Voice Therapy with Dr. Robert Firestone

1984 | 40 minutes

This dynamic video introduces the concept of the voice and illustrates methods to elicit, identify, and counter this negative thought process. The accompanying affect is powerful when individuals verbalize their self-critical thoughts in the second person. As is demonstrated in filmed sequences of a group investigating this phenomenon, these feelings often reach intense proportions and play a significant role in limiting people’s lives and experiences. Honorable mention, American Film Festival, 1985

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Teaching Our Children about Feelings

1984 | 38 minutes

This film features a lively discussion between several young teenagers, ages 13-14, and Dr. Robert Firestone about the importance of being in touch with one’s feelings and developing the ability to communicate feelings to others, including one’s competitive feelings. This informative film examines themes often neglected in our educational system. This program is recommended for teachers and counselors for use at both junior and senior high school levels.

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The Fantasy Bond Film Supplement

1985 | 58 Minutes

Film supplement to the book “The Fantasy Bond”. In this dynamic interview, Dr. Robert W. Firestone discusses his concept of the “Fantasy Bond” and its relationship to the neurotic process with Dr. Richard Sieden, suicidologist, and Barry Langberg, attorney. The topics discussed include the dynamics of the “Fantasy Bond,” the “voice” and a defended lifestyle; emotional hunger; marital and family bonds; defense against separation and death anxiety; the bi-polar causality of regression; and sources and functions of the critical inner voice. This film was produced as a supplement to the book The Fantasy Bond.

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The Inner Voice in Suicide 

1985 | 32 minutes

In this interview, a young woman recalls events leading up to her serious attempt at suicide. Her unusually articulate account reveals the contents of an insidious thought process – the “inner voice.” Because of the shame surrounding the topic of suicide, there is little information from those who survive this frequently irreversible action, especially about their thoughts prior to the actual attempt. For this reason, the filmed interview, which examines the pattern of thoughts underlying Susan’s suicidal behavior, provides valuable insights into the motives and perhaps some of the causative factors in this ultimate act of self-destruction. Clinicians and sociologists’ will find this film beneficial in further understanding the complex ideology underlying suicidal behavior. Winner, American Film Festival.

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Closeness without Bonds

1986 | 38 minutes

A moving story of men and women struggling to recapture the essence of their closest, most intimate relationships, set against the background of skillful psychotherapeutic intervention. Dr. Robert W. Firestone explains and illustrates his concept of the “Fantasy Bond,” an illusion of connection utilized as a defense mechanism against emotional closeness. This film offers fresh insights into the core issues in disturbed marital relations. It suggests that by understanding their tendency to form these damaging ties, men and women can regain the feelings of love and tenderness that were once the lifeblood of their marriage. Valuable information for clinicians, marriage and family therapists, educators, and general audiences.

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The Inner Voice in Child Abuse

1986 | 47 minutes

A powerful examination of the vital link that is primarily responsible for the repetition of both physical and emotional child abuse from one generation to the next. This program contains personal revelations concerning the core issues involved in the mistreatment of children. Dr. Robert Firestone interacts with a group of parents, and their honest responses illustrate the personality dynamics underlying the perpetuation of this damaging cycle. This is a valuable public service program for clinicians, parents, and perspective parents. “At the bottom line in our treatment of children is the quality of the experience we provide. This film makes this point clearly and unequivocally. It is a significant contribution to our field.” – James Garbarino, Ph.D., Author and Director, Family Life Development Center, Cornell University. Winner, Chris Plaque Award, Columbus Film Festival.

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Voice Therapy: A Group Session

1986 | 40 minutes

Essentially unedited, this group session illustrates how people project their self-hating thoughts onto other people, how they adjust their lives according to the dictates of the voice, and how destructive thought processes both encourage and punish indulgence in addictive behaviors.

