Why the Latest DSM Is the Best Edition Ever

How DSM-5 Can Lead to Better Treatment Decisions

Rich Simon


While DSM-5 has more than its share of critics, Jack Klott—a highly regarded workshop presenter who’s probably trained as many therapists in DSM as anyone in our field—is actually one of its biggest fans. In fact, he admits to being a bit of a “DSM geek” and proudly confesses that he’s read every page of the latest edition. According to Jack, what sets DSM-5 apart from its predecessors is its focus on the developmental background of different disorders and the depth of understanding and therapeutic insight that it makes possible. As a result, Jack claims, DSM-5 offers a new level of concrete treatment guidance for different conditions.

In this video clip, Jack argues that in providing a new degree of psychodynamic perspective and going beyond a purely symptomatic account of different disorders, DSM-5 reveals more fully the psychological context and life circumstances that lead to psychopathology. He says, “For the first time, the DSM recognizes that many behaviors clients engage in are purposeful behaviors designed to alleviate some type of psychological, psychiatric, environmental pain in their lives. That’s what we address in psychotherapy, and now the DSM‑5 reflects that, too.” For instance, instead of focusing on a cocaine‑use disorder, we’re able to address the fact that cocaine use might be a purposeful behavior intended to give that person relief from the psychological pain of another issue. The result is a smarter, wiser DSM.

In his interview for the Networker Webcast series The Uproar Over DSM-5, Jack talks specifically about how the use of  the new severity indexes corrects for fundamental flaws in previous editions and can lead to more carefully observed and accurate diagnoses.

The Uproar Over DSM-5
How to Use the New Standards with Confidence

Click here for full course details

Topic: Business of Therapy

Tags: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual | DSM | dsm-5 | Jack Klott | psychotherapy | severity index | therapists

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