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.

Friends Talking Faith: An interview with Dr. Josh Cohen and Benjamin Patton

In this interview, I discuss the collective book research results from the acadenic reference book Video and Filmmaking as Psychotherapy:Research and Practice as well as Your Digital Storytelling Project as well as my clinical experience with addictions, PTSD, and now Virtual reality as they apply to the veteran and active duty population. Benjamin Patton then has a chance to discuss his I was There Non Profit Program.


"As this Memorial Day approaches we will talk with the grandson of one of America’s most famous Generals. This week on Friends Talking Faith with The Three Wise Guys we’ll discuss faith, combat veterans with PTSD, and therapy that’s really working. “I WAS THERE film workshop” is the program of the Patton Veterans Project. We will talk with the Executive Director, Mr. Benjamin Patton – he’s the grandson of Gen. George Patton. His mission is not on the battlefield but in the film studio where he seeks to combine the therapeutic value of narrative with the power of digital media to help veterans and military families heal from post traumatic and other service-related stress. We will also talk with Dr. Joshua Cohen about his research regarding this unique form of therapy and emotional healing. Our conversation – as Memorial Day approaches – with Mr. Benjamin Patton (pictured here) and Dr. Joshua Cohen about “therapy through film-making.” — listen now to this episode of Friends Talking Faith.


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