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Four Examples in Film and TV That Accurately Depict Counseling

Counseling can change lives. Even celebrities are touting the effectiveness of therapy, including superstars like Ariana Grande. Counseling can help so many people with a variety of mental health issues. We can see how powerful counseling is because it is written about and portrayed on screen. There are copious representations of counseling sessions in film and TV.

Some of them are realistic, while others don’t accurately depict therapy. The therapeutic process is complex. It’s crucial to learn about counseling so that you are aware of what’s realistic in movies when you watch them. Here are some helpful articles on BetterHelp to find information about the counseling process and what to expect. Here are four examples in film and TV that show what therapy is like for the therapist and the patient.

Don Juan DeMarco

In Don Juan DeMarco, Johnny Depp plays a patient who is convinced that he is the greatest lover in the world, Don Juan DeMarco. His psychiatrist, played by Marlon Brando. Brando’s character is on the verge of retirement, but he takes on this case to help his patient rid himself of the delusion that he is the world’s most excellent Latin lover. Brando listens patiently as Depp describes why he’s drawn to all sorts of women and the power he believes he holds over them.

Brando demonstrates one of the critical components of counseling, which is non-judgmental listening. He listens to his client without placing judgment on him. Even though Depp is saying seems absurd to the audience, Brando doesn’t judge him as a psychiatrist. He intends to get to know his client and figure out what caused his fantasy that he has someone else.

A Beautiful Mind

A Beautiful Mind took place In 1947. Russell Crowe plays Dr. John Nash, a math professor who has paranoid schizophrenia. Dr. Nash struggles to decode between delusion and reality. Though this film took place years ago, it depicts what counseling was like during that time. People with schizophrenia were treated with electroshock therapy and insulin therapy. The psychiatrist, Dr. Rosen (played by Christopher Plummer), urges Dr. Nash to embrace reality. He talks with him seriously during a family counseling session about the importance of taking his medication.

Dr. Rosen stresses how schizophrenia is a degenerative disease, which remains the case years later. We know that the condition can take a huge toll on a person’s brain. The sessions between Dr. Rosen and Dr. Nash are realistic and show the importance of transparency in a therapeutic relationship. Dr. Rosen needs to tell Dr. Nash how critical it is for him to stay on his treatment plan. If he strays, he will blur the lines between fantasy and reality.

In Treatment

In Treatment is an HBO series that shows the relationship between therapist and client. The show begins with a focus on the therapeutic relationship. Dr. Paul Weston is a psychologist who is in therapy seeing his clinician. It confronts the fact that therapists are vulnerable humans as well. They are not all-knowing beings. Dr. Weston is going through a difficult time.

The viewers get to see his psychological growth as time goes on. Dr. Weston is replaced by Dr. Brooke Taylor, who helps her patients with various mental health issues. In Treatment is a realistic depiction of the therapeutic process and how people can get through it. It demonstrates how delicate the relationship is between therapist and client. It shows how vulnerable people are during therapy and what they can achieve during counseling.

The Sopranos 

The Sopranos is a series centered around organized crime. Though the show is mainly about the mafia, a key critical part of the series focused on Tony Soprano and his relationship with his therapist. At first, he doesn’t know what to make of therapy. He struggles with boundaries and attempts to hit on his therapist. The counselor firmly draws her boundaries but continues to see him as a client throughout the series.

Despite his infidelity and clear affiliation with the mob, Tony’s therapist manages to keep his information private and confidential. The dynamic between Tony Soprano and his therapist is a testament to the commitment mental health professionals make to keeping their clients’ information secure. It isn’t easy for this therapist to maintain confidentiality, but she manages to do it and help Tony through some rough times.

Seeking therapy is important

It’s crucial to note that if you need therapy, you should seek it. Characters in film and TV search for support when they need it. That’s an excellent reminder to seek counseling when we are struggling. If you’re going through a difficult time in your life, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. A therapist can be a fantastic resource for you. You don’t have to struggle alone. Reach out for support and find a therapist online or in your local area.

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