Last year at the American Psychological Association Convention, I presented a paper on a proposal for an alternative to the current psychiatric diagnosis system, which can be read HERE. It provoked supportive comments, suggestions for making some improvements, and an invitation to write up my approach for an article in the Journal of Humanistic Psychology.
Now I have been invited to present an update to my proposal at this year’s APA convention in Denver. My remarks will be part of a three hour symposium titled, “The Future of Diagnosis: Ethics, Social Justice, and Alternative Paradigms.”
I am currently in the midst of preparing the final touches on my presentation. As I do so, I’m hoping to get some feedback from my blog readers. To that end, below you will find a summary of what I plan to say. Please look it over, and I’m inviting all of you to let me know what you think about it. Feel free to raise questions, to present as much negative criticism as you wish, and of course positive comments are also welcomed.
Title of 2016 APA Convention Paper: The CSM: A Person-Centered, Culturally Sensitive, Recovery-Oriented Alternative to the DSM and ICD
Presenter: Jeffrey Rubin, PhD
The Classification and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Concerns (CSM) is a proposed alternative to the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM and the mental disorders section of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). Both the DSM and ICD seek to legitimize the privileging of the “expert” by having the clinician making a mental disorder diagnosis. It is argued that that perspective hinders the empowering of mental health service users. The CSM, in contrast, would respect the perspective of persons seeking services by beginning with the following statement: “The developers of the CSM fully recognize that persons seeking mental health services have far more expertise about what is going on in their lives than any mental health service provider. Moreover, individuality outruns any classification system. It is for this reason that the CSM does not classify anyone. Instead, it classifies the expressed concerns of individuals seeking to have their concerns addressed by a mental health service provider.” A mental health concern, as defined in this proposal, occurs when a person seeking mental health services expresses to a mental health service provider a concern about any of these topics: behavior, emotion, mood, meaning of life, death, dying, managing chronic pain, addiction, work, relationships, education, eating, cognition, sleep, and challenging life situation. In addition to classifying mental health concerns, the CSM would describe a collaborative approach between the person expressing the concern and the mental health service provider for creating a psychological formulation narrative that eschews the DSM and ICD psychopathologizing jargon. It is argued that when compared to the DSM and ICD, the use of the CSM would be less stigmatizing, as well as more scientific, person-centered, culturally sensitive and recovery-oriented.
Some people will enjoy reading this blog by beginning with the first post and then moving forward to the next more recent one; then to the next one; and so on. This permits readers to catch up on some ideas that were presented earlier and to move through all of the ideas in a systematic fashion to develop their emotional and social intelligence. To begin at the very first post you can click HERE.