Cinematherapy

No matter how much they mean to…

… most men can’t find the time to read the books that might help them the most. Blog posts are easier, and even most of them are too long.

Some of our most useful fiction, the stories that teach us generational wisdom about manhood, were written for readers in a non-video age, when one might argue that descriptive words were a bit more powerful to readers.

And the obvious truth is that we just don’t make the time to read.

We’d like to be the guy who reads in a fine leather chair in a quiet room with a sublime view of either nature, a beach, or walls of leather-bound books that smell of mahogany.

That can take too much time, so we don’t read.

It’s not for me to say if that’s good or bad. It’s how it is.

And films have stepped up to fill the gap.

Films might be the novels of our time, in that we tend to know what’s new, we talk about them a lot after they’ve just been released, and those of us who like to feel well-educated can discuss all kinds of movies.

So, let’s use them to get better.

Part of the work I offer involves learning how to watch movies in such a way that they become as useful as they are entertaining.

There are a few reasons I consider this essential when working for men.

The problem with Cinematherapy…

Is that it is hard.

It’s not very useful to just put on a movie and leave the room, then ask people what they thought of it after. Even in high school, we knew the elation of walking into the room to see the film projector: it meant we didn’t have to engage.

Passive viewing has a whole host of side effects that work against our counseling goals.

And it’s easy to make fun of.

After we’ve done some work together…

… I’ll likely assign a few films for you to view. Manbrain has a Plex server that we employ just to make sure you have free access to whatever I ask you to watch.

And many of the films have viewer’s guides that I’ve written over the years that help point out elements of the story or characters that might otherwise have been missed. These elements are often the exact reason I’ve recommended the film, and the guides make it easier to prepare for how we will discuss them during sessions.

What Cinematherapy is NOT…

A substitute for real conversation. I won’t have you watch one of the five decent films about alcoholism if substance abuse is an issue. There are more subtle ways of approaching the topic.

An opportunity to trigger you. If you’re recovering from trauma, I don’t make you watch traumatic films. Let’s assume you know what it looks like. I’d rather show you scenes of people changing the rules that dictate their interpretation of life.

An opportunity to tell you how badly Hollywood portrays the therapeutic process. If you’re an expert in anything, you know that no film is going to capture the exquisite boredom you must survive to become an expert in your field. So, I won’t ask you to watch SHINE, so I can tell you that it isn’t accurate to the reality of schizophrenia, any more than I’d ever actually ask Neil DeGrasse Tyson to explain why James Bond’s technology is bullshit. Besides, Neil actually gave me a C in Introduction to Astronomy at the University of Texas a long time ago, and I’m not quite over it yet.

Because movies can move us…

If we get out of the way and let them.

Let’s explore a few together and see what you think. Call me today: (210) 920-1572