Remember that feeling when you walk out after an inspirational movie, like for example, Shah Rukh Khan’s Chak De India? Well, hear this. Experts have proved that movies can be used as a therapy in various situations, such as to inspire or even pull someone out of depression. Read on.
Movie therapy is an outreach therapy wherein a person is suggested to watch certain movies to help them overcome their issues. British psychotherapist and author of 'Movie Therapy: How it Changes Lives', Bernie Wooder, in his interview with the Guardian, explained how this therapy accesses hidden emotions. “Films project role models, clarify relationship issues, inspire and motivate. And because you watch from a third person perspective, your defenses are down, so the film can act as a springboard for self-discovery.”
Zainab Mohammed Lehry, psychological counsellor from the city, couldn’t agree more. “I look at Movie Therapy as similar to Group Therapy – where the person can see someone else going through the same turmoil and can also see that person get out of the mess. It gives them hope that they’re not the only one and also provides them with the positivity that that character could get out it, they also can bring about a change in their life.”
While counselling may not always go well with teenagers, movies, on the other hand, often work well. Explains another psychologist, Grace Arundathi, “Movies can also help to build a child’s self-esteem and let them focus on their individual talents. When somebody is going through depression for more than four weeks, he or she needs help. If the issue involves a breakup, we could help them out with a movie that shows that a relationship is not the ‘be all, end all’ and that there are other things in life. While several movies end ‘happily ever after’, there are others that focus on the ‘not so rosy’ picture of post-marriage.”
Movies influence our minds
Iterating the need for more movies that can help us understand our minds, shares Zainab, “Taare Zameen Par was one film that had a major influence on parents, teachers and children with learning difficulties. The film brought to light the concept of remedial teaching and gave parents a ray of hope that their children are going to be just fine.”
Zainab further talks about the latest film Barfi!, the love story of a mute boy and an autistic girl, making a good watch. “Ranbir Kapoor played the role of a mute boy, who also feels the same sort of emotions that a normal person may feel. That movie would be so relatable to people facing the same problem and are probably conscious of coming out in the open and expressing their feelings.”
While movie therapy can be used to help send a subtle message to your loved one, in case of serious issues, it is always better to talk to a psychotherapist.