Archives for Anxiety

Anxiety

Exploring Authentic Yes and No in “Yes Man”

Although Jim Carrey’s films are usually pretty zany, in some of them he tackles psychological themes. Yes Man (2008) is one of those. In it, he plays Carl, despondent over his divorce. He automatically says “no” to any question, request or offer that comes his way. A former co-worker tells him about a “YES” seminar in which participants are urged to make a covenant to agree to whatever is proposed to them.

Carl becomes a “yes man” for a time with both pleasant and unpleasant results. When his new girlfriend, Allison (Zooey Deschanel), asks if he wants to live with her, Carl says yes, but not whole-heartedly. Here he comes to the crossroads where he finally learns discernment: to be free to answer either yes or no, depending on what he really wants or doesn’t want.

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Anger and Hatred

Exploring the Shadow: Splitting and Integration in “Fight Club” (Part IV)

[Part 4 of a 4-part series]
In Part I, we looked at unlived life in "The Man on the Train," in Part II, at instincts in "Wolf," in Part III, at the Hero and Villain archetypes in "Collateral." Now in Part IV, we'll examine the movie, “Fight Club,” we examine splitting and integration.

Although too violent for some tastes, this film is a great example of how our psyches split into Good and Bad, acceptable and unacceptable. Additionally, it has much to say about contemporary male issues.

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Anger and Hatred

Exploring the Shadow: Hero and Villain in “Collateral” (Part III)

[Part 3 of a 4-part series]
In Part I and Part II, we looked at shadow aspects in our unlived life and repressed instincts, respectively. In this post, we’re going to look at the archetypes of Hero and Villain in the film “Collateral.” (Archetypes are iconic examples of typical and recognizable patterns in human behavior).

Through these archetypes of Hero and Villain, we split people and qualities into “good” and “bad,” what we deem as bad typically, for most of us, being repressed and put into our Shadow. In looking at this movie, we will see an arc of transformation, as our “hero” reclaims some of the “bad” characteristics of the “villain” to become a more integrated and fully developed person.

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Anxiety

‘The King’s Speech’ (2010) and the Psychotherapy Relationship

photo credit: zsoolt

From the beginning of their relationship, when Lionel insists that no child begins to speak with a stammer, asking Bertie what he believes to be the cause of his speech impediment, he makes clear that this treatment at the heart of The King's Speech (2010) will focus on psychological rather than purely mechanical issues.

Based on his experience with shell-shocked World War I vets, Lionel understands that speech impediments usually have psychogenic roots.  Likewise, he understands that improvement in the symptoms depends upon a certain therapeutic relationship, the terms of which he takes pains to establish from the outset.
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