A few questions to wrestle with:
Take a moment to close your eyes and feel whatever came up during the movie. Can you identify what you are feeling? Are you holding some of these feelings in your body? Where?
Can you share some of the judgements you felt towards Kim during the movie? When did you judge her? Did you hold on to these judgements throughout the film, or did your attitude towards Kim evolve, change, or lift? If so, what prompted these changes?
What moment or moments in the movie spoke the most to you? Why?
Did you think about your own childhood while watching the film? Or about a loved one’s? What new insight or pespective did this film offer you on your or someone else’s childhood?
Kim is very honest about her difficulty being a parent. How did hearing and watching her struggle make you feel about your own parenting? If you’re not a parent, how did watching her story make you feel about parents you know or work with? Do you see benefits in creating more opportunities for people to share and hear openly about their issues parenting?
If you are a parent, a teacher, or work with children in some capacity: In what way, if any, do you think this movie will transform your approach to parenting or teaching, etc.?
Why do you think Wrestling Ghosts is an important story to be telling right now?
How can we raise awareness about childhood trauma and build trauma-informed communities?
Should understanding childhood trauma and its impact on development have an impact on the way schools do their work? How so? Do you have knowledge or examples of schools or classrooms that are trauma-informed?
What about the justice system? Do you know about restorative justice? What are the pros and cons of different restorative justice systems, from a trauma-informed perspective?
This movie focuses on what goes on at home, but a lot of things affect our ability to parent. What kind of support do you think the government should be offering families? Longer maternity leaves? Paternity leaves? At-home visits from trained nurses or social workers? And in what ways can increased government support hurt families?
Childhood trauma is a silent epidemic. The cost to our society is very high. What should we do, as a society, to prevent or mitigate childhood trauma? What kind of initiatives can you imagine in your community? Mindfulness in schools? Free or affordable community gyms? Restorative justice initiatives? What policies should we ask our representatives to support?
What concerns you most about your relationship with your children (or students, etc.?) Do you wish to transform your relationship with your loved ones or with yourself? How so?
What is your parenting approach, if you have one? What is your greatest challenge with parenting? Does this movie shed light on your parenting choices or struggles? If so, how?
Kim’s journey seems to indicate that one way to help our children is to help ourselves. What do you think of that?
Is there a certain stigma around women (mothers, particularly) “putting themselves first” at times? Is it seen as selfish when a mother prioritizes her own mental health or seems to seek fulfillment outside of her children? Why does this stigma exist for women, but much less so for men?
What are the resources that you know of in your community that are trauma-informed or that could help people going through a lot of what Kim is going through? (Organizations, community gardens, other groups. . .)
How have your attitudes towards therapy and acceptance of mental illness changed in your lifetime? Did you once feel averse to therapy, and now are inclined to accept it as a healing process? Or vice versa?
What role should forgiveness play in the therapeutic process, in coming to terms with those who hurt us in our pasts?
What questions, doubts, or concerns did the movie raise for you?
Did you already know about ACEs before watching Wrestling Ghosts? Have you done some work on healing yourself? What kind? Does your journey resemble Kim’s journey (trying multiple approaches, ups and downs, etc.)? Are there some local providers you would recommend to others on this journey?
Do you belong to a support group? Would you want to go on a healing journey with others in your community?
Do you think any differently about parenting, health, mental-illness, blame and punishment now, after viewing the film?
Wrestling Ghosts is always looking for more input. Please send your thoughts and ideas (and questions that you think we should include here) to: Charlotte@WrestlingGhosts.com.