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The Movie Good Will Hunting": Psychology Analysis

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Psychological Assessment of Will Hunting in 'Good Will Hunting'

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Human Behavior and Psychology in “The Good Will Hunting” by Gus Van Sant Term Paper

The movie ‘Good Will Hunting’ is directed by Gus Van Sant. The script of this movie is written by co-stars Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. The screenplay is quite thought-provoking, with a touch of irony.

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Good Will Hunting is a movie that is emotionally and intellectually stirring, with straight, honest, but engaging dialogues. This movie centers on Will Hunting, who is a foster child, and has been abused during his childhood. He grew up in orphanages in South Boston. Emotionally he is unstable, angry, and confrontational. He is a janitor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Will Hunting has a photographic memory. He is self taught in the fields of arts and history. He is inherently an expert at mathematics.

Current situation

Will solves a graduate-level mathematics problem from algebra which Professor Gerald Lambeau, a Fields Medalist, and an erudite, leaves on a board to be solved by his students. When it was anonymously solved by Will Hunting, Lambeau asked from the class who had solved it, to which no student took responsibility. Then, Lambeau posed a more difficult problem; he saw janitor Will Hunting solving it. Lambeau is dumb founded that he found the correct answer to it.

On the other hand, Will attacks a youth who had messed up with him during his kindergarten days. He even attacked a policeman. Meanwhile, Lambeau comes to his rescue because he finds Will quite intelligent. He gives him two options: either to face imprisonment or to study mathematics and see a therapist. Will finds the second option more convenient.

Five expert therapists left Will one after another because he behaved with them with contempt until he met Sean Maguire, who had been an old friend of Lambeau’s. He and Will had grown up in the same neighborhood. He finally overcomes his sarcastic replies and defense systems. Sean somehow convinced Will that he missed an important show just to meet a stranger to whom he got married. This indirectly seeded his mind with thoughts of Skylar, a young woman, he met at a bar.

At another point, Sean Maguire convinces him that it was not his fault that he has been a victim of child abuse, and that he is not responsible for his misery. Finally, he accepts these facts and overcomes his defense systems, bursting into tears.

The second important person with him is his best friend Chukie, who he tells that he would love to be a laborer for the rest of his life. But Chukie feels that it is not becoming of Will to waste his talent, he thinks that Will is full of hidden talents. He imagined him to reach a higher position with his latent abilities.

Difficulty in Social and Psychological Functioning

Will Hunting has passed through very tough times. He has been through orphan houses. He has not experienced the relations of love and mutual trust and care. His environment during the initial days of his upbringing had been the worst. He was abused during his childhood. He came to believe that he was responsible for his faults. He felt guilty about it all the time (Greene, R. Roberta, 2002). He had formed such a firm opinion that he doubted his inner talents and felt that he was good at labor, and would continue to do it for life. He had read street books, so he developed a fear, thinking how his knowledge could compare to that of well-read students. Later in life, he had been in contact with four people who tried to bring him out of his state of fear and baseless defense mechanisms. Sean Maguire teaches him to believe in himself. He indirectly gives Will a clue that sometimes strange people can have a lifelong affiliation, after which he falls in love with Skylar. He has to overcome his fear of being lonely and left out to develop trust, care, and love that people extend towards him.

Theories that apply

Superego has two components both of which are of relevance to our study of Will. One is ‘conscience’; it usually discourages a person to act in a certain way in society because it is thought of as undesirable. As such conscience develops under scorn, and threats of punishments. For example, a parent may say to his child, “You are bad”. If a child acquires this trait in his personality, he will behave much like his parent.

The other component of the superego is the “ego ideal”, which is the behavior encouraged by elders. It develops through rewards received, and appreciation gained. Statements such as ‘good work’ and ‘excellent job’ serve as an example of this variety.

Together, this conscience and ego ideal shape the whole personality of an individual and determine what he should do and what he should avoid. The development of personality is ensured when there is advancement in ego and superego concerning id. The ego develops in response to the problem-based learning of animate and inanimate objects, whereas the superego develops only when a person comes into contact with human beings.

In addition to the above-mentioned theories, others are oral, anal, and phallic development. According to this theory, if breast milk is sufficiently available, an infant will likely be optimistic and trusting, and if the same is not available, the infant may develop a pessimistic view of life and lack of trust. Furthermore, Sigmund Freud argues that if anal training was not properly started then the infant may prefer messiness and disorder, over cleanliness.

At this juncture, the mention of the Freudian theory of consciousness, and its importance is necessary. Mental life as described by Sigmund Freud consists of three levels of awareness. The first level is the conscious level, at which the person is aware of what is going on in his environment. Below this is the area for feelings and thoughts, which are not available at any time but maybe recalled. Then there is the unconscious. This area of our brain is deep-seated. Freud believes that this area of our mind is sitting on the driver’s seat. He believes much of our behavior is formed because of this area. Unconscious is not easy to tap but it can be discovered by using special techniques of psychoanalysis, such as free association.

It is believed that traumatic experiences are deeply buried in the unconscious. To avoid pain with their expression these are repressed and buried.

