Teen Cinema Therapy

Teen Cinema TherapyAt Paradigm Treatment Centers, we strongly believe that it is the treatment provider’s responsibility to motivate teens to engage in and work toward their therapeutic goals. In order to help all different teens to find meaningful ways to engage in their treatment work, we design every teen treatment plan individually, according to the teen’s unique needs, goals, interests, strengths, and symptoms. We also draw upon a wide range of modalities and approaches, in order to provide teens with numerous types of therapeutic experiences, which best enable them to explore their current experience authentically. To this end, we offer a large selection of Teen Expressive Arts Therapy programs, which draw upon the power of art and uses it in the therapeutic context. One of these programs we offer is Teen Cinema Therapy, which uses movies as a therapeutic tool within teens’ treatment plans.

Teen Cinema Therapy draws upon all the innate power which movies have to move us, and to provide us with a sense of adventure, hope, reflection, relief, or inspiration, at different times. Teen Cinema Therapy recognizes this power of storytelling as a therapeutic opportunity, and as such, movies are a poignant form of storytelling, combining numerous different arts and appealing to numerous senses, at once. Therefore, just as stories have been used throughout centuries to teach lessons and facilitate communication, movies provide us an opportunity to connect with our own thoughts and feelings, as well as to others. This organic exploration that movies provoke is central to meaningful therapeutic work, both as teens process their own thoughts and feelings, as well as how they view themselves with relation to others.

In Teen Cinema Therapy sessions, the therapist draws upon the many different creative aspects of a film, including things such as the plot, dialogue, the aesthetics and symbols, the themes, storytelling, and message. The specific movie the therapist may choose depends on the particular group of teens and what their larger treatment goals are. The wonderful opportunity is the capabilities of movies are so vast, and so, therefore so too are the Teen Cinema Therapy sessions. During these sessions, the therapist tailors a conversation around these aspects of the film, in order to help the teens reflect and process certain questions and aspects of their own current experience, struggles, desires, and feelings. What often happens is the emotional openness which movies innately create can then be used as an environment for teens to open more deeply to themselves.

Our Teen Cinema Therapy sessions are always coordinated with the teens’ lead therapists, and in conjunction with teens’ larger treatment goals. In this respect, our approach at Paradigm Treatment Centers is to fill teens’ time with meaningful therapeutic opportunities that allow them to not just recover from struggles and gain relief from symptoms, but to discover who they are and to grow as people.