DSM-5: Ready or Not

Presented by David Mays, MD, PhD on 04-11-2014 at 9 a.m. Pacific to 11 a.m. Pacific (2 p.m. Eastern)

Amidst much hair-tearing and hand-wringing, the DSM-5 has settled into its place as one of our central textbooks of mental disease. Now, after having had a chance to live with it for almost a year, it is possible to stand back and assess the impact of all the revisions and changes.

In this web conference, we will go through the book and hit the highlights of the revisions, not just to describe how criteria have been updated, but why. In addition, we will address the major controversies surrounding the changes in diagnoses and try to assess their impact on our future mental health practices.

Please be aware that this presentation will not be giving complete, specific criteria for various disorders and is not intended to substitute for the actual DSM-5.

This web conference is beginning instructional level and designed to help clinicians:

  1. Discuss the major controversies concerning DSM-5 and the arguments for and against its revisions;
  2. Evaluate the most significant changes in DSM-5 versus DSM-IV;
  3. Explain the significance and difficulty of determining what belongs in the DSM-5;
  4. Describe the resources in DSM-5 other than those setting criteria for mental diseases.

If you have any questions or concerns about this web conference or would like more information, please contact us here.

How the Web Conference Works

Attendees who register for this event will log in to the web conference center by using a computer and calling in to the teleconference line. Attendees will be able to ask live audio questions via phone and/or submit text chat questions via computer. Live streaming video and/or document sharing will also be available to participants. Alternatively, attendees may dial in to the teleconference line only, though attendees dialing in by phone only will be unable to ask questions.

Before the scheduled event, all registered attendees will be sent a reminder email with specific instructions on how to log in to the web conference center, as well as links to optional handout materials if applicable.

This event will include lecture and question-and-answer periods. A recording of the web conference will be available to members in GoodTherapy.org's Continuing Education Archives within two weeks. After the live event, a written transcript of the event will be available in the Member's Area. Members of GoodTherapy.org can receive continuing education credits for attending this event by logging in to the GoodTherapy.org Member's Area.

433.5CE hours and counting!

All are available to GoodTherapy.org members at no additional cost.

Continuing Education (CE) Information

Two CE credits will be provided by GoodTherapy.org for attending this web conference in its entirety.

GoodTherapy.org is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEPTM) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements. GoodTherapy.org solely is responsible for all aspects of the program.

GoodTherapy.org is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. GoodTherapy.org maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

GoodTherapy.org, SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0395.

Registration Information

This web conference is available at no cost to GoodTherapy.org members.

This event has already taken place. An audio recording for this event may be available in the Member's Area.


We use [the DSM] for all of these different things, and of course it fails. It fails because it's an imperfect textbook that is always being changed. But that's what we have, and that's what we have to learn to live with. I will tell you that the changes in DSM-5 are relatively modest, and if you can live with DSM-IV, you can live with DSM-5. There's not that big of a fundamental difference in thinking about it. - David Mays, MD, PhD

There are things in there that I think most of us would agree are brain diseases, like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and maybe some very severe depression and Alzheimer's disease. But there's also things in DSM that do not reflect a disordered brain, but rather reflect a disordered environment. You get a kid with conduct disorder, and you look at their home, and they've been raised in a chaotic, abusive, neglectful home, and you don't think this kid's got a bad brain. This kid's got a normal brain that's responded to these very abnormal circumstances. So some of the things in DSM are what I call adaptation disorders. They're things that normal people do when you put them in certain environments.

And then other things in DSM have to do with what happens to your brain when something goes wrong with your body. You get hypothyroid, you end up showing symptoms of depression. You get hyperthyroid, you end up looking like you're anxious and attention-impaired. Drug addiction is a real good example of what happens if you subject your brain to regular high amounts of alcohol or cocaine or something. And then finally, we have what we might talk about as deviancies. Paraphilias, personality disorders, things that we just don't like in our particular culture. We think that it's maladaptive. - David Mays, MD, PhD

Event Reviews from Members

He was clear and concise and sounded extremely knowledgeable. - Julie Kotler, LCPC, LCPAT, ATR-BC

Meet the Presenter

David Mays, MD, PhD

David Mays, MD, PhD

Dr. Mays lives in Wisconsin, where he is a licensed physician with qualifications in forensic psychiatry and Board Certification from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Dr. Mays is a Clinical Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and he has a dual appointment as a faculty member for the Department of Professional Development and Applied Science. He has practiced psychiatry for more than 23 years, and he is a member of the Wisconsin Psychiatric Association (WPA) as well as the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law. Dr. Mays serves as the clinical director for the Mendota Mental Health Institute's 180-bed forensic program.

Dr. Mays is a nationally known speaker on mental health topics, such as aggression and suicide risk management, alternative and mainstream psychiatric treatments, and the biology of ethics. He has been awarded multiple times for his clinical work and teaching.

Continuing Education Provider Approvals

  • ace
    GoodTherapy.org is Approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. GoodTherapy.org maintains responsibility for this program and its content. GoodTherapy.org received APA approval in May 2011. Events after 2011 may meet APA requirements for Continuing Education credits.
  • Logo
    GoodTherapy.org has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6380. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. GoodTherapy.org is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
  • Logo
    This course has been approved by GoodTherapy.org, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for educational credits. NAADAC Provider #135463. GoodTherapy.org is responsible for all aspects of their programming.
  • ace
    GoodTherapy.org, provider #1352, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program. GoodTherapy.org maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 03/30/2016 – 03/30/2019. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. Social workers participating in this course will receive 2 clinical continuing education clock hours.
  • GoodTherapy.org, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0395.
  • GoodTherapy.org, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0022 and for licensed mental health counselors #MHC-0031.