Movies, TV series and psychotherapy story-1

This series of articles is quoted from an article published in the April 2021 issue of the Journal of Science and Utopia.

The main purpose of this series of articles is to consider the advantages and disadvantages of using psychotherapy stories in movies and TV series, and to examine the qualities of the examples presented to viewers about the transformative power of psychotherapy while examining how psychotherapy stories have inspired. Filmmakers

It has been seen in many movies in the past that such stories can create deeply felt and unforgettable experiences for the viewers. For this reason, the following questions need to be asked about the possible consequences of TV series and movies on television in our country in recent times and which have been taken from the story of real therapy.

What are the beneficial and detrimental effects of the way psychotherapists and their patients are portrayed in movies and TV shows?

Can some movies and TV series contribute to the ongoing psychotherapy process? What psychological function can be performed by advising the patient to watch a certain movie?

What kind of research is suggested about the characters who play an important role in shaping the patient’s self-esteem in the film and the characters who participate as role models?

Can films that best portray people inspire life-changing forms of imitation education?

What role can watching and discussing movies play in the training of therapists?

Can scientific research into movie-making and “watching” contribute to new and useful knowledge about the potential transformative power of psychotherapy?

In the 20th century, both psychotherapy and cinema have had a profound and profound effect on our reality and the way we perceive ourselves. It may be a coincidence that Freud ushered in the modern era of psychotherapy and that Edison’s “movies” were invented in the late 19th century.

The movie first started in 1895, when a moving picture of the Lumiিয়re brothers in Paris was shown to the public. One of the first examples of cinema is the 1906 French film Les Rêves d un Fumeur d’Opium (The Opium Drinker’s Dream), directed by Victorine Jasset. Interestingly, one of the first moving pictures is about addiction. [1]

Early in the film, it was felt that there was a direct and universal connection between the film and the audience’s subsequent behavior. It is understood that with the power of the moving picture, moral panic in society can be dispelled or provoked. Today’s media is much more aware than that and continues to manipulate the public.

People are stimulated individually by dance, painting, music, literature and poetry dedicated to discovering the transformative forces of the aesthetic experience and they develop and enrich with the results of these stimuli. On the other hand, cinema (which I will discuss in a TV series called cinema from now on) is a kind of ‘pan art’. “It can use, combine and consume almost every branch of art, such as novel, poetry, theater, painting, sculpture, dance, music, architecture.” [2]

Considering the potential of cinema, it differs from other branches of art in terms of content and style, and it can be assumed that it can achieve a seemingly insignificant number of goals. Because of the countless combined effects of footage, dialogue, music, sound, lighting, special effects, and editing techniques, filmmakers obviously have no limit to what they can do creatively. Although designed to appeal to the ear and evoke visual sensations as well as physical sensations, films, despite the breadth of their expression, often limit people to “seeing” and “watching” as a short way to point out the sensitive nature of their experience. Yet they have a significant shape in people’s lives in a variety of ways.

Cinema emerged as an art form almost a century ago, and since then most aspects of human behavior have covered most aspects of human behavior, everyday situations and fictional adventure problems, history, politics, feminism, sickness and death and medicine within this framework. . Various fields of medicine, such as dermatology, became the focus of filmmakers. Plastic surgery applications have also become one of the most popular fields in cinema. [1]

Psychiatry is one of the youngest specialties in medicine. The lion’s share of international filmmaking has focused on psychoanalysis. The connections between film theory and psychoanalysis were originally established through Sigmund Freud’s dream theory and the ‘linguistic shift’ initiated by Jack Lacan. According to Baudry, Plato’s cave legend is the exact definition of movie theater. Both have limitations on inactivity, repetition, and relapse. [3]

Following this brief introduction to the movie, let us continue our search for answers to some questions:

People; How can a psychiatrist know about people with mental illness?

People themselves can reach this information primarily through experience. The experience of direct therapy is often part of this exploration, but it is influenced by a variety of factors, such as the context of the therapy, expectations, previous experience, genetic sensitivity, mood and of course the therapist himself. In addition to this direct experience; They gain knowledge from what they read, what they know they tell about their experiences and how the media treats mental disorders, therapists and therapists. In this case, film is considered to be the most interesting form of mass communication. [6] Viewers are fascinated by the film’s boundaries and experience the ultimate awakening, dreaming or extinction – a break from reality. [1]

Based on the assumption that people spend 15 years of their lives just watching television, it is clear that the impact of TV series and movies on people is undeniable. [4]

How do movies affect us?

