The cycle "Cinema as therapy" takes a new form

In Lithuanian schools, day care centers, care institutions, a new method will soon be used to help solve psychological problems of children and teenagers - cinema therapy. On May 20, a training cycle was presented in "Romuva", during which 100 specialists working with children will be trained in a new method and will be able to apply this practice when working with children.

According to the director of the State Child Rights and Adoption Service, Ilma Skuodiene, this method should significantly contribute to improving children's mental health. The current prevailing trends are alarming - as many as 79 percent. of teenagers have tasted alcohol, 54 percent - smoked, 19 percent. after trying drugs. And child rights defenders, after talking to every 20 children in the country, notice that many of them experience emotional difficulties. In order to help children solve the problems they face, it is important to apply new inclusive methods. One of them is the film therapy methodology that is spreading in the world.

"Innovative forms of assistance and education involve modern children and teenagers more, help to solve emerging emotional difficulties. Therefore, the defenders of the child's rights together with their partners prepared a film therapy project and plan to train 100 specialists who work with children - social workers, social pedagogues, psychologists - in the next week. We believe that this will contribute to improving children's mental health", says I. Skuodienė.

Today the project started in Kaunas, and all next week meetings with specialists will be held in Kėdainiai, Šilalė, Alytus, Marijampole, Utena, Telšiai. It is expected that the project will move to other Lithuanian cities in the near future.

Indrė Mikelaitytė, cultural project manager of Romuva cinema, which popularizes the cinema therapy method, says that going into the world of cinema can be not only interesting, but also very meaningful, especially if the audience reflects on what they saw, deepens their feelings and discusses them after watching the film. with a specialist.

"One of the reasons why movies are increasingly finding their way into therapy is their versatility. Usually, the film is attractive, especially to a young person, so it can also become a form of therapy. A therapy session can take place in various spaces or in a home environment, applied to various groups regardless of age, gender, nationality or social status," says I. Mikelaitytė.

Giedrė Starkevičiūtė, one of the creators of the film therapy methodology, child rights defender, also supports it. According to her, film therapy can be a great tool for a young person to help talk about difficult experiences, rarely touched topics and a great platform to reflect on their emotional state.

"This methodology will encourage you to look at difficulties from a perspective, give you hope, and help you get to know yourself better. It will help not only those who simply want to get to know themselves better, but also those who face emotional difficulties and challenges in life," says G. Starkevičiūtė.

It is planned that soon 100 specialists working with children - psychologists, social workers, pedagogues - will be ready and able to apply the new method in working with children and teenagers.

A guide to film therapy has been prepared as part of the project "Stuck in celluloid — cinema as a means of social integration", which is financed from the funds of the European regional development fund "Interreg" VA Lithuanian-Polish cross-border cooperation program. 

You can familiarize yourself with the methodological material here.

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