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PsychoCinematics: A Film Seminar Series with Readings

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PsychoCinematics: A Film Seminar Series with Readings

Sunday, September 18, 2022 1:00pm to 5:00pm
Sunday, November 13, 2022 1:00pm to 5:00pm
Sunday, January 22, 2023 12:30pm to 5:00pm
Sunday, March 19, 2023 1:00pm to 5:00pm
Sunday, April 30, 2023 12:30pm to 5:00pm
Ark Lodge Cinema
4816 Rainier Ave. S
Seattle, WA 98118
Sponsored by: 

Alliance Northwest Alliance For Psychoanalytic StudyAssociation For The Anthropology Of Consciousness

The New School For Analytic Psychology






A Film Seminar Series with Readings

at the Ark Lodge Cinema in Columbia City

kaleidoscope style stained glass

From The Tree of Life, dir. Terrence Malick


In bringing together the art of film and the art of psychotherapy, PsychoCinematics aims to open new terrain for collaborative and creative conversations about both.  Each seminar includes a film showing followed by a presentation and lively discussion led by a facilitator. The films chosen are notable for their exceptional art, style, and innovation, igniting and liberating the imagination to dream freely about urgent clinical and theoretical issues in our field.  To add critical depth to our collective dreaming, suggested readings of an interdisciplinary nature (psychoanalytic theory and practice, philosophy, literature, critical theory, anthropology, politics, and ecology) will be provided ahead of each seminar, and participants can earn up to 7.5 continuing education units.

PsychoCinematics Series Goal:  To identify how the art of film and the art of psychotherapy can enrich and inform one another in ways that will be useful to clinical practice

Objectives for the Series: 

Through film, discussion, and readings, participants will gain a greater knowledge of the spiritual, philosophical, environmental, historico-political, gender and cultural themes that currently affect our world and practice.  

Participants will learn how critical film viewing might reveal the ways in which foundational concepts in psychoanalysis are being rethought and sometimes challenged by contemporary, interdisciplinary theory.


Tier 3: $60 (2 films — The Beguiled AND Volver — 3.0 CEUs)
Tier 4: $35 (1 film — The Beguiled OR Volver — 1.5 CEUs))
Registration questions? Contact

Readings will be provided to participants well in advance of each seminar.

The concession stand will be open for purchase of food and drink. 

All film screenings will be in compliance with current King County COVID protocols.

There will be no recording of the presentation and discussion following the film. 

The Pharmakology of Eros: Phantom Thread

Person in lavender dress and shawl with back to camera

September 18, 2022, 1:00-5:00 pm

Phantom Thread (2017), 130 m; dir. Paul Thomas Anderson

Official Trailer

Learning Objectives:

  1. To understand what a pharmakon (medicine/poison) is
  2. To reflect psychoanalytically on the dynamics of power within unequal erotic relationships
  3. To consider how various pharmaka are used consciously and unconsciously to address this inequality and its surrounding charged affects
  4. To reflect on how film, psychoanalytic practice, and other tools act as pharmaka in our work

Headshot of Elizabeth SikesPresenter: Elizabeth Sikes, PhD, LMHC is a psychotherapist in private practice in Seattle, Washington and a faculty member of the New School for Analytical Psychology.  She holds a doctorate in philosophy and has written, researched and taught in the areas of existential and environmental philosophy, and the philosophy of film and poetry.


Living on this Unsettled Earth: First Reformed 

Priest looking at camera

November 13, 2022, 1:00-5:00pm

First Reformed (2017), 113 min; dir. Paul Schrader

Official Trailer

This presentation is sponsored by the Society for the Anthropology of Consiousness as part of their 2022 annual meeting on the theme of “Unsettled Lands.”

Learning Objectives:

  1. To gain a deeper understanding of how clients process and cope with ecological grief and ecological injustice
  2. To gain an understanding of how clients struggle and cope with existential questions of meaning and purpose when the future is overshadowed by inevitable environmental devastation and loss.

