Finally, an accurate depiction of a therapist!

I’ve ranted on here before about the way therapists are depicted in the media.  They tend to be depicted as cold, uncaring, lazy, and basically that they do nothing, unless that something is something sinister.  Even the few times that a therapist hasn’t been depicted in a negative way, that depiction is still woefully inaccurately at best.  I did finally see an accurate depiction of a therapist in a movie and it came from the most unlikely of places: A futuristic scifi movie.

In the movie Ender’s Game, Viola Davis plays the Battle School therapist.  They never say exactly what her credentials are, but I’m going to assume that she’s a Psychologist.  She does everything that a regular therapist does; she observes the behaviors or her client (in this case, Ender) and processes this information, analyzes it, and then forms a strategy for helping the client.  Now usually when you see a therapist, all of that is going on silently in their head.  No one is privy to it except the therapist herself/himself.  What’s so cool about this movie is that we are privy to the entire process because Viola Davis is having a running dialog about it with Harrison Ford’s character.  For non-therapists who watch this movie, it will be like being able to hear a therapist’s thoughts.

Even better is that Davis’ analysis was accurate.  If I was the Battle School therapist, I would have come up with the same analysis or at least something similar.  Someone must have really done their homework for this movie.  What I liked about this movie was that it dispelled the myth that the therapist is just a passive observer.  I think a lot of people, including our clients, assume that we are merely listening when we are seated in the chair across from them.  They have no idea just how much is going on in our heads.  This movie gives people a rare glimpse into the therapist’s mind.  I’ve never seen this done in a movie before.

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My name is Marina Williams and I am a licensed mental health counselor with a private practice in Jamaica Plain, MA. This website is my professional website devoted to my activities as a therapist. If you are interested in finding out more about my private practice, please visit my other website


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