Welcome Educators! My work as a positive psychologist, in the treatment room and as an author, playwright and filmmaker originated in schools and classrooms: those I attended, those I taught in, schools where I was the learning consultant or the school psychologist. It was in those hollowed halls that I began to understand the power educators have to develop the human spirit to its full potential, along with educating. I've been turning that insight into learning materials ever since. All of my materials are designed to help students recognize and value the best in themselves as they process through the ideas, information, dilemmas, solutions brought up by my positive psychology approach to my books, short films, my play, 'The Locket', and seminars focusing on human potential.
We want our children to be safe and to develop healthy self esteem and self confidence. This has always been the case. But today these basics are very difficult to achieve. Recently the New York Times ran a front page article regarding how lockdowns and school shootings leave our kids with years of ongoing trauma they must cope with.
Of all places, kids should certain be safe at home and in school. We send our children to school to learn. Do we want them instead locked down in a bathroom, scared to death, listening to gun shots?
We hope that their time with friends helps them learn to socialize and to navigate relationships. Do we want to see them threatened or bullied 24/7 on social media?
Is this the way we want to live as a society? Of course not.
If we want to fix it, there is no time to waste.
I have an answer that all can embrace - kids, parents, educators, mental health professionals - as my films touch us in a way that opens our hearts and minds to thing about problems and solutions. I am now making one of those films available to educators for use in the classroom.
Prior to 'Lock Down', my films dealt with family and personal issues that kids face: moving to a new town, parents fighting, siblings, first crush, puberty, body changes, moods, feeling isolated and lonely and looking to be understood," Holstein stated. "Gradually I've felt a responsibility to bring into my coming of age films even more 'hot' topics: the drug crisis, cutting, early pregnancy, alcohol, prescription meds and now: school shootings.
My latest film, 'Lock Down' is one of my shortest, under three minutes. Yet, it conveys many of the dilemmas we face as a society. In the film we see three girls experiencing intense anxiety, fear and panic during a lock down. The film doesn't deal with actual injuries or deaths or the later possibility of suicide by survivors, but it does take us to an intense bathroom scene that makes each ask ourselves, is this what we want our kids or grand kids to go through today in school, when they should be learning? Do we want them locked in a bathroom, scared to death, hearing gun shots. Do we want dangerous weapons easily accessible, often to people who really need but don't have access to good mental health care, to create havoc and leave kids traumatized with PTSD that can stay for years and limit personal growth? Is this the way we want to live as a society?"
"I am making 'Lock Down' available to all at the same time it will be entered in film festivals. We have no time to waste in dealing with the safety of our kids, physically and emotionally. I hope 'Lock Down' will help generate the type of compassionate concern and connection that moves us as a society to thoughtful and timely solutions.