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Jun 2014 by PCI College

Bite-Sized Book Review: 'The Intelligent Clinician's Guide to the DSM-5' by Joel Paris MD

The Intelligent Clinician's Guide to DSM-5 is reviewed by Eoin Stephens, PCI College President

'The Intelligent Clinician's Guide to the DSM-5'

While many in the Counselling/Psychotherapy world have mixed feelings about the DSM (the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), its influence can’t be ignored. At least some of the information in it has the potential to be genuinely useful, and anyway many of our clients are becoming familiar with its contents. Indeed, some of the changes introduced in the DSM 5 (i.e. 5th edition), published earlier this year, were discussed quite widely in the mainstream media, because of their potential impact on the lives of so many people.

It is, however, a dauntingly large and complex volume (and an expensive one), so anything that helps us to make practical sense of it can be seen as a welcome resource. This volume is a user-friendly guide not only to the major diagnostic groups and the most frequently used diagnoses (psychoses, bipolar disorder, depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, neurodevelopmental disorders, personality disorders, eating disorders, sexual disorders, impulse control and conduct disorders), but it also starts out by reviewing the history of diagnosis in the area of mental illness, and the ongoing heated discussions about the dividing lines between mental disorder and normality. Practical applications for therapeutic work are also discussed, along with some thoughts on limitations and possible future changes that might further improve the criteria.

There is no shortage of useful information about the DSM online, but for those who prefer their resources in book form, I can recommend this.

Eoin Stephens (June 2014)
PCI College President


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