Project Title

The Therapeutic Value of Cinematic Storytelling: A DBT-Based Interpretation of “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”

Presenters

Haley HuntFollow

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - English

Faculty Sponsor Name

Anna Weinstein

Abstract (300 words maximum)

This presentation examines the novel concept of “cinematherapy,” a therapeutic skill that attempts to utilize movies as a tool for personal growth and healing. Telling stories in a way that is accessible and resonant for a diverse audience significantly improves the quality of people’s lives. It can help people cope with trauma, grief, or any distressing circumstance. For the purpose of brevity and specificity, this particular presentation takes a deep-dive into Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004). The main focus will rely on analyzing the way the film’s overarching message brings peace to those grieving the end of relationships. It will introduce the basics of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, its value, and the way Gondry’s film unintentionally drives home these concepts. Some clinical results of cinema and media as a form of artistic therapy will be evaluated, as well as methods for the practical applications of cinematherapy in different contexts. Some attention will also be dedicated to the prevalence of mirror-neurons and personal projection in the context of modern film. The presentation will conclude with collected anecdotes about the comfort cinematic fiction provides for a diverse array of situations, and the mode by which media can be reinterpreted and personalized as a means of introspective exploration and self-improvement. This explorative research presentation serves to educate those who may not be familiar with the practical application of DBT concepts, spark conversation among enthusiasts of the psychological and filmmaking fields, and emphasize the benefits modern media provides for the individual psyche.

Disciplines

Counseling Psychology | English Language and Literature | Film and Media Studies | Psychology | Screenwriting

Project Type

Oral Presentation (15-min time slots)

How will this be presented?

Yes, in person

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The Therapeutic Value of Cinematic Storytelling: A DBT-Based Interpretation of “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”

This presentation examines the novel concept of “cinematherapy,” a therapeutic skill that attempts to utilize movies as a tool for personal growth and healing. Telling stories in a way that is accessible and resonant for a diverse audience significantly improves the quality of people’s lives. It can help people cope with trauma, grief, or any distressing circumstance. For the purpose of brevity and specificity, this particular presentation takes a deep-dive into Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004). The main focus will rely on analyzing the way the film’s overarching message brings peace to those grieving the end of relationships. It will introduce the basics of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, its value, and the way Gondry’s film unintentionally drives home these concepts. Some clinical results of cinema and media as a form of artistic therapy will be evaluated, as well as methods for the practical applications of cinematherapy in different contexts. Some attention will also be dedicated to the prevalence of mirror-neurons and personal projection in the context of modern film. The presentation will conclude with collected anecdotes about the comfort cinematic fiction provides for a diverse array of situations, and the mode by which media can be reinterpreted and personalized as a means of introspective exploration and self-improvement. This explorative research presentation serves to educate those who may not be familiar with the practical application of DBT concepts, spark conversation among enthusiasts of the psychological and filmmaking fields, and emphasize the benefits modern media provides for the individual psyche.

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