My lifelong friend and I recently started creating a list of the movies we want our children to see one day. While they may not be old enough yet to see some of these movies that present raw looks into darker sides of humanity, we feel these are movies that either give glimpses into different aspects of life, inspire growth or are just plain great. Movies can often be great therapy.

This is of course an ongoing progress and will continue to be updated. Here’s what we have so far, in no particular order. Keep in mind, some of these are very R rated, but for good reason.

Good Will Hunting


Shawshank Redemption

Breakfast Club

Dead Poets Society


American Beauty

The Thin Red Line

Cardboard Boxer

Forrest Gump

12 Angry Men

The Lord of the Rings series


August Rush

The Princess Bride

Neverending Story

The Help

Driving Miss Daisy

Life is Beautiful

Lost in Translation

Cinderella Man


American History X

A Walk to Remember

A River Runs Through It

Scent of a Woman


Pay it Forward

Truman Show

Passion of the Christ

Legends of the Fall

Me, Earl and the Dying Girl

City of Angels



Short Term 12

Before We Go

Lars and the Real Girl

Captain Fantastic

Knight’s Tale

Monty Python’s Quest for the Holy Grail

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

A Monster Calls




While this may not matter to some people, many of my clients have been surprised and delighted to find out that in addition to being an educated professional and good listener, I am also a very well rounded nerd. You’d be surprised how many people have benefited from my ability to make analogies of how their favorite television show applies to their current struggles.

If I haven’t personally seen a show or played a game, then chances are I have talked to someone who has and learned about it second hand. For some people, this factor makes me more relatable and sometimes just a friendly talk about common interests helps build a level of comfort that contributes to the counseling process.

So, I can’t think of any better way to establish my nerd credibility than to share a list of some of the tv shows and games that I have watched and played, most of them in their entirety. Don’t judge me. I do read a book on occasion.

In no particular order, I have watched the full series or am up to date on the following shows:

Firefly, Doctor Who (starting with the 9th doctor), Sherlock, Buffy, Angel, Xena, Heroes, Supernatural, Arrow, Flash, IZombie, Agents of SHIELD, Star Trek (every episode, spinoff and movie except for Enterprise), the IT Crowd, the Office, Walking Dead, Person of Interest, Daredevil, Bones, Blacklist, Gotham, the Expanse, and Colony. I’m sure there are many more that I am not thinking of, are much older or that I have watched portions of. If you include all the shows I watched on Nick at Nite as a kid, then my knowledge goes all the way back to Dick Van Dyke and the Andy Griffith Show.

Also, I have been gaming since the MacPlus to present day, so I have played or know about most video games. Most kids are surprised to learn that I play Minecraft with my daughter, know who PewDiePie is, got to legendary arena in Clash Royale and made gold nova rank in CS:Go. When teens tell me that some of their closest friends are on Xbox live, I don’t argue with them because I know that you don’t have to ever meet someone in person for them to talk with you for an hour online about how your day went.

I also know my way around a computer and have done my own programming work on several games, so I know what people are talking about when they discuss their job as a programmer or dream to be a game maker one day.

I may not have ever dressed up for a convention, but I have been to a few ComicCons and had the pleasure of meeting quite a few interesting people. I know there is no real accomplishment in paying to have a picture taken with a celebrity, but it was super cool that one time when Milo Ventimiglia remembered my name.

Some of my favorite past times also tend to be a bit more on the fringe. For instance, I own my own paintball gun, have two bookshelves full of board games, hold annual charity Poker tournaments at my home and I was on the starting line of the Baylor Ultimate Frisbee team.

Lastly, I have seen my share of movies. I often find movies can be exceptional opportunities to get a feel of what other life experiences might feel like, even though I know they are just recreations. My best friend and I are currently working on an ever growing list of movies we feel contribute to the understanding of the human experience and make us better so that we can try to get our kids to watch them all some day. For your benefit, I’ll try to keep it updated Here. Sometimes movies can be excellent therapy.

My wife and I with Norman Reedus and Michael Rooker.