(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

As the release of the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) draws near, counselors can listen to two American Counseling Association-recorded podcasts featuring members who have been involved with the revision process.

Rebecca Daniel-Burke, ACA’s director of professional projects and staff liaison to ACA’s DSM-5 Task Force, hosts the podcast series, which offers counselors a way to prepare for and understand potential changes. Daniel-Burke spoke with K. Dayle Jones for the first, 38-minute podcast, and Jason King for the second, which is 52 minutes long and available for CE credit.

Daniel-Burke reminds counselors “we will not know all of the final revisions until the DSM-5 is available in May at the American Psychiatric Association’s annual conference, so both Jones and King speak about what was known at the time of the recording. There may be some substantive changes ­— ­although slight changes are more likely ­— and we will not know the specifics of those changes until the final DSM-5 is released.”

Jones, a counselor educator at the University of Central Florida and former chair of the DSM-5 Task Force who edited Counseling Today’s “Inside the DSM-5” column, discusses the DSM-5 revision process in her podcast.

“Jones will provide an overview of the DSM-5,” Daniel-Burke says, “including its development process, changes to the organizational structure, major revisions to existing diagnoses and the addition of new disorders.”

In addition, Jones, a member of the World Health Organization’s international advisory group for the revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) section on Mental and Behavioural Disorders, will also discuss the DSM-5’s designation as HIPAA’s official codebook for diagnosing mental disorders, the ICD’s relationship to the DSM-5 and its overall implications for diagnostic practice.

With the release of the DSM-5 set for May, Jones believes it is important for counselors to be aware of the potential changes in the new edition and also of their options for utilizing the ICD.

“The impact of the DSM-5 revisions will ripple throughout the counseling field, from diagnosis to treatment to overall mental health care services,” Jones says. “These changes will affect the way counselors and other professionals define normal and abnormal when it comes to mental health.”

The second podcast in the series is a discussion with King, who has been involved with the DSM for many years. He owns and directs an outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment clinic, which collected data for the APA’s clinical field trials, which helped inform the DSM-5 revision process. In addition, King also serves on the DSM-5 Task Force and teaches classes on the DSM-IV at the bachelor’s and master’s levels.

In his podcast, King discusses the potential DSM-5’s diagnostic changes and what they could mean, including the spectrum-based conceptualization of clients, the handbook’s cultural aspects and its overall strengths and limitations.

“The DSM-5 is the backbone of mental health treatment,” King says, “and as counselors enjoy increased marketplace recognition as core mental health providers, they must be aware of the language used by other mental health providers to effectively provide for and advocate for their clients’ welfare. “

King believes that changes in the healthcare system mean that a firmer grasp on the DSM is needed.

“The Affordable Care Act calls for extensive integration of school, community and ancillary social supports to improve overall mental health in children and adults,” he says. “Counselors will be challenged in working with interdisciplinary teams if they do not have a commanding knowledge of the DSM-5. “

Following the release of the DSM-5, ACA will be offering a six-part webinar series regarding the revisions.

“We are looking to produce a webinar series that is very practical and will be used by our clinical members to render DSM diagnosis in accordance with the newly revised diagnostic criteria,” Daniel-Burke says. “We are also looking to help counselor educators as they prepare course materials on assessment and diagnosis.”

King recommends that counselors be patient as they get used to the DSM-5.

“There is no need to experience panic and alarm with obtaining training on the changes,” he says. “Plenty of time will be allowed for all counselors to become familiar with the changes before they are required to fully implement the DSM-5 into their practice.”

King believes the newest version “represents a movement toward increased cultural sensitivity, deeper client understanding, awareness of the neurobiology behind mental disorders, and the role of social and environmental forces in client symptoms. The overall diagnostic system will never be perfect, yet it provides counselors a common language and framework to help with understanding and helping clients.”



Click here to download and listen to the podcasts.




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