Free «The Half Nelson» Essay Sample

The Half Nelson

The aim of this essay is to analyze and evaluate Daniel, the main character of the film The Half Nelson (2006) and his current state of readiness to participate in rehabilitation program. The state of readiness in terms of his addictive behavior will be examined according to five core areas: need for change, commitment to change, self-awareness, environmental awareness, and personal closeness.

Generally, the evaluation of disability status is an important, complicated, and multi-dimensional problem for healthcare professionals as the poor rehabilitation readiness brings poor outcomes. Therefore, there is almost no sense in its realization in terms of time, efforts, and financial resources spent (Cohen, Anthony, & Farkas, 1997). Before starting the detailed psychological analysis of the main character, it is important to note that the human is a master of his/her own actions and the reason of the majority of own problems. The detailed evaluation of five core areas of rehabilitation is presented below:

  • Need for change. Daniel from The Half Nelson does not seem to feel the need for change; it seems like he is relatively satisfied with his personal and professional life. Daniel does not see the reason to stop as drugs bring pleasure and possibility to relax that he needs so much. At some point of the movie, Daniel says the following phrase: “ is important to know that there are some changes you can't control and that there are others you can (Fleck, 2006)”. However, the audience of the film can easily see that the main character does not make any efforts to change his life; it seems like he feels that his life is destroyed and this self-awareness shows that there is no way out.
  • Commitment to change. It is visible that from time to time Daniel tries to change. Instead of taking drugs, he tries do lead a healthy and “normal” life: he goes jogging or does some sport exercise at home, he is friendly and active at work, he tries to find a girlfriend for communication and long-term relations, etc. At some point of the movie, Daniel says the phrase “...change results from a clash of opposites (Fleck, 2006)”. It is very likely that if the main character manages to find a girlfriend/wife with a strong personality and healthy way of life (a complete opposite of him), she will help Daniel to quit his addiction, rehabilitate, and live a happy life.
  • Self - awareness. Daniel is aware of his medical and psychological state. However, he thinks that he keeps everything under control and can manage his drug addiction, while in reality, the situation is quite opposite. He thinks that clinic and rehabilitation will not be able to help him as he does not recognize drug addiction as a medical problem that can be dealt with or treated.
  • Environmental awareness. Generally, Daniel’s environment can be considered as positive. He was raised in an average American family, he went to college and obtained a good job of a teacher of history (the discipline which he is truly passionate about). However, due to his addiction, Daniel’s environment after work is limited to bar girls and drug addicts. Even his pupil Drey seems to be not strong enough to take Daniel out of this drug circle trap. It seems like his addiction, mood, as well as other factors transformed his personality, and he is no more able to socialize normally without taking drugs. For instance, Daniel’s behavior while dating with his colleague (Monique Curnen) is erratic, and his drug habits and political speeches soon turn her off. Similarly, he does not manage to maintain friendly relationships with other teachers at work even though they are quite friendly and open for communication. Even the relationships with parents and larger family do not seem interesting and enjoyable for Daniel.
  • Personal closeness. Human beings are social creatures, who generally need support, help, and understanding from others in order to live a happy life. Even though the main character of the film works at school and has many social contacts, he does not really have true close friends; he has nobody to share his ideas, happiness and despair. In other words, the lack of personal closeness of the main character, his inability to share his problems and find solutions in the surrounding environment made his life irresistible.

Finally, based on the justifications presented above, it is necessary to state that even though Daniel’s state is currently not the best one, he is ready for rehabilitation. However, it should be properly chosen by the psychologist to fit the needs, wishes, medical state, and requirements of the main character. Failure to choose the proper method may cause the failure of rehabilitation.

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