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Therapeutic Themes and Relevant Movies:
Addendums to Movie Therapy, Reel Therapy or Cinema Therapy
(List in progress - please email suggestions to info@zurinstitute.com)

By Ofer Zur, Ph.D. & Birgit Wolz, Ph.D. MFT
 

Movie Therapy

For Cinema Therapy online courses by Birgit Wolz, Ph.D.
for CE credits for psychologists, social workers, MFTs and counselors, click here.

Click here for our 14 CE Certificate Program in Cinema Therapy.
Click here for our 37 CE Certificate Program in Treatment and Education through Cinema
 

Movies affect many of us powerfully because the combined impact of images, music, dialogue, lighting, sound and special effects can elicit deep feelings and help us reflect on our lives. They can help us to better understand our own lives, the lives of those around us and even how our society and culture operate. They can shed light on political and spiritual matters too and can provide catharsis and perspective and may open our eyes to new ways of thinking, feeling and pursuing our lives. There are many ways to harness the power of movies to heal, grow and change. Movies have been used as an adjunct to psychotherapy and counseling as well as by themselves.

In Cinema Therapy, or what has also been called Reel Therapy or Movie Therapy, clients learn to watch movies consciously and reflectively and to pay attention to the story and to themselves. They then learn to understand themselves and others more objectively in the big "movie" of their lives. Following is an incomplete list of movies that may help some people deal with some life situations.
 

Table Of Contents

Abuse
Addiction
Aging & End of Life
Agoraphobia
Anger
Aspiration
Authentic Self
Autism
Bipolar
Body Image
Childhood Trauma
Communication
Consumerism
Couples
Courage
Death
Depression
Determination
Dissociative Disorders
Divorce

Dreams
Domestic Violence
Eating Disorders
Equine Therapy
Family Issues
Family Relationships
Forgiveness
Germ-Phobia
Grief
Hope
Human Spirit
Inner Guidance
Inspiration and Hope
Intellectual Disability
Intuition
Loss
Love
Mental Illness
OCD
Pace of Life
Phobias
 

Prejudice
Psych. of Digital Age
Rape
Relationships
Religion
Retirement
Risk
Sacrifice
Schizophrenia
Self-Esteem
Separation
Sexual Abuse
Sexuality
Spiritual Awareness
Spirituality
Social Justice
Transformation
Vocational Issues
War
Willpower

 
Movie Listings
 

Abuse and Childhood Trauma:
A Thousand Acres
Antwone Fisher
Bastard Out of Carolina
Cider House Rules
Closet Land
Crazy Heart
Dogwalker
Drugstore Cowboy, The
Gone Baby Gone
Good Will Hunting
I Know My First Name Is Steven
Mommie Dearest
Number 23, The
Nuts
Precious
Prince of Tides, The
Radio Flyer
Rounders
Sleepers
Slumdog Millionaire
Something About Amelia
Sybil
Three Faces of Eve
Ulee's Gold
Ultimate Betrayal
Upside of Anger, The
Related Online Courses for CE Credits

Addictions:
28 Days
A Thousand Acres
Affliction
Bar Fly
Blow
Boost, The
Clean and Sober
Courage Under Fire
Crazy Heart
Days of Wine and Roses
Drugstore Cowboy
Flight
Ironweed
Lady Sings the Blues
Leaving Las Vegas
Morning After, The
My Name is Bill W.
Not My Kid
Panic in Needle Park
Postcards from the Edge
Rachel Getting Married
Requiem for a Dream
Sara T.: Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic
Under the Influence
When a Man Loves a Woman
Related Online Courses for CE Credits

Aging & End of Life:
About Schmidt
American Beauty
Another Year
Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The
Biutiful
Bucket List
Cocoon
Dad
Notebook, The
On Golden Pond
Quartet
Renoir
Robot & Frank
Something's Gotta Give
Space Cowboys
Related Online Courses for CE Credits

Anger and Forgiveness:
An Unfinished Life
Anger Management
Changing Lanes
Dolores Clairborne
Gandhi
Straight Story, The
Upside of Anger, The
Related Online Courses for CE Credits

Aspiration:
Billy Elliot
Blind Side, The
Finding Forrester
Gandhi
Pay It Forward
Whale Rider

