Reel therapy works akin to experiencing guided visualization. Movies affect us powerfully because the combined impact of music , dialogue, lighting , camera angles and sound effect enables a film to bypass ordinary defensive censors in us. They draw us in to the viewing experience , but at the same time – often more easily than in real life – afford a unique opportunity to retain a perspective outside the experience - the observer’s view. Cinema therapy can be a powerful catalyst for healing and growth for anybody who is open to learning how movies affect us and to watching certain films with conscious awareness. Cinema therapy allows us to use the effect of imagery, plot, music, etc. in films on our psyche for insight, inspiration, emotional release or relief and natural change. Movies help us feel better, learn more about ourselves and find new ways to grow and heal. The healing part of it is what Reel Therapy is all about.

Art imitates life. To begin the journey, all you need to do is identify those movies that apply to your individual problem. It’s a self-help tool. In our lives, we use cinema unconsciously. The whole idea of Reel Therapy is to make it a conscious experience with a profound impact on our psyche.

Cadabams & Reel Therapy

For the last several years, Cadabam’s has successfully been organising reel therapy sessions on campus for its residents. In 2011, for the first time, Cadabam’s organised a Film Festival, which showcased a wide variety of ‘Pro-Life’ films which inspired, motivated and encouraged many residents with a broad spectrum of mental ilnesses that included…

  • depression
  • schizophrenia
  • bipolar disorder
  • borderline personality disorder
  • schizo affective disorder
  • obsessive compulsive disorder
  • manic depressive disorder
  • addiction-induced disorders
    …and many more.

Encouraged by the success of this endeavour, Cadabam’s now proposes a more far-reaching and beneficial International Reel Therapy Workshop for 2012, which will focus on Mental Health as the theme. This will be the first time in India that a workshop of this kind will be organized with an Internationally renowned presenter. This workshop will cater to professionals from the field of mental health, including, but not limited to psychiatrists, psychologists, nursing students, counsellors, consultants, HR professionals and others.

The Workshop is a celebration of Film as a medium of expression and as a therapeutic tool in the context of Mental Health.

Dr. Birgit Wolz

Dr. Brigit Wolz is a world-renowned psychotherapist in private practice in Loch Lomond, Lake County, California. She worked with a variety of therapeutic modalities for many years before she developed an innovative systematic methodology of using movies as an adjunct to traditional therapeutic methods.

Dr. Wolz teaches the therapeutic use of movies to mental health practitioners and graduate students. She also facilitates Cinema Alchemy groups as well as workshops in the US, Asia, and Europe. Dr. Wolz has published numerous articles on this subject. She also writes a column featuring therapeutically oriented movie reviews for The Therapist.