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Good Will Hunting: Psychological Analysis

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abby Vansickle

on 27 May 2016

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Transcript of Good Will Hunting: Psychological Analysis

Good Will Hunting: Psychological Analysis
Posttraumatic stress disorder
Will Hunting's thoughts and behaviors are a result of his abuse as a child
His foster father would beat him with a wrench, put cigarettes out on his skin and even stabbed him
Will's Many Psychological Issues
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Inferiority Complex
Many defense mechanisms
Attachment Disorder
Inferiority Complex
This concept coined by Alfred Adler, is a psychological condition that exists when a person's feelings of inadequacy are so intense that daily living is impaired.

This concept is demostrated by Will in:
His friend group, they all have significantly lower IQs than Will and he purposely hangs around people who are less intelligant to feel a sense of superiority
His relationship with Skylar, Will doesn't feel like he's good enough for her so as soon as their relationship starts to progress he pushes her away

Will Hunting (Matt Damon)- Twenty year old janitor, math genius, who also has an eidetic memory

Professor Gerald Lambeau (Stellan Skarsgard)- Mathematics professor at MIT

Dr. Sean Maguire (Robin Williams)- Psychotherapist who tries to help Will

Skylar (Minnie Driver)- Wealthy student at Harvard, and Will's love interest/girlfriend

Chuckie (Ben Affleck), Morgan (Casey Affleck), and Billy (Cole Hauser)- Will's friends
By: Abby VanSickle
Plot Summary
As Will is working as a janitor at MIT, he solves a math problem for professor Lambeau that very few people could solve
Professor Lambeau then finds out about Will's hidden genius as he is fighting a legal battle because he assaulted an officer and the judge agrees to release Will into Lambeau's custody on 2 conditions
1. That Will works with him to solve other math problems
2. That Will receives therapy

Will goes through many therapists before Lambeau resorts to his old college roommate Dr. Sean Maguire, who ends up helping Will through his many psychological issues
The movie concludes with Will's realization of what he wants for his future and it ends with him sending a letter to Sean saying "I gotta see about a girl" which is a recurring line in the film
The symptoms he exhibits:
Feelings of shame
Difficulty controlling emotions
Impulsive/ self-destructive behavior
Inability to form positive relationships
Defense Mechanisms
Theorized by Anna and Sigmund Freud defense mechanisms are unconscious tools to protect the ego from anxiety
The defense mechanisms Will has include:
Repression: he never brings up his abusive past because the memories are too painful
Reaction Formation: when Skylar says she loves him, it is evident that he loves her too, but he reacts in the opposite of what he feels (hatred)
Projection: when he projects his negative thoughts and feelings on to the therapists

Attachment Theory/Disorder
The idea that your relationship with your caregiver as a child affects relationships later in life

The abuse he endured as a child left hime incapable of having intimate relationships with people

which is why he pushed Skylar away and also why he has a hard time having a relationship with adults
The movie ends with a scene of Will driving to California to go be with Skylar
Which is really indicative of Will's tranformation from the beginning of the movie to the end
Full transcript