Authentic Self:
Harold and Maude
My Life
Nell

Autism:
Adam
Autism: The Musical
Being There
Chocolate (2008, Thailand)
Cowboy Bebop
Glenn Gould
Harry Potter (Lovegood)
Horse Boy, The
Killer Diller (Piano player)
Mozart & the Whale
My Name Is Khan
Rain Man
Serenity
Snow Cake
Temple Grandin
Wittgenstein
Related Online Course for CE Credits

Bipolar:
Biutiful
Mr. Jones
Vincent and Theo
Related Online Courses for CE Credits

Body Image:
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Real Women Have Curves
Shallow Hal

Communication:
See Relationships

Consumerism:
Far From Heaven
Pleasantville
Supersize Me
What's Love Got to Do With It?

Courage & Determination:
50/50
Argo
August Rush
Coco Before Chanel
Finding Nemo
Hotel Rwanda
Impossible, The
Juno
Life of Pi
Little Buddha
Lorenzo's Oil
Million Dollar Baby
Rabbit-Proof Fence
Rocky
Secretariat
True Grit
Truman Show, The
Up
WALL-E
Winter's Bone
Zero Dark Thirty

Death:
See Grief, Loss, Death & Transformation

Depression:
About Schmidt
Blue Sky
Frida
Hours, The
It's Kind of a Funny Story
Men Don't Leave
Number 23, The
Ordinary People
Related Online Courses for CE Credits

Dissociative Disorders:
Sybil
Three Faces Of Eve
Zelig
Related Online Courses for CE Credits

Domestic Violence and Rape:
Accused, The
Burning Bed, The
Closet Land
Cry for Help: The Tracey Thurman Story
Extremities
Frankie and Johnnie
Men Don't Tell
Once Were Warriors
Precious
Rape and Marriage: The Rideout Case
Rape of Richard Beck, The
She Said No
Sleeping with the Enemy
Taking Back My Life: The Nancy Ziegenmeyer Story
Thelma and Louise
Related Online Courses for CE Credits

Eating Disorders:
Eating
For the Love of Nancy
Fried Green Tomatoes
Karen Carpenter Story, The
Kate's Secret
What's Eating Gilbert Grape
Related Online Courses for CE Credits

Equine Therapy:
Horse Boy, The
Horse Whisperer, The
Something to Talk About
Related Online Courses for CE Credits

Family Relationships:
See Relationships & Love

Grief, Loss, Death & Transformation:
Adam
A Single Man
A Song for Martin
A Warrior's Heart
Beaches
Bridge to Terabithia
Dad
Dance Me Outside
Dying Young
Enchantment
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Fisher King, The
Flags of our Fathers
Forest Gump
Frida
Ghost
How to Fold a Flag
In America
Letters From Iwo Jima
Men Don't Leave
Mr. Holland's Opus
Ordinary People
Out of Africa
Outsider, The
Restrepo
Shadowlands
Six Weeks
Skins
Sleepless in Seattle
SLC Punk
Smoke Signals
Sophie's Choice
Stranger in the Family
Steel Magnolias
Terms of Endearment
WAR
When Did You Last See Your Father
Windtalkers
Related Online Courses for CE Credits

Hope:
See Human Spirit, Hope & Inspiration

Human Spirit, Hope & Inspiration:
Babette's Feast
Dead Poets Society
Diving Bell and the Butterfly, The
Field of Dreams
Fisher King, The
Gandhi
Green Mile, The
Lord of the Rings
Mask of Zorro, The
Million Dollar Baby
Piano, The
Precious
Schindler's List
Star Wars
Related Online Courses for CE Credits

Inner Guidance, Dreams, Intuition:
Constant Gardner
Field of Dreams
Knowing
Motorcycle Diaries
Piano, The
Places in the Heart
Star Wars
Related Online Courses for CE Credits

Intellectual Disability:
I Am Sam
Other Sister, The
What's Eating Gilbert Grape

Mental Illness:
Black Swan
Don Juan De Marco
Fatal Attraction
Hours, The
House of Cards
It's Kind of a Funny Story
King of Hearts
Lars and the Real Girl
Mr. Jones
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Silver Linings Playbook
Young Adult
Related Online Courses for CE Credits

Top of Page

OCD:
As Good as it Gets
Breaking the Waves
Matchstick Man
Number 23, The
Related Online Courses for CE Credits

