According to movie therapist, Bernie Wooder, film viewing can be a constructive therapeutic method. Wooder states, “Because films are seen from a third person’s perspective, clients can overcome feelings of denial when working with deep-seated problems.” Certainly increasing numbers of therapists have begun to consider the potential of assigning films to clients in order to tap emotional experiences.
As I have suggested in previous columns, it seems to me (the sociologist in the room full of psychotherapists) that while the technique may well produce positive results, there are considerations to be made before turning a client loose on a film. (Wooder cites no peer-reviewed work on his website thus I am unclear as to how his methods are received in the psych community) Again, as the pesky sociologist, it seems important to make sure films are not accepted at face value. For instance, does a movie promote individualism (“anyone can do it if they try hard enough!”) at the expense of structural considerations (e.g., economic or racial privilege)? Most of us, after viewing Shirley Valentine, can’t exactly escape to Greece, no matter the tug. If told to watch Rocky for lessons on self-esteem, do we consider representations of hyper-masculinity?
… read the complete story ~ http://issuu.com/onlinetherapyinstitute/docs/tiltimagiss6?mode=window&pageNumber=34
This article first appeared in the January 2012 issue of TILT Magazine ~ Therapeutic Innovations in Light of Technology.
Jean-Anne Sutherland is assistant professor of sociology at University of North Carolina, Wilmington, USA, with one of her research focuses being the study of sociology through film.