Documentaries and Educational Videos Available for Information about
These documentaries been reviewed by the Public Education Committee
of ISTSS, and may be helpful as a resource for individuals to learn more
about traumatic stress and posttraumatic stress disorder. If there is a
video that you would like to recommended for posting on this list,
please contact us.
Note: ISTSS does not endorse nor is it responsible for content on
these Web sites.
About Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Hope for Recovery: Understanding PTSD (10
This streaming video, intended for the general public, includes brief
narratives told by real people with posttraumatic stress disorder
(PTSD). It also includes perspectives from mental health professionals
who are PTSD experts. They review the symptoms and associated symptoms
of PTSD, such as substance abuse, relationship stress, and physical
complaints. There is an emphasis is on the fact that help is available
and people can recover. This video also provides information on how
loved ones can help.
Note: trauma survivors briefly describe their experiences.
Videos and Films about Refugees and Traumatic
Lost Boys of
Sudan (87 minutes)
Cost: $26.95 (buy)
This 2003 documentary film follows the lives of a handful of orphaned
Sudanese refugees from Dinka tribes. The young men are funded by the
YMCA to leave their Refugee Camp and travel to the United States to live
in Houston, Texas. There is a focus on the Lost Boys adjusting to life
in the US, and how they have deal with trauma and loss in their
Note: there is a retelling of a traumatic event in one scene of this
The Flute Player (60 minutes)
Cost: $125 for educators (buy or view the trailer for free)
This one-hour documentary focuses on Cambodian genocide survivor Arn
Chorn-Pond. Arn survived Cambodia's Khmer Rouge military regime as a
child, doing whatever it took to save his own life amidst violence and
trauma. The Flute Player follows Arn as he gives Cambodia's Master
Musicians the opportunity to reengage in their lost art forms, and gives
them a chance to tell their stories of surviving the Khmer Rouge. In the
film, he reconciles with his past by attempting to uncover Cambodia's
Note: there are recountings of violence under the Khmer Rouge and
photographs of the Cambodian killing fields, which may be
Children of War: A Video for Educators (30
This steaming video focuses on a theatrical performance of refugee
children who tell their true stories of traumatic experiences in their
war-torn countries of origin. Background is also given describing the
prevalence of refugee children in American schools and the difficulties
they face learning how to function socially in a new culture while
trying to cope with traumatic experiences. The film identifies a few
potential indicators that a child is experiencing traumatic stress
reaction. There is also a resource guide for the video here.
Note: children describe violent traumatic events, which may be
Videos and Films about Child Traumatic Stress
Finding Courage (50 minutes)
Cost: €1.50 for each viewing (streaming)
Finding Courage is the directors cut of the documentary 'Echoes of War.'
It is a portrayal of the consequences of war to children. The
documentary focuses children from Afghanistan, Colombia, Sierra Leone
and New York, who are inspired to tell their stories after hearing the
story of a little elephant that loses his father in a jungle fire. The
children share their stories, memories, nightmares and dreams regarding
their respective traumas.
Note: there are some graphic retellings of violent and/or traumatic
It's OK to Remember (35 minutes)
This downloadable video produced by the National Childhood Traumatic
Stress Network (NCTSN) is intended for parents, caregivers, and
educators. It is a brief video featuring professionals and experts
describing childhood traumatic grief and its treatment. Also, an example
is given of trauma and treatment. Experts talking interposed with
Note: the video may take several minutes to download.
The Courage to Remember (35 minutes)
This training video is aimed at mental health professionals who are
seeking information about treating children with traumatic grief. It
begins with description of childhood traumatic grief, and discusses
pre-existing conditions that increase risk for developing the condition.
There is also a review of treatment, including psychoeducation, affect
expression, stress management skill development, cognitive affect
regulation, trauma narrative, cognitive processing, etc.
Note: the video may take several minutes to download. Also, the
video is accompanied by a written document (85 pages).
The Promise of Trauma-focused Therapy for Childhood
Sexual Abuse (27 minutes)
This streaming video is intended for parents of childhood sexual assault
(CSA) survivors and individuals who refer children to treatment for CSA.
The video provides information about the impact of CSA, and it
emphasizes the importance of including parents/caretakers in treatment.
A fictionalized story is presented with narration, pictures drawn by CSA
survivors, and video of an actress portraying a CSA survivor.
Note: there is a verbal recount of a traumatic event, which may be
Videos and Films about Domestic Violence and Traumatic
Cops, Kids, and Domestic Violence: Protecting Our
Future (21 minutes)
This steaming video is intended for law enforcement officers. It focuses
on the impact of domestic violence (DV), law enforcement's involvement
in DV disputes, and the effects DV on children in the home. The video
provides law enforcement officers with practical information regarding
communication with children about DV. It features commentary from law
enforcement officers and mental health experts, and it contains a
dramatized account of a DV incident involving children.
Violence (196 minutes)
Cost: $29.95 (buy)
This documentary film focuses on the women, men, and children housed in
the largest battered women's shelter in Florida. The film features
footage of intakes, daily activities, and classrooms, with footage of
both DV survivors and the providers caring for these individuals. There
are several scenes involving adults and children talking firsthand about
DV and their own interpretations of it. Domestic Violence survivors also
talk about their own ideas about what makes someone susceptible to DV
and how to prevent their children from becoming victims.
