Movies are a powerful experience for many people and can provide healthy escape, enjoyment, catharsis, or relief. Movies allow us to live vicariously for a short time, to learn lessons we don’t have to live through. When used in the therapeutic context, movies can be used as extremely useful tools, to assist in teens’ healing and recovery process, from both mental health and substance abuse conditions. At Paradigm New York, we proudly offer Teen Cinema Therapy as one of our Expressive Arts Therapy programs, which we implement in conjunction with a number of our other therapeutic modalities.
Teen Cinema Therapy is an excellent modality that helps teens to organically connect and engage, on numerous different levels and is based on the intrinsic knowledge that people powerfully connect to stories. In stories, we have opportunities to be entertained, to laugh, to experience, to learn, to see ourselves, to be inspired, to gain insight, and more. Therefore, in Teen Cinema Therapy sessions, therapists use this potential cinema power as a foundation from which to explore and address numerous valuable different topics. In a sense, the therapists use movies as a tool to help teens to access thoughts, feelings, and experiences they’re going through. Then, in other more talk-based therapy sessions, teens can use these insights to make significant progress in their overall treatment goals.
One of the great opportunities of Teen Cinema Therapy for adolescents is movies are an experience that affects all of our different senses. In fact, there is a learning theory that suggests that we have seven different “intelligences,” and that the more of these intelligences are accessed at one time, the more quickly people are able to learn and absorb something. Along these lines, the benefit of movies as a therapeutic tool is that they engage all the different intelligences, including: the linguistic, the logical, the moving (kinesthetic), the interpersonal, the visual-spatial, the musical, and the intra-psychic. With a skilled therapist that knows how to intentionally guide teens through Cinema Therapy, teens are able to connect, process, and learn on all of these levels at once.
At Paradigm New York, we offer Teen Cinema Therapy as one part of our teen treatment programs. Based in Westchester, New York, Paradigm New York is a residential teen treatment center that focuses on holistic therapy, focused on treating each teen as precisely and individually as possible. At Paradigm New York, we provide treatment for a wide range of mental health and substance abuse disorders, by drawing upon a wide range of approaches and modalities, including Expressive Arts Therapies, such as Cinema Therapy.