Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein is a best-selling author and film maker who uses positive psychology concepts to help kids deal with bullying, anxiety, depression, loneliness, school shootings and social media issues.
WILMINGTON, NC, January 13, 2024 /24-7PressRelease/ — Every now and then, a seismic shift is required in how we think about our world. That is occurring now in many fields, but none more important than in the field of psychology. Unlike previous generations, today’s youth grapple with vulnerabilities that were inconceivable just a few decades ago. The emergence of mass shootings in educational institutions and the looming environmental crisis have created a never-before-seen psychological terrain. There can be no standard protocol or treatment plan for a form of trauma that has never been seen before. This generation is utterly unique in regard to the challenges they face.
We cannot ask Aunt Jane how she handled school shootings when she was a little girl, or Uncle John how he dealt with knowing the planet may not be here in a few years. The adults of today have never been exposed to such things. There is no common ground between generations. Thus, the modalities of the past are ill-equipped to provide any real solutions. The evolving landscape demands a paradigm shift in treatment modalities to align with the interconnected and technology-driven nature of the contemporary life of young people, who are apt to reject anything that even remotely smacks of “old-school”.
Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein has taken the first steps in developing a groundbreaking approach to helping young girls deal with these new challenges via the concept of ‘selfie film making’.
“Technology surrounds us and often directs and creates the ways we live,” Dr Holstein stated. “As a positive psychologist I constantly see the pros and cons of technology. Because of technology we are healthier than our grandparents. We travel more, we have access to foods from around the world and our days and nights are filled with information from around the world. Replacing the phone in the hallway or the wall in the kitchen was an amazing technological change in cultures around the world. Adding in a good camera made it possible to film everything from the fight outside the bar to a proposal for marriage on a bent knee made everyone a potential filmmaker. And that included myself, as a positive psychologist, author and playwright,
“A few years ago I was about to become a filmmaker, basing a film on a book I had written for girls. The intent of the book was to help girls become more resilient and have better self esteem. This happened via a young girl who kept a diary sharing her own emotional ups and downs, how she handled them and other aspects of her life, such as her first crush. The book had been a great success ‘The Truth, I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything’ . It had been made into a successful play, ‘The Locket’ and now it was time to turn it into a short film. Here is where the miracle happened . When the first filming of various scenes from the book seemed a bit dull, I was encouraged by Jon Seiler who was going to be the editor of the film to have the young lady go back and do all the main scenes film on her own with no crew watching and she picking her choice of room or outside to film, choosing her clothes to wear in each scene, etc. The second run of the film was amazing. The Star, Cassidy Terracciano was fabulous as “the girl” from the book. We had a treasure of a film and also a technological breakthrough.
“The film,’The Truth, a Short Films, went on to win awards and is still being shown in film festivals. Also, Selfie Filmmaking as an art form was born and I have developed it ever since. My selfie films are coming up on 200 acceptances and or awards at festivals and presentations. The girl has been filmed and gone from about 13 to 16 in a series of coming of age selfie films that are now available on Roku and Vimeo But even more important is the fact that a new form of creation was accidentally born, as many historical changes come to be. Even electricity was harnessed by chance. What does this mean to you? It means that the world is always a few words or ideas away from the next chance happening that will change us forever. Selfie filmmaking as an art form now exists. Phones with cameras that make that possible are here to stay.
“The other day I was stunned to see that now you can get a selfie camera that really works for your 3 year old. That means everything from a deaf child being able to be more expressive in sharing what he sees or is on his mind, to 4 year olds creating plays on stage in the kitchen. And think of the shy child finding a way to make his or her presence known via film.”
The new selfie film series includes 7 films:
Self Esteem And Resilience Series – Video 1. The Truth – A Short Film
A young girl shares her diary – falling in love, hating her mother, hating her parents fighting, being afraid to grow up, being upset that they may move, loving the locket her aunt gives her and feeling loved in ways by her aunt that her parents can’t seem to muster, wishing the boy she is in love with would grow taller, confronting her disappointment that she has no relationship with him, sharing her glee at having a best friend and confiding in each other, coming to terms with growing up, letting go of her first love, getting ready to move and more.
Self Esteem And Resilience Series – Video 2. Falling In Love – A Coming Of Age Selfie Film
A young teen talks to ‘you’ via Selfies on her smart phone. In these conversations the girl shares her loneliness moving, losing her best friend, her beginning friendships with new kids, and her realization that she has fallen in love again.
Self Esteem And Resilience Series – Video 3. Secrets – A Coming Of Age Selfie Film
Based on Secrets, Diary of a Gutsy Tween, this 10 minute film takes the audience on the complicated roller coaster ride of being 13. The ‘girl’ hates her parents, falls in love, has puberty and body concerns, realizes that secrets matter and finds herself in a miserable accidental situation. But all ends on an upbeat note with the girl realizing she is most in touch with happiness and a sense of joy when she is being true to herself.
