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Psychotherapy and Movies: On Using Films in Clinical Practice

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the practice of recommending movies for clients to watch to assist them with their presenting complaints. Movies may be an efficient means of working with some clients who are difficult to reach emotionally through other methods. They also provide a powerful means of observational learning with opportunities to choose among different attitudes and behaviors. The pros and cons of this intervention are discussed, as well as initial suggestions on incorporating films into clinical practice. A cautious approach is recommended, as a systematic series of empirical investigations should be undertaken to more effectively inform clinical practice. Examples of areas to target for future research are provided.

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Schulenberg, S.E. Psychotherapy and Movies: On Using Films in Clinical Practice. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy 33, 35–48 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1021403726961

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1021403726961

  • therapy
  • movies
  • films
  • clinical practice
  • cinema