- If the player accesses the Affordable Healthcare section of the Grand Theft Auto V website and opens the photo of him and his name in green in a new tab, they can see that Rockstar Games have labelled him "World Champ" in the URL.
- Michael will sometimes reference Dr. Friedlander when attacking pedestrians saying 'Come on kill me, I need something to talk to my shrink about', even after the events of the mission Abandonment Issues. This is most likely an oversight.
- Dr. Friedlander is likely based upon Dr. Sidney Freedman from M*A*S*H. The two are similar in name, appearance, and mannerisms (though Friedlander appears to care far less about his patients). This is one of two known M*A*S*H references in Grand Theft Auto V; the other being a quote by Jack Howitzer.
- If Michael goes near Ron, he will sometimes remind Michael to call his therapist.