Self Esteem And Resilience Series – Video 4. Conflict And A Bit Of Magic – A Coming Of Age Selfie Film
The ‘Girl’ is traumatized by being ditched by a boyfriend, a bully, alcohol and kids taking drugs. Who can understand and help her? Maybe her aunt, who she gets to visit. A seance with a Medium in which the ‘girl’s’ great-grandmother comes through gives her the courage she needs to ask her mom questions and in turn to learn some family secrets.
Esteem And Resilience Series – Video 5. The Medium – A Coming Of Age Selfie Film
The girl, unhappy, goes to visit a favorite aunt who takes her to see a medium. The girl’s great grandmother is channeled in and changes happen for the better. Was this real of a set-up? Does that matter?
Self Esteem And Resilience Series – Video 6. Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction – A Coming Of Age Selfie Film
Two traumatic events structure the ‘Girl’s’ high school year: a lockdown and a family secret. She is shocked yet manages to recover and to understand the importance and value of family and the complexity of truth.
Self Esteem And Resilience Series – Video 7. Lockdown
Three teens find themselves in the girls’ bathroom during a lock down in school. Each respond emotionally differently. All are affected.
All the films are available at https://vimeo.com/showcase/10863899.
Dr Holstein also focuses on films and books that will inspire and help encourage self esteem and resilience for the older audience via films, Zoom dramas, podcasts, plays and other forms of media.
Dr. Holstein hopes to bring parents, teachers, librarians, grandparents and media together to accomplish one goal: Change in the lives of young people who suffer from anxiety and a growing sense of hopelessness and despair.
Dr. Holstein wraps Positive Psychology concepts in forms of media that young people find engaging, relatable and inspiring. These include:
Five bestselling, award-winning books (perfect for school libraries)
Five self-esteem workbooks for girls 8 and up
Award-winning films and coming of age selfie films
A library of articles
As a school psychologist and in her private practice, Dr. Holstein has worked with many children and parents, helping them to develop life skills in decision-making, recognition of their own talents, feel more courageous, and helping both kids and parents develop more successful inter-generational skills. Her last book, ‘Conflict and a Bit of Magic’, helps kids build self-esteem though reading the journal of a girl, identifying with the girl, and understanding they have more courage and resiliency than they thought they had. The book is based on the experiences of the already famous “girl” from ‘The Truth, Diary of a Gutsy Tween’ and ‘Secrets, Diary of a Gutsy Teen’, and achieved bestseller status in the multi-generational families category.
Dr. Holstein’s latest workbook for kids, ‘Secrets’ achieved bestseller status in the ‘Teen & Young Adult Nonfiction on Depression’ category.
Dr. Holstein’s cutting-edge presentations, most recently based on the Covid-19 pandemic issues, can be found on both YouTube, Vimeo and on the Roku channel and Amazon Fire TV, titled as ‘The Enchanted Self Presents’.
Dr. Holstein recently created The Selfie Showcase, a new project emerging from The Selfie Project, that allows young people to voice their opinions on subjects that matter to young people, including the pandemic.
The Selfie Showcase allows kids, teens, and young adults ages 13 to 18 to candidly express their concerns, worries, observations and possible solutions by creating selfie videos or films around important subjects using a smartphone. Dr. Holstein’s mission is to help rectify, in several ways, some issues young people face by giving them a chance to engage with others in meaningful ways about the anxiety and stress they must grapple with constantly.
Dr. Holstein is available for media interviews and can be reached using the information below or by email at [email protected] information about the Selfie Showcase is available at http://www.selfiefilmmakers.com. Selfie videos and selfie films can be uploaded at the site. Potential podcast guests can contact Dr. Holstein by email. More information is available at her primary website at http://www.enchantedself.com.
Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, internationally known Positive Psychologist is the creator of The Enchanted Self ®, a positive psychology method for happiness and a pioneer in Selfies as Film. Dr. Holstein’s Enchanted Self website was included as one of the best websites in positive psychology. She is in private practice in Long Branch, New Jersey with her husband, Dr. Russell M. Holstein.
Dr. Barbara can be found on the web, interviewed, writing articles and posting video ‘TED’ style talks on Happiness, Positive Psychology, Relationships and Parenting. Her Roku channel is: The Enchanted Self Presents.
She has been a contributor to Your Tango, Heart and Soul, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Honey Good, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Redbook, Real Simple, Women’s World, The Wall Street Journal, Psychcentral.com, Time online, Readers Digest, Parade, the Today Show and Family Circle Magazine.
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