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  • Kara Dumlao, LMFt

Must See - Pixar's Inside Out

This is really a dream movie for psychotherapist chalk full of actual neuroscience terms. It's kid and adult friendly. Some of the main themes are identifying feelings drive behavior and negative mood states will lead to behavioral problems. However, there are silver linings and each feeling has a role to play in learning, keeping us safe and being fully human. In the movie, Sadness actually had an important role to play in empathizing with others to provide support. The emotional brain was called "headquarters" and the feelings take turns. In this movie, Riley was happy when Joy had a strong leadership role in headquarters. I want to use this movie clinically as a way to help empower everyone to first identify who is "running headquarters" and then recognizing we have more control over this than we realize at times and we can swtich who is in "charge". Toward the end of movie, all the feelings work together to help get things back on track. There are some funny parts with Mom and Dad's brains as well.

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