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.

Elizabeth Hamilton, PhD

Elizabeth Hamilton earned her BA from Vanderbilt University (honors in psychology), her MS from Tulane University and her PhD in clinical psychology from UCLA. She was the recipient of an APA dissertation grant, and more recently, is co-investigator for a school-based intervention grant awarded by Division 53 of APA. In addition to involvement with clinical training and teaching in our department, she maintains an active clinical practice with children, teens and adults, with special interests in eating and mood disorders. Current research interests include protective and risk factors in developmental psychopathology. 

Basia Mosinski, LCAT, ATR-BC,MA, MFA

Basia Mosinski, MA, MFA is an Art Therapist in Southern California and a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist in New York. She was a clinician and Assistant Director of Mental Health at Gay Men’s Health Crisis in New York and a former chair of the Technology Committee of the American Art Therapy Association. Prior to Art Therapy, Basia was faculty in the Film/Video/New Media Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. 

Basia is now working at One life Coach helping those who need guidance through grief and loss.

“OneLife.Coach sessions can help you to explore the impact of what happened, on your life. Explore ways to fully express your feelings and yet not create continued feelings of overwhelm. Bring one or more areas of your life into alignment, by identifying the areas that have been changed, listening for those places that tug you back into life and following the call. Creatively exploring options for your new self to emerge. To develop a plan that increases your well-being, and improves resilience toward a path of wholeness.”

Penelope Orr,  PhD, ATR-BC

Dr. Penny Orr is a board certified, registered art therapist and an Art Therapy Board Credentialed Supervisor. Dr. Orr served on the Art Therapy Credentials Board, which credentials art therapists in the United States, and was the past president of this board.  She has taught at Edinboro University and Florida State University for the past 10 years in which time she published one book, wrote chapters for two edited books, and published 15 articles on digital media theory and use in art therapy


Marty Otañez, Ph.D.

and Wanda Lakota, M.A.

Marty Otañez is an assistant professor in the Anthropology Department, University of Colorado, Denver. He examines digital storytelling as a research method to promote health equities among communities of color. Also, he studies diverse ways to bring digital media, social justice, and community wellness perspectives to social science and public health applications. Marty is a co-editor of the forthcoming book Engaging Participatory Visual and Digital Research (Left Coast Press: California). He operates the Coalition for Excellence in Digital Storytelling blog

Wanda Lakota is an Inclusive Excellence Fellow at the University of Denver where her current research interests focus on filmmaking and the intersections of race, identity, and health. In completion of her dissertation, she is writing, producing, and directing a documentary about the first FDA-approved race-based drug. Prior to studying filmmaking, Wanda Lakota was a full time Instructor, Director, and Academic Advisor for the Department of Communication, University of Colorado - Denver

A clinical trial has been published on I was there films citing this work. I felt it necessary to reflect those changes in the original website since the original book, in print and in electronic form, still have inside for this very reason, to update the literature in the event of more accurate information and or clinical trials emerge. To read the full text of the clinical trial, click here.

Benjamin Patton, M.A.

Rivka Tuval-Mashiach, Ph.D.

 Benjamin Patton is the Founder and President of Patton Veterans Project, Inc., a not-for-profit organization devoted to serving veterans and military families coping with the consequences of post-traumatic stress. Ben oversees the operations for PVP and leads each I Was There therapeutic film workshop, reaching out to veteran participants before, during, and after participation. The youngest grandson of WWII's General George S. Patton Jr., Ben is co-author of the 2012 book, Growing Up Patton: Reflections on Heroes, History and Family Wisdom. Formerly a producer for and development executive, he also operates Patton Productions, an independent production company. Ben is a graduate of Georgetown University and holds a Masters in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University-Teachers College.


Dr. Rivka Tuval-Mashiach is a clinical psychologist and a senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Bar Ilan University in Israel. She is also the head of the community services unit at The Israel Center for Victims of Terror and War. Her research and clinical work include using narrative approaches to diagnose and treat people exposed to trauma and those with PTSD, She studies collective trauma, gender and trauma, and identity construction processes following traumatic events, and has published extensively on these topics

Foreword by

Cathy Malchiodi, PhD, LPAT, LPCC, ATR-BC, REAT

Cathy Malchiodi, PhD, LPAT, LPCC, ATR-BC, REAT  is a leading international expert, syndicated writer, and educator in the fields of art therapy, expressive arts and arts in healthcare. She is a research psychologist, a Board Certified and Licensed Professional Art Therapist, Registered Expressive Arts Therapist, and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, and has had over 25 years of experience and education in trauma intervention and disaster relief and integrative approaches to health. Dr. Malchiodi is the founder, director and lead faculty member of the Trauma-Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy Institute, dedicated to teaching trauma-informed intervention that integrates expressive arts, neurobiology, somatic approaches, mindfulness, and positive psychology. In particular, it supports the specific use of expressive arts therapies including art therapy, music therapy and movement therapy, play therapy, dramatic enactment, humor and mind-body approaches for recovery and wellness in children, adults and families. Dr. Malchiodi is also the President of Art Therapy Without Borders and is one of its founders. - See more at:



Dr. Malchiodi went on to edit another book with similar authors on digital technology.

Amazon describes that book as

Interest in the use of digital technology in art therapy has grown significantly in recent years. This book provides an authoritative overview of the applications of digital art therapy with different client groups and considers the implications for practice.

Alongside Dr. Malchiodi, the contributors review the pros and cons of introducing digital technology into art therapy, address the potential ethical and professional issues that can arise and give insight into the effect of digital technology on the brain. They cover a wide range of approaches, from therapeutic filmmaking to the use of tablet and smartphone technology in therapy. Detailed case studies bring the practicalities of using digital technology with children, adolescents and adults to life and the use of social media in art therapy practice, networking and community-building is also discussed.”


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Cathy’s Colleagues



Among the authors in Cathy’s new book includes Jedidiah Logan who represents the American Psychological Association’s division 46, Media Pschology who mentions Skip Rizzo from the bravemind program at the University of Southern California that uses Virtual Reality to treat soldiers with post traumatic stress disorder, which can be compared to Ben Patton and Rivka Tuval Maschiach’s work.


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