Note: there are recountings of both domestic violence and sexual
assault, which may be disturbing.
Videos and Films about Veterans and Traumatic
The New Warrior: Combat Stress and Wellness
Perspectives for Veterans and Their Families (47
This streaming educational video is aimed at veterans who have served in
Iraq and Afghanistan. It is intended to help them readjust to life
post-deployment. It is appropriate for both veterans and their family
members. It features veterans describing their own problems with and
concerns about readjusting to civilian life.
Note: there is some footage of combat engagement in this
Perspectives for Mental Health Care Providers (73
This streaming video is designed to help mental health care and other
providers to prevent chronic mental health issues resulting from combat
and other war-zone stress, promoting wellness in this returning group of
veterans. The video is available in both a provider perspective and a
separate video for veterans, active duty service members, and their
Boots: Episode 5 (38 minutes)
This streaming documentary-style video is a part of an online series
funded by the Iraq Afghanistan Deployment Impact Fund (IADIF), produced
by Brave New Foundation, and hosted by Jan Bender, a veteran of the war
in Iraq who served from 2004 to 2005. Episode 5 is a non-fiction
autobiographical narrative of Domonicque Tatum, a veteran from Operation
Iraqi Freedom. Domonicque returns from service and has serious
readjustment difficulties. He discusses how he addresses his
readjustment and homelessness with help from the VA and a veteran peer
The Soldier's Heart (60 minutes)
This streaming video, produced by PBS Frontline, describes the
psychological effects of Operation Iraqi Freedom on veterans and their
families. The video also provides information on treatment successes and
failures. The video features interview with active duty service members
at Camp Pendleton, San Diego, and with mental health experts both in and
out of the military. Note: individuals interviewed describe combat
situations and psychological symptoms.
Women Who Served in Our Military: Insights for
Interventions (41 minutes)
This streaming video reviews changes in the role of women in the U.S.
military, briefly surveys the history of women in military service,
describes the stressors of military service and their possible effects
on women. The video features women with PTSD talking about their
challenges, and presents the many trauma treatment options available to
women veterans in VA medical facilities. There are testimonials by
veterans who sought treatment that offer tangible proof that treatment
does make a difference in bringing a person back to normalcy.
Note: there are non-graphic photos and clips of combat environments,
and individuals interviewed briefly discuss sexual assault without
descriptions of incidents.
War on Many Fronts: African American Veterans with
Perspectives for Treatment Providers (63
This three-part streaming educational video, narrated by James Earl
Jones, is intended for health providers, mental health care providers,
social services workers, or any other professionals working with African
American veterans. It is designed to help providers by increasing
awareness of the cultural aspects of PTSD care when provided to African
American veterans. The goal is to help providers and others understand
the history and cultural issues of African Americans and how we can best
serve these veterans. Health care professionals explain the best way to
provide treatment while taking these cultural aspects into account.
Veteran testimonials and interviews with health care professionals give
a fuller understanding of how to treat African American veterans with
Note: There is some brief footage of combat that may be
Combat on Many Fronts: Latino Veterans and Family
(38 minutes, closed-captioned)
This streaming educational video, produced by the Cesar Chavez
Foundation, is intended for Latino veterans. It reviews the history of
Latino-American military service in the U.S. Armed Forces, and the
symptoms and associated features of PTSD are described. Latino veterans
provide testimonials about their struggles with PTSD and the benefits of
treatment at the Veterans Affairs Hospital (VA).
Note: this film features some combat scenes that may be
PTSD Among Asian-American and Pacific Islander Veterans:
Perspectives for Veterans and their Families (39 minutes)
This streaming video is targeted towards Asian American and Pacific
Islander veterans and their families. A variety of Asian American and
Pacific Islander veterans are interviewed about their experiences before
receiving treatment, what it was like to go a Veterans Affairs Medical
Center and receive help, and how they are doing now. Veterans discuss
discrimination during or after service, and also cultural issues
experienced by Asian American and Pacific Islander veterans with
Note: there is some non-graphic combat imagery in this
Wounded Spirits, Ailing Hearts: PTSD and the Legacy of
War Among American Indian & Alaska Native Veterans (63
This streaming video is targeted towards American Indian and Alaskan
Native veterans of the United States Armed Forces. It contains
interviews with veterans and family members that provide personal
examples of military experience and readjustment to civilian life. The
individuals interviewed describe experiences and perceptions about
problems that occur when seeking or obtaining assistance from the VA,
the Indian Health Service (IHS), community and tribal resources.
Cost: $19.95 (buy)
This documentary focuses on a group of female Army support soldiers who
became the first women in American history to be sent into direct ground
combat. The story is told through interviews, journals, and archival
footage. It offers perspective on the training of female soldiers, how
they interact to diffuse tension with local civilians and women in Iraq,
as well as their re-adjustment as female combat veterans.
Note: there is some footage of combat in Iraq that may be
Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience
Cost: $24.99 (buy)
This documentary film is part of a project created by the National
Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to gather the writing of servicemen and
women and their families who have participated in the wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan. The NEA brought distinguished writers to conduct writing
workshops at 25 domestic and overseas military installations from 2004
to 2005. Through interviews and dramatic readings, the film examines the
experiences of the men and women who are serving in the United States
Note: there is some non-graphic combat imagery in this