Television and film play a significant role in depicting the nuances of real life. Once in a while, you’ll come across a show or movie that delves into some sensitive topics – such as mental health. Nowadays, everyone looks at these issues as rather complicated. But by putting them in the limelight, we get to eliminate the stigma and help those who suffer from these conditions gain sympathy from their family and peers. And an equally essential aspect of mental health portrayal is how the TV show or movie tackles therapy.
How therapy evolved on the big and small screens
For many decades, therapists have been associated with a common on-screen stereotype. They are either comic individuals or highly suspicious and sinister like the famous Hannibal Lecter. Fortunately, the era of showing therapists in a negative light is over. As more people address and embrace the importance of mental health, therapists have also become a critical support system and a pivotal character in these shows and films. Take, for example, the case of Lisa Kudrow’s show “Web Therapy.” If not the first, it is perhaps the most prominent portrayal that using tech for mental health will be commonplace.
Online therapy, through video calls or chat, makes treatment more accessible. Anyone can take advantage of therapy with the help of a variety of digital devices. There are apps you can download on your phone, which means you’ll have access to the help of a mental health professional even in emergency situations.
Therapy made normal by films and television shows
In addition to the show Web Therapy, there are several films and television shows that succeeded in accurately portraying mental health and the role of therapists in the treatment of these issues. In the show The Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the protagonist’s relationship with her therapist is quite erratic. But in addition to in-person sessions, she also texts and speaks to her over the phone. While not exactly online therapy, this show casually portrays how therapists today tend to be more open when it comes to the type of communication channel they use to assist their patients.
Today, you’ll find many television shows that tackle mental health issues and therapy. There’s Arrested Development, Atypical, Girls, and Bojack Horseman. When it comes to movies, award-winning films like A Beautiful Mind and Silver Linings Playbook are two excellent examples.
Television and film provides an escape from reality
While the purpose of watching a TV show or a film is to escape from reality, it’s equally critical to face the jarring truths about life from time to time. Fortunately, the depiction of mental health along with the importance of seeking help from a therapist are almost always shown in a positive light. Yes, mental health issues are a difficult issue to address, especially for those who can’t understand them. But with the help of the media, we can slowly open our minds to the benefits of asking for help when we need it. And with technology, you can easily reach out to a therapist even from the comfort of your home.