n. A form of therapy or self-help that uses movies, particularly videos, as therapeutic tools.
Cinematherapy is a relatively new therapeutic approach being used by many psychotherapists and counselors. It is an extension of bibliotherapy, a technique developed by psychiatrist Carl Menninger, who assigned fiction and non-fiction books to his patients to help them develop insight and coping strategies. When using a video tape, the individual can view certain segments and important scenes over and over again and use the message in the story to understand himself and his own life more accurately.
—Hap LeCrone, “Movies can play important role in therapy,” Cox News Service, July 03, 2001
1995 (earliest)
Holiday blues got you down? Rent a video. Please don't go see a movie in a theater: Your cries of recognition when you uncover your healing themes will distract the other viewers. What am I psychobabbling about? Ask the Movie Doctor, Gary Solomon, a Portland mental health therapist, author of "The Motion Picture Prescription: Watch This Movie and Call Me in the Morning." … Cinematherapy requires a lot of serious videocy. Filmiatrist Solomon writes, "If you watch just one movie a week for the next two years, imagine the personal growth and recovery you could enjoy."
—Susan G. Hauser, “Staying Sane the Video Way,” The Wall Street Journal, December 22, 1995
This word has been in the news of late thanks to the recent release of a book called Advanced Cinematherapy: The Girl's Guide to Finding Happiness One Movie at a Time, by Nancy Peske and Beverly West. This is a sequel to their 1999 book, Cinematherapy: The Girl's Guide to Movies for Every Mood, and these books join a host of others in this newly formed genre, including Reel Therapy, The Motion Picture Prescription, and Rent Two Films and Let's Talk in the Morning.
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