Psychological Analysis Of Good Will Hunting (2023)

2363 Words10 Pages

Good Will Hunting is a movie written by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon that was made in 1997. It follows a janitor named Will Hunting from the slums of South Boston with a secret talent of genius level intellect who works at the highly renown college MIT. Will is a very relatable character as he experiences some of the everyday struggles that we all go through as humans, but as we all do has his own inner demons that he is dealing with as well. Throughout this paper, I will go over the major disorders I fell the character has and explain why in both my own opinion and with research backed evidence. The two big ones are Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder which is the mental disorder I think the character suffers from. I will also go into detail his…show more content…
The plot of Good Will Hunting is described as, Will Hunting, a janitor at M.I.T., has a gift for mathematics, but needs help from a psychologist to find direction in his life. But there is so much more to this story. The character Will Hunting very early on has very apparent psychological issues and behavioral issues. I will also go over some of the things that I noticed as well in his Psychologist that was obvious that he had some issues he was dealing with as well. Some of the main psychological and behavioral diagnoses in this review paper that I will be going over are: Traumatic Stress Disorders, possible emotional detachment, Inferiority complex, and mood disorders. Another big thing that I noticed were Will Hunting’s extreme defense mechanisms and how knowingly far he would go to mentally attack some just to keep the attention off his own personal problems and feelings. I believe this movie is very well written and shows a very plausible and highly possible result of how someone can turn out, if their problems are not addressed and fixed, based on things that they have experienced and had to deal with early on in their…show more content…
Adler argued that children who were severely neglected by their parents could develop what is called an inferiority complex (“Introduction to Psychology” 568). An inferiority complex is described as “a psychological state in which people feel that they are not living up to expectations, leading them to have low self-esteem, with a tendency to try to overcompensate for the negative feelings (“Introduction to Psychology” 568).” Basically, this means a person with a inferiority complex will do whatever it takes just to show or prove they are superior in any situation no matter the consequences. I think that because of constantly being neglected and abused as well as always being the conformant he later developed this inferiority complex. This is directly applicable as to why he would make such a rash decision to hop out of the car and fight this man who he believed used to have dominance over him and he unconsciously felt he needed to assert his own dominance. Another instance of when he displays his inferiority complex is later in the movie he and his friends are out at a bar. Mind you, a bar where man of the MIT students hang out, and Will’s friends are stereotypical adults who grew up in the slums. Will’s friend Chuckie is talking to a girl in the bar named Skyla, a pre-med student at


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What therapy techniques are used in Good Will Hunting? ›

Therapy in Good Will Hunting

Within these treatments, therapists will employ a number of techniques, including attending, encouraging, reflecting, clarifying, questioning, self-disclosure, confrontation, and challenging the patient.

What defense mechanisms are used in Good Will Hunting? ›

Will Hunting uses three defense mechanisms, they are; denial, rationalization, and displacement.

What is the main message in Good Will Hunting? ›

In short, Good Will Hunting is all about positive thinking and, thus, nothing new. It's such a 90s film. However, its importance lies in the universality of its message and in the way it manages to convey emotions and, finally, provides the audience with an optimistic message without it being mere entertainment.

What sociological concepts are in Good Will Hunting? ›

There are some social inequalities revealed in the movie “Good Will Hunting” such as inequality in education, inequality of opportunities unequal distribution of resource, wealth and power which lead to poverty and social stratification.

What type of therapy does Sean use in Good Will Hunting? ›

To persuade the patient to collaborate, Sean employed the free association theory. Sean Maguire was a psychologist who was willing to communicate for Will to make him learn a variety of things. Maguire made his client feel comfortable through a variety of therapy concepts.

What are the four behavior therapy techniques? ›

Behavioral therapy techniques use reinforcement, punishment, shaping, modeling, and related techniques to alter behavior. These methods have the benefit of being highly focused, which means they can produce fast and effective results.

What are 3 types of prey Defences? ›

For instance, prey species have defense adaptations that help them escape predation. These defenses may be mechanical, chemical, physical, or behavioral.

What are the three common defense mechanisms? ›

Defense Mechanisms in Psychology: Freud's Theory. Projection. Displacement. Repression.

