Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program
Movie Group Classes
2201 East State Street
Hermitage, PA 16148
Phone (724) 981-7141 Fax (724) 981-7148

Psychiatric Rehabilitation services assist individuals with mental illness gain or regain valued roles in the community. Services may include choosing goals about future roles such as going to school or getting a job. A functional assessment is completed to determine the specific skills and supports needed to attain and maintain the goals individual has chosen. These specific skills are developed through group and individual sessions. Each phase of the program is driven by the person’s chosen support system and needed skills to help them experience success and satisfaction in the community. The four domains addressed by the psychiatric Rehabilitation program are EDUCATION, VOCATION, SOCIAL and SELF-MAINTENANCE.

Using copyright secured commercial movie clips in group therapy & rehabilitation classes provides three E’s for the participants: Entertainment, Education and Empowerment. The attendants always feel better once they are entertained, experiencing “colorful atmosphere” distinct from “black-and-white” climate of therapeutic setting in which they are addressed. They become more receptive discussing the characters and incidents watched on the screen, a neutral medium, without reservations hence better reception for education. Finally they draw parallels to the problems they have in their lives and empowered to resolve them.

Friday, November 16, 2012
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Five patients
Justin Disko, Psych Rehab Counselor
M.F. Ulus, M.D.


This is one of George C. Scott’s – Joanne Woodward’s as well – little known movies and has also been known as a collector’s item. Its DVD’s retail price is quite high as it has not been printed any longer while the film is in demand… by the movie addicts all the time! The writer’s daughter Dr. Eda Ulus – our member in PsychCineTherapy – was kind to purchase and sent it out from the UK last year after observing her Dad’s distress over it since he saw this film in the very year he came to the US and never watched again as it has not ended up with the TV, either!

Judge Justin Playfair – interesting name for a judge - [George C. Scott] believes that he is Sherlock Holmes and constantly expects a danger to be imposed by his arch nemesis Dr. Moriarty! His brother wants to commit him and get all the control of family estate & possessions. He convinces the hospital Medical Director – hefty charity – and all they need is a signature of a psychiatrist!

The said psychiatrist is… Dr. Watson!!! – What a coincidence - [Joanne Woodward], a very compassionate but bumbling clinician who refuses to sign the papers before seeing him. She is asked to do that while treating a patient who refuses to talk! The Medical Director orders the aides throwing this patient back to the ward so she see the Judge, brought by his brother there… However, Playfair observes the chaos and interrupts the aides’ actions. He immediately starts questioning the patient and with his “deductive logic,” understands that the patient, like him, operates under another identity, a silent movie star Rudolph Valentino! This has been the reason why he refused speaking!

Dr. Watson is fascinated by that and accepts him as a patient with a twist: She has to accompany him in his quests rather than having him in his office for filing the report!

Those two unlikely compatible people, therefore, launches a crusade through the modern Manhattan, meet a lot of colorful characters, solve these people’s problems together and fall in love! However, love between them in this movie is unlike the ones seen in Hollywood movies where female healers are exploited by the screenplay writers, directors or producers, i.e., female psychiatrist falls in love with her male patient… Theirs is more like establishing a mutual trust, respect and… liking each other – most people who fall in love getting divorced later on because of their not having these ingredients - a friendship blooming into tragic-comic but solid relationship…

The movie ends with a question: Will Dr. Moriarty to be coming out of the dark tunnel while both of them expect him to do so…


It is noted that both of these actors are very successful here… not because of displaying extraordinary acting but rather depicting quite a cute comedy characters, unlikely qualities they have never showed in the films produced before as well as after that movie… Both were known as a highly educated, sophisticated and talented artists portrayed individuals in deep morbid dramas, action flicks, love stories, and etc. but not in any comedy! However, they do their part without over-under acting, neither clowns nor are miscast for these performances…


What is Judge Playfair’s diagnosis? It is hard to tell even for a seasoned therapist. Paranoid Schizophrenia, Bipolarity, Delusional Illness, Schizotypal Disorder or just conscious – sociopathic – or unconscious – conversion – condition, a defense for the burnout or an existential boredom? An excellent debate material among behavioral health circles…

Dr. Watson is, yes, bumbling but is a very passionate & compassionate clinician for her patients… She cares for him and very rarely violates “boundaries!” Her character too, would be a good material for clinical discussion as to her conduct. Sure, no psychiatrist is going to do that in reality but the writer remembers that many clinicians used to be taking her patients out of the state hospital walls and walk in the gardens and green houses while conducting their daily rounds in 1971.

Speaking of that year, 1971, it was the year this writer arrived the US for psychiatric residency training offered by Warren State hospital affiliated with University of Pittsburgh, Medical School, Pennsylvania hence a nostalgia not only for memories but also presenting the philosophy of mental illness pertinent to that year, a history of psychiatry if period of 41 years is considered to be one…


We watched a part of the movie due to time restrictions and finish on this Tuesday, November 20, during Session XI; hence more patients’ input is expected in next week. I usually use the scene where Judge Playfair, a.k.a., Holmes, analyzes the silent patient before psychiatrists and resolve the identity crisis the patient has, something the clinicians fail I emphasize “peer support” and show how important it is in handling the people with behavioral health problems when someone, going through the same thing, may have better insight in understanding the client.

Perhaps the most important issue regarding psychiatric rehab in the movie is the Judge’s successful every day adjustment despite his paranoid & delusional disposition he uses for positive and productive matters and… helps people around him He also loves the clinician, something we fail to check in our clients whether they love somebody, they have capacity to love somebody and/or whether they are loved by somebody…


NOVEMBER 17, 2012