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Jul 17, 2018

Psychiatry in the Movies - Mirroring Societal Trends

Prof Wulf Rössler
Wulf Rössler studied Medicine (1969-1975) and Psychology (1976-1981) at the University of Heidelberg and ended his studies with a medical degree (MD) and a psychological...

Movies are simultaneously an art form and a potent form of mass communication. The film industry exploits psychiatric topics from addiction to eating disorders and psychopathy. As such, it has a significant influence on public perception in particular as many people are poorly informed about mental disorders and the problems people with mental disorders are facing. The Mentally ill are often described as dangerous and unpredictable while mental health professionals are depicted as aloof, authoritarian and manipulative. Movies have become an integral part and pervasive element of our culture reflecting superordinate topics of our societies. As such, movies transport (subconscious) messages, stereotypes and myths concerning societal and individual values. Movies do not simply reflect environment but offer interpretations of social reality. This will be exemplified on the basis of several movies.

The goal of this presentation is to become aware of the inherent power of movies for our daily therapeutic practice with our patients.