Can Movies Improve Your Mental Health?

Psychologist in Raleigh, NCFrom the stirring music to gritty plot lines and stunning costumes, movies have captivated and captured audiences for decades. They have the power to hold our attention and transport us to faraway places, take us back in time to relive some of the world's most important moments, and to move us to tears with stories of love, loss, and heartbreak. The flickering images on the big screen resonate with viewers and often leave lasting impressions long after the credits rolled. Ask anyone what their favorite movie is, and they can tell you in great detail where they saw it for the first time, how it made them feel, and what they love about that particular film. If you need a psychologist in Raleigh, NC that you can trust, call Legacy Freedom.

Now more and more therapists are using movies as a way to help their patients unlock their thoughts, feelings, and memories. This practice is called cinema therapy. By encouraging people to view movies that mirror their current situation or problems, many therapists feel that these films can help resolve lingering issues or identify feelings. Therapeutic topics in film like abandonment, abuse, mental illness, death, serious illness, or addiction are ways to open a conversation and give a visual representation to complex feelings.

Processing thoughts and troubles through movies may seem light and fluffy, but many therapists seem to think it has great value. Cathartic cinema therapy allows you to laugh or cry. Some who struggle with depression need a sad movie to trigger their ability to cry and open up to their emotions. Evocative cinema therapy invites the viewer to use films as a way to learn about themselves or to begin a conversation. Exploring different responses to certain characters and situations, popcorn therapy uses movies as a way to generate an emotional release.

Movie makers have been using the medium of film as their own therapy for decades. The Chicago Institute for the Moving Image (CIMI) hosts a program that helps people who struggle with mental illness write movies for themselves. From depression and amnesia to schizophrenia, the people who come to CIMI write, direct, and produce compelling films that help them heal. Certain criteria must be met for the program. Applicants must be currently working with a therapist and must have an interest in making a movie or already be in the process of writing a screenplay.

The projects conducted at CIMI serve as a way for therapists to see inside the minds of their clients and have a greater understanding of their thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Experts caution, however, that cinema therapy isn't a replacement for traditional talk or group therapy. It is a powerful tool that both therapists and patients can use to start conversations about current feelings and thoughts or use to represent past experiences.

Qualified Psychologist in Raleigh, NC

At Legacy Freedom of Raleigh we utilize both traditional talk and group therapies with alternative therapies like music therapy, equine assisted therapy, and acupuncture to help our clients unlock feelings and memories and process events. With more than ten different alternative therapies available there is sure to be something to pique your interest and help you get to the core of your mental health issues. Whether you are struggling with depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, or a history of abuse, we have a psychologist in Raleigh, NC that can help. Learn more about our alternative therapies on our blog and then call or click to connect. Begin your healing journey with Legacy Freedom today!

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