Amanda Hammett June 7 2018

Psychotherapy: Who's Looking At Who?


On the spectrum of mental disorder, where would you say you rank? It has long been understood that there exists a "grey" area in terms of psychological comprehension, but in more recent developments of online social interconnectivity, enough strange behavior has become visible to the masses that it's hard to argue against the notion that every human can be diagnosed with a disorder. Yet still in the cultural ether linger stigmas, stereotyping, and a need for classification and labels. "Everyone is messed up, but surely someone else is more messed up than me."

So who needs to be helped, anyone? Are we all just a bunch of crazies feeding each other's crazy? Here are three films that relate to this discussion:

In the first short, Thought Broadcasting, a man is being analyzed because he believes his thoughts to not be contained. Maybe in some era they were thought to be abnormal, but his fears are completely founded today; we live in an era where spoken word is automatically logged by a nearby device, in association with your identity. Who's to say that electromagnetic fields emitted from the brain could not soon be translated by those of technology? Seeing this short film is a reminder of how this used to be some sort of shocking notion, now it seems almost ridiculous not to consider it a possible reality, and the film's quizzical spectators become the ones with the perception issues. 

Thought Broadcasting (Nick Jordan, 2017)

In the next piece, The Betrayal, the portrayal of defeat by psycho- and pharma- therapy is beautifully potent and subjective. The power that medicine and law have in constricting someone's reality on what is right and wrong, real or not, is seemingly endless. There is a trust doctors can bank on because their patients didn't have the stamina to endure ages of training to enter the field of medicine. There is not enough time and money in the world to monitor the movements of every doctor, nor understand the intricacies of what their field of professionalism means to them.

The Betrayal (Susan Young, 2015)

In the third piece, Los Andes, you hear the therapeutic guidance of an advisor of some sort, who's to say if it's right or wrong? Or what authority it has, internal or external? Coupled with the intricate sculpting of simple, relatable objects, this piece crafts a subjective journey of complex relation.

Los Andes (Cristóbal León & Joaquín Cociña, 2012)


About the author

Amanda Hammett works from creation to critique with different organizations in the arts and moving image, and is a contributing friend of Imagine Science Films.