Some of the best therapy I've seen on screen is in a great new movie, The King's Speech. Geoffrey Rush plays Lionel Logue, an Australian speech therapist who tackles the debilitating anxiety-driven stammer of Colin Firth's, "Bertie", who become the king of England on the eve of World War II.
The film shows the stifling lives and roles of the Royals, and the intense pressure on them from their subjects, the Anglican Church, their governments, and each other. It shows how a therapist to the King has to tear down the class barriers in order to make a strong, attached therapeutic relationship. Logue creates the frame be insisting that "Bertie" come to his office ("My castle, my rules."), be on time, and be addressed by his family name, rather than "Your Royal Highness". He sits close, and mixes standard speech therapy with elements of somatic and expressive therapies (some of which are riotously funny) and holds the therapeutic relationship above all. He watches his client carefully, and crafts his client-centered therapy and the environment in which the King must give his speeches to his client's needs. Logue leads his client to uncover the childhood traumas that precipitated the stammer, and the family dynamics that kept it going. And he uses brilliant and funny strategic therapy to hook his recalcitrant client into therapy, and keep him there.
Helena Bonham Carter plays Bertie's supportive wife, Elizabeth, and is excellent, as usual. Derek Jacobi is the Archbishop of Canterbury, with whom Bertie finally shows his adult and kingly differentiation. Michael Gambon plays King George, Bertie's father, as a well-meaning, impatient, worst father a stammerer could have. (It's strange to see Dumbledore be jerk.) Guy Pearce plays Edward, Bertie's brother who abdicated the throne for a woman Mrs. Simpson (Eve Best).
I knew a lot of the history, and I painlessly learned more of the particulars in this wonderful movie. The King's Speech is suspenseful, beautifully acted, funny, sad, and hopeful. I hope you see it, too.