Are you a School Psychologist who loves Netflix like I do? I pride myself as a multi-tasking, mommy of three, who get my workouts done by riding my spin-bike while watching Netflix programing. While many Netflix shows are just for mommy entertainment (Hello Bridgerton), there have been a few that have appealed to me as a school psychologist specifically. If you are also a school psychologist, here are my recommendations for shows and movies on Netflix that you may also enjoy.
The College Admissions Scandal; Operation Varsity Blues
I watched this movie right when it came out because I have a bit of a tie to the college sailing community as a former collegiate sailor. Full disclaimer, I used to be friends with and sailed against John Vandemoer’s wife Molly, who was the nicest and most positive person that I had ever met back in college. I wanted to know if the movie helped explain what happened to her husband exactly, and it far exceeded my expectations, plus it was entertaining as a weird quasi-documentary.
The movie is basically a documentary, but has Matthew Modine acting out some reenactment scenes, so I’m not exactly sure what category it falls under. It actually turned out that what I liked the most was that the movie got into some awesome discussion on the role of school psychologists in the college admissions scandal. Yes, a movie that mentions “school psychologists!”
Not only did the movie explain our profession a little, but it showed pictures of the WISC V testing instrument and Block Design subtest. Of course, it did portray us as being occasionally duped by greedy parents and children who wanted to qualify for an IEP or 504. It claimed that well-off parents often request assessments and coach their children into qualifying for Special Education in order to get accommodations in their classes and on the SAT.
I could definitely relate to some of the conversation, as I’ve met these parents and seen their efforts to manipulate the system. In a word, they are gross. Also, boo Stanford! They totally threw my friend’s husband under the bus, as they say.
Now this was a wild story about treating depression and coping with mental health issues. It didn’t seem like it would be deep from first glance, but as the story evolved it got very entertaining while dealing with important questions of how to treat depression and other mental health disorders. The main theme was definitely “Therapy” vs. “Medication.” It stars Jonah Hill and Emma Stone, but also has Sally Field and Justin Theroux.
In the story, subjects are participating in a clinical trial for a medication that will help cure them of their sadness and traumatic memories with a series of three pill. As the subjects take the pills, they are monitored by a computer who has been programed to have empathy. As the subjects take the series of pills over a few days, they experience their past traumas, battle their defense mechanisms, and become entangled in each others psychotropic visions.
The show helped me to reflect on my own experiences with treating mental health, think about the students that I have worked with over the years, and reflect on what society should do to treat this epidemic of mental health issues that lead to so many people abusing substances and attempting suicide.
The Goop Lab
This show is interesting because it’s episodes address improving mental health, as well as physical health, issues with alternative treatments. It examines a few “out of the box” wellness practices that people try in order to free their minds, examine their sexuality, and improve their health and longevity. I’m not really a fan of Gwyneth Paltrow, but she mostly has her employees participate in the trails and activities, so there isn’t too much of her.
The Mind, Explained
I like all of the “Explained” shows, but this one about “The Mind” is a good refresher on some areas of psychology. The videos are super quick, but touch on important subjects, such as Memory, Anxiety, Mindfulness, and Dreaming.
Headspace: Guide to Meditation and Guide to Sleep
Headspace has both a series on learning mindfulness and one on improving sleep. The episodes are good for people new to learning about mindfulness. I have even had my daughters sit in bed with me before their bedtime and watch an episode on occasion. They are probably just trying to avoid going to bed, but they seem to like mindfulness meditation at the end of each lesson, and you might too.