It matters that people have a way to use the latest findings in psychology beyond buying a pill for depression. It matters that people have a way of looking at their lives that lets them ask the big questions and determine how they want to live – and that this is supported by therapists and mental health professionals.

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Posts tagged with the category Diagnostic fiascos

My skin is a differential field day for mental health practitioners, even those who are colleagues. My history and its rocky journey are mapped erratically on my body in white keloid streams raised from the way my tears burned through my own flesh. I have a memory for each one. I embark on an emotional journey every time my fingers accidentally...
[Editor's Note: Listen to Louis Hoffman speak about the DSM-5 controversy on City Visions radio on KALW.] The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is receiving a dramatic increase of attention since the new version (i.e., the DSM-5) became available. This discussion is important given the DSM-5 is not just another book;...
In many ways, I applaud the maverick spirit of existential and humanistic psychology in leading the Coalition in the authoring of a powerful Open Letter to the DSM-5 Task Force and American Psychiatric Association that strategically delineated concerns about the development and subsequent publication of the DSM-5. I was doubly proud to see...
Photo Illustration by Eadweard Muybridge.
“Has your child been evaluated for ADHD?” Many variations of this seemingly innocent question often serve as the beginning of a dangerous progression. Quite often, teachers, childcare workers, and even physicians untrained in understanding and diagnosing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) ask this question to parents....
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Part Four: Supporting the Natural Health Process After outlining the basic needs and many of the possible types of nourishment barriers that can appear (in Part Three), the final, and of course, most important part of this model is exploring the implications for supporting an organism’s health. While this same basic model can presumably...
Photo by Peter McDermott.
Part Three: Towards a Needs-Based System of Diagnosis When we look closely at the current mainstream diagnostic and support system for so-called mental disorders today, the utter absurdity of it quickly becomes apparent. We have a system composed of literally hundreds of discrete “mental disorders” (those listed in the DSM), all of...
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Part Two: Towards a Holistic Organismic Paradigm To better understand this emerging paradigm, it will help if we come at it from two different angles—a deep exploration into direct subjective experience, and an exploration of the most essential qualities of living organisms and living systems. Exploring the Fundamental Building Blocks of...
We find ourselves in very interesting times with regard to our understanding of mental health. We find ever more heated, passionate, and polarized discussions taking place with regard to the so called mental disorders—how or even whether to try to classify them, which factors are generally helpful in recovery vs. which factors are generally...
Several writers have presented 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...
The recent publication of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) has brought several new disorders into the 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...
For those of you who haven’t read this recent story in The New York Times,  I highly recommend it. It is essentially a woman’s (Linda Logan’s) rich and moving autobiographical account of her struggle with “bipolar disorder.” The main message that I imagine most people will take away from this story is that the...
Schneider, Rubin, Lichtanski, and Hoffman.
A few Sundays ago, I attended a protest at the American Psychiatric Association Convention in San Francisco with my Saybrook colleagues, Kirk Schneider, Kristopher Lichtanski, and Shawn Rubin. We attended because of our concerns about Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) due to be published next month. Despite numerous...