Brenda McLackland Cilinical

Fostering children Inside out

Fostering children

Inside out

Have any Foster Carers taken their children to see the recently released film by Disney/Pixar ‘Inside Out’?

It received mixed reviews from the psychological community with some saying it was helpful and others saying it misrepresented the working of the brain and emotions.

In brief it is about Riley, a teenager who is uprooted from her life in the Midwest when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. We get an insight into the workings of Riley’s emotions; joy, fear, anger, disgust and sadness which are each brought to life by cartoon characters.

The emotions ‘live’ in Riley’s brain and the film is about how having had a largely positive life until her move things quickly go wrong for her in San Francisco. Joy, who was previously dominant now has to struggle with sadness for supremacy, until they both realise they are two sides of the same coin and learn to appreciate each other and live together.

I wondered how helpful it might be for any children to help them understand emotions and especially perhaps children in care. Would they find it a helpful metaphor for emotions which they sometimes struggle to understand? Could Foster Cares use the characters to help their children talk about and manage their feelings?  Sometimes when attempting to understand and manage our emotions and not be overwhelmed by them it is helpful to imagine them as separate or outside of ourselves.

Whether it was helpful to any parents, carers, or children in this way I would be interested to know. Even if not, as a parent or a psychologist it gets five stars from this reviewer!

Brenda McLackland

Consultant Clinical Psychologist