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The Movie Good Will Hunting”: Psychology Analysis

Good Will Hunting is a Oscar-winning movie about Will Hunting. He has a genius-level IQ yet chooses to work for MIT as a janitor. Professor Gerald Lambeau (Stellan Skarsgard) finds his genius when he solves an extremely difficult problem in math graduate level. He decides that he wants to help this misguided youth realize his potential. Professor Lambeau negotiates with Will to allow him to be released from jail for assaulting a police officer. The movie helped me to see the signs and symptoms of Will’s behavior disorder. Will stresses anger, violence, as well as post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which many people experience daily. He also displays other developmental disorders from his childhood onwards.

Erikson’s theory of human development was one psychosocial insight I saw throughout the movie. This theory covered 8 phases of human life. They must accomplish a task in each stage of their lives. Kalat stated that Erikson states that failure to accomplish a stage’s task can lead to disastrous consequences in later stages. It is evident that Will struggles to accomplish some of these tasks in the film. Will’s defensive and reactive personality stems from the abuse he suffered in his foster home. Will was never loved or appreciated as a child. This affected his pre-pubescent stage of the industry versus inferiority. (Am I worthless or successful?). His life was awash with abuse, and he didn’t feel worthy of it. This made him more prone to violence and abuse. Nature and nurture are two other psychosocial factors that have contributed to Will’s deteriorated personality. Nature and nurture, “How does behavior differ from those of other people?”. Will wasn’t born with any specific genetic predispositions. His environment did however influence his life. Will’s use of violence to cope with his problems throughout the film is a sign of his helpfulness. Will might have done this because he didn’t feel able to control his own life. Will’s confrontation with his kindergarten bully in the car was a clear indication of his willingness to use violence for past events. This is a sign that his abusive childhood taught him violence was acceptable. Reidy said that Reidy found that children who had been abused showed more aggression than those who were not. “

Will shows aggression in several scenes. Will developed a defense system after he was repeatedly abused and moved from one house or another. Will’s scene with his girlfriend was a prime example. He got offended by her desire to help him and became angry at the thought of someone else being there. Will uses defense mechanism to protect his girlfriend. He wants to avoid the same fate that happened in his childhood. I also saw Will and Sean talking about their past. Will attempted to offend Sean and acted in a negative manner towards him. Will’s defense mechanism could also be related to post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). “Victims in violent assault suffer from a variety post-event psychological problems, such post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and may also have other emotional problems. “

Wills was a victim of PTSD and other emotional disorders. Wills’ childhood was filled with trauma. His father beat, stabbed, and burned Wills. Because of this rough childhood, Will developed symptoms such as feeling ashamed, difficulty controlling his emotions and defense mechanism, inability to have healthy relationships, and aggression. Professor Lambeau made a deal to Will after Will was arrested. He offered to bail Will out if Will helped him with math problems. But in return, Will would need to see a therapist. This movie featured psychotherapy and hypnosis as the types of therapy. Will didn’t want to be hypnotized, so he chose to do it. Will attended 8 sessions with psychotherapy which helped him to make key decisions in his life. In the movie, he drove to California to pursue his girlfriend. This was his first step towards progress, as he was afraid of leaving what he had come to love and taking a dangerous chance in his marriage. This therapy could prove to be extremely beneficial for those who suffer from PTSD or other emotional disorders.

Good Will Hunting was filled with many psychological concepts. Erikson’s theory on human development is the first concept shown in the movie. Will was most affected in the predolescent stage. The film also showed the effects of nurture, which can lead to violent and aggressive behavior. Will’s upbringing led to him having aggressive and violent tendencies. This movie also depicts defense mechanisms and PTSD. Will has PTSD symptoms that likely began in childhood. This led to many instances where he felt the need of defense mechanisms to help his friends. Will’s therapeutic interventions were referred to as the finial. Although only one intervention was successful, other therapies could have been used.


Josh Wright is a 34-year-old educational blogger and school teacher who has been working in the field for over a decade. He has written extensively on a variety of educational topics, and is passionate about helping others achieve their educational goals.