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Cinema Therapy

Using Movies to Help with Emotions

Sometimes after we finish watching a film, we may feel moved, inspired, sad, enlightened or some other emotion. Movies and emotions go hand in hand. This can be used as a form of therapy.

While there are therapists who do use film in helping patients, it is also a way to self-help. If you have a teenager, they may be able to benefit from this form of therapy.

Particularly on the subject of dealing with emotions, teenagers can use cinema therapy to help work out complicated emotions. Teen emotions are complicated and film can really help to work through some issues. How does this work and what are some examples?

What is cinema therapy?

Cinema therapy using film or television media offers a way for young children to look at your their circumstances, situations or feelings through someone else. Children may relate to the characters and  be able to see something in themselves we did not know was there before

In short it can play a role in helping us deal with the ups and downs of life. Another form of this therapy is called 'popcorn cinema therapy'. This has been described as more film and less therapy. It applies when we are in need of an emotional release, maybe we need a good laugh or a good long cry.

We put in a film and let the emotion flow. This can be likened to art or dance. It is a way to express ourselves. Let's get back to movie therapy and how it can help teens address some issues they may be facing.

Discussions Through Film

Some common emotional issues for adolescents can include things like peer relationships, a search for identity and the at times overwhelming transition into adulthood.

While it is important to communicate with your child, there may be some movies that can help open up a discussion on sensitive matters. For example, in the case of peer relationships, movies like “The Breakfast Club” or “Sixteen Candles” may be good to watch.

Discuss with your teen characters and situations from the movie. Talk about how they feel about different aspects of the film and how they relate. Another emotional issue for your teen may be a search for identity. Films like “Good Will Hunting”, “The Lion King” and “The Graduate” can help with this type of issue.

It should mentioned, that while this form of help can be beneficial, if serious issues are noted in your teen, you may want to seek professional counseling. Having a movie or two around that can be discussed as a family is a great way to draw closer together, find out what is on each one's mind and maybe even resolve an issue or two!


Cinema Therapy

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