How Does Therapeutic Filmmaking Work?

According to a study conducted on this approach and published in the journal Arts in Psychotherapy (Johnson & Alderson, 2008), Therapeutic Filmmaking leads to the kind of changes clients want to achieve in therapy by providing the following factors:

Positive Experiences: Therapy is fun, engaging, and helpful

Feelings of Mastery: Clients learn to do something new that is fun, creative, and interesting

Perceptual Shift: Clients get a different perspective on everything in their lives

Changed Perception of Self: Clients are able to see themselves differently

Changed Perspective on Interactions: Seeing their interactions with others differently can provide meaningful perspective on relationships with others

Humour as Healing: Clients develop a more positive way to look at their own life

The Personal as the Subject in Filmmaking: Clients learn things about themselves that they would not have noticed otherwise

Film as a Focusing Agent: The film helps focus discussion and reflection

Film as a Catalyst for Discussion: Clients are able to communicate through visuals, artifacts, song, etc., and this contributes to deeper discussion with their therapist

Compared to Other Forms of Therapy: Clients feel more in control, more engaged, and more excited about their therapy compared to other forms of therapy.

Source: Johnson, J.L., & Alderson, K.G.  (2008).  Therapeutic filmmaking: An exploratory pilot study.  Arts in Psychotherapy, 35(1), 11-19.

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