What are 4 defense mechanisms? ›

Here are a few common defense mechanisms:
  • Denial. Denial is one of the most common defense mechanisms. ...
  • Repression. Unsavory thoughts, painful memories, or irrational beliefs can upset you. ...
  • Projection. ...
  • Displacement. ...
  • Regression. ...
  • Rationalization. ...
  • Sublimation. ...
  • Reaction formation.
Feb 11, 2019

What is the famous line in Good Will Hunting? ›

Plus, a new catchphrase became part of the pop culture zeitgeist: “How do you like them apples?” The iconic line came courtesy of Matt Damon as the title character in the film Good Will Hunting, and it turned out to be just one of a whole slew of Good Will Hunting quotes that older millennial kids continue to echo ...

What is the ethical conflict in Good Will Hunting? ›

Good Will Hunting:Leaving the office, aggressive touch and extensive self disclosure. This movie stimulates a discussion on the ethical complexities of going for a walk with a client, making extensive self-disclosure and using rather aggressive touch towards a client.

What is the main conflict in Good Will Hunting? ›

The conflict in the movie is about hope, goodwill, loneliness and love. Will and his friends get into a fight and upon being arrested, Will assaults a police officer. Will defends himself in a public hearing and Lambeau comes to his rescue on the condition that Will has to take therapy and study under the professor.

What are the 4 sociological concepts? ›

Four Major Sociological Theories. The four main theoretical perspectives are symbolic interactionism theory, social conflict theory, structural-functional theory, and feminist theory.

What are 3 major sociological perspectives on the concept of culture? ›

These three theoretical orientations are: Structural Functionalism, Symbolic Interactionism, and Conflict Perspective.

What are the 5 sociological concepts? ›

Definitions of key terms for the five basic sociological perspectives – Functionalism, Marxism, Feminism, Social Action Theory and Postmodernism.

What communication skills does Sean use in his treatment with will be specific? ›

Therapist Sean uses confrontation, self disclosure and wisdom as a way to challenge Will's resistance to grow into the person he is meant to be.

What personality type is will in Good Will Hunting? ›

Will Hunting is an INTP personality type. He is logical and tends to base his decisions on objective information rather than his feelings. As an INTP, Will Hunting tends to be flexible and is good at thinking outside of the box.

Why was it important for Sean to describe his relationship with his wife to will? ›

To give Will some sense of this, Sean describes the intimacy of his own marriage and how he loved his wife even when she farted in her sleep. This detail reflects the closeness of the marriage and the beauty found in trusting and loving others with all their imperfections.

What is the most common type of behavioral therapy? ›

Cognitive behavioral therapy is extremely popular. It combines behavioral therapy, which focuses on patterns of action, with cognitive therapy, which focuses on patterns of thought. Treatment is centered around how your thoughts and beliefs influence your actions and moods.

What are the three waves of behavior therapy? ›

Three major waves currently characterize the evolvement of cognitive behavioral therapy.
  • The first wave – behavioral therapy (Skinner) ...
  • The second wave – cognitive behavioral therapy (Ellis and Beck) ...
  • Third wave – spiritual teachings and Mindfulness (ACT, Schema Therapy, DBT)
Feb 24, 2018

What are some cognitive behavioral techniques? ›

Some of the techniques that are most often used with CBT include the following 9 strategies:
  • Cognitive restructuring or reframing. ...
  • Guided discovery. ...
  • Exposure therapy. ...
  • Journaling and thought records. ...
  • Activity scheduling and behavior activation. ...
  • Behavioral experiments. ...
  • Relaxation and stress reduction techniques. ...
  • Role playing.
Dec 12, 2019

What are the 4 types of predators? ›

There are four commonly recognized types of predation: (1) carnivory, (2) herbivory, (3) parasitism, and (4) mutualism. Each type of predation can by categorized based on whether or not it results in the death of the prey.

What does predatory behavior look like? ›

You may notice a potential sexual predator using manipulative language. They may insult or mock the victim on their behavior, appearance, clothes, friends, or other parts of their personal life. When challenged on this behavior, they may lie and twist the information, making the victim feel as though they are at fault.

What is class 3 prey? ›

Prey is an animal that is hunted by another for food. Prey are hunted by predators.

What are unhealthy defense mechanisms? ›

The most unhealthy of these defense mechanisms are denial, projection, displacement and regression. Denying a problem is the defense mechanism that does the most damage. If you refuse to accept that you have a problem, you can't fix it, so it just gets worse.

What are the 5 ego defense mechanisms? ›

This list is sometimes shortened to provide only seven main defense mechanisms, which are denial, displacement, projection, rationalization, reaction formation, repression, and sublimation.

