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Chapter 5: Group Focus Session 6: Image Management Using Film Therapy


Group Size: Seminar Setting 8-12

Time needed: As a minimum 2 sessions of 45 to 60 minutes each. One class period to introduce the concept of Image management, enough time to watch a selection from a movie and then one additional session to conduct activity and discussion. Ideally you should watch the whole film. The example used in this activity assumes that the film is watched in its entirety.

Physical Set up: Seminar setting.

Materials: Overhead projector, handouts, direction sheets for Film Therapy.

Goal: To consider image management.

Procedure: Meet & Greet - Have students describe a favorite hero from real life or story. Facilitator must be very familiar with essential information in this chapter, especially Johari Window.

Select appropriate video or film to watch. Examples are provided for Stand by Me & The Breakfast Club.

Follow directions very carefully. This is the most complicated session in this book but can also be one of the most rewarding for the students.

Follow up: Have students share their feelings about the value of this activity.

Reflection: Journal entry: Reflect on the differences between the image that you believed you projected to the image that was observed by your friends. Do you want to change your image at all? If so how might you do this?


Stand by Me & Breakfast Club

This session provides some of the most interesting and fun activities we have ever done or observed in a class. The directions are also the most complicated ever given to any group of teachers anywhere! It is important to follow these directions EXACTLY. Do not improvise until you have tried it once using this script.

To begin the activity, follow the directions given previously for Film Therapy utilization in the essential information section of this chapter.

Step 1- Plan
a) Select a film: - Done - Stand by Me.
Directed by Rob Reiner, USA, 1986, -English
Four friends go on a camping trip, hoping to find the body of a missing teenager instead they find out surprising things about themselves. Based on a Stephen King short story "The Body". Set in 1959. Language has been described as "four-letter eighties". You will appreciate this movie much more if you are or at least try to be a teenager again yourself. Excellent ratings!

b) Consider the subject matter & content
Four middle school aged children on a voyage of discovery. A little exclusive because all the characters are boys.

c) Is the film age appropriate? Yes!

d) Is language appropriate to audience? Yes,but we will need to discuss why children and adults sometimes use this type of language.

e) Are the issues relevant to student topic discussion? Absolutely!

f) Watch or re-watch the film yourself to become very familiar with the topic at hand.  I can hardly wait to see it again!

Step 2 - Set the Stage
a) Introduce the topic to the students.
For the next four days we are going to be doing a lesson on image management. This lesson will cover the differences between how people see themselves and.... You should finish the script to your need....

b) Introduce the film and subject matter to the students.
We are going to watch a classic film called Stand by Me. It is about.....

c) Identify the main characters to the students and ask them to look for previously identified traits.
I want you to especially observe these four characters and see if you can see why I named them Gordie - the sensitive one, Chris - the tough guy, Teddy- flamboyant, and Vern - the silly one.

d) Introduce focus questions before the film.
I also want you to see if you can see tough characteristics that are present in Vern, and the silly characteristics in Chris. In fact I think all of the characters have all the four traits I observed as individual traits in each of the main characters.

e) Use comments during the film sparingly! Many people including one of the authors finds this VERY annoying! SHHH no talking during the film!

f) Suggest that questions and comments be noted during the film.
I would like you to keep a pencil and paper handy for writing notes during the film so we can discuss important points when it is over or during our class intermissions.

Step 3 - Present the Film
a) Present the film, or as an alternative present the clip or clips you choose.
The film is 1 Hour 25 minutes long. This lesson should be completed over 4 or 5 days.

b) Uninterrupted!  SHHH no talking during the film!

Show opening titles to closing credits!
Not doing this would be like not crediting
the artist, the sculptor, the painter, the actors
and the directors.

Step 4 Conclude
a) Discuss as appropriate. This part is up to you!

b) Clarify questions and comments. This part is up to you!

Review key concepts. This part is up to you!

Discuss and accept emotional responses. This part is up to you!

Invite student insights and observations. This part is up to you!

Draw conclusions. Now class, let's see if we can relate what we have learned to image management.

Follow Up Activity

Do you think the main characters were seen by their friends the way they wanted to be seen?

Do you think they all shared different characteristics of Tough, Sensitive, Silly, Flamboyant?

Can you give me some examples?

Ok, let's try to use these characters as a model for measuring ourselves, and each other.

(Distribute the Activity Sheet Stand By Me.)

Let's Discuss Image Management-

(Discuss what Image Management is using this concept of Image- Our Desire, Others Perception, Our Perception and the Reality)

Discuss our modified Johari Window ....



How we

How we think

really are.

we are seen by

by others.