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Teenagers Talk about Suicide

1987 | 35 minutes

A suicide pact between four teenagers in New Jersey provided the stimulus for this filmed conversation between several teenagers and Dr. Robert Firestone on the subject of adolescent suicide. The young people begin by giving their views about the dangers signs of suicidal intention that they observe in friends. The discussion quickly moves to an exploration of deep-seated feelings and attitudes the teenagers have about themselves: self-critical thoughts related to their negative self-image and low self-esteem. Anyone working with adolescent and pre-adolescent patients or with teenagers in school settings should see this excellent film.

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Parental Ambivalence

1987  | 34 minutes

Parents are people who exist in a state of conflict between fulfilling themselves as unique individuals on the one hand, and limiting their lives on the other. Because mothers and fathers have both positive and negative feelings toward themselves, they have both tender, nurturing feelings and covert aggressive feelings toward their children. To be effective, any child-rearing approach must take into account this basic truth about human nature. In recalling painful events in their own childhoods that caused them distress, the parents shown in this film have come to understand the sources of their own ambivalent feelings and, at the same time, reveal angry feelings they have at times toward their children. In the process, they challenged these hostile attitudes and developed a more positive approach to child-rearing.

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Hunger versus Love

1987 | 37 minutes

In this program, Dr. Robert Firestone clarifies the distinction between parental behavior that leads to an anxious attachment in children and behavior that promotes a secure attachment. Participants in a parenting discussion group explore the destructive effects of emotional hunger, both from a perspective of their own childhood experiences and in present-day interactions with their children. A positive change in attitude is evident as these parents come to understand the sources of their compulsion to live their lives through their children and their tendencies to overprotect them and intrude on their boundaries.

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Therapeutic Child-Rearing

1987 | 47 minutes

The theoretical concepts discussed during the interview complement the dynamics illustrated in the other programs from The Glendon Association and offer an optimistic outlook on parent-child relations.


 

The Implicit Pain of Sensitive Child-Rearing

1988 | 43 minutes

This film examines the reasons why many parents find it difficult to sustain loving relationships with, and offer nurturance to, their children. One reason is that when parents treat their children sensitively and in ways that are different from how they were treated as children, they often experience considerable sadness. This film clearly reveals the therapeutic process in a parents’ group where parents talk about this phenomenon.

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Bobby and Rosie: Anatomy of a Marriage

1989  | 47 minutes

Bobby and Rosie met in high school, fell in love and were married three years later. After seven years, they decided to separate, but have remained friends. This unusually candid interview traces the development of their relationship and uncovers the dynamics responsible for the breakdown of a relationship that started out very close and loving.

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Of Business and Friendship

1989 | 44 minutes

his video received a Certificate of Creative Excellence at the 1990 U.S. Industrial Film and Video Festival. The story of a group of people who combined friendship, a unique understanding of psychology, and ingenious business skills to create several highly successful business ventures. This unusual combination entails an open and direct style of communication which is used to explore creative ideas, solve problems, and deal with personal issues. Areas covered by the program include: dealing effectively and productively with highly competitive situations among employees; understanding negative reactions to success, the potential value of the role of a clinical psychologist in a corporate structure; and the presentation of a business case history illustrating the effective application of psychological principles to the core problem in a failing company, a company that subsequently became highly profitable.

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Sex and Marriage

1990 | 43 minutes

This film explores sexual relating in marriage and focuses on a general trend of deterioration that occurs in many intimate relationships. Couples reveal important underlying disorders of inhibited sexual desire, sexual guilt, fear of intimacy, need for control, and sexual withholding, which contribute to marital unhappiness. The participants describe how they benefited from the experience of sharing personal stories concerning their sexual history n the accepting atmosphere of a couples group.

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Sex and Society

1990 | 55 minutes

Distorted attitudes towards sex and prejudicial views of men and women are often learned in family interactions, explicitly through imitation. These disturbances about sexuality are retained throughout life and cause serious problems in intimate relationships. In this film, men and women describe incidents from their childhood and adolescent years where they were shamed, misunderstood, and made to feel guilty about their bodies and their sexuality by parents, peers, and conventional attitudes about sex.

