Coping with Voices- Living wit...

Hello, I am Krishna, 29 years old. Am just on the way to the hospital for my regular check-up. I was diagnosed with schizophrenia a year back. My experience with schizophrenia a few months ago was terrible. Let me break down the synopsis of my story with schizophrenia.   The Butterfly Effects- That was a […]

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Things to Remember for a Succe...

Mainly, living life with schizophrenia means trying to sustain an indeterminate balance between the things the brain tells and the reality. Statistical data says 40% of the people live a balanced and a productive life with Schizophrenia. The illness may be periodic, with times of deterioration and improvement independent of hopes and actions. All you […]

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Does Drug Rehab Work?

There is a commotion that surrounds drug addiction or abuse of street drugs all across the globe. A common thinking came forward by some surveys that people think that drug addiction can only be cured by the willpower of the addicts, and only they themselves can easily cure their dependency. Also, many of them have […]

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How I lost my job?- Cadabams R...

What could be a bigger heartbreak than when you realise that “YOU ARE FIRED”. And it is because of your addiction. Hello, am Alex (name changed) a successful employee of a reputed company. I had won “The employee of the year” award for two consecutive years now. Like all individuals in this almost rounded globe […]

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Long Term Rehabilitation for D...

Addiction to being sober for long is not a cakewalk. It takes a lot of courage, determination and strength to achieve it. If you have been a drug or alcohol addict and you are over it now then thank and congratulate yourself because you deserve one. If you are not able to get over it […]

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Reel Therapy and its role as a Therapeutic Tool

Movies? Therapy? Yeah, right – I can just hear you say those words! The fact is, movies have been used as an adjunctive therapy to traditional psychotherapy for the last fifteen years, it’s just that it hasn’t been widely publicized. The use of movies as therapy have been experimented with since the mid-70’s and have now become extremely popular in countries like the USA, Canada, Europe and the United Kingdom. So how exactly are movies used as a medium of therapy?

Let me first give you some examples of movies that affect our feelings, so as to help you understand the effect that movies have on our psyche. Remember the movie Psycho, and the scene in which the murderer attacks the lady in the shower? Remember the suspense? How we jumped in our seats when she screams? Or remember the Hindi movie Vaastav, when the mother kills her son – the pin-drop silence and the tears in our eyes? Or, on a more positive note, movies like Chak De India and Bend it Like Beckham,how we get goose-bumps when the heroine(s) score a goal from a losing position?

This is how Reel Therapy works. Reel Therapy uses a combination of light, sound, imagery, plot and characters to influence our emotions thereby our reactions throughout the movies. This proves very useful as a therapeutic tool, since, for example, a patient suffering from depression may have feelings that are bottled up, but after watching a truly engrossing film, he or she may just let go and start crying, thereby letting go of their bottled-up emotions. Having said this, however, some forms of Reel Therapy may need to be supervised rather than just prescribing a film for a client to watch, or certain scenes may need to be edited.

Personally, I have experienced Reel Therapy work wonders for me. I have been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, which was earlier known as Dissociative Identity Disorder / Multiple Personality Disorder. At the age of 38 years, I watched a film titled “Sybil”, and that film turned my life around. Borderline Personality Disorder is a cruel illness that can be as harrowing for the patient as it is for the family. For 35 years, I had suffered non-stop from a series of episodes that included running away from home and not remembering how I got to where I was, slashing myself at random, violence, trouble with the law and many more incidents that I would rather forget. After watching this film, I remembered many incidents from my past that I had forgotten, I developed an insight into certain behavior patterns of mine, and it was only after watching the film that I understood why my family had suffered an equally harrowing time.

This was truly Reel Therapy at work. In the last two years since watching the film, the frequency of my outbursts have reduced, I have become calmer and more productive, my relationship with my family has improved multi-fold, and I am a much happier person.

As a living example, and firm believer, I would recommend Reel Therapy to anyone who suffers from a psychiatric / psychological problem (not as a replacement to medicines).

 

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