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© Birgit Wolz
Occidental, CA, USA

 

 

Cinema Therapy Groups

 

Cinema Therapy Group for personal and spiritual growth:

Using movies to help yourself through life's changes

 

About creating your own Cinema Therapy Support Group

You can create your own cinema therapy support group by watching movies together and share how these films affected you afterwards or you can come together to discuss your insights after everybody watched a chosen film on their own.

For best possible outcome I recommend the following guidelines:

  • Allow each group member to choose a movie for everybody to watch. It is best if the film touched the person who chose it or had a special meaning for him or her. This process can be supported by the Guidelines for Choosing Films. If no movie comes to mind choose from Film recommendations or cinema therapy books (see cinema therapy bibliography).
  • Familiarize yourselves with the Guidelines for watching films and discus guidelines. Decide how you want to use these guidelines. Do you want to modify them according to your group's specific interests and needs? Discus how many meetings you want to spend on processing how one specific film effected you.
  • Avoid getting stuck in critiquing the movie. Instead, focus on questions like: "How did the movie touch me, positively or negatively?", "If the film had a unique message for me, what was it?", "What new ideas for new behaviors did the movies introduce?", or "Did I experience something that connected me with health and wholeness, my inner wisdom, or higher self as I watched the film?"
  • Usually group members respond differently to mood, meaning, symbolism and characters of films. Respecting these differences helps everybody to learn from others.
  • Make an agreement about confidentiality in the group. It is usually best to keep confidential what group members share about themselves.
  • Discuss the length of each meeting time, how frequently and for how long you are planning to meet or whether you want the duration of the group meetings to be open ended.  
  • Group members often form close bonds. Everyone's presence is important to develop and maintain trust. Let each other know ahead of time, if you cannot make it to a meeting and when you are planning to leave the group.