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Cinematherapy; "Yes, and"


In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, I would like to share some information about one of my favorite topics related to psychological wellness- cinematherapy. Occasionally, I will recommend a movie or show that illustrates concepts related to a particular area of mental health. Topics include, but are not limited to, exercise, medical problems, stress, anxiety, panic attacks, depression, financial struggles, divorce, family dynamics, sleep, and work.





One scene that particularly illustrated the “yes and” concept often used in CBT to teach communication and social skills was in a recent episode of Grey’s Anatomy. This won’t be a spoiler for those of you watching earlier seasons, as it is an isolated scene. As you watch, pay attention to the style of communication used to share some “tough love” with a loved one who is damaging relationships related to alcohol abuse history and fears of abandonment. Certainly, this is a difficult conversation. The use of “and” following “I love you” is more effective than the commonly used “but” which tends to negate the “I love you” part. This is a particularly difficult scene to watch. There is some foul language, and it deals with themes of alcoholic addiction, abandonment, negative concerns about the world at large, anxiety, and depression.


Here is the Grey’s Anatomy scene:

I welcome you to share recommendations from movies, shows, or books that illustrate mental health concepts with me. 


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