Changes in the DSM-V

Jeremy Sharp, PhDresearch, resources for therapists Leave a Comment

Hello, everyone – I’ve mentioned the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (or DSM-IV-TR) on Talk Therapy during a conversation on diagnosis and its role in therapy. Like many in my field, I’m not entirely pleased with the DSM and sometimes hate what it does to clients and the therapeutic process. That said, the American Psychiatric Association’s Task Force on DSM-V development has posted an official website detailing proposed changes to the new version. You can find it here.

There’s certainly a lot to look through, but a couple of things are jumping out so far. The first is the collapsing of the pervasive developmental disorders into one category (Autism Spectrum Disorder). The second is what appears to be a complete reworking of the Personality Disorder section, something that I’m cautiously optimistic about. Diagnosing (or being diagnosed with) a Personality Disorder has always been a serious action, and I would love to see a less stigmatizing, more “shades of gray” approach to doing so. I’ll comment more once I’ve read through a little more carefully and consulted others to help demystify the new approach.

A couple of more notables – 1) Including non-substance addictions (i.e., gambling and Internet) in the Substance-Related Disorders and renaming the whole thing Addiction and Related Disorders, and 2) Moving Adjustment Disorders to the Trauma and Stress-Related Disorder category.

This is all a bit dry to be honest, but diagnosis is on my mind lately as I’m in the process of joining several insurance panels. I’ll be interested to see what happens with the new DSM and will keep the site updated as I learn more. In the meantime, I welcome any comments or thoughts from others.


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