Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Mass media-Influence, Psychotherapy-Decision-making, Motion pictures-Psychological aspects, Television-Psychological aspects, Media, Therapy portrayals in the media


The purpose of this study was to explore how viewing media representation of therapy, expressly film and television, can affect a person's willingness to attend therapy. This study also explored a person's perceptions of media on their beliefs about therapy and what scenes of therapy and therapists impacted them. Our current society is saturated with media messages and this study looks to explore how the constant amount of media can influence us and affect our decisions, such as attending therapy. Scenes of therapy have long been portrayed in the media and frequently continue to be in the media. Fifty people took a mixed-methods survey which asked questions about how they believe watching scenes of therapy impacted their willingness to attend therapy. Questions were also asked about which scenes of therapy and which specific therapists made an impact and why. The findings indicated that half the participants said they had a more negative image of therapists after watching scenes of therapy in the media and half had a more positive image. Recommendations for future research are discussed as well as the importance of the study.




v, 52 pages. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, 2014. Includes bibliographical references (pages 37-38)

Limited Access until August 2019