Alternatives to DSM & ICD

How About a Diagnostic Alternative for Use in Talk Therapy?

On August 5 and 6, 2014, a group of roughly twenty persons met in Washington, DC for the First Summit on Diagnostic Alternatives. The gathering consisted mostly of psychologists, but social work, counseling, and marriage and family therapy perspectives were also represented. The topic at hand was whether or not to push ahead with...
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Alternatives to DSM & ICD

Reclaiming Diagnosis

The stated mission of DxSummit is “to generate a transdisciplinary, international, egalitarian conversation about the possibility, feasibility, and potential implications of new means for conceptualizing mental distress” (). For me, the goal is to reclaim the term “diagnosis” for psychotherapists and counselors in order to think about it in new and more generative ways....
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Current Status of Dx

Toward an In-Person Summit

While DxSummit continues to offer opportunities for critique of traditional DSM-style diagnosis, its main goal has been to provide a place for the discussion of diagnostic alternatives. To wit, many posts have attempted to sketch out, in basic form, what diagnosis in the helping professions might look like in the future. Some of the...
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Alternatives to DSM & ICD

What About Meaning?

DxSummit has seen several posts presenting exciting new ideas for classifying and diagnosing human problems. Peter Kinderman, for instance, has proposed a “problem list and formulation” approach in which clinicians list however many presenting problems a client brings to session. Jeffrey Rubin has put forward ideas for a “Classification and Statistical Manual of Mental...
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Critiques of Diagnosis

Speaking in Code

The recent publication of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) has brought several new disorders into public consciousness while eliminating some old ones. As just two examples, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation disorder is in, but Asperger’s is out. The often-overlooked irony is that when it comes to diagnostic codes—the numeric or alphanumeric...
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Critiques of Diagnosis

Can Evolutionary Theory Help Us Define Mental Disorder?

Note: Jerome Wakefield gave a presentation on his harmful dysfunction approach to defining mental disorders at SUNY New Paltz in March 2011. Jonathan Raskin served as discussant, and his response, reproduced here, remains highly relevant in light of ongoing debates about how the upcoming DSM-5 should define mental disorder. Video of both Dr. Wakefield’s and Dr. Raskin’s presentations...
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