Essay about Strangely Ordinary People

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The movie “Ordinary People” was a very entertaining and educational movie. It looked into the dynamics of families and showed the different parts and dependencies. It also looked into a type of client/therapist relationship and how it evolved over time. The discussion below will attempt to explore deeper into these aspect of the film. Throughout the film a focus on family and the dynamics is prominent. A traumatic event, the loss of a son, brother, and friend, has influenced the Jarrett greatly. Due to the circumstances in which Conrad, a severely depressed teenager and the main character, was present during the death of his brother, feelings of guilt had built up in this young man. A great deal of stress and tension is built between …show more content…

Because of his depression and self alienation from even his best friends and family as well as constant concern for him shown by his father, Conrad decides to go and see a psychiatrist. Dr. Berger, the local recommended psychiatrist, presents as a very busy lightly interested man. He is very casual, close to being too casual, who is open and blunt. His style of therapy relates closely to the Gestalt therapeutic approach. In the second session Dr. Berger starts talking about being awake, the here and now. Anything that is said or mentioned the doctor goes with it. He is very focused on what the client, Conrad, is experiencing at that moment. When talking about the consideration of quitting the swim team Conrad mentions that it would look bad, and the doctor says “forget about how it looks, how does it feel?” (Redford, director, Ordinary people, 1980)The psychiatrist helps Conrad to take full responsibility for himself and his actions. He guides him onto the path of realization that it is not all his fault and that maybe there is some guilt, blame, or condemnation in his self that he needs to let go of to become free from his current emotional distress. The therapist creeps very close to many boundaries but seems to have a good grasp on the fine line and when he is getting to close. There are many examples but one in the beginning of the relationship is when he is smoking

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