The Healing Power of Movies

The Healing Power of Movies by Dr. Terry Segal #TheWellnessUniverse #WUVIP #Movies
The Healing Power of Movies by Dr. Terry Segal #TheWellnessUniverse #WUVIP #Movies

Movies are the focus of our enchantment for this week. They can reduce stress and offer healing. Are you a movie person? If you’re more of a book person and you missed my post from last week, here’s how to stay enchanted with books.


In the nearly 30 years that I’ve been seeing clients in my private psychotherapy practice, I’ve learned about the many roles that watching movies has played.

Movies can elevate mood, provide time-specific breaks, and invite the viewer into another world. Sometimes movies provide a healthy distraction from life, but can also be a form of procrastination.

People might assume that those who are depressed would choose comedies in order to lift them out of their depression. I’ve learned that for some, comedies exacerbate the depression because the viewer is not able to find joy or humor. This can further the chasm of isolation and feelings of being “abnormal.”

I’ve had depressed clients find relief in viewing sad movies. One woman shared the catharsis she felt when putting herself in the place of the main character. Experiencing the character’s grief and loss allowed her to break through her own numbness. She sobbed until she felt “wrung out.” No longer numb to her own pain, she was able to clear up space within herself that allowed joy to rise to the surface. She chooses this type of movie when she’s aware of beginning to feel numb again.

A male client who enjoys movies that evoke laughter through tears shared the safety of expressing emotions through movie watching. His dates have found him to be sensitive in a positive way that he reveals he has difficulty accessing in his everyday life. Movie-watching dates are high on his list of things to do.


So, what is your favorite genre of movies? Here are several of the categories. There are a few others listed on the site (link below) as well as the titles of movies in each category.

The central struggle plays out in these ways:
  • Action

(Disaster) through a clash of physical forces.

  • Adventure:

Through encounters with new “worlds.”

  • Comedy:

With hilarious results.

  • Coming-of-Age Drama:

Is about the hero finding his or her place in the world.

  • Crime:

About catching a criminal.

  • Detective Story/Courtroom Drama:

Find out what really happened and exposes the truth.

  • Epic/Myth:

Are played out in the midst of a clash of great forces or in the sweep of great historical change.

  • Fantasy:

Animated and plays out in two worlds – the “real” world and an imaginary world.

  • Gangster:

Criminal vs. society.

  • Horror:

Escaping from and eventually defeating a Monster (either human or non-human).

  • Love (Romance):

Between two people who each want to win or keep the love of the other.

  • Science Fiction:

Is generated from the technology and tools of a scientifically imaginable world.

  • Social Drama:

Is between a Champion and a problem or injustice in society. Usually, the Champion has a personal stake in the outcome of the struggle.

  • Thriller:

Puts an innocent hero against a lethal enemy who is out to kill him or her.

Other types:
  • Historical Dramas
  • Musicals
  • Westerns



Maybe you’d like to get the list of Academy Award nominees and try to watch one from each category or all of the films in a particular category.

If you liked this post, please share it with others and leave us a comment about your favorite film and the reason it’s your top pick.

See you at the movies!

Stay enchanted.

– Dr. Terry  Segal

Original Source to this Article

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