Monday, March 06, 2006

Hate to say I told you so but I told you so

Listening to: The Hives, Veni Vidi Vicious

In my therapy groups, I inevitably introduce a concept to my groups that I call The Filter. We don't see the world as it is, I tell them, we have little objectivity in what we observe of our day to day life. Instead, what we see is interpretation determined by The Filter, the prejudices, preconceptions, emotional content, and beliefs we bring to bear on any given situation. As such, our view of the world is largely distorted, full of opinions rather than facts, an interference of clarity.

The sessions in which we address the filter usually go for 4 or 5 weeks and they tend to be the most popular sessions I run. By far, the most common comment I receive when a client finishes is how important it was to them to become aware of their filter and learn how to diminish it.

A few months back, I decided to show the movie Crash to illustrate how The Filter works, how the characters in the movie allowed their "filters" to lead them on inevitable (and sometimes tragic) courses of action.

When I first saw the movie, I immediately realized it was a great film, an important film. The movie gave me one of those experiences where, days after I viewed it, I kept thinking about it, the characters, their actions. It moved me.

For my therapy groups, Crash was extremely helpful in elaborating The Filter. It engages the audience, it plays games with our own filters, it tugs at our filters and then snaps them back to slap us in the face. We can't finish the movie without having confronted our own preconceptions, prejudices, beliefs, and emotions.

Unless you just emerged from a cave, you're aware that Crash took the Oscar for Best Picture of the Year and although I'll confess that I have not seen any of the other nominees, I must say that I'm convinced the Academy made the right decision.

My groups will return to The Filter in a couple of months (right now we're dealing with Beliefs and some concepts from Narrative Psychology). I can't wait to see it again.


Anne said...

Not having cable, and PBS not airing anything of interest on Sunday night, we popped in a movie--Crash--again. One of my favorite films since the first time I saw it.

I was SO THRILLED that it won! My daughters (the older two) loved the movie as well.

Mamacita said...

I haven't seen it yet, but if both of YOU recommend it, I'll put it at the top of my rental list. Your word is good enough for me.

trusty getto said...

Not that I have time to watch movies these days, but I will get it and watch it, perhaps this weekend :)

Teri said...

I'm totally under a rock...
but I knew Crash won. I haven't seen it yet.

Maybe I'll rent it one of these days.