Oscar-winner Charlize Theron treats her acting career as one big therapy session, to help her deal with demons from her past. The actress suffered a traumatic youth - when she was 15 years old she witnessed her mother shoot dead her abusive father in self-defence. Fiction mimics reality in Theron's new movie Sleepwalking, in which she plays a mother forced to bring up her daughter alone after her partner abandons her. But the 32-year-old claims she uses painful film roles to help her heal, stating the dramatic parts act like a session with a psychiatrist. She explains, "I am incredibly lucky. I get to do a job which is very cathartic. People go to therapy because we are mechanically inclined to not want to deal with emotion or trauma. Anything that's not pretty. That's what we do. "I get to go to therapy in my work. I go to some very dark places, and I think it's healthy to do that."