“The Safe” and “The Eskimo” (Co-produced by Nadia Merriwether, Art consultant Hailey Ashcroft) as well as “At the Movies” and “The Grudge” comprise this unique collection of psychological tales entitled Presenting Problems, which is the first volume in a series of films intended for discussion about psychological and internal conflict. They take as important questions: what is an internal process, belief, assumption, perspective and what allows for psychological change? What is the role of our sense of self in how we live our lives? What feelings, wishes, beliefs remain powerful but unexpressed in our lives?
The films—each using a different visual idiom (drawing, collage, movie stills, photographs)—invite discussion about the paradoxes of our psychological, emotional and intellectual lives and although they are not explicitly about therapy, they are all concerned with the question of what is therapeutic. In exploring various psychological themes with pathos, humor and insight, the films try to find a new way of thinking about feelings that can be very old. They have been enjoyed in a variety of contexts such as discussion groups, classrooms, and clinical workshops, because they leave an indelible mark after the first viewing and, at the same time, offer something new each time we see them. Select films from the collection have won prizes at the Best Shorts Festival, the Los Angeles Movie Awards, and the Accolade Competition.
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Garrick Duckler is currently a psychotherapist in the Bay Area. Before training in the mental health field, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in English Literature and Language and taught at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Since then he has graduated from the Wright Institute and the Psychotherapy Institute in Berkeley and worked at the McAuley Institute, the adolescent psychiatric ward at St. Mary’s hospital. He is presently in private practice where he sees adults, kids and adolescents. He also continues to work as a private tutor, helping others with dissertations, memoirs, and other creative and analytic projects. He has won awards for his academic work on Kafka as well for his graduate student instructing at the University of California at Berkeley. Currently, Garrick is working on the second and third volume of films entitled “On Couples, Groups (and being alone)” and “Mood Orders and Disorders.” Duckler is a self-taught filmmaker, visual artist, creative writer, photographer and voice actor. The award-winning films have appeared in film festivals across the US and Canada, and have been used for clinical discussion groups around the Bay Area.