Are There More Movie Theaters Being Built In The U.S Life at the Movies – The Art of Cinema Therapy

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Life at the Movies – The Art of Cinema Therapy

More and more counselors are turning American movies about yesteryear into an effective therapeutic tool. I personally incorporated the use of physical therapy with clients informally over five years ago. In the last two years, however, I have begun to use it more consistently as an adjunct to treatment planning. The films deal with a range of life issues that are suitable for all ages, cultures and backgrounds. In the ongoing debate, is life imitating movies or movies imitating real life? One thing is clear: the films deal with many of our common problems. Some very practical answers and life choices are given in the 90 to 180 minute reel. Because of this, films often give clients insight into their lives.

After seeing Field of Dreams in 1989, if you build it, they will come became my tagline of the year. Those words of inspiration and hope encouraged me to step out in faith and achieve many goals. I’m sure I’ve seen the movie over 20 times and every time is like the first time. I was overwhelmed with emotions. The list of things I needed to do filled my mind. Sitting in that dark theater, tears streamed down my face as I identified the many things I wanted to do but was afraid to risk. I slipped past my friend, stepped into the aisle, rushed to the back of the theater and cried like a baby. Every now and then I rent a video to remind me to follow my heart, to hear my inner voice, and to move forward. The film had an incredible healing effect. As clients connect with different characters, they are able to identify similarities and differences with their own stories. This is often a great bridge from reels to the real thing.

People watch movies: Cinema is a global phenomenon, seen by millions of people around the world. It has a strong influence, consciously or unconsciously, on people’s behavior. A 1993 Variety magazine survey found that worldwide box office receipts totaled $8 billion, and that home video rental was also a lucrative business. Of the 100 highest-grossing films, 88 were American productions. We go to the movies for different reasons: some for magic, others for meaning. Movies can provide entertainment or a temporary escape from our reality. They can be relaxing or exciting, and for many they have become a way of coping. As therapists and counselors, we can take advantage of these readily available and readily available old_resources.

What is cinema therapy?

Cinema therapy is the use of films (current releases or videos) by counselors as a therapeutic tool in the treatment process of clients. It is not a discipline that requires specialized training, such as art or music therapy. This, however, should be done by a mental health practitioner skilled in processing clients’ cognitive, affective, and behavioral responses. Depending on the client, the concept can be introduced formally or informally at two different points during treatment. The first opportunity comes during the initial assessment when collecting historical data. Most new clients usually indicate changes in behavior (especially in leisure activities). At this point I ask, what do you do for fun? Or do you like movies? This is also a way of establishing a relationship with the client. I briefly share my interest in movies, their positive therapeutic value, and that other clients have benefited from the experience. Another opportunity to introduce film therapy is when the client discusses information that reminds the counselor of a particular movie or video. I share some of the similarities in the story, views/opinions and suggest that the client look into it. Then we plan to discuss his or her reaction at the next session.

Life is longer than the movies: Although the worlds of life and fiction have similarities, they are also very different. Films often cover a continuum of development from childhood to adulthood. Realizing that movies can cover a lifetime in approximately two hours, customers should be warned that the solution may take longer to implement than to watch. The real world doesn’t always come neatly packaged. We do not know what will finally happen in our lives. However, we can become interested in fictional characters, find out what happens to them, and gain insight for our own problem-solving. Clients are usually able to point out how someone else should have acted in a situation. They will then go on to explain what they would do differently. The films serve as catalysts that encourage discussion that leads to transparency and disclosure.

Reel to Real: When clients watch movies, they make comparisons with their real-world knowledge of human behavior and what seems likely, likely, or consistent for a person to respond in a given situation. If the client decides that the emotions of the actors in the film are appropriate and convincing, given the narrative circumstances, he or she may be able to share the emotions of the characters through empathy. Clients also engage in a complex set of judgments about the moral and ethical acceptability of on-screen characters’ behavior and sequence of events. As a result of uncovering them, you will be able to determine strengths and weaknesses in the way the individual processes information, as well as his or her ability to abstract, reason, and gather insights. When a client is watching a movie for use in cinema therapy, there are several categories that can be used as catalysts to get the person thinking about their problems. Five are mentioned here: Listen to one-liners (eg There’s No Place Like Home The Wizard of Oz; You Can’t Handle the Truth A Few Good Men; Make My Day Dirty Harry; May the Force Be With You Star Wars) . Look for themes (eg facing your fears, revenge, starting over in life, extending forgiveness). Observe relationship dynamics (eg obsessive-compulsive, codependency, poor boundaries). Identify significant issues (abuse, anxiety, marriage, chronic illness). Give every movie a Bible test by asking if the movie shows a violation or application of Scripture?

