Using Movies to Discuss Difficult Family Topics
Touro University Worldwide Takes a Look at This Year’s Oscar Nominees
With the Oscars just around the corner, Americans are rushing to see the films that critics have been raving about for months. Some of our families in the Touro University Worldwide (TUW) Marriage & Family Therapy Department reviewed a few of this year's Oscar Nominees and the family lessons that can be learned from their plots. If you and your family watch movies, choosing to include movies like these that deal with challenging subjects can be a good way to discuss these tough topics.
1) Dealing with Parenting – “Brave” is the favorite for winning best animated film, but it is also a favorite for understanding the conflicts that arise between parents and children. The strong-willed Merida defies her mother as she hopes to change the future her parents have planned for her. Ultimately, both mother and daughter learn that parenting is about compromise, which is a lesson that both children and adults can take to heart.
2) Dealing with Mental Illness – Mental illness is often a taboo subject; families do not discuss it and prefer avoidance over acceptance. Movies such as “Silver Linings Playbook” have brought the realities of depression and mental illness into the spotlight. Families need to be open about mental illness with their children so that they can understand that it is an illness and it is ok to ask for help. Movies are good starting points for talking about difficult topics, and “Silver Linings Playbook” fits the bill.
3) Learning about Societal Struggles – “Les Misérables” was revolutionary when Victor Hugo first published the acclaimed novel in 1862, and many of the struggles and lessons learned by its characters are still relevant today. Talking to your children about poverty and racism can be difficult topics to introduce, and sometimes looking at how far the world has come is a good starting point. Using historical movies like “Les Misérables” can teach your children lessons such as the importance of service to society, intellectual pursuit, and the giving back to the underserved, all principals that TUW is built upon.
4) Learning about Loss – “Amour” is the favorite for winning the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, but the topics the film focuses on such as elderly relations and loss are not foreign. Talking about loss is a difficult subject to broach at any age, which is why it is important to watch movies that showcase the pain of loss and show family members how individuals deal with this agony.
The Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Touro University Worldwide presents an extraordinary opportunity for interested individuals to become actively involved in an expanding and promising area of study. The need for Marriage and Family Therapists is growing as an integral and important part of our nation’s health and mental health care delivery system. So watch the movies, learn the lessons, and then become part of the TUW community that teaches these lessons every day.
Interested students should visit http://www.tuw.edu/ or call 888-586-5193 to learn how they can apply today.
About Touro University Worldwide:
Touro University Worldwide is a non-profit organization established by philanthropic visionaries who are committed to developing a passionate, connected learning community that can help students achieve their individual academic goals. Students at Touro University Worldwide are committed to social justice, intellectual pursuit, and professional development. This philosophy is derived from the Judaic foundation on which the University was originally founded and a value system that welcomes all cultures and backgrounds.
About the Touro College and University System
Touro is a system of non-profit institutions of higher and professional education. Touro College was chartered in 1970 primarily to enrich the Jewish heritage, and to serve the larger American and global community. Approximately 19,000 students are currently enrolled in its various schools and divisions. Touro College has branch campuses, locations and instructional sites in the New York area, as well as branch campuses and programs in Berlin, Jerusalem, Moscow, Paris and Florida. Touro University California and its Nevada branch campus, as well as Touro University Worldwide and New York Medical College are separately accredited institutions within the Touro College and University System. For further information on Touro College, please go to: http://www.touro.edu/media/.