CBT SoCal’s Dr. Jason von Stietz discusses using pop culture metaphors in CBT
Most people have favorite movies and television shows that they never grow tired of re-watching and quoting among their friends. These stories and their characters move people emotionally and inspire them to face adversity with poise. CBT SoCal’s Dr. Jason von Stietz joined a panel discussion titled From Avengers to Zombies: The Power of Pop Culture Metaphors to Engage CBT Consumers and Enhance CBT Outcomes. The panel was moderated by Dr. Kristin Szuhany, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, who devised the topic and invited the panelists to propose the presentation to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America for the 2022 conference. The panel also included Dr. Jessica Stern, who is also an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at NYU, and Dr. Simon Rego, Chief Psychologist at Montefiore Medical Center and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Albert Einstein College.
Dr. von Stietz along with the other panelists discussed how to use pop culture metaphors through social media to educate the public about sport psychology and mental health issues. For example, Dr. von Stietz discussed his experience on the PsychRally Podcast, hosted by CBT SoCal’s Dr. Martin Hsia, discussing HBO’s Game of Thrones through the lens of psychology. Dr. von Stietz used Ygritte the Wildling/Freefolk as an example of assertive communication and behavior in a brutal world.
The panel also discussed the use of pop culture metaphors during psychotherapy. Dr. von Stietz discussed how pop culture metaphors help clients feel connected to their therapists by giving them a shared language and experience. For example, he stated that he asks his clients what they have learned from their favorite movies, television shows, and video games and how they can apply those lessons in their daily lives.
The panel discussion proved to be a favorite among conference attendees and was written about in a Heelio, an online news outlet for healthcare specialists.