As is evident, Will Hunting has passed through severe orphan houses training. It is possible that he has not been completely satisfied with his basic needs of ‘id’. In orphan houses, individuals being many are not properly taken care of. Additionally, there is the absence of warmth of a mother there. As he has been brought up in such an atmosphere where there was no proper care, his superego had learned values that were best fitted there. He became a person of low esteem and no self-worth.

It is quite possible that oral and anal phases have not been done properly, which could be the cause of sarcastic use of language, absence of trust, care, and love. Messiness of his living place may be due to an improper anal stage (Freud, S., 1938).

Cognitive Theory and Rational Emotive Therapy

This theory deals with the acquisition of thought and knowledge; and a reflection of these in our actions and feelings. So it is a holistic function of thoughts, memories, feelings, and our reaction to the environment as a result of which we all have unique expressions depending upon how we perceived our world view.

Cognitive theory is not a single theory but a combination of many, each presenting certain aspects of human personality and behavior. For example, the effects of id, ego, and superego in Freudian concepts, and the shaping of our behavior in relation to the environment. They believe that the human mind is like a computer, and his environment is like information. The information gained is processed in the mind and then individuals react to it. In essence, theories of Gestalt psychology by Wolfgang Kohler, Kurt Koffka, and Jean Piaget incorporated the development of moral values over some time.

Environmental influences on a person are many and varied. It is interesting to see how an individual who is made of certain biological traits and has certain psychology, reacts to the environment in which he is placed. Environmental theorists claim that human behavior is a product of two-way interactions between an individual and the environment he is faced with. This provides him with an external environment according to cognitive theorists. He thereby attaches personal meaning to the behavior of others, circumstances, and events (Berzoff et al, 1991). This leads to the formation of a uniquely real environment for him. This reality may be different from that of others, such that it may either create hopelessness or optimism and forward-looking behavior. When an individual learns from this environment, there is some ‘poor fit’ between him and his environment. In other words, the individual cannot completely grasp the message of his environment, and there can be misconceptions. These misconceptions and gaps in personality can be filled up by the active involvement of a helper who seeks to rectify some of the concepts that the individual has learned through interaction with his environment. Therefore, certain specific therapies may be implicated to change his perspective about his environment to make them more compatible socially. One such therapy is rational-emotive therapy which focuses on irrational thoughts which contribute to a person’s self-defeating behavior and emotional distress (Applegate, 1990).

Basic assumptions of cognitive theory state that the growth spectrum is a continuous one. There is cognitive growth in every individual. It is because of a person’s physical maturation and interaction with his environment at a specific age. A person’s intelligence, problem-solving, and decision making vary with age, due to different treatments of environment upon us and our specific reaction to it. Any individual only specifically reacts to the environment. He focuses selectively on events (Vourlekis, B., 1999).

In the movie, it is quite clear that Will Hunting has a distorted view of reality, which is hampering his matching in society. It is due to the environment he has lived in decision-making and was brought up in. He blames himself for all his miseries and behaves in a self-defeating way, such that he prefers to be labor throughout life. He does not understand that he can be elevated to a high rank which many people covet their entire lives but never reach there. For this reason, Lambeau, who has seen Will, admits in these words to Sean Maguire that he should change his irrational behavior if he could. He tells Sean, “This kid’s special, Sean. I’ve never seen anything like him.”

After Sean is convinced, he engages in multiple therapy sessions with Will. Here we will discuss some important points of rational emotive therapy, which Sean involves in with Will Hunting; we shall also see any reaction of Will towards these developments and visible change of behavior. At first, Sean is unsuccessful to break into his reality constructs of Will. But at one point where Sean tells him, he missed a game show, which he had waited for night to get the tickets, to meet a stranger girl whom he had just seen there. This is the first breakthrough that Sean gains in Will’s personality. Will says in response, “So wait a minute. The Red Sox haven’t won a World Series since 1918, you slept out for tickets, games gonna start in twenty minutes, in walks a girl you have never seen before, and you give your ticket away?”.

At one point, Sean tells Will the importance of being in relation, to overcome unforeseen fears that may arise due to break up, “That’s what I’m saying, Will. You’ll never have that kind of relationship in a world where you’re afraid to take the first step because all you’re seeing are the negative things that might happen ten miles down the road.”

Finally, Sean makes Will realize that it was not his fault; therefore he had no reason to be guilty about himself. He tells Will his story thus: “My dad used to make us walk down to the park and collect the sticks he was going to beat us with. Breaking the worst of the beatings were between me and my brother. We would practice on each other trying to find sticks that would break”.

After some time, Will tells him that he was also beaten and abused he says, “He used to just put a belt, a stick and a wrench on the kitchen table and say “choose” when Will admits that he was beaten; Sean Maguire capitalizes on it and insistently tries on Will to express by his mouth that it was not his fault but it was the circumstances that he had been in. Here, from these few lines we can realize how Will bursts into tears upon conceding that it was not his fault:

SEAN (cont’d)

This is not your fault.


Oh, I know.

It’s not your fault.

(dead serious)

Don’t fuck with me.

(comes around desk,

sits in front of Will)

(tears start)

It’s not…

(crying hard)

I know, I know…

(Good Will Hunting script).

