Diagnosis: finding a balance

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Date: Spring 2010
Publisher: KSA Media, LLC
Document Type: Article
Length: 637 words

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Several of my graduate students came to class wanting to talk about diagnosis and the all-pervasive use of the DSM-IV. They expressed their discomfort with using the manual, and they felt that their work settings put too much emphasis on diagnostics. As fledgling counselors, they feared that by relying too heavily on the manual they would be "missing the forest for the trees." Their concerns became the focus of discussion for our weekly meeting.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is a virtual bible of the mental health professions, as well as the primary reference work used for insurance reimbursement. Like it or not, the manual's contents are ingrained in the minds of clinicians. The DSM-IV defines disorders, and in so doing, defines our norms. The next edition, DSM-V, is scheduled to appear sometime in 2012-2013. A panel of psychologists and psychiatrists have been appointed to add to, delete, or maintain current diagnostic categories.

The fact that...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A222558225