Where can personal healing come from?
Healing can come from different sources. Psychotherapy is not the only process that can provide healing for us. Coaching can be healing (even though its main purpose is the development of skills and becoming more efficient). Meaningful contacts can provide some kind of healing. And works of art, books or movies can heal us. Let us not forget, that theatre, for example, was created in order to provide catharsis to the audience – “catharsis” comes from the Greek and means purgation – the process of providing release from strong or repressed emotions.
So what about this movie? The Miseducation of Cameron Post?
‘The Miseducation of Cameron Post’ is LGBT related. It is about a 16-year old girl that experiences same-sex attraction for her classmate. When she is found out, her conservative guardians sent her off for conversion therapy (which shouldn’t be called therapy at all). ‘
Why is this movie healing?
This movie can awaken us to the fact of heteronormativity. It speaks about the repression of lesbians and gays in a heteronormative world where only heterosexuality is the norm.
It is beyond comprehension for some minds that sex is not only about reproduction and “what goes where” in terms of genitals. It seems awkward to me now (after many hours of therapy myself), how society has concluded that sex is for the sole reason of reproduction and people are judged based on what form this attraction takes for a specific individual. The “Why do people have sex” article on Psychology Today seems pertinent to this for those who want to read further.
But it is not only about sex – it is about what therapy is as well…
When questioned about the institution that she is in, Cameron says:
How is making people hate themselves for who they are not psychologically abusive?
Therapy should always serve the individual and not the societal voices. Ultimately, if we are to serve society, individual choice and freedom are honoured (otherwise we have power games where some people think their opinion is better than others’).
Being a therapist or a coach does not give me the right to know better than my client what it is better for them – self-exploration and awareness will help people make better choices at the end of the day. I am not there to choose for anyone other than myself.
These issues are handled quite well in the movie. And one more favourite quote comes from the Bible although it is often misused by churches and people in power.
Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.2 Corinthians 12:9-11