The therapeutic power of film

– It is very important to receive a film emotionally and be aware of how it affects us. I believe that if we watch a film several times, it means that there is something important in it for us, says film therapist Monika Kopiec. A volunteer from the LFF Media Group was on Psychegraphico. This is a new event that appeared in this year’s program of the Lublin Film Festival

The idea to combine a film screening with film therapy and conversations in the chill-out zone was proposed by Anna Kaczorek, Natalia Matyjaszczyk and Klaudia Milczek. The implementation of their project in the LFF program was the award in the “Youth Rules” competition. While preparing Psychegraphico, the winners cooperated with film therapist, Monika Kopiec, and psychology students from UMCS.

After entering the cinema room at the Centre for Culture, the event participants received cards with the names of emotions along with questions about the film and the emotions associated with it. The picture selected for screening, Martin McDonah’s Oscar-winning film “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” turned out to be a hit! The events in the film leave the viewers with great emotions and extreme feelings.

After the screening, there was time for a discussion related to the plot and the emotions that accompanied the viewers during the show. Later, Psychegraphico participants were invited to the nearby room, where they could talk to psychology students, relax with music and calm down.

– A film therapy is related to how important it is what emotions we feel while watching a film. It is equally important to reflect and develop them, to try to understand what is happening to us. It is important to experience the work of film. But it is equally important to remain with some reflection and choice: what do we want to take from the film into our lives and what do we want to reject – says Monika Kopiec, a film therapist, whom I asked: what exactly is film therapy? What can it be used for?

– The most important film in my life when it comes to film therapy, which pushed me to do so, was “Youth” by Paolo Sorrentino, because the characters have a lot of internal dilemmas. One of them had similar dilemmas to those I had when I saw this film – adds Monika Kopiec when asked whether a certain screening influenced her interest in film therapy.

– I watched the movie “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” several times. After some time, I found many answers to the questions that once bothered me. This film evokes similar feelings in me every time, but each time I am able to understand the characters more. I am full of understanding and empathy for them. My life experiences resonate with what the characters experienced and I am becoming closer to them. I believe that if we watch a film several times, it means that there is something important in it for us – explains the film therapist.

Film therapy is becoming an increasingly popular and developing field. However, specialists emphasize that it will not replace traditional forms of therapy, such as psychotherapy. This is the opinion of Martyna Harland, a psychologist and lecturer at SWPS University, who has been running the website for several years, disseminating knowledge about it. In one of the articles you can read that film therapy can be used complementary to the traditional forms of therapy and as a way to get to know yourself and your feelings.

Justyna Łukasik

Psychegraphico was organized on November 19th as part of the Lublin Film Festival. The photo shows the coordinator, Monika Kopiec

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