What does a film treatment look like

1. Fundamental considerations for film therapy (cinetherapy)


Preliminary remark: Under the term "film therapy" - depending on the use of the film medium - at least 6 content variants can be summarized (if you are interested, click on the link):

  1. viewing and using feature films (see below)

  2. the use of documentary films (which expressly explain mental problems and provide precise instructions for action)

  3. the "film exposure" (where you expose yourself to unpleasant stimuli until you get used to it)

  4. the video feedback (in which you can see your own behavior)

  5. active filming

  6. watching "doctor series" in which it is demonstrated in a playful way how others (especially professionals) deal with illness.

- People in need can recognize themselves in films and identify with the main actors. Your mental problems find a plastic expression that can be talked about and negotiated. Especially linguistically less fluent people can communicate better against the background of films seen together by being able to relate to the images and the symbolism of the film.

- Those affected experience that they are not alone with their topic (films are aimed at an audience of millions). This reduces the feeling that something is wrong with you or that you are “weird”.

- Depending on the film, a possible solution is shown, invited to reflect or develop your own solutions or to “accept” the unchangeable.

- Films complement the “narrative therapy”, which assumes that important human experiences are transported or conveyed in the form of personal narratives. Significant films can resemble “fairy tales”, “myths” and “sagas” in which central human issues are described and made comprehensible

- Films address several sensory channels and almost all of them address the emotional life in a targeted manner. They work on more than just a cognitive level. They allow cathartic reactions (howling, anger ...).

- Films are a neutral "offer" that the viewer can accept or decline more easily than some offers in classical psychotherapy that quickly trigger "defense mechanisms" (e.g. the request to share everything that is going through your head or what you are feeling ) ..

- Films illustrate important mechanisms of action of the psyche (“feature films” can therefore be “educational films”). In particular, they illustrate the power of feelings (love, pride, jealousy, fear, grief / depression, desire) and of values ​​(honor, loyalty, honesty, consistency)

- Films enable “eccentric viewing”, that is, a distancing from the problem.

- The opportunity to watch a film repeatedly helps to realize that the same situation can be experienced differently every time. This clarifies the relativity of all experience and shows how much our perception is influenced by our interpretations.

- In the form of "cinema therapy", "cinema therapy" can be a training against claustrophobia and social phobia. In a moderate form, it creates “community experiences” (especially if you exchange ideas with others after watching the film).

- Movies can distract, relax, and lift your spirits. According to the motto "Laughter is the best medicine", comedies can have a healing effect (with their help allergies are said to have improved).

- Films are similar to dreams (“trial concerns”). What one has mentally played through once ("mental training") can then be put into practice more easily.

- Films can inform ("enlighten"), e.g. like "Time of Awakening" (Parkinson's), God's forgotten children (deafness).

- Films only have a “therapeutic” effect if they “stimulate” or “irritate” (criterion: you will remember them even years later).

- People who are “uptight” can lower their shame threshold with the help of sex films.

- By asking people about the most significant films of their lives, one can obtain “key information” and use these films to illustrate important contexts for the person concerned.

- Documentaries (for example on topics such as anxiety, depression, suicidality, etc.) can often convey context better than the mere word.

- By making films with patients, new experiences can be conveyed and the construction of "virtual worlds" made understandable.