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.
One Talkspace therapist believes funny movies about mental illness can be encouraging, because they help us laugh while learning something about a mental disorder, even if that lesson is a simple as supporting someone through treatment.
So after surveying our Talkspace therapists, here is The Talkspace Top 20 Movies with a Therapy Focus :
20) Thanks for Sharing (2012) – A romantic comedy that brings together three disparate characters, who are learning to face a challenging and often confusing world as they struggle together against a common demon: sex addiction.
19) It’s Kind of a Funny Story (2010) – A clinically depressed teenager gets a new start after he checks himself into an adult psychiatric ward.
18) The Fisher King (1991) – A former radio DJ, suicidal and despondent because of a terrible mistake he made, finds redemption in helping a deranged homeless man who was an unwitting victim of that mistake.
17) Ordinary People (1980) – The accidental death of the older son of an affluent family deeply strains the relationships among the bitter mother, the good-natured father, and the guilt-ridden younger son.
16) Ma Vie en Rose (1997) – Ludovic is a transgender girl who is coming out. She talks of marrying her neighbor’s son and cannot understand why everyone is so surprised about it. Her family and neighbors struggle with her actions.
15) 50 / 50 (2011) – Inspired by a true story, a comedy centered on a 27-year-old guy who learns of his cancer diagnosis, and his subsequent struggle to beat the disease.
14) Antwone Fisher (2002) – Antwone Fisher, a young navy man, is forced to see a psychiatrist after a violent outburst against a fellow crewman. During the course of treatment a painful past is revealed and a new hope begins.
13) The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) – An introvert freshman is taken under the wings of two seniors who welcome him to the real world.
12) Inside Out (2015) – After young Riley is uprooted from her Midwest life and moved to San Francisco, her emotions – Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness – conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house, and school.
11) The Prince of Tides (1991) – A troubled man talks to his suicidal sister’s psychiatrist about their family history and falls in love with her in the process.
10) One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest (1975) – Upon admittance to a mental institution, a brash rebel rallies the patients to take on the oppressive head nurse.
9) It’s Complicated (2009) – When attending their son’s college graduation, a couple reignite the spark in their relationship…but the complicated fact is they’re divorced and he’s remarried.
8) What About Bob (1991) – A successful psychotherapist loses his mind after one of his most dependent patients, a manipulative, obsessively compulsive narcissist, tracks him down during his family vacation.
7) Couples Retreat (2009) – A comedy around four couples who settle into a resort for a vacation. While one of the couples is there to work on the marriage, the others fail to realize that participation in the resort’s therapy sessions is not optional.
6) Silver Linings Playbook (2012) – After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany.
5) As Good as It Gets (1997) – A single mother/waitress, a misanthropic author, and a gay artist form an unlikely friendship after the artist is in an accident.
4) Girl Interrupted (1999) – Based on writer Susanna Kaysen’s account of her 18-month stay at a mental hospital in the 1960s.
3) Good Will Hunting (1997) – Will Hunting, a janitor at M.I.T., has a gift for mathematics, but needs help from a psychologist to find direction in his life.
2) Analyze This (1999) – A comedy about a psychiatrist whose number one-patient is an insecure mob boss.
1) A Beautiful Mind (2001) – After a brilliant but asocial mathematician, John Nash, accepts secret work in cryptography, his life takes a turn for the nightmarish.
(Descriptions courtesy of IMDB)
Movies with Honorable Mentions: Silence of the Lambs, 28 Days, Anger Management, Shrink
TV Series recommendations: The Sopranos, In Treatment, Couples Therapy, Mr. Robot, The Huff, United States of Tara
The therapists are hoping more movies about therapy and counseling will assist in eliminating the stigma surrounding those that seek out help for emotional distress.
If you like movies about mental health, check out our list of movies about depression.