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Licensed therapist Jonathan Decker and filmmaker Alan Seawright discuss psychology in movies.

"Have you ever heard of Cinema Therapy?" my college-aged daughter asked me one day. I had not. She proceeded to tell me all about this YouTube channel she's hooked on, in which a licensed therapist and a professional filmmaker—who also happen to be best friends—analyze movies together through each of their expert lenses. I was intrigued, so I checked it out.

Each Cinema Therapy video focuses on some psychological aspect of a film and runs approximately 30 to 40 minutes. Filmmaker Alan Seawright talks about the cinematics that lend themselves to emotional storytelling while licensed therapist Jonathan Decker talks about the mental health elements. With video titles like "MEGAMIND and Nice Guy Syndrome," "Ranking the Relationships in LOVE ACTUALLY" and "Psychology of a Hero: HULK and Anger Management," it's easy to see the appeal. Most people who love movies enjoy analyzing the heck out of the characters in them, and having people who actually know what they're talking about do so is too good to pass up.

Seawright and Decker met as roommates in college in 2005 and bonded over their love of cinema. More than a decade later, when Decker pitched the idea of creating Cinema Therapy (Decker describes that initial pitch as "a 'Siskel and Ebert' meets 'Mr. Rogers' kind of thing"), Seawright instantly envisioned what it would look like and why it would work. They were confident they would find an audience for it because of how seamlessly their two fields blend.

"Filmmaking is all about psychology," says Seawright. "Storytelling in general only connects with an audience when you’re able to help people feel something, and how and why people feel things is all about psychology."

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