Mind Zone: Therapists Behind the Front LinesHD Closed Captioning
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About the Movie
MIND ZONE follows clinicians with an Army Combat Stress Control unit as they deploy to Afghanistan to carry out two missions: protecting soldiers from post-traumatic stress and keeping these same soldiers in the fight. With psychiatric casualties mounting, the United States Army ups the deployment of mental health detachments to take care of battle-weary soldiers. The Combat Stress Control team is equipped with a wide arsenal of psychological techniques, from mindfulness training, resiliency conditioning, to video therapy. But the challenges of managing the two missions confront sobering realities when boots hit the ground.
Jan Haaken's important and deeply affecting film Mind Zone focuses on the deployment of behavioral health specialists in Afghanistan and explores the shifts in the nearly 100-year collaboration between the US military and psychology. Trained in the armament of contemporary evidence-based stress-management and resilience-building methods, the mental health professionals and behavioral health specialists interviewed in the film are respectfully and sympathetically represented by the filmmaker. To make perhaps the central point of this remarkable film, Haaken brilliantly juxtaposes these narratives with wrenching and soul-searching conversations between a seriously wounded veteran and his stateside therapist about the rationalizations that support the inevitability of war and the moral dubiousness of the use of adjustment-focused therapeutic models to "help" soldiers return to combat.
--Jane Hassinger, Psychoanalyst, Researcher, Institute for Research on Women and Gender, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Tremendously poignant documentary, a must see for those who have friends and or loved ones serving in the military, as well as those who’ve had no exposure to the worlds of psychology and warfare. It implores us to look at the heavy psychological burden we’ve placed on military personnel (for decades) while at the same time face the public health crisis our veterans and active soldiers are experiencing. This film visibly underlines the taboo topic of mental health and soldiers that so evidently needs the support of psychologists who are not working within the framework and mental health expectations of the military.