This narrative clearly indicates that Will’s views about his reality concepts had changed. Rational-emotive therapy can bring about behavior change. It presents in vivid by a therapist about his patient. What is unconsciously driving his thoughts, without the realization of a patient that he has changed, is a misfit view of reality? A therapist’s role is to make his patient think differently about his environment, in a way, which is more suitable, to his environment, to change the defeatist view that blocks his communication with people, resulting in at the end of relationships.

Genetic hereditary theory

When a person is born, he brings with him many hereditary qualities, which are transformed into one form or the other, with time. Whatever he comes with into this world has to influence by his genes, taken from his parents, the mother, and the father. The hereditary factor is that, which shows coinciding qualities of a person with those of the parents. Genes are automatically transferred to the offspring, and the qualities of parents and children match.

Among the various psychological aspects that the human possesses, are certain factors that distinguish him from others. Every individual has his or her quality to boast of, and no two persons are the same. But some individuals have special character traits in them, due to the environment they have been brought up in, or with the kind of upbringing, they have undergone. The same is the case with Will here, that his behavior is different and distinguishable due to his environment in childhood. But the environment is not solely responsible for human behavior. The heredity factor, and adoption of genes from the parents, also affect the behavior that is carried out by an individual.

Each individual can learn things and accept or adopt things from their surroundings or the environment in which he is placed. Will adopted his strange behavior patterns and irritable behavior due to the conditions he was kept in while being brought up. His parents beat him up, but they still lay inside him, some form of hidden talent, which the professor wanted to be explored, and made use of it. So the question is, where did that capability come from, to answer the toughest of questions, and perform outstandingly on the one hand, but on the other, he was so unconfident and uncertain about his future endeavors, that he thought he could do nothing worthwhile and would stick to being a laborer for life.

The famous English scientists Francis Galton came up with the nature-nurture debate, which speaks of the relationship between nature, and the effects of the nurturing of individuals, which are the results of the human being’s personality. It says, that whatever genes the individual brings into the world with him, are linked to the environment he grows in. the two factors are greatly dependent on one another, the nature side states that intelligence is based on the hereditary factor, and the nurture side emphasizes on the environment affecting the intelligence and mental capacity of the individual (Neuroscience of Intelligence).

Studies have shown that the IQ or intelligence quotient of an individual is dependent upon heredity factors. Scientists have shown the influence of genetics on the IQ of individuals, and the heritability factor amounts to about 50% for IQ (Kaufman, A., 1999). However, genetics and environmental factors overlap one another, and are interdependent, as aforementioned.

Coming back to the nature and nurture factors of heredity, the natural genes a person is born with are solely said to be responsible for the intelligence that a person possesses, as well as the behavior that is a result of this intelligence (Neuroscience of Intelligence).

Will, in the movie, is seen to be distinct from his character and had some sort of a genetic influence apart from the terrible abusive environment he was brought up in. On the other hand, Francis states that the mental aptitude of an individual is markedly influenced by the atmosphere that has been created for him to nurture. Both of these aspects are right to their extents, but it cannot be stated that only nature or only the environment is independently influential.

Thus it is clear from the genetic theories that relate to intelligence, that genes and heredity plus the environment play a role in the intelligence acquired by an individual. Will had a unique intelligence which was noted by his professor and wanted it to be enhanced, by the help of his friend, Sean, who was attempting to treat him out of his complexities. His professor was stunned at the fact that Will could answer those questions that others could not, and was sure that he had some sort of hidden talent that could be utilized efficiently. This hidden talent that Will possessed was probably genetically transferred, and he may have had some hereditary transfer of intelligence genes, that made him an introvert, but at the same time, exclusively intelligent.

Genes are passed on from one generation to the next and are contained in the human cell, in DNA. Some physical traits such as eye color, or hair color, are evident when transferred, but the secondary traits which are invisible, like the intelligence, or personality of individuals, are also incorporated in a person’s DNA. There is proven evidence of the effect of genetics and genes on the offspring. Children share 50% of the genes of their parents, and that also, with each of them. Heredity influences the intelligence levels of people substantially, and research has shown such results through tests performed on twins also, to signify the effect of genes on the intelligence they possess.

Some findings in France and Canada have shown that an infant’s earliest environment affects the IQ level that is reached in later years (Kaufman, A., 1999). This is proof of the fact that Will in the movie, had some hereditary intelligence, then had a reasonable environment to reside in, which made his IQ reach a certain level, and finally, he got all the beatings, which led to his furious nature, and irritable moods.

Critique of Theories

The personality theory put forth by Sigmund Freud is very factual, in that it speaks of the necessities of life, and how the human reacts to the elementary and most essential needs of life, like hunger, and thirst. It is very rightly stated, that each person has an ego to take care of, and performs accordingly, in his life, and for all the activities that he undertakes. The superego of individuals includes those aspects which he has learned from his families, which are inclusive of all the values that have been set forth, to follow. These may also include the standards set by peers, and which are the norm of the society, which he is to follow. This is also a positive point of the personality theory, as whosoever does not wish to follow the norms of the society, is considered an outcast and each individual’s elders teach him what is best for him to lead a successful life. The theory has not included any instances of people not living successful lives on not following the norms of society. There is also no mention of the types of standards that are meant to be followed.

