In Development: "Movies and Mental Illness"   [Archived Catalog]
2017-2018 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook

CS xxxx - In Development: "Movies and Mental Illness"

Creativity can be expressed in multiple ways and through many different media. One medium of particular interest to students is film. For graduate students in psychology, films provide a provocative and engaging vehicle for understanding mental illness because there are excellent and accurate portrayals of psychopathology, but there are also some egregiously bad presentations of mental illness in movies. This class, Movies and Mental Illness, will examine each major category of mental illness included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association). The major features of each disorder will be reviewed as well as controversies in the field, and full length films and numerous film vignettes will be used to illustrate the various psychopathologies discussed. The instructor will teach out of his own book, Movies and Mental Illness ( and students will be expected to watch two full length films each week and read two supplemental texts as well as selected professional articles relevant to psychopathology and its representation in film. In addition, students will be expected to read and discuss the weekly film reviews that appear in PsycCRITIQUES (, APA's journal of book and film reviews. Any shortcomings or inaccuracies in film portrayals of specific diagnoses will be carefully discussed, so that students in current or future clinical practice will not mistake movie portrayals (however compelling they may be) for genuine conditions. 3 credit(s)