Media and the Inner World

Press Release: Time for a dose of Daniel Craig therapy? Researchers gather to explore the therapeutic role emotion plays in film

The nation’s newest media research network: Media and the Inner World, will see academics, psychoanalysts, psychotherapists and media practitioners gather for its latest symposium, The Emotional Work of Cinema, 11am-1pm at The Everyman Cinema in Hampstead, 9 May 2009.

Run by Roehampton University and the University of East London and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the event will attract media experts including Margaret Matheson, founder of Bard Entertainments and producer of many films, including Vampire Diary, voted Best Film at the Milan International Film Festival, 2008; Nicola Diamond, UEL academic and psychotherapist working at The Women’s Therapy Centre; and Claire Pajaczkowska, academic and film-maker from the  Royal College of Arts.

The event is the second activity in a two year research project, which aims to explore the contemporary focus on emotionality and therapy in popular culture and the media.

While the first symposium looked at what we can learn from the popularity of emotionally charged media, including the decline of Jade Goody, the second event will combine psychoanalysis and psychotherapeutic ways of thinking to examine the emotional and therapeutic quality of film by analysing the communication and reception of emotion in some of the world’s most popular films.

The sight of Daniel Craig emerging from the water in Casino Royale attracted extensive media coverage overwritten with the language of lust and desire; in Mamma Mia the comical sight of Colin Firth and others in their 1970s garb and singing ABBA songs elicited mirth and joy; the now infamous ‘bunny-boiler’ scene with Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction has become an iconic image of fear and madness. This event will focus on the emotional impact of such moments on the individual viewer and society as a whole.


As Directors of the network, Dr Candida Yates, Senior Lecturer in Psychosocial Studies at the University of East London and Dr Caroline Bainbridge, Reader in the School of Arts at Roehampton University, explain,

“In today’s society, popular culture and media constantly bombard us with emotional triggers, creating a therapeutic culture where notions of emotional correctness dominate.

“Films can often provide us with images of emotion that are more usually experienced internally. This makes cinema very powerful. We are interested in the therapeutic possibilities of movies – how do films open up spaces for us to think about our own emotional lives and why do they do this?

“Our network brings together academic critics, media figures and psychoanalysts to think about this is more depth.”


To book tickets email or for more information on the research network visit

Posted in Media Coverage on August 3, 2012.

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