In episode four of the Movie Health PodcastKathryn Guestre talked with Sil Jin from M.A.D Therapy Co-Founder. Kathryn and Sil discussed the 2016 Denis Villeneuve movie “Arrival”, evoking an exploration of communication, addressing existential themes, and the human response to the unknown.

Sil Jin, Music Therapist

SIl is a Registered Music Therapist, a classical pianist and an aspiring dilettante to all artistic opportunities in life.

Sil work with people from all walks of life. SIl has worked in various settings, including complex trauma, mental health, autism/neurodiversity, ageing and dementia, cancer care, palliative care and end-of-life care.

Now Sil is in private practice with two other creative arts therapists working with people who knock on our doors, seeking to work with creative and mad therapists. Mad’s approach is mainly psychotherapeutic and somatic, valuing what goes on in the body in the here and now and in the unconscious beyond time and space.

Sil’s Favourite Movie

Arrival | PG-13 | 1h 56m

A linguist works with the military to communicate with alien lifeforms after twelve mysterious spacecraft appear worldwide.

Summary available from i md

Movie Discussion

In episode four of the Movie Health Podcast, Kathryn and Sil discussed one of their favourite movies, Arrival, directed by Denis Villeneuve. The movie centres around the arrival of aliens on Earth. It follows the journey of a linguist named Louise (played by Amy Adams) and a theoretical physicist named Ian as they attempt to communicate and connect with these extraterrestrial beings. Arrival elicits a profound emotional response, mainly through Louise’s bravery and choice to embrace life fully despite knowing the eventual outcome, unconventional approach and willingness to challenge norms.

Arrival presents several existential and philosophical themes, such as the perception of reality and the circular nature of time. Sil also highlights the theme of determinism and accepting and embracing fate even when the outcome is known.

Sil expresses her fascination with the movie’s ability to evoke a sense of awe and beauty while simultaneously instilling a feeling of terror in the face of the unknown. They appreciate the film’s thematic materials, acting, cinematography, and music’s contribution to the experience.

The conversation delves into the movie’s soundtrack, with Sil praising the score composed by Jóhann Jóhannsson, particularly the movie’s use of music to create an eerie and otherworldly atmosphere, specifically mentioning Max Richter’s track “On the Nature of Daylight” and its emotional impact.

The duo acknowledge Denis Villeneuve’s skill in intimately portraying humanity’s dark themes with an appreciation of the intriguing cinematography from start to finish.

The conversation turns to the universal nature of Arrival. Sil highlights the reactions of various characters and countries coming together in the face of a shared existential threat, emphasising how the movie presents humanity’s best and worst.

Memorable scenes and dialogue are discussed, including Louise’s interpretation of the Sanskrit word for war and the pivotal moment when the characters enter the spacecraft, experiencing a shift in gravity and perception. They appreciate the character design and regal presence of the alien Heptapods, Abbott and Costello.

In conclusion, a deep admiration for Arrival as a thought-provoking and emotionally resonant film. The exploration of communication, existential themes, and the human response to the unknown make Arrival a captivating cinematic experience that leaves a lasting impact on its viewers.

Tips for Mental Health


Arrival explores the concept of nonlinear time, expanding our understanding of reality. Mad’s Therapy’s approach is psychotherapeutic and somatic, emphasising the present moment and the unconscious. Sil emphasises the importance of approaching fear and the unknown with an open mind and curiosity, taking things slowly and carefully. Here are Sil’s tips:

  • Embrace fear and the unknown with an open mind and curiosity.
  • Approach challenging situations slowly and with consideration.
  • Build a foundation of safety and routine, but also incorporate adventure and spontaneity.
  • Expressive therapy, such as movie and music therapy, can help traumatised individuals reclaim their voices and express themselves.


M.A.D Therapy

M.A.D Therapy

M·A·D Therapy is a collective of creative arts therapists and allied health clinicians in Sydney, Australia, providing services in promoting health and well-being using Music, Art and Dance movement (M·A·D) and other plentiful creative opportunities and imagination. We work with children, teens and adults of all abilities, bodies and identities.

We are driven by passion and madness to embrace life’s light and dark side and bring creativity into part of the recipe towards wellness.

We are registered therapists affiliated with professional therapy associations trained in psycho-dynamic, trauma-informed and somatic approaches. Moreover, we aim to offer a non-conventional, non-conformist and out-of-the-box style of therapy that would cater to your special kind of madness.

Learn more and contact Sil at: ​​