Film/Video-Based Therapy

Video and FIlmmaking as Psychotherapy: Research and Practice Edited by Joshua L Cohen and J. Lauren Johnson with Penelope Orr and a Foreword by Cathy Malchiodi

For a free webinar on this book: please visit

This website is intended to create a collaboration between filmmakers, psychologists, anthropologists, psychiatrists, and art therapists in forming a discussion about the use of film and video based therapy. The content of the webpage is intended to be an appendix to the book Film and Video as Therapy:Research and Practice, to be published by Routledge in 2015. To order the book, please visit the following website


In addition to promoting the book to help raise awareness of this intervention, we hope to gain feedback on the blog by facilitating communications with those interested in fostering the growth of this concept through questions, concerns, and/or ideas.  



Please feel free to explore the space within the webpage and ask questions on the blog.


This interactive space is meant to stir up questions as well as to inspire creativity and rethinking what it means to be a creative therapist


The use of film and video in/as therapy has a decades-long history in practice. Early work in this field included the post-World War II use of experimental, non-narrative films to calm veterans suffering from shell shock, and the 1970s saw boys in a group creating short films together to foster group cohesion, mastery skills, and better communication. With the advent of portable video equipment in the 1970s, female artists began turning the camera on themselves, making them the object of their own gaze. The precursor to the selfie’ Despite this fact, there is a dearth of literature on the theory and practice of using film/video production as therapy and the multidisciplinary practitioners who support its use. Copious literature exists discussing the use of several related media in a therapeutic context, such as photography, writing, drawing, music, and drama, but this body of literature is virtually vacant of film/video as a therapeutic medium. Despite the fact that there is little writing in this area, numerous practitioners from around North America and Europe are quietly working in this area – often independently, as the community of practitioners in this field is still quite small and geographically scattered. In an effort to build community among film/video-based therapy practitioners, and to introduce our work to others in our broader practice and research communities, we introduce this edited book on the theory and practice of film/video-based therapy. Representing the fields of anthropology, psychology, and art therapy, and perspectives as diverse as psychodynamic theory, and narrative theory, this book is the quintessential introductory resource for film/video-based therapy. This anthology is intended as an introductory foundation for the broad array of work we do in this exciting field, and is intended to introduce, justify, and explicate our practice to a broader audience.

Call For Abstracts

Call for abstracts


Rough drafts due  August 1 2021

(Abstract due August 1, 2019)

Statement of Aims

         Trauma is not just about the event, it is about how one responds to triggers as described in pioneers of trauma researchers and practitioners such as Bessel Van Der Kolk, Peter Levine, evidence-based, and qualitative and quantitative research.  In this book on the topic of digital storytelling as therapy (film/video-based therapy), we will build on the work the first book, Video and Filmmaking as Psychotherapy: Research and Practice, which looked at film/video-based theory across issues and populations in a general sense. Contributors to this book will add to the previous theory and new contributors will help further narrow the focus of practice in video film/video-based therapy by addressing the important issues of trauma in everyday life as well as a global phenomenon.  We will do this by focusing on the topic of trauma through media psychology, depth psychology, neuroscience, medicine, and advocacy’s role in using film/video-based therapy. A client needs to be aware of all the triggers of trauma in order to help build resilience. Film/video-based therapy can help one to become not only aware of those triggers, but to be an advocate for change using digital storytelling and by learning how to process triggers in the home, local community, state, country, and the world that may otherwise leave one vulnerable to trauma.


If you are interested in writing a chapter for the book Film/Video-Based Therapy and Trauma: Research and Practice,  the abstract must be about trauma and related to film/video-based therapy, which can relate to art therapy, media psychology, digital storytelling, and virtual reality. You have the choice of focusing on various methods including film/video-based therapy, depth psychology, neuroscience, medicine, somatic experiencing, digital storytelling, Virtual Reality, and other evidence-based approaches to using a technological medium to tell the story.  The goal is to broaden the field of both Virtual Reality and Digital Storytelling and Therapeutic Filmmaking by helping to develop badly needed content for developers in the health field who use narrative and technology for an intervention. Please write a 300-word essay in a word document to by August 1st, 2019 if interested. APA citations and references are mandatory. If you feel that you might struggle with APA style, please do not hesitate to contact me. 

The chapter itself will be about 15 pages, about five thousand words. We will do about three rounds of revisions 3 months apart. The final deadline for the rough drafts will be on August 1st, 2021.

Posted position in WorldCat

Josh Cohen Ph.D.



Facebook Josh Cohen

LinkedIn Joshua L. Cohen Ph.d.

Media Psychologist

Founder and Owner of Your Digital Storytelling Project

and Media Psychology Consultants PC

Author and co-editor of 

Video and Filmmaking as Psychotherapy: Research and Practice

Dr. Cohen is clinically trained as a researcher at Pacifica Graduate Institute and Walden University. He has experience as a film/video editor for Avid and Final Cut Pro in Burbank, California. His experience includes “A” list work in Hollywood with significant people in the film world before turning back to psychology to complete his doctorate in clinical psychology. He has a doctorate in clinical psychology and published numerous articles and academic journals. He speaks in public on virtual reality, and digital storytelling. He is also on the board of the Los Angeles County Psychological Association’s nonprofit foundation. His clinical experience involves working with people of several populations including community mental health, hospital settings, and private practice. He is also a student of Somatic Experiencing which plays a role in his theory of film editing and teaching trauma. 

Dr. Cohen is also the author and co-editor of a book called Video and Filmmaking as Psychotherapy: Research and Practice, published by Routledge in 2015 which has reached almost 100 libraries across the world. As a guest lecturer at the University of Southern California (USC), Dr. Cohen has experience introducing this material to students in the social work department. The book is the first of its kind, proposing to make films as a part of psychotherapy in a comprehensive academic book. It is also in the national library of medicine. In the 15 chapters, sources came from authors associated with Psychology, Counseling, Anthropology, Social Work, and Art Therapy. One chapter is written about military trauma that is in a clinical trial about the therapeutic use of film by the grandson of George Patton Jr and his multi-day filmmaking workshops used to treat service-related stress. To see examples of abstracts and media from the book please visit the following website.

Background of his company

Dr. Cohen works in the field of mental health education with clients, groups, and colleagues from around the world and is now studying for licensure to be a clinical psychologist. 

Dr. Cohen has extensive experience doing public speaking. He had presented his knowledge at conferences in the US and Canada, as well as hospital settings. He has made public speeches at addiction treatment facilities, universities, and webinars on topics such as addiction and trauma. Dr. Cohen is also currently on staff at the video therapy school in Israel and has lectured for a class in Haifa. For more info please visit the following link. staff 

During his presentation at an addiction treatment facility in 2016, Dr. Cohen introduced relax VR, soon to become one of the top 10 apps on the Google Daydream and now available on Android, Daydream View, Samsung Gear VR, iOS, and Pico Goblin.

Dr. Cohen’s company is based out of Long Beach and it's called Your Digital Storytelling Project which involves public speaking, digital storytelling, virtual reality, and a publication. The press of his company includes a radio show, webinars, articles, and presentations at conferences and universities. To see examples of the press, please visit the following website.

Thank you,

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