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Films as Therapy

Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

I'm interested in the psychotherapeutic effects of popular films. In particular, do you see any positive benefits of these films?

(a) religious films in general; (b) the biblical films of Cecil B. DeMille such as, "The Ten Commandments" (1923; 1956), "The King of Kings" (1927), "Samson and Delilah" (1949).


Wondering about movie helpfulness

Dear Wondering about movie helpfulness,

Viewing and then discussing the films in terms of characters, plots, and themes would be one way to learn about human behavior and our own emotional responses to them.

In general, any film that entertains is good therapy for just simply having a recreational timeout from our cares and worries. Films which go further and not only entertain, but touch our hearts, minds, and souls, not only teach us a great deal about ourselves, but about human nature.

There are hundreds of films that would lend themselves to good therapeutic discussion depending on the type of conflict one is experiencing.

Two therapists, John and Jan Hesley, offer guidance on using films as tools in therapy with their book, "Rent Two Films and Let's Talk in the Morning."

Dr. Gary Solomon's book, "The Motion Picture Prescription: Watch This Movie & Call Me in the Morning," gives the reader details of 200 movies that can enlighten and help direct one towards recovery from life's problems.