How Pop Culture Impacts Mental Health Treatment

abandoned asylum hallway

Asylums. Insulin shock therapy. Metrazol shock therapy. Electric shock treatment. All miracle cures for mental illness, right? If you read the newspaper in the 1940s, you might think so.

While reporting on the “high standard of psychiatric care” at new facilities at the Hillside Hospital in Queens, NY, in October 1941, The New York Times wrote, “The hospital has pioneered in the use of insulin and metrazol, and also in the electric shock treatment, which has proved useful in shortening the average stay of patients.”

“The electric treatment, they say, at least is not unpleasant, so the patient may be more inclined to cooperate with the physician in future treatments,” said The New York Times in 1940.

If you think these treatments sound more like a horror film, there’s a reason. Continue reading How Pop Culture Impacts Mental Health Treatment

Are You in a Codependent Relationship?

couple man giving sick woman pill glass of water

There is a phenomenon therapists often see in couples counseling when one partner gets “better” in some way, but then, paradoxically, the relationship actually deteriorates rather than improving. This can happen when a partner recovers from depression or learns to manage their anxiety more effectively.
Often when there is one partner with obvious “issues” such as addiction, the other partner falls into an enabler role, and a codependent relationship can result. When one partner is no longer struggling with this issue, the relationship structure must change entirely. Sometimes, the relationship does not survive this shift.

Some couples, however, are able to navigate this change and develop a healthier and more interdependent — rather than codependent — relationship.

In my practice I find it useful to recommend books and movies to help clients learn more about relationship dynamics and psychological issues. To understand the dynamics of codependency and how relationships change when one partner is in recovery, my favorite movie to recommend to clients is When a Man Loves a Woman with Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia.

Note: This post will contain movie spoilers. You can also choose to watch the film first and then return to this article. Continue reading Are You in a Codependent Relationship?

14 Movies About Depression That Perfectly Capture the Experience

Anomalisa movie poster

More than 300 million people have depression, and each person has a unique story. It’s a mental health condition that manifests in a myriad of ways. It can make people feel lonely, detached, down or unmotivated, like there’s no point to anything. It can also spur them to act irrationally or destructively. We need movies about depression — among other works of art — to help us understand, humanize and sympathize with the many ways people experience depression.

If you’re interested in watching a movie featuring depression, it can be difficult to know where to start. There are hundreds of movies about depression, and thousands with strong themes of depression.

Rather than starting a subjective conversation about which movies are “best” in terms of the filmmaking (good writing, interesting characters, solid plot, etc.), we wanted to learn which ones would best enlighten you on the experience of depression. If you live with depression, you might identify with one or more of the characters in these films or they might provide your family and friends some insight into what you’re struggling with. Continue reading 14 Movies About Depression That Perfectly Capture the Experience

How Well Do You Know Your Movie and TV Therapists?

therapists movies television quiz

“Good Will Hunting” is far from the only movie that features therapy. Robin Williams gave an unrivaled performance, but there are a lot of other great fictional therapists in film and television.

But do you know them? Could you identify them with minimal details? To learn the answer and test your knowledge of film and television, take our fun quiz! Continue reading How Well Do You Know Your Movie and TV Therapists?

Top 20 Movies with a Therapy Focus from Talkspace

Top 20 Movies with a Therapy Focus from Talkspace

Chatter about how movies portray counseling services has recently been on the rise among mental health professionals.

– by Eric Hoffman / Talkspace Customer Care Specialist

The recently released Inside Out is an animated motion picture that illustrates the inner thoughts of a young girl. It teaches us that emotions should be accepted and kept under control, rather than simply suppressed. Continue reading Top 20 Movies with a Therapy Focus from Talkspace