“Surviving” Trauma

The Queen's Gambit Surviving Trauma

The Queen’s Gambit is a tale of chess and childhood tragedy. This riveting series shows us clearly that when traumatized children try to survive adulthood, they may have questionable ways of coping. But there’s a big difference in how these children survive and the ways that actually help them. It’s important to know that difference. Beth Harmon from Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit learned how to cope. And no, drugs weren’t the answer.

The Queen’s Gambit: Being “Tough” To Survive  

When your mom dies in a car crash at age nine after trying to kill you both, it’s hard to trust anyone. But besides her mother’s “survival lessons?” They’re all Beth Harmon (played by Anya Taylor-Joy) had to stave off her horrifying flashbacks after she ended up in an orphanage. Beth’s mother’s “lessons” become necessary when Beth is surrounded by unkind people at the orphanage. She only had two friends: Jolene (played by Moses Ingram) and Mr. Schaibel (played Bill Camp).

Then, she’s adopted by people who aren’t kind either, loses Jolene and Mr. Schaibel, and later, her new mother. She has no choice but to stay tough. Chess plays its part. That’s where the name The Queen’s Gambit comes in — it’s a chess move to secure control of the center of the board. Beth must keep control of the hurricane of feelings inside herself.

Read Article (Written for and published on YourTango.com)

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Dr. Sandra E. Cohen

I’m Dr. Sandra Cohen, a psychologist and psychoanalyst in private practice in Beverly Hills, CA. I work with creatives in therapy, story/character development, and entertainment consulting. If you are a writer, actor, or director and want help with a character – or a chance to do some of your own personal work - call at 310.273.4827 or email me at sandracohenphd@gmail.com to schedule a confidential discussion to explore working together.

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