Why do I intellectualize my emotions? ›

Intellectualization involves a person using reason and logic to avoid uncomfortable or anxiety-provoking emotions. Intellectualization can be a useful way of explaining and understanding negative events. For example, if person A is rude to person B, person B may think about the possible reasons for person A's behavior.

Is yelling a defense mechanism? ›

The defense mechanism Shouting needs little explanation. It's used to create a threatening and hostile atmosphere in which others retreat and hopefully go away so the untreated person with a substance use disorder can do what they want to do: drink, use, act out.

What is the most advanced defense mechanism? ›

High-Adaptive Defense Level: Sublimation

The individual deals with emotional conflicts, or internal or external stressors, by channeling rather than inhibiting potentially maladaptive feelings or impulses into socially acceptable behavior.

What are the 4 first lines of defense? ›

The first line of defence (or outside defence system) includes physical and chemical barriers that are always ready and prepared to defend the body from infection. These include your skin, tears, mucus, cilia, stomach acid, urine flow, 'friendly' bacteria and white blood cells called neutrophils.

Why is Good Will Hunting so relatable? ›

Good Will Hunting is timeless because it addresses certain topics that men simply refuse to talk about. Dreams, fears, loves, hopes, weaknesses, heartbreak, loss, family and friendship. They're all here.

Why is it named Good Will Hunting? ›

In both cases, the title is accurate because it reminds us that there are good and bad ways to hunt for meaning in life, and Will is following the good one (most of the time). On another level, the title is just saying, "Give Will a chance because he's a good dude." Did it make you cry?

What did Robin Williams think of Good Will Hunting? ›

Robin Williams Had Matt Damon In Tears On The First Day Of Filming Good Will Hunting. "Good Will Hunting" is one of the greatest movies of the late '90s, and that means something coming from me because I'm a complete nostalgic sucker for the movies of that decade.

What is the main ethical conflict or problem? ›

An ethical conflict occurs when the interests of two employees are at odds. For example, two employees are up for one promotion and one takes credit for the work of the other. The decision-maker needs to find a way to figure out who deserves credit for the work and make the decision accordingly.

Is hunting moral or immoral? ›

The objection from necessary harm holds that hunting is morally permissible only if it is necessary for the hunter's survival. “Necessary” could refer to nutritional or ecological need, which would provide moral cover for subsistence and therapeutic hunting.

What are the four types of ethical conflict? ›

In the field of ethical conflict, the four forms or categories of ethical conflict identified are: moral uncertainty, moral dilemma, moral distress, and moral outrage.

What does the ending of Good Will Hunting mean? ›

On a symbolic level, the end of this movie tells us that Will is finally willing to embrace the uncertainties of life and put his heart on the line to be with someone he loves. Throughout his life, he has pushed people away because he's been afraid that they'll hurt him emotionally if he lets them get too close.

Is Good Will Hunting about PTSD? ›

It also exploits the idea that Will Hunting has Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Because of the post-traumatic stress disorder it seems that Will is unable to function normally in society, and because of this, carefully plans out his future as to not have to worry about encountering many people.

Who Abused will in Good Will Hunting? ›

As a kid, Will was subdued to frequent physical abuse by his foster dad, between getting beat with a wrench, and having cigarettes put out on him, Will dealt with a lot at a young age (James A. Frieden).

What are the 3 theoretical perspectives? ›

Sociologists today employ three primary theoretical perspectives: the symbolic interactionist perspective, the functionalist perspective, and the conflict perspective. These perspectives offer sociologists theoretical paradigms for explaining how society influences people, and vice versa.

What are the 4 major perspectives in social psychology? ›

4 Major Perspectives Used by Social Psychologists
  • Sociocultural Perspective.
  • Evolutionary Perspective.
  • Social Learning Perspective.
  • Social-Cognitive Perspective.
Aug 17, 2021

What are the 7 sociological perspectives? ›

The seven principle sociological perspectives are Functionalism, Marxism, Feminism, Interactionism, Postmodernism, The New Right and Collectivism. Sociology is the understanding of different people, breaking down the word sociology; 'soci' means society and 'ology' means the science of.

What are the three approaches to the psychology of culture? ›

Cultural psychology, cross-cultural psychology, and indigenous psychology are three approaches to the psychology of culture.

What are the 3 main faces or theoretical perspectives of sociological social psychology? ›

There are three major perspectives in sociological social psychology: symbolic interaction, social structure and personality, and group processes.

What are the three theoretical analysis on culture? ›

The three most prevalent theoretical approaches to cultural analysis include structural-functional theory, social conflict theory, and sociobiology theory.

