Friday, January 21, 2011

Interactive post: Black Swan (comment!)

In the previous post on advocacy, I mentioned the different hats we wear. I’m sure that many of you can relate that it is close to impossible to take off your therapist hat when not on the job. By this, I mean that we have rewired our brains to think analytically and therapeutically all the time. And never has this been more apparent to me than this past weekend.

I would love to know what you guys think of the new film, Black Swan. I went this past Monday with a group of friends to see the movie in theatres. I don’t want to spoil the movie for anyone with plans to see it, but I will say that Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman) has a whole mix of issues. And while some will interpret the movie differently, I saw evidence of various mental health issues. And of course I thought to myself, how could music therapy help Nina?

The answer to this will differ depending on which music therapist you talk to. Really, there can’t be a wrong answer to this considering Nina is a fictional character in a movie that is made to raise eyebrows.

Nina was a girl in a crisis. First and foremost, I think she needed crisis intervention, as her life was spiraling out of control. But following this, I thought Nina might really benefit from both individual AND group therapy. One possible goal might be to improve self-esteem. If the group therapy included other members of the ballet, an added benefit would be improved group cohesion.

Considering the population and appropriate goals, what are some music therapy interventions you might use in this case?
Please leave a brief comment with your ideas!


  1. I agree Michelle. The truth underlying this fictional character is all too present in the real world. Of course that is also why I wanted to see it. Observing how mass media portrays real issues is always interesting.

    For interventions one place to start would be challenging Nina's black and white thinking in a safe and positive environment such as improve in a MT group or lyric analysis of social norms.

  2. That's a great point, Jessy! She absolutely had a perspective that said things were either black or white (it really goes with the theme of the movie).

    Another point to make is that she could probably use some mother-daughter therapy. I was frustrated with the way her mother handled the situation the night of her performance. She needed to call for help and immediate intervention.

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