Back to home Film Index
Cinema Therapy movie reviews
Online courses for professionals
Cinema Therapy certificate
Book: E-Motion Picture Magic

Why Cinema Therapy works
Guidelines for choosing films
Guidelines for watching films
Theory and guidelines for therapists
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
Experts talk about cinema therapy
Tell us your story

Professional Directory
Cinema Therapy groups
Articles by Birgit Wolz
Other articles and useful links
Cinema Therapy bibliography

The Press Room
Contact info
CT Newsletter Archive
the Web

© Birgit Wolz
Occidental, CA, USA



Good Will Hunting

Director: Gus Van Sant Jr.
Producer: Lawrence Bender
Screenwriters: Matt Damon, Ben Affleck
Casts: Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Ben Affleck, Minnie Driver, Stellan Skarsgård
MPAA Rating: R
Year of Release: 1997
Released on Video: 07/07/98

Despite being a mathematical genius capable of solving problems that have long stumped the brightest graduate students, MIT janitor Will Hunting’s self esteem is so severely damaged by his abusive childhood that he clings to life in the slow lane. That is, until his talent is discovered and he is cajoled into therapy. In the end, it is the love a woman that finally compels him to throw out his distorted self image about himself and to adapt to his reality in a healthier way.

Viewing Suggestion:

Watch how Will changes his view of himself and comes to grips with a past that has stymied him his entire life, despite his own brilliant efforts to sabotage all rescue attempts by those who love and understand him.

Ask Yourself:

- How did Will first think negatively of himself?
- Do you believe that you will never be able to heal your emotional pain and therefore increase your self-esteem?
- Do you remember a time in your life when you were able experience emotional healing like Will although you didn’t think it was possible?
- If this was your experience, do you consider that you might have the capacity to heal and change again?
- Does Will’s capacity to find healing for his emotional wounds remind you of possibly neglected resources inside you that might help you to achieve the same?
- How, do you think, he was able to let go of his self-doubts?
- Imagine yourself as Will when he let go of her negative beliefs.
- What distorted thoughts about yourself are dropping away as you “become” him?