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Silver Linings Playbook: A Therapist’s Review

Silver Linings Playbook; an example of how when life can’t seemingly get any worse, it really can get better. The two main characters of this movie face a number of personal turmoil. Pat Solantano (Bradley Cooper) and Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) face a number of life’s challenges. Pat lost everything; his house, his job, his marriage and the life he thought he knew, after walking in on his wife having an affair and psychically lashing out. Tiffany a recently widowed and clinically depressed dancer with unhealthy coping mechanisms (promiscuity etc) finds herself crossing paths with Pat who is in the midst of obsessively strategizing a method to reunite with his wife, with the added stressor of managing his anger and triggers of.  All the while Tiffany is trying to find a method of living a “normal” life. Both their families want nothing more for them but to have a healthy life in which they can find love again. Within their heartache and neurosis these two find a way of letting go of the past and finding the “silver lining” in one another.

As a therapist, I find that many people struggle to make meaning of difficult circumstances, and find ways to see life through the lens of hope and optimism. The couples I see in marriage therapy are often finding ways to reconnect, and to see the good and hopeful parts of their relationship. I found the message of this movie one that parallels the struggles of many people, and the theme of hope and found meaning really resonated with me.

 

This movie is a perfect example of the possibilities that open up for us when we are able to work through our “problems” and are open to the “playbook” of life. Whether you are working on interpersonal problems or problems within your marriage, you don’t have to work through them alone.  Regardless of how bad things get, there are “silver linings” awaiting you.

 

Mandana Toosi, LCPC

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