Movie Recommendation (on Netflix)

A Man Called Ove is an inspiring movie about a quintessentially grumpy old man with unyielding beliefs, strict routines, and the belief that everyone around him is an idiot — and who never hesitates to tell them so. When his new neighbours accidentally run over his mailbox, the curmudgeon’s solitary, over-regulated world is shaken in ways he would never have imagined.

What is so deeply moving for me about this story is the way it perfectly captures and expresses the fundamental truth that being needed is an essential human longing, and that life is so much sweeter when we share it with others.

I was also struck by how A Man Called Ove conveys the process of healing and change in in ways that are so familiar to me as a psychotherapist. For example, Ove’s story unfolds in a back-and-forth movement between present and past as we see the losses and wounds that shaped who he is. The movie also uses repetition, like Ove’s neighbourhood patrols, to show how he grows and changes, and how other people’s perception of him transforms.

In talk therapy we’re engaged in a similarly cyclical motion of emotional healing where we repeatedly encounter and explore our deepest feelings, traumas and behaviours in order to expand our conscious awareness, challenge assumptions and narratives from the past, and develop and integrate a stronger sense of self.

This is a movie that touches on some of the biggest existential themes in life with humour, intelligence and charm – I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Death, Sex and Money

Death, Sex & Money is a podcast about the big questions and hard choices that are often left out of polite conversation. Host Anna Sale talks to celebrities you’ve heard of—and to regular people you haven’t—about the Big Stuff: relationships, money, family, work and making it all count while we’re here.

What I like most about this podcast is Ms Sale’s honest, fearless and warm conversations about these complicated subjects – she respects the intelligence and vulnerability of her guests and listeners.  The two episodes I’m linking to below are recent conversations that explore physical disability from the perspectives of catastrophic injury and disabled from birth.

Two Wheelchairs and a Baby

Newlywed and Paralyzed

Lion – a powerful portrait of healing childhood trauma

lion_2016_filmMovie recommendation

For anyone who hasn’t already seen it, I highly recommend this movie. It tells the extraordinary true story of a little 5-year-old boy, Saroo, who becomes lost in Calcutta, 2000km from his home in central India. After months of surviving on the streets, then in an orphanage that is essentially a warehouse for lost children, Saroo is adopted by an Australian couple whose world couldn’t be more different from the one he leaves behind.

One of the many strengths of Lion is how this movie avoids the trap of stereotypes; little Saroo is extremely vulnerable, yet smart and resourceful. Poverty is not just one-dimensional, it’s full of life.

At the heart of the movie is a deep understanding and insightful approach to the experience of childhood trauma. Saroo’s story moves from pain and fear to hope and healing without sentimentality.

Overcoming trauma is a journey of the soul that is rarely captured on film. For anyone who has made this journey themselves, or is somewhere along their path, Lion is a portrait in healing, courage and love that will inspire and affirm.

Contact me for help with healing childhood trauma.