EastEnders: Soap and its cleansing qualities for therapy and
By Yasmin Headley
EastEnders is a .soap. drama and is weekly viewing for many millions in
the UK. It has been going on for over 20 years and is based on
characters in the East End of London. I even know people in the US who
watch it on their own networks too. In America, it can be five to six
years behind the series in the UK, and by the time it arrives in the US,
a character in the UK may have been wounded, raped, murdered, fathered a
child he never knew about 20 years ago or become the mayor of London.
The soap is very addictive and is usually on four times a week. During
the World Cup this year viewers complained about its having been cut or
moved. The storylines in it also come out in therapy. I remember in the
end watching the soap in order to understand a client who was going
through the trauma of domestic abuse. He referred to the soap so often
it seemed necessary for me to start viewing it as one who was walking
with him in his journey. The parallels often are brought up from
clients. lives; stories of incest and paedophilia are now bringing up
material that needs to be looked at. Sometimes we cannot run away from
past trauma and pain, and in the end it comes to the surface through
soaps such as EastEnders. EastEnders provides a good service in the form
of entertainment, education and self-development.
It was found in India that soaps and drama on the television
essential psycho-education that has helped a largely illiterate
population. Rates of malnutrition and the spread of infection can be
lowered through educating people . especially women on sanitising
bottles and water for their babies and children. A soap in India reaches
millions and educates them far better than any classroom could do. Was
the word .soap. used to describe its cleansing qualities? Maybe, or
maybe more than simple hygiene. EastEnders provides a service and forum
to enable people to explore their own issues and to understand that
others have different lives and experiences . in a very entertaining and
unexpected manner. What, Denise is alive and locked away as a prisoner
while her funeral goes on above ground? Will Dirty Den come back again?
Is the soap bubbling over even more? Will its lather spread even wider?
I hope so.
The author is a London-based accredited psychotherapist. Visit her site
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