Treatment for Obsessive compul...

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) affects an individual’s thoughts and behaviour. Here the individual has intrusive repetitive distressing thoughts and compulsions or ritualistic mental acts or behaviour that temporarily reduces the distress. Living with OCD can be devastating as the individual is aware that something is wrong with them but are unable to control their thoughts. […]

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Is alcoholism hereditary?

Number of studies has been conducted to find if our gene is the cause of alcoholism, yet there has not been a study that confirms it. Experts have conducted twin and adoption studies to reach this goal. However what was found was; genes or heredity is not the sole reason for alcoholism, along with it […]

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Impact of alcoholism on family

Alcoholism is a well known health hazard. It impacts the individual’s health, their social status, finance and mental health too. But along with these it also affects the abuser’s family. Man is a social being and is always connected to others; the closet among all is family. Hence the family is bound to get an […]

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Alcohol withdrawal Syndrome

Alcohol withdrawal Syndrome are a group of symptoms that are life threatening and occur when an individual completely stops consuming alcohol or greatly reduces their intake after a long period of alcohol intake. These symptoms may start from 8 hours to days after the individual stops and may last for day or even weeks. When […]

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Obsessive compulsive disorder-...

“An individual looking as normal as person can be, has an ordinary simple job and lives an ordinary life. But when it comes to having meals this individual has rules; the fork has to be on the right and spoon on the left straight, salt always on the right side of the plate, food has […]

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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).

DO YOU HAVE ANY ENQUIRIES ?