The Biggest Changes in DSM-5 and What To Do About Them

What One of its Most Controversial Omissions Means to Your Practice

Rich Simon


It’s been a year now since the publication of DSM-5, and much of the media coverage up to this point has focused on the critics who complain that the new definitions are too inclusive (or not inclusive enough), too biological (or not biological enough), too vague, too unscientific, too under the thumb of Big Pharma—the list goes on. But how are ordinary clinicians adapting to the specifics of the new DSM and what are their questions?

No one has had a better front row seat to therapists’ responses to DSM-5 and their questions about it than Martha Teater, who’s trained more than 10,000 mental health professionals in the new DSM. In this video clip, Martha talks about why the developers of DSM-5 chose to eliminate Asperger’s disorder as a diagnosis. She goes on to give concrete guidance on how to adapt to this controversial change in the Networker Webcast series The Uproar Over DSM-5.

In a recent interview in the Networker magazine, Martha recalls a typical reaction to the new DSM voiced by an attendee in one of her workshops: “It’s like the people on the Task Force have never set foot in the room with a client. They’re up in an ivory tower somewhere, dictating how we should be diagnosing our clients, but the changes they’ve made don’t match up with what I see in my office with real people.”

Ultimately, Martha thinks that, despite the complaints of many clinicians, DSM-5 isn’t really that bad. As she writes, “Think of it as a way to help us understand complex, labile, hard-to-understand phenomena in our clients’ lives. It might be difficult to acquire the regular habit of just using the new thing, but as most therapists know, it’s possible to practice new habits—even DSM coding—until they become second nature. Like it or not, this diagnostic system isn’t going away anytime soon.”

The Uproar Over DSM-5
How to Use the New Standards with Confidence

Click here for full course details

Topic: Business of Therapy

Tags: Allen Frances | asperger's syndrome | autism | Darrel Regier | David Mays | diagnosing | Diagnostic and Statistical Manual | diagnostic system | DSM | dsm-5 | Gary Greenberg | Jack Klott | Martha Teater | mental health | mental health professionals | therapists

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1 Comment

Tuesday, May 6, 2014 7:03:51 PM | posted by Di
Does anyone know WHEN we will be required switch from using DSM-IV to DSM 5 diagnoses?