Two Resign From DSM-5 Work Group in Protest


Two members of the DSM-5 work group on Personality Disorders felt compelled to resign, stating in an email to Allen Frances (published in Psychology Today) that “First, the proposed classification is unnecessarily complex, incoherent, and inconsistent … Second, the proposal displays a truly stunning disregard for evidence.”

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. Hmm. Good that they’re making a stand, and publicly at that.

    The main item that made me cringe though, is that they complain this faulty model will significantly impede clinical practice (Doctors will be so confused they will ignore the updated version) or it will impede research capabilities.

    So, not one concern about the impact of non evidence based “diagnoses” on the patients???…I assume we’re all just not important in the grand scheme of things.

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  2. Been there. Done that.

    I got my (first) personality disorder from McLean’s own world renowned authority, Dr. Gunderson back in 1999.

    Anyone want to wager a guess which one it was?

    I just read a NY Times (or some prestigious rag) article a year ago that Dr. Gunderson now believes a person can outgrow a personality disorder. Good for him, but what about all those old life-long illness diagnoses he devoted his life to doling out to people?

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    • My diagnosis was given to me by a quack psychiatrist (I think that’s redundant isn’t it?) who spent all of five minutes with me. I’d never laid eyes on him until that morning. He based my personality disorder diagnosis on one thing! He never looked at me once during the ten minutes and near the end of the visit he asked me how I was doing. I told him not very well because I’d just received word the day before that my sister had been murdered in New York City. He said, “That’s interesting.” No emotion, no look, just this flat response. When I stated that I felt like my world was crashing down around me because she was my last living relative he looked up, glared at me and said, “That stupid!” I almost crawled across his desk to deck him. Anyway, at least a few of the so-called “professionals” are beginning to speak out against some things, even though they don’t have a perfect understanding of things. We are the ones who possess that kind of understanding, unfortunately.

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