LOTR therapy

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Jul 13, 2020
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I've been using movies a lot in therapy lately. But, I just had to share some of this meme and another manualized treatment:

From @https://x.com/ChivalryGuild/status/1767702554161406110?s=20
Gandalf's 5-step method for performing a quasi-exorcism on a friend bewitched by sinister forces.

1. Get the patient away from wicked people—In other words, allow no more harm to be done. Poisonous influences must be stopped.In the case of Theoden, Gandalf has Grima Wormtongue put face-down on the ground and silenced.
"Therefore be silent," Gandalf tells Wormtongue, "and keep your forked tongue behind your teeth. I have not passed through fire and death to bandy crooked words with a serving-man till the lightning falls."

2. Get the patient outside—The air inside can become stuffy, stifling, unwholesome. The patient must be brought under the open sky—where fresh air and Vitamin D can only do good for him.In the case of Theoden, Gandalf brings him outside and pretty soon the sun is shining upon him. “I bid you come out before your doors and look abroad. Too long have you sat in shadows and trusted to twisted tales and crooked promptings.”

3. Have the patient stand tall—No more slouching. That is what the bewitchers want. They are afraid that if someone stands at his full height, he might feel like more of a man. Therefore they design all sorts of contrivances to pull your posture forward and down. As for Theoden, Gandalf tells him, “Nor does age lie so heavily on your shoulders as some would have you think.”Then Theoden "drew himself up, slowly, as a man that is stiff from long bending over some dull toil. Now tall and straight he stood."

4. Get a sword in the patient’s hand—Earlier we had sun. Now we get steel. Ideally you would put a literal sword in his hand, but a metaphorical sword might have to do. Get a man doing the things that remind him of his purpose.As for Theoden, Gandalf says, “Your fingers would remember their old strength better, if they grasped a sword-hilt.” Wormtongue has knowingly locked up Theoden’s sword. Gandalf knows that the memories of strength will return.

5. Reconcile the patient with his loved ones—In his illness, the patient may have lost touch with loved ones. It is time, if possible, to put these aright. In the case of Theoden, Gandalf tells him to forgive and be reconciled to his nephew Eomer, the truest servant he ever had.


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On a semi-related note, I think "happiness" by Taylor Swift captures dialectical thinking really well (it actually made me wonder if she's had DBT-adjacent therapy, ngl):

"Change" by Tracy Chapman is perfect for motivational interviewing:
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"The Secret of Happiness" from the off-Broadway musical Daddy Long Legs is very much a portrayal of mindfulness without even realizing it

(ignore the title, this is not the reprise of it)

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