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Voices in Sex

1990 | 58 minutes

Self-critical thoughts and cynical, hostile attitudes toward one’s sexual partner can occur at all stages of the sex act. These negative cognitions can disrupt the flow of affectionate and sexual feelings and may even bring love-making to a halt. This film illustrates the steps in the therapeutic process that can interrupt this destructive thought process and bring couples back to real feeling. Participants in this documentary verbalize their self-critical attitudes and reveal negative views that they have about their body, their genitals, and their sexual performance, and they give away hostile views that they have toward their partners.

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Life, Death & Denial

1990

Life, Death, and Denial was filmed during a series of seminars on the subject of death anxiety. The participants in the discussion describe their reactions as children when they first learned about death. In addition, they explore their responses to success and improvement in life circumstances—events that make them feel more vulnerable to the ultimate loss of self. Best in Category Award, National Council on Family Relations Film Festival.

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Defenses against Death Anxiety

1990

This program illustrates the primary dimensions of each person’s existential dilemma, including the tendency to gradually accommodate to death anxiety by giving up one’s life prematurely. Self-destructive lifestyles, addictive patterns and attachments, vanity, and a sense of omnipotence also help people deaden themselves. In this filmed discussion, however, consideration is given to the positive aspect of directly facing this universal dilemma. The film reveals that an awareness of finite existence can make life and living even more precious.

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Sonya — An Individual Voice Therapy Session

1991  | 26 minutes

This documentary demonstrates a case of a woman who experienced a brief reactive depression after achieving success in her personal and professional life. In the session, Sonya uncovers angry self-attacks which she connects to early interactions in her family. Topics covered in the program include corrective experiences, problems associated with breaking addictive patterns, and an understanding of positive and negative events that precipitated the depression. The program is an excellent demonstration of Voice Therapy methodology.

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Robert W. Firestone: A Unique Perspective: Parts 1 and 2

1991

Featured at the Robert W. Firestone Film Festival, Vancouver, BC June 1991. Interview and group discussion with Dr. Firestone regarding his ideas, values and philosophy of life, and how he developed his theoretical concepts and methodology.


A Voice Therapy Training Session

1992 | 32 minutes

This video demonstrates the use of Voice Therapy with an individual who was resistant to the therapy technique, particularly to the process of allowing his anger and sadness to emerge. The methods used to access the repressed voices and accompanying affect are illustrated. The content of the tape touches on existential issues and the two kinds of guilt reactions: neurotic and existential.

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Voice Therapy: A New Perspective on the Oedipal Complex

1992 | 54 minutes

This videotaped session involves a young man who incorporated his father’s aggression and jealous rage toward him in the form of self-destructive and suicidal thoughts. The session illustrates the wealth of unconscious material that can be uncovered through the techniques of Voice Therapy.

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Children of the Summer

1993 | 58 minutes

Continuing the tradition of adventure and personal development, the teenagers who originally sailed around the world aboard the VLTVA wanted their children to have a similar experience. They worked for many years toward this goal, and 15 years after the circumnavigation were able to purchase the cutter, TAM. Children of the Summer is the story of 22 young children and an unusual voyage from California to Alaska. The trip combined an exciting sailing adventure with the experience of witnessing the natural wonders of British Columbia and Alaska. The atmosphere aboard the TAM allowed the children to develop their individuality and discover their emerging independence. This documentary is recommended for parent education groups, elementary and junior-high school audiences, and educators. It offers a refreshing alternative in a world where drug abuse, alcoholism, and other destructive lifestyles are commonplace in the lives of many young people. Broadcast nationally on PBS Network.

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Invisible Child Abuse

1994 | 49 MINUTES

A compelling program that sheds light on patterns of emotional child abuse that have been largely neglected in our focus on physical and sexual abuse. Throughout the program, the participants reveal that despite their successes, they continue to treat themselves the way they were treated as children. The damage they sustained in growing up, whiles seemingly subtle, has debilitating effects on their self-esteem, impairs their personal relationships, and severely limits their vocational pursuits. The program features Dr. Robert Firestone and personal accounts of a number of high-achieving men and women. Broadcast nationally on PBS Network.