The cognitive combination of theories relates the thoughts of a person to his actions. This is true in the sense that whatever each person thinks is executed in daily routines. The thoughts that are accumulated in a person’s mind are brought into practicality.

The genetic theory of intelligence has to influence approaches that since other elements are inherited genetically, so can intelligence be inherited. This is convincing to quite an extent.

It can be seen that psychology has a great impact on the personality of an individual, and the entire life span is dependent on psychological factors. Will also showed offensive behavior in his daily acts due to the psychological disturbances caused during his upbringing. The behavior of Will has been influenced due to the psychological gains and losses he faced during his upbringing. Psychology plays a vital role in a person’s life, and all theories put forth concerning human behavior, are authentic, practicable, and worthwhile.

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Good Will Hunting Defense Mechanisms and Mental Illness Analysis

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good will hunting psychology assignment

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“Good Will Hunting” Movie: Abandonment, Love, and Attachment

Movie synopsis, defense mechanisms, stages of cognitive development: object constancy.

Fear of abandonment, inability to deeply connect, hardship in love, abusive childhood, and management of challenging relationship creation are some of the prevalent and relatable movie tropes explored in the modern media. The movie Good Will Hunting is a prime example of how cinema can provide the audience with a comprehensive narrative of one’s complex psyche and its role in relationships, career, and talent. From the perspective of psychology, this film also serves as a field of exploration of various theories and concepts to explain the behavior of the main character. Will Hunting, evidently, suffers from multiple behavioral disturbances caused by his abusive foster family, unfortunate circumstances, and socioeconomic background. This essay will explore the behavior of the protagonist through the application of the attachment theory, defense mechanisms, and object constancy.

Good Will Hunting presents the audience with a narrative of Will Hunting’s life story. At first, he appears to be an extremely intelligent genius with a photographic memory who gains profound insight in any field of studies by merely looking at a textbook once. Despite his talent, Will works as a janitor at Harvard until his genius is discovered by a local mathematician who sees Will’s solution to a problem he worked on for years. After that, the scenario escalates: the mathematician bails Will out of jail under two conditions – that he will learn with him and have weekly psychology sessions. While the first condition thrills him, Will resents the second one and drives away any therapist assigned to him. That is until he is paired with a professional coming from the same disadvantaged neighborhood as Will.

As they start working on Will’s psychological problems, the protagonist meets the love of his life, Skylar, but struggles to connect with her on a deep emotional level. In addition, the main character is also pressured to pick up a highly paid academic career due to his talent. In the end, with the help of his therapist, Will realizes that he is ready to commit to a relationship and pursue what he wants, not what others expect of him, and leaves Boston to reunite with Skylar at Stanford.

One of the first and most apparent psychological theories that can be applied to the protagonist is the Freudian theory of defense mechanisms. This concept is explained as complex psychological strategies weaponized by one’s ego to protect itself from unpleasant stimuli. More specifically, Freud concluded that there are several defense mechanisms that people use to avoid harmful experiences.

If to examine what defense mechanisms are present in Will Hunting’s behavior, displacement, denial, and projection can be highlighted as the major ones. Firstly, it is essential to emphasize that his experience being an orphan resulted in him having severe abandonment issues. As it concerns displacement, it is generally regarded as a mechanism of redirecting strong emotional responses from the initial stimuli to other less threatening subjects. Will Hunting is a person who experienced adverse physical abuse in childhood (Ciocca et al., 2020). At that time, he was unable to resist his foster parents but still felt anger and frustration.

At present, he displaces this aggression onto random strangers who express any anger towards him, which results in severe beatings and, consequently, a prison sentence for Will. The impulsive anger he feels towards strangers is a displaced emotion he experienced towards his abusive parent. Secondly, Will Hunting exercises projection by the fear of commitment: in the past, he powerless and alone, left by his unknown biological parents (Ciocca et al., 2020). At present, he projects those feelings onto Skylar by thinking that she does not really love him and plans to leave him, just like his biological parents did.

Thirdly, one can argue that for the majority of the film’s duration, Will Hunting experiences the defense mechanism of denial. At this stage, a person avoids any mention of his trauma and pretends like the traumatic experiences never happened to shield his conscience from past events (Ciocca et al., 2020). It is especially evident when his therapist repeatedly states that it is not his fault that he is like that now – broken and non-committal. Will becomes aggressive and denies his internal guilt that, undoubtedly, has been the root problem in his relationships. Instead of admitting his psychological trauma and working through it, he proceeds to avoid it. Will is also unwilling to disclose his past to Skylar since he lies about having a lot of brothers throughout the movie and then becomes angry when she discovers the truth about being an orphan.

The attachment theory, developed by Ainsworth, is another viable concept to examine Good Will Hunting . According to Ainsworth, the attachment theory explains various types of people’s behavior in interpersonal relationships, explicitly relating these types to the childhood experiences of parenting (Pepping et al., 2018). For instance, if a child has a loving and present mother, he is more likely to grow up with a secure attachment style, which will result in healthy relationships, trust in partners, and independence. Conversely, if a person grows up in an abusive household with a parent who is always absent or cruel, one is inclined to have trust issues and difficulties with a commitment since the first meaningful relationship they ever had were negative.

