What a miscellany of film clips we viewed: Treasure Island, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and ‘The Male Gaze.’

I was expecting to watch clips to do with attachments, perhaps parent and child, or friendships, or romance, people and pets, comrades in arms etc, so these clips were a bit of a surprise.

The clips of Quasimodo and Esmerelda showed us that love (of E for Q) can lead to change and courage (of Q towards E) and Jeff explained that therapy can be like that, where love is an instrument of change in the therapeutic relationship.

Other films contain useful messages too.  Perhaps the Harry Potter films give hope to children that they too can lead magical and heroic lives.

The clip of ‘The Male Gaze’ showed how women are often objectified in films as sex objects.  Presumably films (and video games and pornography and social media) influence how we think about ourselves and others, perhaps offering archetypes or models of behaviour and attitudes.

How can therapists use film as a tool in the therapy room?  It was suggested that characters that a person is drawn to in a film (or story) may indicate shadow aspects of personality asking for attention.

The whole subject of the media and how it reflects culture and influences culture is such a vast subject, including the changing nature of films over time (for example in the portrayal of women) and the huge differences between films of different countries.

Jeff stimulated our area in this topic and it is up to us to see if, for example, we can bring discussion of films (or tv or books or video games etc) into the counselling room to help generate insights into the client’s character and journey.  So thank you Jeff for getting us started!

Finally, I would like to thank Graham and Sinead for helping our first hybrid meeting to happen.  We can learn lessons from out first trial run.

David Brown

And a here is a message from the speaker, Jeff Lane:

Hi everyone, thanks for coming to my talk on Tuesday 5 th July.

I am sorry we encountered some technical challenges/difficulties , and I hope it didn’t detract too much form your enjoyment of the event. I and probably also HACP learned a lot about hybrid presentations as this was a first for all of us!

Please find below some references from my talk, if there is anything anyone would like to clarify or explore with me, I will be happy to hear from you.

There was quite a bit of material I didn’t get to, and I hope I get a further opportunity to share some more of my thinking and ideas with some of you.

Thanks again for coming and I hope you enjoyed it.

Warmly Jeff Lane



A quotation and some book references from Jeff:

“Myths are vehicles of truth, and that truth needn’t be literal. The classical

Greek myths, for example, seem like mere amusements until one decodes them. By associating each god with psychosocial forces. In this way, myths bring light to the shadows and reveal what has been repressed. They take a truth about the psyche or society and form it into a story. The truth of a myth does not depend on whether it is objectively verifiable”. (Charles Eisenstein)

The books I referred to:

Neel Burton -The Meaning of Myth

Stephen Fry – Mythos

John Berger- Ways of Seeing

Dr Libby Nugent offers regular workshops on working with myths and fairy

tales. www.libbynugent.co.uk