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Inwardness–A Retreat from Feeling

1995 | 70 minutes

Dimensions of an inward, self-parenting lifestyle and methods for challenging destructive modes of thinking.


 

Voices about Relationships

1995 | 46 minutes

A revealing exposure of the key issues within couples that interfere with each partner’s ability to relate closely. Participants in filmed seminars identify negative thoughts or “voices” toward themselves and others, assimilated in childhood, which seriously impair their capacity for intimate relating. They discover that they have considerable animosity toward themselves and others based on prior feelings of unlovability. By identifying and understanding this negative thought process, they are able to challenge these self-defeating behavior patterns.

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Exploring Relationships

1997 | 52 minutes

What are people looking for in a mate? Why are many people deceptive in their closest relationships? Why do they find it so difficult to sustain love and closeness? In this film, the participants, with refreshing candor, discuss topics of mate selection, honesty and deception, and the process of learning how to love. This filmed seminar is led by Dr. Robert W. Firestone, who together with the participants provides some new and powerful insights as to why good relationships are so difficult to maintain.

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Fear of Intimacy-An Examination of Withholding Behavior Patterns

1997 | 52 minutes

A deeply moving program that explores the barriers to intimacy and closeness. In this compelling film, Dr. Robert W. Firestone and participants in a seminar on relationships expose the basis of the fear of intimacy and describe ways of challenging behavior patterns that cause distress in relationships.

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Coping with the Fear of Intimacy

1999 | 60 minutes

This film demonstrates a powerful therapeutic methodology, integrating cognitive, affective, and behavioral components that can help couples challenge their resistance to closeness. Four couples participating in an ongoing discussion group use Voice Therapy techniques to identify negative thoughts that interfere with their ability to relate closely. They then share their insights and plan behavioral changes. Prior to their involvement in the group meetings, these individuals had been unable to sustain long-term relationships; follow-up showed substantial improvement in relating.

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Friendship: A Life of Meaning and Compassion

2002 | 56 minutes

Winner – Communicator Award of Distinction, 2002 Finalist – New York International Film & Video Competition, 2002 In the midst of urban America, there is a group of over 100 friends and acquaintances who seem to have transcended the too frequent monotony and emptiness of modern day life. This documentary tells the story of how, over the past three decades, these people have deepened their friendships and shared business ventures, child-rearing, and adventure on the high seas. They have achieved remarkable success in each of these areas by pooling their resources and maintaining an open forum for honest communication where expressions of opinions and feelings are accepted and valued. With no preconceived plan, they have found a new way of living based upon an implicit set of humanitarian values. These values center around avoiding behaviors that hurt other people and that are toxic to human development — especially to that of children. Viewers will identify with the moving, personal and strikingly forthright stories of people who talk about their struggles to find personal meaning in life, to achieve success in their careers, and to enrich their family life.

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Sex, Love, and Intimate Relationships 

2005 

his compelling film explores two fundamental questions: “What is healthy sexuality?” and “What is love?” The documentary describes early childhood experiences and societal influences that impact an individual’s emerging sexuality. It features footage of couples identifying and challenging destructive thoughts or critical voices that often occur before, during, or after a sexual experience and that interfere with healthy sexual relating. The film introduces viewers to the methodology of Voice Therapy, an innovative therapeutic approach developed by Robert W. Firestone, PhD that can help couples create and sustain a relationship that combines true intimacy and sexuality. An excellent companion piece to the book Sex and Love in Intimate Relationships.

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Voices of Suicide: Learning from Those Who Lived

2008 | 62 minutes

This compelling documentary explores what was going on in the minds of three people who narrowly survived highly lethal suicide attempts. Their unusually articulate personal accounts reveal the contents of an insidious thought process or ‘inner voice,’ which urged them toward the ultimate act of self-destruction. Kevin, Trish and Susan bravely share their personal stories of self destruction, survival and recovery. They reveal intimate details of their earlier life histories that contributed to their self destructive behavior. Their accounts, in conjunction with interviews from world renowned experts in the field, including Drs. Alan Schore, Israel Orbach, David Jobes, David Rudd, Robert Firestone and Lisa Firestone , provide clinicians with valuable insight into the relationship between early developmental experiences and later suicidal behavior. Particular attention is paid to the significant role of ‘disassociation,’ which may have originally served as a survival mechanism, but in later life, facilitates the ‘acquired ability’ for an individual to attempt suicide. Clinicians and counselors will find this film invaluable for understanding what goes on in the mind of suicidal individuals, as well as the elements necessary for effective treatment.

