In an interview with Metro in the UK, clinical psychologist Marc Hekster of the Summit Clinic said that Friends actually has a soothing effect for those suffering with anxiety.
“Having worked for over a period of 20 years with those experiencing anxiety, I can conclude that among other factors, it is the repetitive and relational nature of programs such as Friends and Big Bang Theory that will be doing the trick,” he told the publication.
“[Watching Friends] is about an experience of repair, of watching the characters in the show repeatedly having worries, which then get repaired and soothed, usually in the context of other relationships in their lives. Complex problems are made the focus of each episode, and then they are resolved within the relationships, which are the essence of the shows.”
“‘It is soothing to see the same outcome every time and know you can depend on it. This is at the heart of human development,’ says Hekster. “So, when grown-ups are anxious, they can have child-like feelings of fear and worry, and these can be soothed by repetition. Bring on Friends repeats for the 10th time.”
So, if you’re feeling guilty about sitting down to watch a Friends re-run for the 25th time, don’t. It’s good for you.
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