Pace of Life:
Groundhog Day
Multiplicity
Thirteen Conversations About One Thing

Phobias:
Agoraphobia: Copy Cat
Germ-Phobia: As Good as it Gets

Top of Page

Prejudice (coping with):
A Single Man
Bagdad Cafe
Brokeback Mountain
Color Purple, The
Crash, The
Dance Me Outside
Flags of our Fathers
Fried Green Tomatoes
Grand Canyon
Help, The
Invictus
Get on the Bus
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
How to Fold a Flag
In the Heat of the Night
Jungle Fever
Letters From Iwo Jima
Milk
Mississippi's Burning
Outsider, The
Philadelphia
Pride and Prejudice
Restrepo
Ryan White Story, The
Skins
To Kill a Mockingbird
Traffic
Visitor, The
WAR
Windtalkers

Psych. of Modern Technological-Digital Age:
Social Network, The
Related Online Courses for CE Credits

Top of Page

Relationships and Love:
Accidental Tourist, The
As Good as it Gets
Before Midnight
Before Sunset
Beginners
Blue Valentine
Closer
Crimes of the Heart
Descendents, The
Eat Drink Man Woman
Education, An
Father of the Bride
Frankie and Johnnie
Gathering, The
Good Mother, The
Great Santini, The
High Fidelity
Hot Spells
Joy Luck Club
Kids Are All Right, The
Last Chance Harvey
Little Miss Sunshine
Lost in Translation
Memories of Me
Moonstruck
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Once
Ordinary People
Parenthood
Philadelphia
Postcards From the Edge
Pretty Woman
Safe Passage
Secret Lives of Dentists
Sideways
Singles
Sliding Doors
Stanley and Iris
Story of Us, The
Soul Food
Steel Magnolias
Two Family House
Under the Tuscan Sun
Walk on the Moon, A
War of the Roses
Way We Were, The
When Harry Met Sally
You Can Count on Me

Top of Page

Retirement:
See Aging

Risk:
Apollo 13
Erin Brockovich
Full Monty, The
Sliding Doors

Sacrifice:
It's a Wonderful Life
Lord of the Rings
Sophie's Choice

Schizophrenia:
A Beautiful Mind
Clean Shaven
Dear John
King of Hearts
Proof
Shine
Related Online Courses for CE Credits

Self-Esteem:
Gattaca
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Other Sister, The
Sliding Doors

Separation & Divorce:
Kramer vs. Kramer
Story of Us, The
Under the Tuscan Sun
Related Online Courses for CE Credits

Top of Page

Sexual Abuse:
A Thousand Acres
Black Snake Moan
Cider House Rules
Dolores Clairborne
Mystic River
Precious
Sleepers
Related Online Courses for CE Credits

Sexuality:
Bliss
Kinsey
Sessions, The
Working Girls
Related Online Courses for CE Credits

Spirituality and Religion:
Apostle, The
Brother Sun, Sister Moon
Contact
Resurrection
Related Online Courses for CE Credits

Spirituality and Spiritual Awareness:
Avatar
City of Angels
Hereafter
It's a Wonderful Life
Jonathan Livingston Seagull
Made In Heaven
Powder
What Dreams May Come
Related Online Courses for CE Credits

Top of Page

Social Justice:
Angela's Ashes
Constant Gardner
Erin Brockovich
Hotel Rwanda
Made in Dagenham
Motorcycle Diaries

Trauma:
See Abuse, War

Vocational Issues:
Company Man, The
Erin Brockovich
Full Monty, The
Jerry Maguire
Patch Adams
Up in the Air

War (Horrors of and Aftermath):
A Very Long Engagement
Black Hawk Down
Casualties Of War
Cold Mountain
Courage Under Fire
Dear John
Full Metal Jacket
Gone with the Wind
Hamburger Hill
Hurt Locker
In Country
Lions For Lambs
Pianist, The
Platoon
Saving Private Ryan

Top of Page

Willpower:
Bend it Like Beckham
Blind Side, The
Cast Away
Cinderella Man
Fighter, The
Gladiator
Good Night and Good Luck
Horse Whisperer, The
Hugo
Invictus
Julie & Julia
King's Speech, The
Lorenzo's Oil
Million Dollar Baby
Moneyball
Pianist, The
Piano, The
Princess Bride, The
Ray
Seabiscuit
Shawshank Redemption
Social Network, The

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