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According to Greta

CastHilary Duff, Ellen Burstyn, Michael Murphy, Evan Ross
Year released2009
Blog entry

Greta threatens to "walk over to the pier and jump. End it all." She says of her grandmother Katherine, "Gram has some serious anxiety issues. Maybe I should give her some of my pills." (0:02)

Greta: "I'm going to kill myself before I turn 18." She reads from a list of ways to end her life. (0:05)

Greta hints at the loss of her father: "If Dad were alive..." (0:20)

Greta takes unidentified pills. (0:21)

Greta attempts to pit her male friend Julie against her grandmother. (0:42)

When Julie asks Greta whether she would kill somebody, she answers, "Just myself." (0:45)

When Greta's grandfather Joseph announces that he "found a pill in the toilet bowl," Greta identifies it as "Lexapro... SSRI... supposed to make me normal and boring... mood altering drug. The only reason he even wrote the scrip is my mom saw an ad somewhere." (0:50)

Joseph: "Greta's father killed himself... She was there." (1:06)

Standing on the bow of Joseph's cabin cruiser Greta pushes the anchor overboard and allows the rope to wrap around her leg, dragging her into the water. Julie dives into the water to rescue her. Greta's grandmother Katherine suffers a heart attack. (1:07)

Julie confronts Greta and tells her about "my friend. I found him hanging by an electric cord... You just wanted that drama... I wish I could help you. I'm doing my own thing." (1:10)

When Greta reads a letter Katherine wrote to Joseph after he had gone to sea with the Navy expressing regret that she did not tell him how she felt, she begins to view her grandmother as more than an authority figure who wants to control her behavior.

Julie detaches from Greta emotionally, knowing he cannot rescue her and that she will drag him down with her if he permits her to. By doing so does he create an atmosphere more conducive to Greta addressing her own dysfunction?

This story paints the three generations of women as dysfunctional and both men, Joseph and Julie, as more functional, and even as instrumental in the women getting their acts together. Sexist?

Did the dysfunction in this family start with Katherine? With Greta as the identified patient what would be your plan for working with this family? Would you want Julie to attend a session?

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