shopping cart
nothing in cart
browse by subject
new releases
best sellers
sale books
browse by author
browse by publisher
about us
upcoming events
Sep 30th - The Young Jung [C.G. Jung Foundation of Ontario]
Sep 30th - CADDRA 18th Annual ADHD Conference [CADDRA]
Oct 1st - Architecture & Wellbeing: Designing for Mental Health Care [DesignTO, KPMB and CAMH]
Oct 3rd - Creative interventions to assess and treat school refusal [SickKids CCMH Learning Institute]
Oct 4th - Certificate in dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) for eating disorders: Adults [SickKids CCMH Learning Institute]
schools agencies and other institutional orders (click here)
Now open for browsing 12-6 Mon-Sat and 12-5 Sunday for three people at a time. Pickups still from 9 to 6, Monday to Saturday. Free shipping across Canada for orders over $100. Please read our Covid-19 statement here.
Join our mailing list! Click here to sign up.
Cinema as Therapy: Grief and Transformational Film
John Izod and Joanna Dovalis
Routledge / Softcover / Feb 2015
9780415718684 (ISBN-10: 0415718686)
Grief Counseling & Therapy / Psychoanalysis and Cinema
reg price: $67.50 our price: $ 57.38
228 pages
In Stock (Ships within one business day)

Loss is an inescapable reality of life, and individuals need to develop a capacity to grieve in order to mature and live life to the full. Yet most western movie audiences live in cultures that do not value this necessary process and filmgoers finding themselves deeply moved by a particular film are often left wondering why. In Cinema as Therapy, John Izod and Joanna Dovalis set out to fill a gap in work on the conjunction of grief, therapy and cinema.

Looking at films including Million Dollar Baby, The Son’s Room, Birth and The Tree of Life, Cinema as Therapy offers an understanding of how deeply emotional life can be stirred at the movies. Izod and Dovalis note that cinema is a medium which engages people in a virtual dialogue with their own and their culture’s unconscious, more deeply than is commonly thought. By analysing the meaning of each film and the root cause of the particular losses featured, the authors demonstrate how our experiences in the movie theatre create an opportunity to prepare psychologically for the inevitable losses we must all eventually face. In recognising that the movie theatre shares symbolic features with both the church and the therapy room, the reader sees how it becomes a sacred space where people can encounter the archetypal and ease personal suffering through laughter or tears, without inhibition or fear, to reach a deeper understanding of themselves.

Cinema as Therapy will be essential reading for therapists, students and academics working in film studies and looking to engage with psychological studies in depth as well as filmgoers who want to explore their relationship with the screen. The book includes a glossary of Jungian and Freudian terms which enhances the clarity of the text and the understanding of the reader.


‘In this remarkable and luminous book, Izod and Dovalis reveal something never previously so urgently expressed about cinema and psyche; that the study of one needs the study of the other, if the modern soul is not to suffer serious neglect. Cinema as Therapy: grief and transformational film traces in works as diverse as Million Dollar Baby, Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Trois Couleurs trilogy and Tree of Life, patterns that invoke deep psychic structures to confront the paralysing human condition of grief, loss and death. The result is a book that shows film as a necessary processing of trauma into transformation; film leads us to the sacred and to becoming whole.’ - Susan Rowland PhD, Pacifica Graduate Institute, USA.

‘Izod and Dovalis sensitively detail the capacity of film to reveal the displacement and repression of grief, the isolation of loss, and the various stages of surrendering the loved object. In Cinema as Therapy we engage with those who inhabit the liminal spaces of grieving and memory – we follow their submission and emergence. This is a book for those who appreciate how screen stories can tap into both our deepest uncertainties and the resilience that protectively shadows us.’ - Terrie Waddell, La Trobe University, Australia.


Introduction. Part One. Birth. Tsotsi. Million Dollar Baby. Part 2. Trois Couleurs: Bleu. Trois Couleurs: Blanc. Trois Couleurs: Rouge. Part 3. The Son’s Room. Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter…and Spring. Morvern Callar. Approaching the Tree of Life. The Tree of Life. Envoi. Glossary. References. Index.

About the Authors:

John Izod is Emeritus Professor of screen analysis at the University of Stirling. He has published several books, including Screen, Culture, Psyche: A Post-Jungian Approach to Working with the Audience (Routledge).

Joanna Dovalis is a marriage and family therapist with a doctorate in clinical psychology, specialising in grief work. She works in private practice in southern California, USA.

Caversham Booksellers
98 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S 1G6 Canada
(click for map and directions)
All prices in $cdn
Copyright 2020

Phone toll-free (800) 361-6120
Tel (416) 944-0962 | Fax (416) 944-0963
E-mail [email protected]
Hours: 9-6 Mon-Sat / Closed Sunday (EST)

Click here to read previous issues.
other lists
Grief Counseling & Therapy
Psychoanalysis and Cinema
Routledge Psychoanalysis
Taylor and Francis