This theory easily translates into the experience of Will since he is an orphan who was brought up in abusive and uncaring foster families. Throughout the movie, it is mentioned multiple times that Will was physically and mentally abused by a father figure, specifically by showcasing his stab wound and indicating his constant inclinations to violence. Consequently, through this unhealthy parenting that Will experienced, he developed avoidant attachment. Due to this peculiarity, as an adult, he cannot trust others such as his therapist and girlfriend, has difficulties in believing that Skylar will not abandon him, and is always hesitant in intimacy. Pepping et al. (2018) claim, avoidant attachment style is one of the most driving forces behind abandonment and trust issues that Will evidently adopts. Thus, it can be argued that avoidant attachment is one of his most apparent issues in the movie.

The third concept relevant to the investigation of Will Hunting’s psyche is Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, particularly the idea of object permanence. According to Piaget, the human development of infants is divided into particular and clearly defined stages of sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational periods (Capella, 2016). During each phase, some crucially essential skills are developed to sustain children throughout their life, ultimately shaping behavior, intelligence, and set of abilities. For instance, during the first phase of the sensorimotor stage, a child learns how to be curious about the world, coordinate his/her senses, use simplistic language to make demands, and express dissatisfaction (Capella, 2016). Another vital aspect of the sensorimotor stage is the creation of object permanence. This concept explains how children understand that objects and people exist even when they are unable to see them. If this skill is not developed, infants think that, for instance, if their parental figure is not in sight, they do not exist anymore.

Although it is a fundamental human skill necessary for basic existence, it also has underlying implications for trauma creation that relate to the experiences of Will Hunting. Zivkovic (2020) claims that children whose sensorimotor development is disturbed by abuse and neglect suffer from the lack of object permanence. Although, as any mentally healthy adult, Will recognizes that people he does not see still exist, he feels an instinctive unease when the person he feels affectionate toward is not in close proximity. As Zivkovic (2020) finds, “Such violations may also restrict the development of object constancy, which may result in a lack of identity consolidation and affect the individual’s adult relationships” (p. 251). In simpler terms, infants with abusive parents develop object constancy. However, they unconsciously decide to slow the progress since they do not want to recognize that their abuser exists outside their sights, meaning that they are not only temporary but constant threat.

In conclusion, it can be argued that Good Will Hunting can be analyzed from the perspectives of three theories: Freudian defense mechanisms, Ainsworth’s attachment styles, and Piaget’s stages of development. Firstly, the protagonist employs a set of coping techniques to avoid the trauma of childhood abuse. Secondly, his fear of abandonment can be explained by his avoidant attachment style. Lastly, the tendency to distance himself from intimacy fits the theory of object constancy, as described by Piaget.

Capella, C. (2016). Disequilibrium and loss of narrative coherence in identity construction: A Piagetian perspective on trauma in adolescent victims of sexual abuse . Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 30( 4), 323-338. 

Ciocca, G., Rossi, R., Collazzoni, A., Gorea, F., Vallaj, B., & Stratta, P. (2020). The impact of attachment styles and defense mechanisms on psychological distress in a non-clinical young adult sample: A path analysis . Journal of Affective Disorders, 273 (1), 384-390.

Pepping, C., MacDonald, G., & Davis, P. (2018). Toward a psychology of singlehood: An attachment-theory perspective on long-term singlehood . Current Directions in Psychological Science, 27 (5), 324-331. 

Zivkovic, A. (2020). Developmental trauma and the bad object: Attachment, identity, reenactments. Transactional Analysis Journal, 50 (3), 251-265. Web.

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Good Will Hunting Psychology

Social-psychological principles in good will hunting essay.

There are a couple of scenes in the movie Good Will Hunting that show self-fulfilling prophecies. The first scene in the movie that depicts self-fulfilling prophecies is when Will goes to call Skylar but then does not say anything when she answers the phone. The second scene in Good Will Hunting that represents self-fulfilling prophecies is when Will and Skylar are laying in bed and Skylar asks Will to go to California with her. Will gets defensive and begins to push Skylar away and they get into a heated argument. Will is defensive because he is trying to push Skylar away before she does it to him. Skylar tells Will that she loves him but Will still continues to push her away. Will ends up leaving but first tells Skylar that he does not love her.

The Relationship Between Will and the Psychologist in Good Will Hunting

The movie really relates the main idea of the story and that is what psychologists call intimacy. The two characters of Will and Sean are the central focus of the movie. Skylark, Chuckie and his friends help in the bigger scope but the relationship between the psychologist Sean and Will is what really counts in this tale.

