Psychiatry Through the Horror Genre

At Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, several courses reach core objectives through the genre of horror.

Why Horror?

Horror serves as a rich medium for education because its themes are embedded deep within our collective id. When our most base instincts and primal desires are projected onto the big screen, identification with the characters (archetypes) allows for experiencing forbidden impulses in an environment that is safe and protected. While character analyses may serve as fictional cases studies of mental disorders, it’s this added experience of the id’s fulfillment (pleasure principle) that results in a truly unique way to learn…and experience…psychopathology.

REDRUM

Reviewing Mental Disorders with a Reverent Understanding of the Macabre (REDRUM) is the Psychopathology course at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School scheduled during our Department of Psychiatry residents’ protected didactic day. The first module of the year-long course, Necromancy, teaches psychiatry through selected ghost stories and tales of demonic possession. One presentation, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, was presented at a special Grand Rounds event at our medical school. Click here to watch Miss Julia Udine portray Christine Daaé to review the depressive disorders chapter of the DSM.

Masters of Horror

Masters of Horror is a spin-off of REDRUM; a Masters-level 3-credit Psychopathology course in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) at Rutgers University.

Cinema & Literature (C&L) in Psychiatry

Cinema & Literature Psychiatry is a condensed version of REDRUM, run over the 6-week Psychiatry Clerkship in the Division of Psychosomatic Medicine at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ.

52in52

52in52 is a weekly blog on MedEd PORTAL that follows an outline of a virtual road trip through the United States (of Horror Movies).

Don’t Cry video

Our short video is an artistic expression of the double bind; a dynamic of family therapy where a person receives conflicting messages from a single source. The mixed messages are part of a slideshow on sociopathy set to Guns-n-Rose’s ballad, Don’t Cry.

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