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Title: The therapeutic potential of using film as an intervention in counselling and psychotherapy: A narrative inquiry
Contributor(s): Lynch, Jillian (author); MacKay, Frances (supervisor); Moir-Bussy, Ann (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 2011
Copyright Date: 2011
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: Despite increasing interest in the use of film as a therapeutic method in counselling and psychotherapy, there is a paucity of research into the lived experience of therapists who use film in their work, and no available research into the ways in which clients create meaning from the experience of this therapeutic intervention known as cinematherapy. The purpose of this study was to investigate the therapeutic potential of using film as an intervention in clinical practice, and to gain understanding of how clients in therapy might experience this. In-depth interviews, informed by a phenomenological, interpretive approach, were used to explore the experience of eight practitioners who used film therapeutically, and eight film viewers whose lives had been influenced by film, two of whom had experienced the use of film as clients. A narrative inquiry approach, drawing on constructivism and social constructionism, was employed to present and analyse the data. The practitioners' narratives identified the formative influence of film in their professional lives, and how and why film continued to provide them with an important frame of reference. The film viewers' narratives described the complex emotional experiences involved in the activity of viewing a film, and the overall impact that film had on their lives. Those who had experienced film in therapy as clients told stories of transformation experienced through these encounters. The narratives, many of which reflected a range of therapeutic approaches including the influence of Winnicott's (1971) concept of the use of cultural phenomena, were examined in the light of the literature relating to the clinical use of film, and the diverse range of literature related to the film-viewing experience. This research contributes to a deeper understanding of the therapeutic use of film at the levels of both practice and theory. By suggesting how and why film may be used appropriately and effectively as a therapeutic intervention in a range of contexts, this study provides an appreciation of what is possible when film is brought into the therapeutic space.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Field of Research Codes: 111710 Health Counselling
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 920410 Mental Health
Rights Statement: Copyright 2011 - Jillian Lynch
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
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