Assigning movies as homework: If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine the value of a movie. When movies are assigned as homework, the counselor should have a clear goal. Ask yourself, what do I hope to achieve with my client through this film? Cinema therapy is not just watching movies, but watching with a purpose. The films selected should address issues (Figure 1) that the clients face or be based on their areas of interest (eg action, drama, romance, comedy, western, science fiction, fairy tale, etc.). Advisers should be warned that the film’s rating system (G General Audience, PG Parental Guidance, PG-13 Suitable for Teens, R Restricted/no one under 18 admitted without money or guardian) does not always accurately reflect the content of the film. Be sure to watch the film first and inform your client of material that may be objectionable or offensive (eg profanity, nudity, explicit violence). One should use common sense. Again, ask yourself, is the film clinically, spiritually, and age appropriate? Customers can watch the first movie at a local cinema or rent a home video. Both places have advantages.

In the theater they have wide screen viewing and no interruptions (interruptions). The benefits of home video include the ability to pause and replay certain scenes, as well as viewing in the privacy and comfort of your home. Whichever venue your customers choose, ask them to fill out a movie review sheet (Figure 2). Beyond the obvious, clients can be moved by various subtleties in the film. Be prepared to address concepts that the client may identify that you did not intend to address. Clients may also watch a movie and not want to talk about it. You don’t need to pressure something to happen. Documented information from the film review sheet can be used in a later session. If the client saw the movie, he or she was affected (positively or negatively). Carolina’s Reality Sets In my exercise therapy practice, I have found reality-based, rational-emotive, and behavioral approaches to be the most effective. This does not limit the use of other theoretical orientations preferred by some counselors. Below is a brief overview of a case using a reality-based therapeutic intervention combined with physiotherapy.

Caroline is a 38-year-old mother of three girls aged 5 to 10. She recently divorced a physically, verbally and spiritually abusive narcissistic, bipolar man. During one of our sessions, Caroline discussed how her spouse was both impulsive and obsessive. A few things she said reminded me of the movie, As Good As It Gets. Before I shared the similarities, I asked if she had seen the movie and her take on it. To my surprise, she hated the movie (I’ve seen it five or six times and recommended it to several other clients). It was a great moment. Caroline became angry when she shared how unrealistic the film looked. She was worried that Helen Hunt’s character would marry Jack Nicholson’s character because he was charming, but she could forget about his flaws. Then Helen would end up like Caroline, 10 years later, wondering how she missed the obvious signs of dysfunction. As a result of domestic violence, Caroline suffers from low self-esteem and severe depression. This was the first time she had expressed a strong opinion about anything. We discussed the questions from the movie review sheet right then in the session. This opened a door through which we could work more efficiently. Caroline was not angry at the movie, but at herself for her poor judgment and wrong choices. Feeling embarrassed and ashamed of her situation, she withdrew from others (even those who cared about her health).

The film helped Caroline admit that even though she was deeply hurt, she needed to connect with people in order to heal. At the same time, she had to establish new patterns of relationships. She was also challenged to answer the question, what if this is as good as it gets? Caroline began to assess her current reality and ask additional questions, such as Who am I? What have I learned from my past experiences that can help me in the present? What do I want from life? What do I want from relationships? Will my current behavior help me achieve my desired goals? What am I willing to change? During treatment, Caroline began to accept personal responsibility for her life and make a plan. She learns to venture and trust her new knowledge. Find a therapist to get solutions to your problems.

While kinotherapy can be used with a wide range of clients, it is not recommended for people with serious psychiatric disorders. Counselors should be aware that watching certain actions in a movie can cause clients to relive their pain. Be sensitive. Instead of assigning movies as homework, movie clips (5 to 10 minutes) can be watched in a session. Then the content can be processed immediately. Cinematic therapy is an underutilized intervention that I believe will grow in popularity as its application and effectiveness are better understood. Our lives can be seen as one long movie without pause. Consider the story from The Truman Show. Meeting a new client is like walking into the middle of a movie. Sometimes it takes a while to figure out what’s going on, even when the client is giving flashbacks. Using cinema therapy is a way for counselors to engage clients in non-threatening ways as they share the plots of their stories.

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