Archives for Psychotherapy


Exploring the Shadow: The Unlived Life in “Man on the Train” (Part I)

[Part 1 of a 4-part series on the Shadow in film]
In this series, we will be looking at four diverse films, illustrating various aspects of the Shadow.

The Shadow is whatever is unconscious, repressed, unlived or hidden in our psyches. One of the purposes of depth psychology is to “bring to light” these aspects of ourselves so that we can digest and integrate them, and so become “whole.”

Jung himself said that he’d rather be whole than good.

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‘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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‘Avatar’ and Your Ideal Self

At the opening of the movie Avatar, Jake Sully has suffered a severe spinal chord injury that leaves him a paraplegic. No longer able to perform as a combat marine, and because the military won't pay for an operation to restore the use of his legs -- that is, to return him to his former self -- Jake volunteers for a specialized military mission to the planet Pandora.

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