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Introduction to Cinematherapy Training

ITC-400 Introduction to Cinematherapy

Introduction to Cinematherapy Online Course

Course Content:

Introduction to Cinematherapy (ITC-400) is three weeks in length.
Cinematherapy, (also referred to as Video-therapy), is a specialized counselling process in which therapists assign specifically selected movies depicting core issue related to the client’s presenting concerns. Clients are instructed to view the film as "homework" between sessions, and come prepared to process their responses to the movie with the therapist in future sessions. Films are used as the medium to unlock unconscious, emotional, and/or cognitive roadblocks that can inhibit or interfere with therapeutic change. Cinematherapy can be conducted online, telephonically, or in face to face sessions.

Topics:    Cinematherapy incorporates an integrated skill set to treat mild to moderate mental health issues. The four-step treatment program assesses and processes clients’ responses to contemporary films related to their presenting concerns. Online or f2f sessions are suitable for individuals, couples, youth, workshops, and groups.

Skills:   Students learn how to select therapeutically appropriate films; help clients process their reactions to characters and events in the film; resolve issues related to disruptive emotions, thoughts, family dynamics, life patterns, addictions and other symptoms depicted in the film. Outcome measures and needs assessment used to test the efficacy of the therapy process.

Cinematherapy can be conducted online or through f2f sessions using specifically selected movies depicting mental health issues related to clients’ presenting concerns.

Introduction to Cinematherapy (ITC-400 )

The text explores the following topics: how therapeutic work interwoven with popular films enhances traditional therapy; dilemmas that you may face when deciding when it is appropriate to assign a film; and detailed information on every aspect of using films as tools in therapy.

In addition, the text addresses client issues frequently encountered in therapy, including marital problems, parenting, job stress, abuse, and emotional disorders, and offers suggestions on selecting films, creating assignments, and processing homework


Upon completion of this elective course, you may include the following skills as part of your Professional Portfolio:

  • Utilize therapeutic modalities to facilitate the Cinematherapy process.
  • Assess client’s readiness for e-counselling or cinematherapy; develop appropriate goals and treatment plan.
  • Preview and select appropriate films to address the client’s presenting issues.
  • Facilitate discussion of the characters and events in the film using counselling skills such as advanced empathy, active listening, exploratory questioning, empty chair techniques, role playing, art therapy, and guided imagery.
  • Identify irrational beliefs, family dynamics, maladaptive life patterns, addiction and other symptoms depicted in the film that relate to clients’ presenting problem.
  • Develop outcome measures to test the efficacy of the online cinematherapy processes.
  • Assess client’s level of functioning, risk for suicide, homicide, or self-harm; and make referrals as necessary,
  • Apply the Cinematherapy model to a wide variety of complaints in otherwise, well-functioning clients who present with symptoms such as anxiety, depression, interpersonal conflicts, damaged self-esteem, unresolved losses, maladaptive behaviors, guilt, and addictions.
  • Counsellor recognizes personal issues, attitudes and beliefs that may be triggered as you view the films. These and other professional/personal issues to be addressed in supervision.

In addition, you will gain valuable experience in the context of your supervised, volunteer placement or employment setting.


Skills learned in this elective may be applicable to entry-to-mid-level employment as a counselor in a variety of mental health settings such as:

  • Consulting with private businesses
  • Outpatient mental health clinics
  • Home support services
  • Women’s shelters and centers
  • Crisis line.
  • Victim’s assistance outreach teams.
  • Substance abuse treatment facilities.
  • Outpatient hospital counselling services.
  • Pastoral and faith-based counselling.
  • First Nations wellness centers.
  • Support services for parents, children and youth.
  • Private practice (under supervision of an experienced clinician).
  • Counselling in public agencies for recipients of financial assistance and social services.
  • Counselling services in post-secondary schools.
  • Human resource departments in private business and public agencies.
  • Career planning/ employment agencies.

NOTE: Specialized training from an accredited program is advised for counsellors who intend to offer online, telephone, or cinema therapy. In order to obtain liability insurance, and apply for designation through professional associations, or regulatory colleges, entry level counsellors are required to practice under supervision for the first two years following graduation.

Counsellors residing in Canada who are members of a professional association or regulatory college, are permitted to provide the types of mental health services that fall within their scope of training and ethical standards.

A specialized courses in e-Counselling offered through KCPC, conform to ethical guidelines and competency standards established by the Ministry of Advanced Education in BC; the Competency Profile for Counselling Therapists; the Canadian Professional Counsellors Association, (CPCA); Association of Cooperative Counselling Therapists, (ACCT); and the Canadian College of Professional Counsellors and Psychotherapists (CCPCP).


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