Film Series — CANCELLED
Happiness: A Lens into the Therapist’s Struggle to Accept the Most Wounded Parts of Ourselves & our Patients
with Aby Malley, LCSW | Oct. 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute | $15 (Refreshments and Popcorn will be Served)
Happiness provides an intimate gaze into the lives of several (truly miserable) people, and their misguided attempts at “happiness.” The audience watches, often while cringing, as several characters- from the pitifully endearing to those whom we might label as “evil”- repeatedly chase the same, hopeless situations into their inevitably hopeless consequences. While difficult to watch, the film is ultimately compassionate, unbiased, and in some ways surprisingly optimistic. This lecture will focus on the experience of the viewer as it parallels that of the therapist sitting with a patient. This film is rich; it is compassionate yet cruel, hilarious yet gut wrenching, and refuses to provide its audience with the compacted, pithy morals we so often seek when watching a film. The therapist is faced with a similar dilemma, where the person in front of us contains multiple conflicting truths, and there is no succinct way to conceptualize or “define” any patient. The therapist realizes that in witnessing the complexity of another, they themselves are equally complex, and contain similar strengths and vulnerabilities. The therapist is compelled to release previously obtained notions of “right or wrong, good or bad,” when understanding others as well as themselves. This film asks us to do the same, and thus will be used to illustrate the painful, yet ultimately liberating process of attempting to sit compassionately and without rigid judgement of ourselves and our patients.