This video instruction resource, based on a psychological thriller, teaches critical thinking via Socratic reasoning strategies. It is suitable for psychology students at all levels from introductory classes through completion of a Ph.D. Discussion questions appropriate for beginning, upper-division, and graduate level students accompany video vignettes.

Students and others considering a career in mental health may find viewing the movie and completing the critical thinking exercises can help them decide if Clinical Psychology is a good fit.


Faculty: Online Movie, Instructional Program Vignettes, and Instructor Guide - $12
(Note: Instructors can access the program for one calendar year.  At the end of that year, if they wish to continue using the program for future classes, they must register for a free download on an annual basis).

Student/Faculty: View Online Movie - $4

Student/Faculty: View Online Instructional Program Vignettes - $4

Faculty: View Online Instructor's Guide - $4


1 Year License for unlimited use of Movie, Instructional Program Vignettes and Instructor’s Guide throughout Institution - $200

(Note: One-year licensing agreement allows unlimited access to all students and departments through the institution’s closed circuit network.  This includes the institution’s distance-learning programs.)


The program is developed to fit seamlessly into existing curricula, complementing psychology textbooks and lecture materials. Viewing the movie and Instructional Program Vignettes is assigned as homework, to be followed by classroom discussion evolving from students’ responses to the critical thinking questions. The availability of the online movie and online vignettes allow this instructional program to be used:

• in college and university classrooms

• with distance learning courses

• in continuing education workshops for mental health practitioners


The program centers on twelve vignettes extracted from the independent film Raspberry Heaven - a feature-length, psychological mystery/thriller. Each vignette is a complete scene from the movie, featuring two or more of the five principal characters. The interwoven storyline explores the characters’ inability to escape the convoluted relationships they have with each other. The relationships engage students and provide ample fodder for discussion of a number of core issues in psychology.

The vignettes begin with a sex scene that becomes angry and assaultive. Other scenes depict an attempted suicide, patient interviews with a clinical psychologist, remembrances of an abusive parent, and a detective trying to solve a murder while struggling with unresolved personal issues.

See Sample of the Video Vignettes


There are many benefits to using this material in psychology courses. Some include:

• Stimulates students to be more engaged in topics, providing authentic experiences to complement textbooks.

• Provides great basis for breaking class up into small groups for discussion.

• Vignettes are based on actual clinical experiences, providing a foundation for discussion of ethics.

• Video is dramatic, well-acted, and captivating, holding student interest.

• Each vignette pulls the student into complex interpersonal relationships, stimulates thinking, and evokes strong emotional responses.

• This intense engagement is the foundation for student participation using the discussion questions that accompany each vignette.

• The strong visceral reaction can also become a trigger for critical thinking and application of theory to clinical practice.

• The intense psychological drama promotes student participation in discussions and writing activities – especially effective for distance learning courses.

• Program may be used in its entirety or they may pick and choose vignettes and questions to augment other course materials.


Following each vignette is a series of questions of increasing complexity. The simplest questions are appropriate for Introductory Psychology classes. The questions then increase in sophistication to meet the intellectual demands of upper division and graduate level classes. All the questions are designed to encourage conceptual understanding and to advance critical thinking skills. Students are directed on the video to “Respond by e-mail to the following questions in 250 words or less unless otherwise directed”.

See Sample of Questions that Accompany the Video Vignettes

Angie’s Poem

An angel came as I lay in bed.

“I will give you wings,” the angel said.

“I will give you wings that you may fly

To the country of heaven above the sky.”

My beautiful angel flew away –

She came not again by night or by day.

Angels are busy with many things

And she has forgotten to send the wings.


The vignettes relate to relationship issues including:

• child abuse

• sex abuse

• substance abuse

They further depict various psychopathological disorders including:


• personality disorders

• masochism

• sexual paraphilias

Other non-pathological but problematic issues are also raised in the vignettes concerning:

• ethics

• counseling techniques

• limitations of counseling


Having taught psychology at the university level for more than 30 years, I know the importance of innovation in engaging students in the classroom, yet I understand the challenge of finding interesting, affordable teaching materials. Since retiring, I’ve become increasingly aware of and interested in the idea of online multimedia learning. As a result, I have developed this video instructional program for psychology.

- David A. Oas, Ph.D. (Professor Emeritus, Southern Oregon University)


• Make viewing the movie and the assigned instructional program vignettes and questions a requirement for the course. Provide a link to this website for ordering video online with other required course materials.

• Assign the vignettes the same way you assign a textbook reading in the syllabus, with participation or assignment points for completion.

• If you have an online discussion forum, post the questions into the forum along with directions for completion (250 words in the instructor’s chosen format, etc.).

• If you don’t have an online discussion forum, instruct students to follow the directions on the video and email the answers to you – provide your email address in the syllabus.

•Break students up into small discussion groups to share their papers and critique each others’ responses.

• Create a rubric for grading the questions. Provide point ranges for various criteria you use in grading the assignments. When using small groups, provide the rubric for students to use for the critique.


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