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.