Recovery and Healing on Film

Film

These films about recovery and healing of trauma and its consequences, including addiction and mental health problems, have inspired me over the years. I will be adding to this collection and blogging about these films over time.

What is Towards Recovery?: Huseyin Djemil

Huseyin Djemil talks about Towards Recovery – what is a Recovery Cafe and how the Cafe in Henley came to be a safe space for people in recovery. He talks about people finding help, housing, jobs and bringing them face to face with services – ultimately proving that people in recovery from addiction don’t just survive but can thrive and become real community assets. 22 December 2015. [You can find other films from this conference here.]

From Addiction to Recovery: CCAR 20 Strong Documentary, Recovery Community History

Long-term members of a pioneering organisation in the development of recovery communitites tell the inspiring and moving story of CCAR, the Connecticut Community for Addiction (CCAR). ‘CCAR is a centralized resource in CT for all things recovery. Whether you are contemplating a life in recovery, are new to recovery or are in long-term recovery, CCAR is here to help you to navigate the recovery community, by connecting you with others in recovery and providing access to area support services. Since 1998 we have worked to make this reality – the CCAR 20 Strong documentary tells this story.’

Positive Social Networks & Recovering From Addiction: Mark Gilman

Huseyin Djemil introduces “the hardest working civil servant”. Mark Gilman’s presentation talks about ‘Positive social networks & recovering from addiction’ in his typically engaging and witty style – delegates wanted the presentation emailed over to them the following day. ‘No one can do it for you and you can’t do it alone’, get on the boat, any boat, and talk about the technique / route later and don’t do it on your own!’ Mark Gilman, Strategic Recovery Lead, Public Health England (at the time). Towards Recovery Conference, Helping to build a recovery community, Henley Recovery Cafe, 23 November 2013.

What is Recovery from Addiction?: Beth Burgess

Recovery Coach Beth Burgess points out that a lot of people don’t realise that there is a difference between recovery from addiction and being clean and sober. She describes her experiences of when she first tried to get sober—it was horrible. Now she is in recovery, Beth doesn’t have those negative experiences, like intense cravings and obsessing about alcohol. She stresses that if you are to find recovery from addiction you need to change things, like your thinking patterns and outlook on life. Connecting to other recovering people is also very important. Beth introduces her book The Recovery Formula: An Addict’s Guide to Getting Clean and Sober Forever.

The Roots of Addiction

Gabor Maté stresses that addiction is an attempt to solve the graver problem of unbearable psychic pain. To understand addiction we need to understand that human pain can come from childhood experiences. The more adversity an individual experiences in childhood the higher their risk of resorting to addictive behaviour to sooth their pain, even temporarily. Addiction (alcohol, drugs, shopping, Internet, etc.) is an attempt to seek something from the outside that the individual is not able to generate from within. Child Health BC. [3’19”]

The Power of Addiction and The Addiction of Power: Gabor Maté at TEDxRio+20

Canadian physician Gabor Maté’s theme at TEDxRio+20 was addiction – from drugs to power. From the lack of love to the desire to escape oneself, from susceptibility of the being to interior power – nothing escapes. And he risks a generic and generous prescription: “Find your nature and be nice to yourself.” TEDx Talks. [18’46”]

Recovery is Self-Healing: ‘Journeys’ Podcast with David Clark & Huseyin Djemil

Hüseyin and David discuss various issues relating to treatment and recovery. Huseyin emphasises that parts of the treatment system need more humanity in the way they interact with, and talk about, recovering people. Many services view recovering people as an monetised asset that can be used to help attract more funding for their organisation, rather than focus on celebrating people’s recovery. David emphasises that recovery is self-healing. Practitioners don’t fix people; they catalyse and support the natural resources of the person. Too many practitioners think they are the one to have done the work. 21 June 2022. You can link to 11 other parts of this podcast.

