Critical Appraisal of the DSM-5 in
Research on Social Work Practice

Kermit Cole
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The January 2014 issue of Research on Social Work Practice is dedicated to a critical appraisal of the new DSM. It is guest-edited by MIA blogger Jeffrey Lacasse, whose editorial, “After DSM-5: A Critical Mental Health Research Agenda for the 21st Century“, summarizes the challenges facing researchers, clinicians, clients and the general public in the wake of DSM-5.

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The issue also includes articles by authors familiar to the MIA community, such as Allen Frances (“Should Social Workers Use DSM-5?” ), Joanne Cacciatore (“When a child dies: A critical analysis of grief-related controversies in DSM-5“) , Steven Wong (“A Critique of the Diagnostic Construct Schizophrenia” ), and Eileen Gambrill (“The DSM as a Major Form of Dehumanization in the Modern World“)

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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]

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Good article! One thing I hadn’t read before was that DSM IV-TR actually mentioned that brain changes associated with “schizophrenia” may result from the use of “antipsychotic” drugs, but this reference was deleted from DSM 5, even though more evidence now exists indicating that such changes may result from the drugs. The DSM 5 also deleted a reference to the fact that antidepressants can cause akathesia, which can lead to suicidal behavior. The only purpose for removing references like this that I can think of would be to promote drugs and insure that clinicians don’t think too much about possible problems with the drugs, even though these issues are crucially important.