If for some reason you haven’t noticed, there are a lot of superhero movies being made these days. Before superhero movies became so popular, the most iconic and successful superhero movies were the Batman films. Also, Batman is my favorite character and I have seen the movies more times that I can count.
What does Batman have to do with therapy? I’m glad you asked, and thank you for reading this far.
Not only is he human, and has no superpowers– but we are also able to see ourselves in Batman’s story, and relate to his struggles.
He has the most compelling conflict because he has flaws. Batman’s villains challenge his greatest weaknesses. He has to risk and struggle to overcome, just like the rest of us. Most people know that Batman’s parents were tragically murdered and he spent years overcoming his grief through training. There are many complexities in his childhood pain and his emotional journey that we can relate to.
It’s his vulnerability that makes him interesting and relatable. We empathize with his feelings of grief and loss being and being forced to stretch.
The ideas and themes from Batman stories are nothing new. There are many other popular stories of individuals that have overcome tragedies. We gravitate toward stories of everyday folks rescuing others and rebuilding their lives after tragedy, because they give us hope.
When we see tragedy, I believe that why feel connected to those that are hurting is because we see ourselves. We empathize with their vulnerability.
Often, being vulnerable is seen as a weakness- when in fact it can be strength. When we risk sharing what makes us vulnerable, we allow ourselves to be stretched.
It is not easy to do alone; it is why I chose to become a therapist. I want to help others work through the pain and rebuild their lives and reach their full potential. We may not always be able to change our circumstances in life, but we can always rebuild painful experiences. Change is always possible.
Now I’m not saying I’m Batman, but you have never seen us in the same room at the same time.
Dustin Ellis, CIT