How we are

How we would

seen by

like to be seen


by others.

It is best to have students seated in a circle. Have students record their name on the top left of the page!

IMPORTANT!!!! All students should use only pencils, or the same colored pens for this exercise! It is important that the work be done anonymously and confidentially. The only person who should know the final scores should be the owner of the paper.

Explain to the students that you would like to have them evaluate themselves and each other on the four characteristics you identified for the four main characters! You do not want them to compare themselves to the characters, but to the characteristics! For the sake of this discussion the four characteristics are:
1. Sensitive
2. Tough
3. Flamboyant
4. Silly

Make sure that the students have a good understanding of these vocabulary words.

Explain that the students have 10 points that they may assign to the characters. If any one of the character terms describes that student exactly that character should get all 10 points. If the students think that they resemble any two of the characters those characters would share the 10 points. Remember to remind the students have only 10 points to assign to all of the characters.

Students should ONLY use the far right hand column to record their self-assessment.

Use yourself as an example! You might assign 3 points to Sensitive, 4 points to Tough, 2 points to Flamboyant, and 1 point to Silly! Showing your diverse character!

And remind the students to only write in the far right hand column.

An owner completed paper might look like the example below!
Example of owner completed Self Assessment.  film therapy self assessment


  film therapy self assess step 1

Now here comes the really complicated part of this assignment! Have the students who are seated in a circle if possible
(now you will see why we asked for this!)
Have the students pass their papers two people to the right, now, one more person to the right, now two to the left, finally three to the right.

Are you confused?

Good! So the students will be confused as well! The intent is to have the students be unable to remember who has their paper. If you just have them pass papers to friends, or if they remember who has which paper which time, the effect can be minimized. To the extent you are able, devise a system to keep the students from knowing who has their paper, and who is giving them which feedback.

Now everyone has someone else's paper. Have the person who now possess the paper, look at the name and grade the owner of the paper based on their understanding of how this person seems to them. It won't matter if this is a long time friend or a new classmate, since the topic of discussion is image! First impressions are at least as important in image management as long term understandings.

After the person finishes grading the paper it should look something like this ....  film therapy step 2


Repeat the passing process keeping confusion until a new person has possession of the paper. Repeat this process until the paper has been graded by 4 class room friends. Each time the paper is folded the answers of the previous recorder is protected from being seen by anyone.

Then with a great deal of ceremony, pass the paper two people to either the right or left and in one very confusing moment, ask that the paper be returned to the owner.

A completed paper should being returned to the owner might look like this ....  completed film therapy graph

With the owner in possession of their own paper, give the following instructions.

Add the scores of your four friends together and record the score in the top half of the box "Others see you"

Then divide that number by four to get your real score. For example 10 divided by 4 = 2.5

To avoid making this a math test it sometimes helps to put the following math key.
40 = 10                 9 = 2.25

30 =   7.5              8 = 2
20 =   5                 7 = 1.75
10 =   2.5              6 = 1.5
                            5 = 1.25
                            4 = 1
                            3 = 0.75
                            2 = 0.5
                            1 = 0.25
film therapy sefl image final assessment

Evaluating the hypothetical example above.
Where Mr. Nicols rated himself as 40% tough, while his four raters saw him as only 25% tough. Mr. Nicols sees himself as 10% silly and his raters saw him as 22.5% silly. So .....
Mr. Nicols must appear less tough and more silly to others than he thought he did!
There in lies the very interesting discussion. More importantly, the discussion of what do I do with that information!
Image management is about the merging of perception of self and the reality of others. 

image management self and others

When the reality and the perception are close or overlap significantly there is good image management. When the perception and the reality are not close or don't overlap there is poor image management. stand by me image management
Frequently the image we project to others is different than the image that others may have of us.
Using the film  Stand by me as a model rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 for the four main characters in the film.
Use the far Right hand column to record your self-assessment. You should only write in the far right hand column.
If anyone of the characters is 100% you, that character gets all 1 0 points. If you think you resemble any two of the characters they would share the 10 points. Remember, you have only 10 points to assign to all of the characters.
You should write only in the far right hand column.

stand by me form for self image asessment

breakfast club image assess

Frequently the image we project to others is different than the image that others may perceive. Using the film "The Breakfast Club" as a model rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 for the five main characters in the film.
Use the far Right hand column to record your self-assessment. You should only write in the far right hand column.
If anyone of the characters is 100% you, that character gets all 10 points. If you think you resemble any two of the characters they would share the 10 points. Remember, you have only 10 points to assign to all of the characters. You should write only in the far right hand column.

 breakfast club self image assessment form

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