movies as medicine for the soul


This episode is worth a thousand words. The heroes love each other and both try to maintain their dignity in suffering, and the slap in the face becomes an act of love. This scene taught me to accept “slaps” with gratitude and give them in return, because sometimes a person needs it. Not the one that humiliates or offends, but the one that puts in place and sobering. It is designed not to hurt, but to awaken from sleep.

By immersing the viewer in the plot, the director makes them empathize, laugh and cry, wait for a favorable outcome. It gives the opportunity to experience a varied range of feelings together with the hero. And after watching a really good film, we feel its impact for a long time: we think about the plot, analyze, look for answers … It is these films that change our consciousness.

Will the viewer take advantage of this opportunity? It only depends on him.

How it works?

The psychotherapeutic dialogue with the film takes place through two mechanisms:

  1. Projection: a mental mechanism in which the viewer ascribes a meaning to the film history that is relevant to him, attaches his own meanings to it.
  2. Identification: the viewer puts himself in the place of the hero, living the story with him or, conversely, opposing himself to him.

Usually in movies we like those characters that correspond to our ideals and values, embody our own dreams. And we oppose ourselves to those heroes who embody our unrecognized dark part (what Jung called the Shadow).

For more than seven years I have been conducting film therapy: we gathered in a group to watch a film, and then answered one simple question: “What is this film about for you?” The answers have always amazed me. We watched the film alone, but each saw his own movie. Therefore, when we share our impressions, in fact, we are unconsciously talking about ourselves and our problems.

Pong Joon Ho’s film “Parasites” told me that humans have two main problems. There is either too much money or too little money. Such is the injustice of being, the way out of which can be moderation. After watching this film, I began to learn modesty in desires and feelings. It’s difficult, especially when you’re greedy and conceited, but stories like these are inspiring.

To make the movie work as therapy, ask yourself before watching:

  • What am I worried about now?
  • What topic excites me?
  • What experience is important for me to live now?
  • What experience would help me solve my question?

Having answered these questions, feel free to go in search of a movie that covers your topic. I am sure that among the cinematic variety you will find exactly what you need.

After watching, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What moments from the film touched me more emotionally than others?
  • Which hero did I sympathize with?
  • What solution would I suggest if I were the director?

I’m sure the answers will surprise you.

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