SERENITY and Coping with Trauma


From Cinema Therapy.

What happens when you’re kidnapped from your family, tortured, and conditioned into being an assassin? You get River Tam. And also Alan, apparently.

Therapist Jonathan Decker and filmmaker Alan Seawright discuss what we can learn about coping with trauma from Summer Glau’s character River in Serenity and Firefly. They break down some of the symptoms of PTSD she exhibits, and some of the things that help her work through them and start healing.

Even though most of us don’t live in a sci-fi future with space ships, space zombies, and space cowboys (along with psychics and lots of other fun), we can still learn a thing or two about how to heal from and deal with the trauma we do face in real life.

Buy or rent Serenity here:

To schedule a complimentary 15 minute consultation with Jonathan, visit:

Cinema Therapy is:
Written by: Megan Seawright, Jonathan Decker and Alan Seawright
Produced by: Jonathan Decker, Megan Seawright & Alan Seawright
Edited by: Alan Seawright
Director of Photography: Bradley Olsen

00:00 – Intro
00:54 – Jonathan and Alan’s Firefly/Serenity history
02:36 – What’s wrong with River Tam?
06:52 – Joss Whedon did all the movie stuff in this movie
08:34 – How do you react to a traumatized person?
09:21 – Suicide is never the answer
11:52 – Having a voice
14:30 – Realizing there is a way out
16:30 – How therapy and flimmaking are the same thing
18:29 – River takes her power back
20:13 – Alan’s favorite fight scene
21:55 – How to thrive with Mental Illness
23:19 – How does River get better?
24:16 – Outro

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