One of the most influential mental health texts used by modern professionals is the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, blessedly shortened by most to DSM. The last edition of the text, the so-called DSM-IV, has served as a basis for diagnosing, understanding, and treating the full scope of psychological syndromes for over 14 years, and authorities have decided that it’s time to give the old book a new life. The need for fresh, relevant material is clear; if therapists and other mental health professionals are to deliver the quality of care their clients need, there must be a reliable and up-to-date foundation for describing common issues.
The DSM-V will be in production over the next 18 months, involving a massive and widespread operation aimed at giving careful consideration to the modern body of knowledge surrounding psychological and medical issues. Many industry workers and academics are excited about the revamping, noting that the new edition is rumored to be more scientifically rigorous and far-reaching than the current text. New knowledge ideas that touch upon a wide range of syndromes, development, and treatment will be included when the DSM-V is released, allowing the psychotherapy community to offer their services and perform their research with invigoration and a cutting-edge angle on progress in the field.
Organizers have declared that the new edition will allow for more accessible information, discussing problems experienced at all levels rather than being limited to the most outstanding or severe instances. This shift to a more authoritative and applicable collection of data will allow professionals to make informed decisions and expand their understanding of mental health. The hope is also present that a classification system which recognizes how people can experience a particular diagnostic syndrome anywhere along a wide spectrum, from less extreme to more, will pave the way for changes in insurance reimbursement policies allowing for more diagnostic codes to be covered by health insurance. The new DSM will not be released until May 2013; let’s hope it’s well worth the wait.
© Copyright 2009 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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