Psychoanalysis Of Good Will Hunting

In his last therapy session, Will reveals to Sean that he was beaten as a child. As a result, he has a tough time believing that he is capable of achievement in life. Children who endure such hardships can feel unworthy and not have a desire to succeed in life. Will also has a tough time accepting love. When Skylar, his girlfriend asks him to go to California with her, he chokes her. Shortly after, he breaks up with her. This most likely resembles Cluster C avoidant personality disorder. Avoidant personality disorder occurs when people have feelings of insufficiency and are extremely sensitive to rejection. Connors wrote, “Specifically, individuals with an avoidant attachment style who have been rebuffed by caregivers in childhood will be defensively constricted and unable to love in adulthood” (475). Will did not feel like he was capable of being loved and feared being rejected, so he ended things with Skylar. It wasn’t until he was court ordered to see a psychiatrist that he began to value himself.

Essay on Good Will Hunting

The movie Good Will Hunting exploits many points of psychology in the character Will Hunting, a janitor at MIT who has a knack for math. Some of the points of psychology include how a character develops after a lot of child abuse during his childhood. It exploits the idea that a child who becomes secluded may never allow an attachment, or when an attachment finally starts to occur, pushes them away. 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.

Literary Devices In Big Fish

Throughout Will’s life, he had thought he never truly knew who his father was. On Will’s wedding night, Edward told his legendary big fish story which bothered Will. After that night, Will and Edward did not speak again for three years. Now knowing that his father will soon be gone, he pleads for him to let him know his true self. Edward then responds by saying he has always been himself and Will is the one failing to see that. In another scene, Will explains that he believes Edward had a second life because he was always gone. He then goes on saying that Edward tells all of these fabrications because he is bored with his real life. These tales made Will come to the conclusion that his father did not want him and had no interest in having a relationship. The audience will soon come to find that these

Innocence In Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes

Will’s journey of innocence is quite apparent in the beginning of the book, as Will is depicted as a child who only cares about his family and friends. In chapter 8, Ray Bradbury says “Will saw the only theater he cared for now, the familiar stage where sat his father […] holding a book but reading the empty spaces. In a chair by the fire mother knitted and hummed like a tea-kettle. (RB 8.2) Will’s image of a perfect life is having his family safe and healthy, which indicates that Will still hasn’t got in enough experience. Once Will faced a

Psychosocial Assessment on Good Will Hunting Essays

Will’s girlfriend, Skylar, had a good influence on him. Initially, Will was unwilling to establish a lasting relationship with her but eventually decided to join her in California.

The Ruins Of Gorlan Will And Horace Quotes

In the book, The Ruins of Gorlan, by John Flanagan, the main character Will and the secondary character Horace had a long relationship that changed a lot through the book. In the beginning, the were enemies and hated each other, even fought each other. But, over time in the book, their relationship changed to one of a bond of friendship.

Analysis Of Good Will Hunting

In the film, Good Will Hunting, the main character, Will Hunting, is a gifted mathematician who struggles to find a productive and fruitful life. Throughout the film, Will displays outstanding and one-of-a-kind abilities in the field of mathematics. However, his emotional and social intelligence falls far behind his intellectual intelligence. With a rap sheet stocked full with assault and aggression, Will must navigate himself through life by learning to trust, love, and learn.

Movie Analysis : ' Good Will Hunting '

He wants to strive to do the right things in life, but is not necessarily sure how to; therefore, he is searching for the good will” (Wegner). In the movie, each character had a color that reoccurred through the movie. “Robin Williams’s character only wears neutral colors and I feel that it symbolizes peace. Matt Damon’s character Will has a color that keeps reoccurring throughout the movie and that is the color orange” (runge). “Orange symbolizes energy, vitality, cheer, excitement, adventure, warmth, and good health” (Morton). “There is symbolism when Skylar is boarding her plane and she wants to see Will but he does not show up. Then in the next scene, it shows Will sitting on a park bench outside the airport watching as her plane takes off. This symbolizes that they want to be together but they cannot be together” (runge). The next symbol “is the painting of a man rowing a boat amidst a storm in Sean’s office that Will comments on during their first meeting. The storm could represent the inner demons of both Sean and Will and the man rowing the boat amidst symbolizing their fear and feelings of being alone while amidst their separate turmoil” (Dakota). The second to last symbol “in the film is the car Will receives from his friend’s at the end of the film. He receives the car shortly after his breakthrough with Sean. The car symbolizes Will’s new freedom not only with his future but also with his new freedom from his

Psychological Analysis Of Good Will Hunting : Movie Review

Will has Traumatic and Stress Disorder. Rightfully so, he was in foster care all throughout his child hood and was beaten, stabbed, and burnt with cigarettes. He learned how to fight and be defensive with the abusiveness. No family gave him the time of day since he was so defensive and got into trouble often. Will throughout his life struggled with trust issues, anger issues, and not being confident in himself. Will was book smart and full of aggression, he allowed his past to overshadow his future. He used reading as a coping mechanism from his reality. He would get lost in the books and was starving for knowledge. Will used being smart as another defense mechanism. He talked his way out of court several times and talking back to therapist by reading their books, also to people that thought he was stupid. He would show them that he was actually a genius and made them feel stupid. However, as Will soon figures out that the therapist knows exactly what he is doing and that he can read all the books he

Erik Erikson’s Eight Stages of Development Essay

In Erik Erikson’s theory he explains that in every stage, a positive or a negative attitude is developed within an individual. During our developing stages we are either successful or we fail. Each stage will come to us whether or not we’re ready for them or not. You can think of the stages as learning stages where crisis occur .Only if we have learned from the previous crisis we are successful. You cannot avoid 1 stage and move to a next stage because of the developing process. The outcome of our lives depends on the way we chose to progress throughout each stage in life. Erikson had his own way in describing each stage in life that we all must go through.

