Abnormal Psychology in Film Project:
The project will involve viewing and critically analyzing a movie that portrays a character with one or more forms of mental illness that we have or will cover in the class and/or textbook. With this assignment, you will have the opportunity to step into the role of a clinical psychologist. Specifically, you will use information gleaned from a film to assess and diagnosis a character with discernible psychological abnormality(-ies), and to determine the connections between these abnormalities and various forms of social-environmental stressors/problems, medical conditions, and functional impairments in the individual’s life. Following this diagnostic assessment, you will develop a case formulation in which you provide a plausible explanation for the individual’s abnormality(-ies) and speculate on plausible causes, origins, and determinants of the person’s disorder(s).The formulation is a theoretically based and research-informed, yet individually tailored, explanation of how the individual’s particular problems, symptoms, disorders, distress, and impairments relate to one another; and of how and why these problems might have developed and been maintained. In this latter part, you will come up with a plausible explanation of the etiology of the individual’s disorder(s) by identifying plausible causal, precipitating, and maintaining factors and their contribution to the disorder(s), applying your knowledge of various theoretical perspectives and research findings introduced in the course. Based on the diagnostic assessment and case formulation, you will briefly recommend suitable treatment options and assess the character’s prognosis. Your discussion will conclude with a brief, critical assessment of the strengths and weakness of the movie’s portrayal of the particular disorder(s) covered and of mental illness in general, and their treatment. You will want to take note of any inaccuracies, inadequacies, omissions, or creative liberties in the process. (Chazin, 2010)
Chazin, D.(2010). Abnormal Psychology, syllabus. Rutgers University.
This assignment is worth 100 points. The parameters for the assignment:
Diagnosis and Assessment/Case Formulation/Treatment Options – 25 points
Etiology (origin) and theoretical explanation – 25 points
Research Data Support ( 5 academic sources, reference page and in-text citation)- 15
APA style – (title page, abstract, 5 content pages, reference page) – 10
Conclusion – assessment of the movie’s strengths and weaknesses in portraying mental illness, etc. – 25
Somatic Disorders present as physical symptoms and subjective complaints without any underlying illness. These disorders are very challenging to treat. When an individual complains of pain or discomfort, how does a clinical psychologist verify that the pain is not associated with physical illness? This disorder provides a clear very reason why we follow the biopsychosocial model. We must always rule out physical pathology before focusing on a psychological origin of illness. So, we send the client to the M.D.! We rule out physical cause for the symptoms. If diagnostic tests rule out physical illness for the cause of symptoms, we can then turn to psychological treatment.
As you read and learn about these disorders, bear in mind what we know about how humans protect against threat. When we are under what we perceive to be danger and threat to our psychological survival, we ALL develop means to survive. We must adapt or we die. Some folks develop anxiety disorders or depressive disorders with their thoughts, feelings and behaviors ( like OCD) which help the person to cope under stress. In the disorders we are currently looking at, the threats are so psychological painful that the mind is not able to develop even reasonable coping strategies, so the psychological pain manifests/presents as worrying about illness or pains that have no physical illness behind them.

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