Psychoanalysis and Gravity

Christoforidou, Marina (2014) Psychoanalysis and Gravity. Psychodynamic Practice: Individuals, Groups and Organisations . pp. 1-7. ISSN Print 1475-3634; Online 1475-3626

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Gravity is a film directed by Alfonso Cuaron, released at the end of 2013. I managed to watch the film with friends. Among us, the film had created a love/hate reaction, mainly depending upon the initial expectation. Some had expected to watch a science fiction film, others a love story. I found myself watching the film with almost no pre-set agenda and I discovered my own response to be truly unexpected. From the very beginning of the film, it felt awkwardly familiar. I let my mind wander into thinking about psychoanalytic training, therapy and the patients. Are there any similarities between an astronaut in Space and a trainee psychotherapist in London, I thought? It was only weeks before the Easter break and I already felt the intensity of feelings rising in the consulting room. How different, really, is the journey of therapy fromthe one into Space? The plot of Gravity unfolds solely in Space. There are only two characters in the film: Ryan Stone played by Sandra Bullock, and Matt Kowalski played by George Clooney. Ryan Stone is a medical engineer embarking on her first space shuttle mission after the tragic loss of her daughter. By contrast, Kowalski is a veteran astronaut with experience in travelling into Space, and thus, has a deep knowledge of what this journey entails. Kowalski had repeated this journey several times, and takes a sensitive approach towards Stone. Stone, on the other hand, appears nervous, yet eager to learn. Can one really identify with both characters, I wonder?

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published online, 18 Dec 2014.
Subjects: Emotions, Affective Psychology > Grief/Mourning/Loss
Human Psychological Processes > Strange Environment/Situation
Psychological Therapies, Psychiatry, Counselling > Psychoanalysis
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services

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