The World of Abnormal Psychology
A look at psychological disorders and their impact on behavior.
A video instructional series for college and high school classrooms and adult learners; 13 one-hour video programs and coordinated books.
See how people with diagnosed psychological disorders actually behave. Case studies, enriched with commentary from experts, help demystify the biological, psychological, and environmental causes of dysfunctional behavior. The series explores current theory and practice in the treatment of the mentally ill, covering the multiple approaches that prevail in the field today. This series is also valuable for teachers seeking to review the subject matter.
Video Rating Guide
“These episodes flow smoothly with a good mix of interview and background video on the highlighted patients with mood disorders. Graphics help to illustrate the sections of the brain being discussed…”
“…mental health jargon is limited, and the use of real people who are facing the reality of mental illness serves to heighten viewer interest. Modules do not propagandize specific theories in causal factors or treatment modalities but promote a more eclectic view and approach to dealing with these disorders. Recommended.”
Chicago International Film Festival
1992 Gold Plaque Award for “Organic Mental Disorders”
Houston International Film Festival “Worldfest Houston”
1992 Gold Award for “An Ounce of Prevention”
National Mental Health Media Awards
1993 Gold Award and the Greta Baker Broadcast Media Award for “An Ounce of Prevention”
Society for Technical Communication (STC) International Technical Video Competition
1992 Award of Merit for “The Nature of Stress”
About the Producers and Advisors
Alvin H. Perlmutter, Inc.Toby Levine Communications, Inc.
Course Development Team:
Alvin H. Perlmutter
Executive ProducerToby H. Levine
Edward S. Katkin, Ph.D.
Gail Evra, Ph.D.
Patrick J. Gallagher
Edward S. Katkin, Ph.D.
State University of New York at Stony BrookJames N. Butcher, Ph.D.
University of Minnesota
Robert C. Carson, Ph.D.
Paul Fiedler, J.D.
Wayne State University
Public Broadcasting Service
Bernard W. Harleston, Ph.D.
City College of the City University of New York
Lewis Judd, M.D.
University of California, San Diego
Zaven S. Khachaturian, Ph.D.
National Institute on Aging
Muriel D. Lezak, Ph.D.
Oregon Health Sciences University
Joe L. Martinez, Jr., Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley
Bonnie L. Rogers
Menifee Valley Community College
Judith Rosenberger, C.S.W., Ph.D.
Janet Spence, Ph.D.
University of Texas at Austin
Herbert Weingartner, Ph.D.
National Institute on Aging
1 Looking at Abnormal Behavior
The program visits the Jackson Memorial Hospital Crisis Center in Miami, where suicidal, depressed, and schizophrenic patients meet with psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers to assess the nature and seriousness of their problems. It also introduces the various theories used to explain and treat abnormal behavior.
2 The Nature of Stress
We see that stress affects many people — from the overworked and out-of-work, to survivors of suicide and homicide, to Vietnam War veterans who continually re-experience the stress of the battlefield. The program explores the long-term effects of stress and what is known about how to reduce them.
3 The Anxiety Disorders
Even in the best of times, we all experience some anxiety. But millions of Americans suffer from major anxiety disorders. This program examines two of the most common, panic with agoraphobia and generalized anxiety disorder, and shows how psychologists are making headway in treating them.
4 Psychological Factors and Physical Illness
This program examines the relationship between emotions and health to explore how psychological treatment can improve well-being. It focuses on a teenager with migraine headaches, a dentist trying to decrease his risk for developing heart disease, and a woman with breast cancer, along with those who are treating them.
5 Personality Disorders
One in ten Americans has a personality disorder. Some are mildly annoying; others are exceedingly dangerous. Viewers will meet individuals with narcissistic, anti-social, borderline, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorders, including a murderer and a group of women who mutilate themselves, and will learn about the challenges involved in both diagnosis and treatment.
6 Substance Abuse Disorders
Millions of Americans abuse alcohol, cigarettes, and cocaine. Health professionals know a great deal about these dangerous and costly disorders, including how to treat them. This program examines how the concept of treatment matching is used to help individuals overcome a variety of addictions.
7 Sexual Disorders
A man exhibits himself in public. A woman feels guilty about not desiring sex. An otherwise happy couple finds themselves at odds over sex. These people share their private problems and demonstrate how the assessment and treatment of sexual disorders has advanced in the past 25 years.
8 Mood Disorders
Depression is one of the most common psychological problems. In this program, psychologists and biologists look at the causes and treatment of both depression and bipolar disorder and show the progress that has been made in helping people return to productive and satisfying lives.
9 The Schizophrenias
In emotionally moving interviews, this program visits people who suffer from the hallucinations, paranoia, and psychological disarray of these disabling illnesses. In addition to examining symptoms and treatments, the program helps debunk some of the myths associated with the disorder and shows its human side and the strength of those who fight to overcome it.
10 Organic Mental Disorders
A teenager must relearn all the basic skills following a head injury. After years of alcohol abuse, a man loses his short-term memory. A woman sees her husband struggle against the ravages of Alzheimer's disease. Science and technology's role in treating these debilitating disorders is also examined in this program.
11 Behavior Disorders of Childhood
Almost all parents worry whether or not their child's behavior is normal. This program visits families of youngsters with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorder, separation anxiety disorder, and autism. In addition, experts in child development and psychology discuss how to differentiate abnormal behavior from developmental stages.
This program allows viewers to "sit-in" on five distinctly different kinds of psychotherapy: psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, Gestalt, couples, and group. Theory and practice are intertwined as these patients progress through therapy, sometimes trying alternative models for the same problem.
13 An Ounce of Prevention
Imagine a society whose citizens are protected from psychological disorders. This final episode visits several programs that are attempting to eliminate known risk factors — including social isolation and inadequate parenting skills — that often lead to serious disorders. The stories are touching; the results are promising.