Symptom Media

Traditional vs. Non-Traditional Teaching

Using Symptom Media DSM 5 and ICD Films

Welcome to Symptom Media’s Using DSM 5 and ICD Guided Film Library Guide. Symptom Media’s extensive library of over 300 films including Coping Mechanisms, Mental Disorder/Illness Symptoms and Assessments, with new collections added monthly, are a unique resource integrated into undergraduate, graduate and continuing education programs of Psychology, Counseling, Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Psychiatry and more.

We’ve compiled resources below on how other Universities have been using these films to:
1) Improve Student Competency
2) Create an Enhanced Learning Experience

Traditional vs. Non-Traditional Teaching: An Introduction

Below is an excerpt from a presentation given by Victoria Soltis-Jarrett, PhD, PMHCNS/NP-BC, FAANP, Clinical Professor, MPHNP Coordinator, Family Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill recorded at the International Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses Conference

Introduce and Discuss Symptoms of a Diagnosis

When introducing a new topic, instructors can assign students to watch one of Symptom Media’s films at home or play within lectures to better illustrate symptoms. The film below is an example of an instructor showing and then explaining the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder as a result of sexual assault.

Improve Clinician Competency

Use Symptom Media’s films for repeated viewing, slowing down what is seen and heard to capture the depth of what is happening. Allow students to begin thinking about how they would approach an interview.

Play without Sound to Analyze Non-Verbals

There are many ways to use Symptom Media’s films and it all comes down to how and in what context you decide to view, analyze and discuss. Below is an example of a professor using a Symptom Media PTSD diagnosed film to study eye contact, body movements, shrugs, sighs, and other clues that can help lead to a better understanding of the symptoms presented. By playing multiple times, the instructor can begin to focus on the individual layers that compose a complete diagnosis. When removing the sound from the film, students are forced to closely examine the other, sometimes more subtle, indicators in a patient.

Sample Questions to Analyze and Discuss

  • What did we, like the clinician, observe?
  • What do we notice about the patient’s eye contact?
  • What are the non-verbal clues that signal a possible PTSD diagnosis?

Play and Discuss Video In Lecture or Discussion Groups

Assign students to watch a film prior to class and use the case scenario as the center piece of a class discussion. By directing students to a particular film prior to class, instructors can then ask questions regarding:

  • Treatment Options
  • How students would approach a certain situation (i.e. perform a Mental Status Exam on this soldier)
  • Next steps
  • What would the student have done differently from the interviewing clinician

Embed in LMS to Compliment Reading Assignments

Compliment and enhance existing course reading material by including visual examples from Symptom Media’s film library. If students are, for example, learning to assess if someone is at risk for suicide, instructors can embed one of Symptom Media’s suicide assessment films within the course LMS.

Write an Assessment

Assign students to select a DSM 5 or ICD Visual Case Scenario such as Symptom Media’s DSM 5 First Responder film about a police officer who didn’t pick up the signs of suicide and have them write an Assessment of the patient. Since the average length of the video is between 5 and 15 minutes, a student is able to view the video multiple times and practice their analytical, observational and assessment skills.

Case Scenario: Jessica, a police officer, did not recognize the signs of suicide for a call she responded to. She feels immense guilt as a result of the person committing suicide and has anger “outbursts” directed at fellow police officers, her partner, and herself.

Sample Assessment

Instructors have students fill out an Assessment such as this one as a homework assignment.

Date of Birth:
Testing Dates:








Cognitive Functioning:

Verbal Abilities:

Memory Skills:


Nonverbal Abilities:

Processing Speed:




Using Symptom Media’s Test Section

Use Symptom Media’s Test Section, a custom section accessed via Username and Password and without the titles of the Diagnoses listed in front of the video. Symptom Media’s Test Section is designed for competency testing so instructors can integrate videos into Midterm and Final Exams without showing the student the Diagnosis prior to watching. Email Matt Rubin for more information about Symptom Media’s Test Section.

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