Headshot of Andrew BryantPresenter: Andrew Bryant, LICSW, MPH, is a clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and co-Director of North Seattle Therapy & Counseling. His clinical practice focuses on the impact of ecological issues on mental health. Andrew is the founder of Climate & Mind, a project dedicated to gathering and promoting resources related to climate psychology for clinicians, the media, and the public.


"I Will Be True to You, Whatever Comes": The Tree of Life

kaleidoscope style stained glass

January 22, 2023, 12:30-5:00 p.m.  The Tree of Life (2011), 139 m; dir. Terrence Malick.

Due to a last-minute scheduling problem with The Beacon Theater, we will be gathering at the Ark Lodge Cinema very nearby at 4816 Ranier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118.

Official Trailer

Learning Objectives:

  1. To understand how Malick thinks cinematically, that is, not discursively, but within the parameters of cinema as a medium of expression
  2. To reflect on Malick’s cinematic thinking as a psychotherapeutic exploration of trauma, one that recalls Job's challenge in the pit and provokes us to ask: is suffering an argument against having been born?

Headshot of Jason WirthPresenter: Jason Wirth, PhD, is Professor of Philosophy at Seattle University and works and teaches in the areas of Continental Philosophy, Buddhist Philosophy, Environmental Philosophy, and Aesthetics.  His recent books include Nietzsche and Other Buddhas: Philosophy after Comparative Philosophy (Indiana UP, 2019); Mountains, Rivers, and the Great Earth: Reading Gary Snyder and Dōgen in an Age of Ecological Crisis (SUNY, 2017); a monograph on Milan Kundera (Commiserating with Devastated Things, Fordham UP, 2015); Schelling’s Practice of the Wild (SUNY, 2015); and the co-edited volume (with Bret Davis and Brian Schroeder); Japanese and Continental Philosophy: Conversations with the Kyoto School (Indiana UP, 2011).  He is the associate editor and book review editor of the journal, Comparative and Continental Philosophy.  He is currently completing a manuscript on the cinema of Terrence Malick as well as a work of ecological philosophy called Turtle Island Anarchy.

 Civil War Returned: The Beguiled

Three women standing in living space

March 19, 2023, 1:00-5:00pm

The Beguiled (2017), 94 m; dir. Sophia Coppola

Official Trailer

Learning Objectives:

  1. To think psychoanalytically about cinematic returns to the past and the various ways sexual difference can figure into such returns 
  2. To think psychoanalytically about representations of racial difference and white femininity in U.S history, particularly in light of Coppola's choice not to include the Black female character who appears in earlier iterations of The Beguiled. 

Headshot of Kimberly LammPresenter: Kimberly Lamm, PhD is Associate Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies at Duke University. She is the author of Addressing the Other Woman: Textual Correspondences in Feminist Art and Writing (Manchester UP, 2018) and works at the intersection of psychoanalysis, literature, and visual culture. 



Some Notes on the Melodrama: Volver and the Return of the Repressed

Woman clapping and smiling

April 30th, 2023, 12:30--5:00pm

Volver (2006), 121 min; dir. Pedro Almodóvar

Official Trailer      

Learning Objectives:

  1. To identify common themes, tropes and conventions of the melodrama
  2. To explain the paradox of the melodrama’s subversive quality, its resistance to the social structures and values it seems to valorize  
  3. To articulate the way in which Heidegger’s concept of Dasein informs a particularly feminine “ethic of care” in the melodrama 
  4. To identify several ways in which the melodramatic mise-en-scène becomes a vehicle for the expression of neurotic symptoms

Headshot of John AllemandPresenter: John Allemand, PhD, LICSW, BCD, MPH is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, supervisor, and consultant in private practice in Seattle, WA, providing clinical services to individuals and couples.  He currently serves as Chair of the Distinguished Speakers Series of the Northwest Alliance for Psychoanalytic Study; Dr. Allemand is also a faculty member at the New School for Analytical Psychology and a Clinical Instructor in the UW School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.  His theoretical and clinical interests include British object relations theory, archetypal psychology, and French psychoanalysis, as well as the psychoanalytic study of art, literature, and film.

Contact Person: 
Elizabeth Sikes ( or John Allemand (
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