Ruby’s Healing Story

Marion Kickett, Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Studies at Curtin University in Perth, shares the harrowing story of Ruby and describes how her early experiences impacted on her life. By forgiving people involved in these terrible events, Ruby started a healing process which led to her realising a dream. Sharing Culture. [9’42”]

All it Takes is Ten Mindful Minutes: Andy Puddicombe

When is the last time you did absolutely nothing for 10 whole minutes? Not texting, talking or even thinking? Mindfulness expert Andy Puddicombe describes the transformative power of doing just that: Refreshing your mind for 10 minutes a day, simply by being mindful and experiencing the present moment. (No need for incense or sitting in strange positions.) [9’24”]

Voices in my Head: Eleanor Longden

To all appearances, Eleanor Longden was just like every other student, heading to college full of promise and without a care in the world. That was until the voices in her head started talking. Initially innocuous, these internal narrators became increasingly antagonistic and dictatorial, turning her life into a living nightmare. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, hospitalized, drugged, Longden was discarded by a system that didn’t know how to help her. Longden tells the moving tale of her years-long journey back to mental health, and makes the case that it was through learning to listen to her voices that she was able to survive. [14’18”]

Oprah Winfrey & Dr. Bruce Perry in Conversation | SXSW EDU 2021

Oprah Winfrey and leading child psychiatrist and neuroscientist Bruce Perry, MD, PhD explore the impact of childhood trauma on who we become, the decisions we make, and how healing must start with one question ‘what happened to you?’ in anticipation of a new co-authored book of the same name. Winfrey and Dr. Perry focus on understanding how shifting the approach to trauma and allowing understanding of the past allows for an opening of the door to resilience and healing in a proven, powerful way.

Sir Ken Robinson | Creating a New Normal

In his final public speech, Sir Ken Robinson (RIP) joined The Call to Unite to invite us all to imagine a new normal, and to understand how we can create a world that values the diversity of each individual’s unique gifts and talents. The Call To Unite. [15’50”]

This could be why you’re depressed or anxious | Johann Hari

In a moving talk, journalist Johann Hari shares fresh insights on the causes of depression and anxiety from experts around the world — as well as some exciting emerging solutions. “If you’re depressed or anxious, you’re not weak and you’re not crazy — you’re a human being with unmet needs,” Hari says. TED. [20’31”]

Fulfilling Trauma’s Hidden Promise

Psychiatrist, author, advisor to the White House, and professor at Georgetown Medical School, James Gordon is a world-renowned expert in using mind-body medicine to heal depression, anxiety, and psychological trauma. James shares how he has witnessed the healing power of mind-body medicine for traumatised children and families in areas such as Bosnia, Gaza, and Israel. TEDMED. [23’21”]

Learn the Signs and Symptoms of PTSD, with Dr. Bessel van der Kolk

Bessel starts this seven-minute film clip by describing how the diagnosis for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was created to remind the Department of Veterans Administration in the USA to take care of war veterans. It was quite clear that a large of number of Vietnam veterans were traumatised by their war-time experiences. Big Think. [7’15”]

Good relationships are the key to healing trauma | Karen Treisman | TEDxWarwickSalon

Dr Treisman talks about the importance of forging good relationships and effective society-wide systems when it comes to understanding and healing trauma. Dr Karen Treisman, a Clinical Psychologist, has worked across the globe with groups ranging from adopted children to former child soldiers to survivors of the Rwandan Genocide. TEDx Talks. [17’21”]

“We Shall Remain”

WE SHALL REMAIN was created to address the effects of historical trauma in our tribal communities. Many times, these untended wounds are at the core of much of the self-inflicted pain experienced in Native America. Much like fire, this pain can either be devastatingly destructive or wisely harnessed to become fuel that helps us to rise up and move forward in life with joy, purpose and dignity. The StyleHorse Collective. [6’16”]

Six Core Strengths for Healthy Child Development: An Overview

This brief overview provides an introduction to the Six Core Strengths program developed by Dr. Bruce Perry and The ChildTrauma Academy. The ChildTrauma Academy Channel. [4’31”]

How Childhood Trauma Can Make You A Sick Adult | Big Think | Big Think

Dr. Vincent Felitti, the co-founder of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study, details the connection between childhood trauma and negative health outcomes in adulthood. Big Think. [7’15”]

The Value of Deep Listening – The Aboriginal Gift to the Nation | Judy Atkinson | TEDxSydney

Judy Atkinson is an expert in understanding inter-generational healing and recovery from trauma in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. At the core of this moving talk, she describes her approach to healing. It’s about listening. In order to heal, the stories behind the trauma must be heard. TEDx Talks. [16’14”]