Film, Cinema, Movie Therapy, Reel Therapy
Film, Drama and Theatre is a powerful, fun and exciting method of Psychotherapy.
Everyone has a favourite movie. Films affect us profoundly like dreams. Some films leave an impression on us that can alter the view we have of ourselves and others.
Films can open your eyes to new and wonderful concepts or remind you of people, places and times in your life.
The images, music, dialogue, lighting, sound and special effects can provoke deep feelings and help you to reflect on your life.
Movies can help you understand your life patterns and relationships. They can offer insight into society, politics and culture.
Films can provide catharsis, while offering different perspectives on consciousness and spirituality that can shift you into new ways of thinking, feeling and leading your life.
There are many ways to harness the power of films to heal, grow and change.
I offer training to professionals who are interested in developing this practice within their clinical work. Please email me for details
Guidelines for Film Therapy & watching films with Conscious Awareness
Make sure you are sitting comfortably free from distractions.
Allow your focus to settle on both your body and your breathing. Take in some deep and even breaths. Allow your breath to travel to any places of tension in your body encouraging them to relax. Your attention on your breath will help you stay present and balanced in your body. Experience your being without inner judgement or comment. If you find yourself judging, witness the inner chatter shifting your attention back to your breath. As soon as you feel calm and centred, start watching the movie. Deeper insights and understanding occur when you pay attention to the story and to your felt experiences.
While viewing, bring your attention to the feelings in your head, heart, stomach. Every now and then notice how you are breathing from the centre of your self. Notice how the images, ideas, narratives , conversations and characters affect your breathing. Do not analyse while you are watching. Be fully present with your experience.
Reflect after watching the film Please write down your answers in your journal. Did your breathing change throughout the film? What does this tell you about your responses to the film? Is there a similarity to what unbalances you in your daily life. Did you experience familiar emotions?
Imagery, motifs, narratives symbols If a part of the film that moved you (positively or negatively) had been in your dreams, how would you understand the imagery, motifs , narrative and symbolism in it?
Likes and Dislikes What did you like and dislike? Which characters or narratives were attractive or repulsive to you? Did they arouse feelings of pity, sorrow? Which characters did you identify with? Were there more than one character?
Characteristics and Behaviours Were there one or several characters in the film who displayed qualities or behaviours you wished you had? Did they develop certain strengths or other capacities that you would like to develop as well? How did they manage this?
Shadow and Light Were there any parts of the film that were hard to watch? Could this be related to something that you might have repressed such as your shadow? Uncovering repressed aspects of yourself can free up positive qualities and uncover a more whole and authentic self helping you to integrate your shadow and step into the gifts of your light. Did you experience something that connected you to a sense of inner wisdom or higher self?