Have you ever felt relaxed after watching a movie and left the theater with a new take on life and people? Movies can have a therapeutic purpose where therapists show movies to their patients. This method was first used in 1990 when reading books for therapy was considered a success so therapists felt that movies could have the same effect where films are shown based on the patient’s area of concern. Now, 67% of therapists use this method as a supplement to further their work with their patient. The patient watches one film weekly and answers twelve questions about what they learned from it. The combination of images, music, and lighting can evoke emotions in viewers as well as discovering something about themselves through the characters on screen.
Movies can make us feel all kinds of emotions whether it is anger, happiness, sadness, anxiety and many others. Metaphor, symbolism, and imagery can help explore your thoughts and feelings as well as areas that need to be worked on. After watching the film, you would be able to discuss with your therapist your reactions towards the movie and what you learned from it. You can consider the connections between the life of the characters as well as your own life.
Movie therapy can open your eyes to new solutions and provide therapeutic methods on how to go forward from your problems. Films can offer hope, introduce you to new role models, and offer a new perspective on a problem. For example, an alcoholic can see a film where an alcoholic achieves recovery, giving the patient watching this film inspiration and hope.
By being able to relate to the characters, you will feel less alone and can realize issues in your personal life and relationships that you did not know existed. For example, if a couple goes to therapy because one of them is abusive in the relationship, they can watch a film where a couple is going through the same thing and witness the emotional turmoil the characters in the film go through, determining a solution going forward.
Movie therapy can also improve marriages but letting communication occur naturally as the couple talks to each other about what they just watched. GoodTherapy says movie therapy strengthens relationships within five weeks. Try to watch a movie that relates to your struggles and you will be surprised at how helpful it can be.
Castle Craig Hospital is a landmark of addiction and mental health treatment in Scotland, serving the UK, the EU, and patients from all over the world. Our commitment to long term abstinence has created a successful program of clinical and complementary therapies for mind, body, and spirit. Serving over 10,000 patients for more than 25 years, the Castle Craig model is proven in changing lives. Call our 24 hour free confidential phone-line for information: 0808 231 7723. From outside the UK please call: +44 1721 788 006
Page published: January 12, 2018. Page last reviewed and clinically fact-checked January 29, 2020