The schizoid process in movies (1)

///The schizoid process in movies (1)

The schizoid process in movies (1)

By |2019-12-26T10:08:53+01:00December 26th, 2019|Clinical Forum|3 Comments

Dear all,

I hope you enjoy the holiday and enjoy a little more free time 🙂
This fall I saw two films that will most likely be nominated for an Oscar.
Both of them impressed me greatly because they were able to stage the deep psychic dynamics that I often encounter in my clients' therapies.
I really like to analyze films like this and I want to write an article based on them, from IP perspective, but until then I would like to share with you some thoughts on them.


The first one is Joker - Joker with J from Oscar ...It's not “just a movie”.

The need to be seen is often much underestimated. To be seen, to find yourself mentally in the minds of the others means simply to psychically exist - a fundamental need. Beyond the social connotations in the film, the psychotic dance is generated by the search, with a tragic despair, of identity and a place in the world, which, without the help of others, can only happen against them. The inability to be found by the others and its traumatic awareness, the impossibility of being seen as a worthy and valuable human being … These things can only be acquired relationally, with the help of others.
We find no tenderness in the film, only the psychic distance: all the others are light-years distant although they gravitate around, they address, they interact. But all of them are interacting only with the mask or they are lost in their own lives and minds. No one is NEAR, no one touches him emotionally, no one SEES him.

"You do not listen to me. I just told you that all I want is to be seen, to feel that I exist. You ask me the same questions every week: how is work? Do you have negative thoughts? / Yes, all I have they are just negative thoughts!!! "
Instead of contact, everywhere around him he only finds just an absolutely terrifying superficiality.

Where is he? He's in the fridge. Hidden in the deepest places of his own soul, no one sought him, no one suspected he was there, no one ever vitalised him through contact. No one warms his soul. He remained there, locked and frozen inside himself. All we can see from outside is the Mask and the Aggressor. No one has ever really seen him and he can never find himself. The abyss is open and he plunged into it without being able to return. He gave up. Everyone else gave up looking for him, as did he.
"My mother always told me to show a smile and a pretty face" - she didn't see him. She was simply asking him to build a mask. Being overwhelmed by her own problems and lost in her own downfall, she reversed the roles, placing her happiness on his little shoulders.
"My mother told me that in life I have one purpose, to bring smile and joy to the whole world." This is the complete abandonment, not the real one, which is more or less true in documents, but the emotional one; this is the real abandonment that left him alone in the world and with a mother-child in care. All that remains is the mask and the anger under which he lies burried. Where's the Joker baby? Was he ever a child? No. All he wants is to be seen. But no one can do that. No one imagines a such strange thing, that behind the mask a trapped and traumatized child could hide. Everyone thinks that they are talking to a mentally ill adult and nobody realizes that they are talking to a child who desperately wants to live, to psychically exist, to be seen, heard, appreciated, supported, cared for, encouraged, protected, respected. Like any child in this world.

It's not just a movie. It is a real psychic dynamic. Only some coughs are exaggerated, but not too many. I meet the Joker often. And I always strive to help him understand that I see him. Because the Joker is not just a man. He has many masks. Very, very many. The character is built to make it difficult for people to identify with him, as he is characterized as mentally ill. This is the great error, the self-fulfilling prophecy.
"Do you know who the joker is? It's everybody."


Florentina Isabella Mandoc

(I'll make a different post for the other movie).

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  1. Elif Akar 30/12/2019 at 11:54 am - Reply

    Thanks Florentina👍

  2. Ruth Birkebaek 15/02/2020 at 7:25 pm - Reply

    Dear Florentina,

    I just read your post and cannot stop myself from showing you my appreciation for such an authentic expression of anger.
    Or perhaps it’s just my interpretation of your beautiful words…??
    I haven’t seen the film but I love the way you describe it.

    Warm hug,

  3. Karen Cesarano 17/02/2020 at 8:10 am - Reply

    Hi Florentina

    I just loved the way you described the movie using our I.P. relational framework! It got me thinking about how as integrative psychotherapists we develop our professional experience that becomes totally imbedded in our personal life. Your response to watching a movie I think is a wonderful example of what we mean when we state that as IP psychotherapist we must have achieved our personal integration in order to be authentic and effective with our clients.
    I am now also really curious and motivated to watch the movie!
    Thank you for sharing

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