Essay about Good Will Hunting

The beginning of the film depicts Will solving equations left on a chalk board at MIT that not even the most gifted of students can solve. Professor Lambeau searches for the mysterious “student” who is solving the posted equations. He finds Will in a court room where he is being sentenced to time in prison after being involved in assault on the streets of Boston. A deal is made with the judge that Will will see a therapist and also study with Professor Lambeau in exchange for time in prison. Will is introduced to many therapists before Lambeau finally goes to his old friend Sean. After a rocky start, Sean starts to get through to Will. They discuss many things together from Will’s troubled past to the newly formed relationship he has with Skylar. Lambeau repeatedly tries to force Will into high profile job interviews while Will continually does not show up to them. This causes an argument between Lambeau and Sean. Trouble then begins to start between Will and Skylar after she tells

Good Will Hunting Reflection Essay

about it. In the film, Will feels helpless, so he pushes his emotions aside for others to deal with.

Good Will Hunting Analysis

The movie good will hunting is related with the Erikson’s psychosocial theory of personal development. As Erikson suggested that how we interact with others is what affects our sense of self, or what he called the ego identity” (Opens tax, pg. 304). the main

Related Topics

Therapy in Good Will Hunting’s Case

Good Will Hunting depicts a link between a therapist and Will Hunting, a janitor. The relationship is addressed as an important approach for promoting the teaching of counseling theories. Good Will Hunting reveals the story of a young man with troubled marriages and anger management problems and compares his path of spiritual development with that of his psychiatrist. Will Hunting, depicted as a genius, is motivated by a math professor at a renowned university to pursue a career in mathematics, while his advisor urges him to follow his heart to achieve his destiny. However, not only does this film depict counseling as ultimately successful, but it also portrays the psychologist as a loving human being trying to transcend his suffering (Corredor et al., 2020). The film provides a reasonably comprehensive and credible role of the therapy method in psychotherapy based on the cultural environment of a client and a counselor.

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. First, he attempted to behave like Will Hunting. This became a successful technique as it allowed him a chance to rebound from his anxiety. Will’s hostility and disgust may be described as a defensive mechanism. Thus, it can be inferred that any action therapy performed, every phrase he spoke was one of the therapeutic methods he used to help the patient unlock his vision. Behaving like a client, using the same terms, acting similarly, speaking the same manner, were the key strategies that made it easier for Sean to do his work.

The fundamental aspect of intimate relations and communicative experiences with others is mainly focused on feelings. In the film, characters encounter multiple feelings that impair their social interactions and conversational experiences. Keeping in mind that each character has grown up with a diverse lifestyle, their intimate connections and communicative experiences have been influenced over the years. The film helps highlight various traits in each personality and how their feelings influence the way they interact.

The film shows the role of contact in a therapy partnership by highlighting the coping techniques between people. Will is an orphan, and he’s had a tough childhood. As a result, he has a communication problem and cannot interact with other people or even his relatives (Pfeiffer & Prado, 2018). His tough childhood affected him creating barriers in his social life. Thus, the counselor helps him loosen his social barriers and learn how to empathize with others for a better quality of life.

Interpersonal engagement is emphasized in the film as communication is the only way through which people can share thoughts and feelings and connect with others. Through communication, people can interpret both vocal and non-verbal signals to show positive feedback. Good listening and speaking are effective attitude characteristics, which enhance interpersonal contact. Will lacks this skill, which does not allow him to easily connect with others (Corredor et al., 2020). Interpersonal contact is typically dyadic in a person’s everyday life, which implies that it happens more frequently. Connection is important because people who speak can empathize with each other. When a partnership evolves between two individuals, contact is collaborative and they have complex conversations when they get to know each other. When partnerships grow and evolve, contact provides the details as to whether the sender or receiver is trustworthy or not, or whether they are the people one wishes to know better (Pfeiffer & Prado, 2018). Environmental discussions take place in the sense of contact because communication in a counselor’s office is more professional than in another setting. In particular, a counseling environment can influence a client to share thoughts and feelings more comfortably.

Interpersonal dynamics is a critical skill in therapy, as demonstrated in the film. Will Hunting is a strong listener, which means he can sense, and he understands the nature of the conversation that occurs in a social environment. However, he cannot express himself in a way that would encourage him to reciprocate. Thus, the film illustrates why he is busy attempting to prevent himself from hearing his thoughts, or he does not want to send signals that could expose his fears. Socially appropriate engagement is the skill that Will needs to master. He and his friends are close, but they do not have meaningful communication with each other.