Movies; It can be defined as a cultural reservoir that directly or indirectly affects what we accept as natural in society. Some writers use mirror metaphors to explain this situation, the film reflects real life. It is the directors who determine the angle of fluency and reflection or distortion that eventually emerges on the big screen and transfers a scene and hearing of cultural beliefs and attitudes to the film. From social education theory [1] If we borrow; Rules, attitudes, expectations and beliefs evolve from interactions with the cultural environment around us. Social knowledge about life is derived from direct experience, from the experience of others, and is formed through exposure to some indirect socialization agents: books, magazines, advertisements and most importantly, movies and television. Some writers have gone so far as to say that films make history and point to social norms and values ​​because of their immense interactive power. [2]

Our knowledge about mental disorders and psychiatrists is shaped by the same effect. Therapy settings and human mental problems are primarily personal activities, but the neutral eye of the camera visually observes or violates this activity. It in itself gives both attraction (vaiurism) and rebellion (transgression or intrusion); It deals with more primitive (or unconscious) concerns about what is acceptable for display and what is not. [1]

One way to understand the socio-cultural impact of film is to examine the processes of film. In these processes, movies can create and sustain a new world. [5]

How and why does film create a new world?

New world building is primarily concerned with the formation and development of new learning and an individual’s worldview and is often applied to children and their constructive development. This is especially important for aspects of human experience where strong opinions or knowledge are not already held.

Movies may be considered entertainment, but they also serve as an educational function, such as the Greek tragedy or morality drama.

How do movies contribute to the maintenance of the created world?

World care is primarily about redefining our typologies and defining what is ideal and what is deviating. It serves the world as a reference point. This act of care usually applies to adults whose world has already been created, a film that legitimizes or perpetuates that world. It is involved in the preservation and construction of modern mythology.

Some of the myths created and preserved during this care include psychiatrists / psychotherapists and mental patients. The portrayal of the patient and the therapist in the psychotherapy story is largely exaggerated and skeptical, but throughout the film, viewers take the illness-therapy process and context (perhaps with some ambiguity) to firmly identify and connect with the protagonist.

Many factors influence a film’s response and this effect may depend entirely on the context in which it is shown, not the movie. Similarly, films carry highly personalized symbolic meaning with them. So we all have favorite movies and characters that rarely fit well with others. The movie-lover quickly selects the subject, participates, and interprets the film’s experience according to his own worldview. On the contrary, it is clear that the audience is connected to a collection of actors who were influenced by the commercial film industry and spontaneously influenced by the influential ideologies of the time. [1]

To Levi-Strauss [1] According to him, myth is a fundamental conflict or a transformation of a conflict that cannot actually be resolved. Movies often offer imaginary solutions to unresolved dilemmas. A common example in Hollywood is the all-conquering example of winning love. In many movies, the protagonist of the movie, in love with a good and caring woman, comes from a dysfunctional alcoholic, unemployed, mentally ill person; Became a loving, calm, productive gentleman. According to Michael Wood, the mythical work of cinema is to examine these problems. While the films release the obscure brain hassle, they also work to preserve this obscurity. [1]

The causes of mental disorders and their problems remain unclear, and so the solutions offered through the film seem incredible. [1]

When talking about movies and TV series, we can gather the story of psychotherapy under four main headings and the level of relationship between psychiatrists / psychotherapists. The filming of this relationship has a much broader meaning than the use of these stories and includes both the use of movies in therapy education and their use as aids in therapy.

In the days to come, we can go on our way by addressing these four headings.


  • Cape GS. Addiction, stigma and movies. Acta Psychiatry Scand 2003: 107: 163-169. Blackwell Munksguard 2003.
  • Geller Jesse D. Introduction: Psychotherapy through Cinema Lens. Jacqueline Psychol. 2020; 1-15.
  • Boudri JL. Dis-Positive: Metapsychology ~ Observing Impression Reality. Psyche (Stuttgart) 1994 48: 1047-1074.
  • Tudor A. The role of stereotypes. In: Cook J, Lewington M, AIDS. Pictures in alcohol. London: British Film Institute, 1979: 22-36.

Leave a Comment