7 Best Movies About Therapy That You Should Watching Update 06/2024

Movies About Therapy

What is the function of psychology in the modern world? How are psychologists viewed in today’s culture? Is counseling recognized as a technique for reinterpreting oneself from the inside out? The answers to these questions shed light on the nature of psychology and the various ways in which it is represented in popular media today.

There is a preference for “cultural products” that portray emotional and sympathetic stories rather than accurate ones in films that investigate psychology. Those films’ emotional impact is intact, however. They give the viewer the opportunity to experience their own personal transformations by showing them to the audience.

The following videos honor the science of psychotherapy while also presenting personal experiences and catharsis. A therapist-patient relationship can be observed and its prospective alterations can be seen. In addition, these films offer a variety of viewpoints on personal growth and transformation.

  1. I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (1977)

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (1977)

“I Never Promised You a Rose Garden” is based on Joanne Greenberg’s book of the same name, which follows the narrative of a sixteen-year-old girl, Deborah (Kathleen Quinlan). There is no official diagnosis, but Deborah exhibits indications of schizophrenia disease throughout the film as she encounters hallucinations and delusions about a supposedly primitive culture.

Among the psychiatric patients in the facility where Deborah spends three years are a diverse group of women, each with her own unique set of mental and emotional issues. Aside from dealing with her own fantasies and self-punishing world, the little girl must also cope with the fury and anxiety of her other patients and their nurses in this position.

It appears that a female-oriented mental facility is depicted in a caricatured way in connection to the lives of its inmates. According to Bibi Andersson’s portrayal of Deborah and Dr. Fried (Bibi Andersson), a psychiatrist’s ability to help a patient have a better understanding of their own individuality and uniqueness can be demonstrated by their therapy sessions.

According to Deborah’s instance, schizophrenia is responsible for her delusions, hallucinations, and self-mutilation because of her poisoned self-view.

In spite of the fact that medical treatment is the most common means of coping with these symptoms, the film suggests an alternative approach. Many psychiatric diseases, like Deborah’s schizophrenia, can be alleviated by developing a condition of neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to generate new neural connections and syndesis).

The movie isn’t a work of art. There isn’t any noteworthy photography or acting in this film. A true representation of a real psychotherapy session, including the roles of the patient and the therapist, is given in this film.

  1. Fragments of Antonin (2006)

Fragments of Antonin (2006)

Trauma and mental illness are examined in this post-World War I French film from that time period. The plot follows Dr. Labrousse (Aurélien Recoing) as he uses innovative methods to treat recently arrived injured soldiers. Sigmund Freud’s patients suffered from hysteria, characterized by uncontrollable spasms, shakings, and catatonic episodes.

Antonin Verset (Grégori Derangère) is a frightened pigeon carrier who exhibits the same symptoms as the other troops. The doctor decides to focus on Antonin. For the purpose of unlocking Antonin’s memories, Labrousse employs experiments that alter Antonin’s sensory system (visual and aural stimulation).

Using Freud’s theory of worry (or anguish), in which feelings are a reaction to danger or loss, the film presents a therapeutic approach comparable to Freud’s work at the time.

Discharging collected tension, according to this view, is what causes trauma, which keeps awful memories locked in a loophole from which the individual can’t escape without help. It’s exactly what Dr. Labrousse is aiming to achieve with stimulation.

Sigmund Freud, the author of this therapy, established a school of psychoanalytical theory that this therapy adheres to.

  1. The Son’s Room (2001)

The Son’s Room (2001)

Taking place in contemporary Italy, the story focuses on the family dynamics of a middle-class Italian analyst and his two children. Nanni Moretti plays and directs the lead role of Giovanni, a struggling psychotherapist who is shown to be ineffective by his interactions with his uninteresting patients and their insignificant human concerns. Despite the monotony of his job, his family gives him with a sense of security.

In his solitary morning runs or with his joyful family, Giovanni appears to be at his most vibrant. A rift develops between father and son when Andrea (Giuseppe Sanfelice) is falsely accused by the school’s principal of taking an important fossil.

When Andrea is killed while scuba diving, the family’s rock-solid foundation is thrown into disarray. Until he decides to stop going to therapy, his grief at the loss of his kid interferes with his sessions.

The Son’s Room depicts a different side of the relationship between a psychologist and a patient, one that depicts genuine beings grappling with personal concerns and conflicts. In order for Giovanni to know what is best for his patients and himself, he has to go through a lot of agony and suffering. An analyst can’t help someone else unless he or she has dealt with his or her own pain, of course.

As presented in films, a patient’s inquiries are answered by an analyst who appears to have the answer to all of their issues. Most people don’t realize that therapy is a long and arduous process of helping someone develop their conscience and actions toward the rest of the world and the people who live in it. Therapy takes time and effort.

That’s one of the many reasons why this picture is so great. Even psychologists, who are trained in the study of the human mind and behavior, must accept this process in order to progress as individuals.