Will is also mean to Sean during the first three weeks following his referral to counseling. He uses the conversation to divert pressure away from his nature and his issues. The reason is that Sean is struggling with the loss of his child. He understands that Sean’s loss is a catalyst to ensure that he avoids any efforts to connect with his friend using the nuances of the therapist and the patient. The therapist utilizes a range of verbal methods to attempt to communicate with his client. The most effective one is when the counselor changes the setting for their appointments; instead of meeting at Sean’s office, they meet in the park. Equally, instead of sitting facing each other across a desk, they sit on a park bench facing the lakeside. The posture is appropriate in counseling as it minimizes anxiety and encourages sharing. The entire sense of their former contact is left behind in this current world. The two men begin to connect in a constructive manner, which is vital for Will’s social skills development.

Sean identifies strategies to uncover his client’s suspicions. He uses their common interest as a framework for developing a sense of understanding. The strategies include baseball and sharing ideas. Since Sean has the same socio-economic history as his client, he is best able to emphasize Will’s struggles and emotions (Tesalonika, 2017). He is still willing to accept Sean because they come from a similar background and they have much in common, they do not need to go through a time of symbol decoding to understand each other. In other words, Sean allows Will to finally express his social skills by finding some commonalities.

Chuckie has been Will’s best friend since they were children, but they have not spoken about the crucial choices which have to be taken in life. Chuckie seems more comfortable with holding a meaningful discussion than his friend, but he has understood Will’s choice not to speak about such topics (Tesalonika, 2017). It has become general knowledge that he has been through many challenges. Will is turned from a bitter, frustrated guy who cannot determine his issues, to a happier, self-confident person. Learning to express himself and knowing what people were doing was the way he began to comprehend the world and the method which helped him cure all of his old wounds. Sean was eventually able to appreciate Will’s defenses by utilizing communication as a weapon. Instead of using confrontation to protect them, Will learns healthier coping abilities by the end of the film.

The film shows egos and how they can influence individuals in their everyday lives. Will did not have an ideal childhood, since he was an orphan. Because of his background, Will, an unrecognized visionary, serves as a school concierge as part of a bail deal after murdering a police officer. He was exploited as an infant, and he communicates this neglect and aggression in his adult life. When mopping the ground, Will solved a variety of physics theorems on a chalkboard in the corridor, prompting Nobel Prize winner Lambeau to search for him.

Personality explanations are useful for clinicians when it comes to recognizing the patterns which are linked to an attempt to identify the challenges of people with negative behaviors. Professionals are obligated to evaluate, diagnose, and manage a person as the theoretical approach has been developed. Good Will Hunting depicts the abuse which Will Hunting witnessed as a boy and also reveals how it influenced him as an adult. In the established causes, Will is a mental talent with an overabundance of intellect. Hunting has several contrasting personality characteristics which can lead to the reality that there is more to his imagination than just his logical intelligence. The client reveals several improvements in the film, from self-destructive habits to the desire to form healthy behaviors. Cognition is characterized as the knowledge which processes weather, mental functioning, intellectual activity or thought, reasoning, recalling, dreaming, or studying. Increased experiments have been undertaken to analyze the attitude traits of cognitive aging. People who participate in elevated amounts of mental stimulus show a slower pace of cognitive impairment than the individuals who do not participate much in cognitive skills but who participate in more intellectual stimulation demonstrate complex cognitive capacity in general.

Corredor, J., Álvarez-Rivadulla, M. J., & Maldonado-Carreño, C. (2020). Good Will Hunting: Social integration of students receiving forgivable loans for college education in contexts of high inequality. Studies in Higher Education , 45 (8), 1664-1678.

Pfeiffer, S. I., & Prado, R. M. (2018). Counseling the gifted: Current status and prospects. In Handbook of Giftedness in Children (pp. 299-313). Springer, Cham.

Tesalonika, T. (2017). The types and purposes of swear words in goodwill hunting movie [Doctoral Dissertation]. Sanata Dharma University.

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  4. Human Behavior and Psychology in “The Good Will Hunting” by Gus

    Good Will Hunting is a movie that is emotionally and intellectually stirring, with straight, honest, but engaging dialogues. This movie centers

  5. Good Will Hunting Psychology Analysis

    Another concept that applies to the film “Good Will Hunting” is Freud's defense mechanism. Will Hunting uses many defense mechanisms to cope with his stress

  6. Psychological Analysis Of Good Will Hunting

    The film Good Will Hunting, exhibits many concepts of interpersonal communication through the different characters who are in the film. Emotions and conflict

  7. "Good Will Hunting" Movie: Abandonment, Love, and Attachment

    In conclusion, it can be argued that Good Will Hunting can be analyzed from the perspectives of three theories: Freudian defense mechanisms, Ainsworth's

  8. Good Will Hunting

    In this heartwarming drama, the most brilliant mind at America's top university isn't a student, but rather a headstrong, working-class genius

  9. Good Will Hunting Psychology

    “Hunting” Psychology : An Extensive Analysis On The Film Good Will Hunting By: Dennis Mayuga INTRO::::: Erik Erikson proposed that throughout a normal human

  10. Therapy in Good Will Hunting's Case

    Interpersonal dynamics is a critical skill in therapy, as demonstrated in the film. Will Hunting is a strong listener, which means he can sense, and he