Shirah Vollmer MD

The Musings of Dr. Vollmer

The King’s Speech: A Psychoanalytic Movie

Posted by Dr. Vollmer on December 15, 2010

The King’s Speech, predictably demonstrates the power of an asymmetrical relationship, where one person who  is confident, skilled and determined is matched up with another person  who is vulnerable, but at the same time determined to change his life. Through hard work, nonlinear progression (a lot of back and forth), and an evolving loving relationship, King George VI  overcomes his biologically and psychosocially based stammer. First, the rules are set down; five times a week or nothing. The place is fixed-Lionel’s office. Then, the goal, so poetically, is to give “Bertie” as Lionel calls him a “voice”. In the concrete sense, Bertie had a voice, but in the psychoanalytic  sense, he did not. He did not understand his own personal power. By helping Bertie connect with his inner strength, Lionel gives Bertie a voice. In return, Bertie gives Lionel gratitude. The asymmetrical relationship over time becomes more symmetrical. The relationship “cured” Bertie of his personal anxieties which exacerbated his genetically determined stammer. With Lionel’s help, Bertie could use other parts of his brain to control his defective areas, his stammer. In so doing, Bertie took control of his voice. His love of Lionel was the key to this development. The King’s Speech demonstrates  psychoanalytic  principles. It is a nice advertisement.

3 Responses to “The King’s Speech: A Psychoanalytic Movie”

  1. ed said

    Das stimmt.

  2. Shelly said

    Who is Lionel, and five times a week–what?

  3. Shirah Vollmer said

    Sorry for not being clear. Lionel is the speech therapist who helped the King with his stammer. They worked together five days a week.

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