Cinematherapy and Storytelling as a Means to Navigating Life’s Struggles

Everyone has a story to tell on the way to handling their emotional struggles and setbacks. Sometimes unconventional approaches to mental health and wellness can be quite effective at managing the way we view and deal with the stories of our lives. For those that are willing to look at more engaging and entertaining ways of navigating life’s difficulties, storytelling and cinema may be an answer.


What Usually Happens…

Conventionally speaking, mental health has generally been handled in a fairly serious and sterile manner, devoid of entertaining stories or movies as helpmates to soothe human struggle. Often, those seeking therapy or counseling are faced with having to look at their lives through fairly harsh glasses. There is no cushion, or sidebar of opportunity to take a look at our problems more indirectly, like storytelling and “cinematherapy” seem to offer. Instead, the unwavering camera stays forever on the individual seeking therapy and their problems.

What Can Happen…Maybe…

However, just maybe, there is something to be said about tackling the awesome task of dealing with our personal problems through listening to the stories of others can be extremely therapeutic and helpful, offering a different view of our problems and perhaps, different ways of handling them. Perhaps, we can find an emotional guidance system by listening to other people tell the story of what they did when faced with similar problems. One thing for sure is that the opportunity is worth exploring. The art of storytelling is one that has been with us for many years. Hollywood has capitalized off of this ancient art, just as history has. Somehow, knowing what happened to other people, in other places, at different times, both past and present, can act as a roadmap: and what is a road map? A roadmap is a guide, a way of navigating roads that may be a little or a lot unfamiliar to us, and we all know that road maps are immensely helpful. Without them we would be lost, right?

Sometimes the answers to our problems don’t require x-ray vision or an approach that eliminates other life stories and approaches. Often, a well-positioned story or movie is often the salve needed to help in the human struggles.

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