  1. Beautiful Dreamers (1990)

Beautiful Dreamers (1990)

A mental asylum and its patients are inadequately shown in the film, despite the fact that it may be based on the real interaction between Dr. Bucke (Colm Feore) and Walt Whitman (Rip Torn). Doctor Bucke, the new administrator of London Asylum in Canada, is displeased with the treatment of inmates. In the eyes of the public, they aren’t rehabilitating human beings; instead, they are being portrayed as wild animals that can’t be controlled or understood.

Those who agree that mental illness transforms people into preposterous creatures, a fate from which there is no escape, and those who support humanistic ideas about the mentally ill and the possibility to rehabilitate them back to a normal and balanced state, as Dr. Bucke and Whitman believe, are depicted in this film.

It’s the way Whitman changes Dr. Bucke’s life and the lives of the asylum patients, giving joy and happiness to their gloomy situations, that makes the story so compelling. Exposed that punishment and correcting operations could not possible help those who were in need, he and the physician recommended a variety of activities that would aid patients’ bodily as well as emotional well-being, which boosted their self-confidence.

  1. Special Treatment (2010)

Special Treatment (2010)

A contrast is drawn in this French farce between one of humanity’s oldest professions and one of its most undervalued current ones: prostitution.

Xavier Demestre (Bouli Lanners) is a middle-aged analyst with relationship issues at home, whereas Alice Bergerac (Isabelle Huppert), a middle-aged prostitute, is an expert role player. It’s only when they start looking for advice and assistance from one other that their paths begin to cross.

Treatment gives another perspective on psychoanalysts in modern society and their interactions with their patients despite the film’s inability to develop the conflicts of the characters’ inner difficulties.

Sexting with an impartial professional can be understood via psychoanalytic lenses, considering the sexual component of both types of “analysis” in the context of sex therapy.

  1. David and Lisa (1962)

David and Lisa (1962)

The story revolves around two mentally ill teenagers who form a friendship in an unusual manner. His mother has placed David under the care of a mental health facility. There is a special section of the hospital for teenagers with problematic personalities.

In the first few minutes of the movie, it is revealed that David suffers from a phobia akin to OCD. Whenever he’s touched by another human being, he freaks out, and he’s arrogant and dismissive of everyone.

As a young man, David is able to identify Lisa as a schizophrenia and a dissociative identity disorder sufferer, as she alternates between youthful rhyming Lisa and young mute Muriel. As their friendship grows, David learns how to deal with Lisa’s eccentricities and communicate effectively with her, all the while overcoming his own social anxieties in the process.

This isn’t your typical form of psychotherapy, as you’ll see in the film. It takes place between two teenagers who must learn to transcend their differences in order to have meaningful conversations. The headmaster of the institution, Dr. Alan Swinford, a psychiatrist who is particularly interested in helping David see his own potential and prospects, oversees their makeovers.

In Dr. Swinford’s office, he tries to help David through discussion, but he only succeeds with Lisa. When he experiences conflicting and confused feelings towards Lisa as well as himself, he is able to grow and mature.

There is no discussion of mental illness or psychiatry in “David and Lisa.” In this film, character development occurs as a result of being influenced by someone else’s actions. “Awareness” is a term used by Gestalt-therapists to describe the internal dialogue that occurs when a person is enthralled by another person. In order for someone to overcome their difficulties and take control of their life and destiny, they must go through this process.

  1. The Three Faces of Eve (1957)

The Three Faces of Eve (1957)

Filming took place at an era marked by the lingering effects of World War II, particularly among troops who returned from the front lines suffering from a variety of psychological disorders. Nunnally Johnson was inspired to adapt a real-life psychiatric case into a major motion picture after reading a book on a man with dissociative identity disorder. This case encouraged Nunnally Johnson to do the same.

During Eve’s transformations, the film takes on a melodramatic tone, but maintains a documentary sense. Journalist Alistair Cooke introduces Eve’s story, lending a detached and objective tone to the drama that is about to unfold.

Mother and homemaker Eve is shown as uptight, ignorant, and mousy. She suffers from frequent migraines and forgetfulness attacks. After the change from Eve White, the mother and wife, to Eve Black, the bachelorette and wild young woman, the headaches become more prevalent.

When Eve’s psychiatrist, Dr. Luther, contacts the second Eve, they begin an extensive series of sessions, hypnosis, and treatment to figure out what’s going on with Eve’s apparent split personality and how to fix it.

Due to her husband Mr. White’s misperception that she was suffering from a mental illness, Eve ended up divorcing him. On another occasion, Dr. Luther is hypnotized and comes into contact with an even more complex character—Jane—who takes on the role of mediator.

When Eve was released, it was a groundbreaking film that showed audiences the gravity of mental illness and the value of analysis in figuring out how to deal with it. Dr. Luther’s approach is based on the hysterical patient treatment methods of Charcot, Breuer, and Freud, which led to the development of the idea of the unconscious and the concept of the psychiatric unit.

Because of its publication date and historical setting, “The Three Faces of Eve” has a great deal of significance. Recording the debate this case sparked not just within the medical community but worldwide, Eve’s condition was transformed into worldwide awareness as a result of this instance.