Date of Award

2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Communications (Honours)

School

School of Communications and Arts

Faculty

Education and Arts

First Advisor

Ms Tania Visosevic

Abstract

Beyond entertainment, animated narratives can potentially induce psychological healing, termed “individuation.” Stories exist in many forms, like literature, film and conversation, as well as in the human mind, or “psyche.” These “self-narratives” use life experience to shape consciousness. Therefore, effective storytelling based on archetypal myths can restructure the psyche. Film narratives communicate meaning through symbols, termed “textual cues”, while screenwriters employ specific templates, which organise story information into familiar structures. These guide audiences towards predetermined meaning. Through bibliotherapy, which is the use of literature for therapeutic purposes, audiences project their unconscious content onto narrative components that resonate with it. Ego-consciousness can then integrate this material. Films, like dreams, incorporate raw unconscious material, labelled “archetypes”, and symbols, conscious interpretations of the archetypes, to affect unconscious reactions that facilitate psychological growth. When a narrative’s protagonist undertakes the “Hero’s Journey”, a quest’s twelve stages that enact change, they guide audiences through a metaphorical portrayal of individuation. Audiences can then mimic this path to prompt their own inner journey. Animation augments storytelling’s healing ability because its fantasised appearance transforms individuation’s threatening psychological information to reveal wisdom. Since screenwriters delve into the collective unconscious to create stories, they initiate audience healing. Thus, they represent modern society’s shamans. By creating a screenplay for an animated short feature film and discussing how screenwriters can induce psychological healing, I demonstrate the therapeutic potential of film narratives.

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