What are 3 examples of sociology? ›

Examples of sociology could include studying the relationship between culture and society, examining social movements, or researching how communication affects human behavior.

What is the looking-glass self in sociology? ›

The looking-glass self describes the process wherein individuals base their sense of self on how they believe others view them. Using social interaction as a type of “mirror,” people use the judgments they receive from others to measure their own worth, values, and behavior.

What are sociological approaches to mental illness? ›

The sociological approach focuses on the factors external to the individual – the environmental or social context – and views mental illness as a breakdown in the face of overwhelming environmental stress.

What techniques does a therapist use? ›

Relationship-Building Techniques
  • Reflection. Reflection is one way that therapists communicate accurate empathy to their clients. ...
  • Paraphrasing. ...
  • Minimal Encourages. ...
  • Summarization. ...
  • Encouragement. ...
  • Cognitive Techniques. ...
  • Behavioral Techniques. ...
  • Experiential Techniques.

What are some of the techniques in humanistic therapy? ›

Humanistic therapies include a number of approaches. Three of the most common are Gestalt therapy, client-centered therapy, and existential therapy.
Gestalt therapy
  • role-playing.
  • exaggerating a behavior.
  • reenacting a scenario.
Feb 21, 2019

What is the push button technique? ›

Designed to show patients how they can create whatever feelings they what by thinking about them, the push-button technique asks clients to remember a pleasant incident that they have experienced, become aware of feelings connected to it, and then switch to an unpleasant image and those feelings.

What is the most effective form of therapy? ›

Cognitive behavioral therapy is considered the gold standard in psychotherapy. Numerous clinical trials have found CBT to be effective for a spectrum of emotional health challenges, from anxiety and depression to addiction and schizophrenia.

What is empty chair technique? ›

a technique originating in gestalt therapy in which the client conducts an emotional dialogue with some aspect of himself or herself or some significant person (e.g., a parent), who is imagined to be sitting in an empty chair during the session.

What are the 5 P's in counseling? ›

They conceptualized a way to look at clients and their problems, systematically and holistically taking into consideration the (1) Presenting problem, (2) Predisposing factors, (3) Precipitating factors, (4) Perpetuating factors, and (5) Protective factors.

What is the best therapy for anxiety? ›

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most effective form of psychotherapy for anxiety disorders. Generally a short-term treatment, CBT focuses on teaching you specific skills to improve your symptoms and gradually return to the activities you've avoided because of anxiety.

What is the most common type of psychological therapy? ›

There are many forms of psychotherapy, but the two most popular forms are psychodynamic therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy.

What are the 4 givens of existentialism? ›

And in 1980, Irvin Yalom defined the four “givens” of the human condition—death, meaning, isolation, and freedom—that have become the basis for the field.

What are the three phases of existential therapy? ›

The three phases of existential therapy are identification and clarification, self-exploration and examination, and application. Existential therapy can be applied to a wide variety of settings and has a strong focus on the client's needs.

What disorders are best treated by humanistic therapy? ›

Humanistic therapy can also be a beneficial in treating:
  • Depression.
  • Anxiety.
  • Panic disorders.
  • Addiction or substance abuse.
  • Personality disorders.
  • Schizophrenia.
  • Relationship issues.
  • Self-esteem struggles.
Oct 29, 2020

What is a real life example of forensic psychology? ›

Examples of forensic psychology include: Threat assessments for schools. Child custody evaluations. Competency evaluations of the elderly or criminal defendants.

Which is the best example of forensic psychology? ›

Some of the most common applications and forensic psychology examples are: Intelligence testing, competence evaluation, and psychological in criminal cases. Custody evaluations, including parental and child evaluations. Threat evaluations in schools.

How does forensic psychology help solve crimes? ›

Within the criminal system, forensic psychologists might work on child abuse cases or determine a defendant's sanity. They can give an informed opinion of whether a suspect knew right from wrong at the time of a crime and even whether a minor is being truthful in recounting an unlawful act.


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(Cinema Therapy)
2. Good Will Hunting: Overcoming Fear
(Just an Observation)
3. Good Will Hunting | 'It's Not Your Fault' (HD) - Matt Damon, Robin Williams | MIRAMAX
4. Good Will Hunting | Analysis of Counseling Scenes
(Dr. Todd Grande)
5. Good Will Hunting 'Bench Scene' Analysis | explained by professional therapist (ep2)
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6. Balancing Feminine & Masculine Dynamic In Relationships/ How To Be A Feminine Woman
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