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Understanding and Preventing Suicide

2008 |28 minutes

How can you know if your family member or friend may be suicidal? How do you recognize the warning signs? How can you help? The Glendon Association has produced a program to inform the public about suicide prevention. This powerful new film highlights the lives of three individuals, Kevin, Susan and Trish, who made serious suicide attempts and lived. Listen to their remarkable stories and journeys to recovery. Learn from experts in suicide prevention and treatment. The film includes a directory of resources on suicide prevention and information regarding publications by the experts featured in the program, including Dr. Lisa Firestone , Dr. Robert Firestone & Dr. David Jobes.

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Voices of Violence: Part 1: The Roots of Violence

2010 | 60 minutes

This film integrates stories from violent individuals, with commentary from experts in the field of violence, leading to a better understanding of both the developmental issues and thought processes of those engaging in violent behavior. As each of the men from the Grendon Prison in the United Kingdom and the Resolve to Stop the Violence Program in San Francisco tells his story, an informative narrative unfolds. These narratives are informed by the men’s own understanding of the dynamics of their violent behavior, which they’ve arrived at through the process of therapy. The first of a two part series, “Voices of Violence” reveals the triggers that led these men to commit violence and the destructive thoughts or “voices” that were directing their behavior. The film features interviews with leading experts in brain development and attachment, including Daniel Siegel, as well as specialists who have worked with violent individuals, including Felicity de Zulueta, David Jones, Peter Fonagy, Donald Meichenbaum, and James Gilligan. In addition Father Boyle of Homeboy Industries and Aqeela Sherrills of The Reverence Project share the knowledge they’ve gained from their experience transforming the lives of young gang members in Los Angeles. The film interweaves these valuable perspectives with the work of Robert Firestone, which further illuminates the underlying dynamics operating in the mind of violent Individuals. As the film unfolds, a coherent understanding of violent individuals emerges from a compassionate perspective that maximizes the opportunity for insight into the causes of and potential remedies for violence in our society.

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Voices of Violence: Part 2: Effective Treatment for Violent Individuals

2011 | 56 minutes 

Voices of Violence Part II: Effective Treatments for Violent Individuals This film integrates the narratives of violent individuals participating in two innovative treatment programs with interviews of therapists and experts in the field of violence. The result is an illuminating window into what can be accomplished when intervening with men whose crimes were based on both types of violence, reactive and predatory. Viewers are provided with a rare opportunity to look in on actual group sessions in two therapeutic settings. The first group we see takes place in a program that originated in the San Francisco City Jail, the Resolve to Stop the Violence Project (RSVP) that uses a cognitive-behavioral educational approach, and is facilitated by Hamish Sinclair. The second group takes place in Grendon Therapeutic Prison near Oxford UK, that uses a psychodynamic/attachment approach and is facilitated by therapist David Jones. Both groups, as well as a number of other interventions including a Victim Impact Program, reported positive outcomes. Following the group filming, the men describe elements in the treatment that they believe were most helpful in learning how to control their behavior and in regaining a sense of dignity and feeling for themselves as well. The steps in Voice Therapy that facilitate a decrease in violent thoughts and an increase in positive coping strategies are explored and illustrated by statements from several of the men. Also featured are interviews with James Gilligan, Peter Fonagy, Felicity de Zuleta, Donald Meichenbaum, Robert Firestone, and Lisa Firestone who delineate the essential elements in conducting therapy with violent individuals. As the film ends, Dr. Gilligan calls attention to important changes in public policy and prison reform he believes are necessary to prevent future recurring cycles of violent crime in our country.

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