Mumbai Memoir 113- ‘Cinema, Psychology & Therapy!’
Cinema has been a part of my identity since early teenage. Over the years, as a Psychologist, I have realized that in a society where family systems and interpersonal relationships are disintegrating, its getting increasingly challenging to find mentors who can install the right values and thereby create healthy mindset for us. But in these changing times, Media, particularly Cinema, can be a good social agent to ‘drive’ the mind’s of people in a pro-social manner. Since long I wanted to introduce to the world my belief, that Cinema can be a good medium to ‘culture’ the minds of people and that wish came true when last month, I got the opportunity to present a ‘Cinema Therapy’ session at Mumbai’s SoundIdeaz Academy, Andheri (West) www.soundideazacademy.com
Segen’s Medical Dictionary defines Cinema Therapy as: “A form of therapy or self-help that uses movies, particularly videos, as therapeutic tools”. It is also referred as ‘Reel Therapy’. I have been recommending films that have therapeutic value to people who I think will derive inspiration, healing perspective, feel encouraged, find support, cathartically cry & laugh along with the characters of the movies. In short, the process involves using power of films to help people manage life and to heal emotionally.
The best part of the Cinema Therapy process is that it sub-consciously ‘cultures’ the mind of people, where the audience is watching life unfolding for others on screen, but unaware to him/her, is getting influenced too. As per Social Learning research, its proved that the content of the media that we get exposed to, has the potential to either make us pessimist or make us optimist. That is because, the characters who we observe on screen can become ‘role models’ for us. As kids we don’t have any filters but as adults we can develop filters to disallow media to negatively influence us and allow it to ‘culture’ us positively where it heals, educates, informs, entertain and helps us make the best of our respective lives.
Thus, with the intention of creating awareness among the masses of ‘How Cinema Therapy works and how Cinema can be a strong Audio-Visual tool to positively culture one’s mind’, I presented the 1994 released film ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ to the audience. This movie was selected because I believe, the movie has high Cinema Therapy value and will certainly be appreciated by the audience who are psychologically stuck in life, are struggling with guilt and who are searching for a purpose of life.
I first make the audience view the entire movie and then 15 therapeutic points were discussed with the audience in context of the film plots. The audience response was positive and overwhelming. The event was covered by a representative of the Marathi Press of Mumbai. Here is a link containing my interview in Marathi language: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGWeOy1NEXk
Besides this I started a Facebook page that would help masses to stay aware of my upcoming Cinema Therapy sessions & the one’s I post online. Here is the link of the FB page: https://www.facebook.com/Cinema-Therapy-at-Mind-Matterz-100486088026356/ There are more Cinema Therapy sessions lined up and I am looking forward to it, as I wish to promote the power of Cinema Therapy world-wide. Amen!