PSYchological Training & Education

DSM-5 Evaluations, Critiques, & Resources

Buy the DSM-5® online from an independent bookseller — with free shipping!

DSM-5 (Paperback)

DSM-5 Desk Reference      Pocket Guide to DSM-5 Diagnostic Exam
Online and Home-Study Courses

In May 2013, the American Psychiatric Association published DSM-5 (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition), the most significant overhaul of diagnostic criteria and methods since 1994.

Rachel Michaelsen was selected by the APA as a Collaborating Investigator for the DSM-5 field trials, giving her hands-on experience with new diagnostic procedures that nearly all psychotherapists will need to know to use the DSM-5.

Rachel offers an online course providing an overview of the DSM-5. CEUs are available. PSYTE uses a state-of-the-art online teaching platform that is effective and easy-to-use. Rachel’s extensive experience as a trainer ensures these courses will be valuable and enjoyable.

Sign Up to be notified of other live or online classes.

To further assist you in evaluating and using the new DSM, Rachel has selected the resources listed below.

Articles & Reports

Individual articles/reports evaluating changes coming with DSM-5:
A few of the 700+ articles found in popular media and professional journals

OR JUMP TO:  Blogs  ♦  Books

Broad Reviews/Critiques of DSM-5

Psychotherapy Networker feature section:
“Playing the DSM-5 Game: Do We Have a Choice?”
[March–April 2014]

The Cult of DSM: Ending Our Allegiance to the Great Gazoo. By Gary Greenberg. Labeling clients with DSM diagnoses is a ritual most therapists perform to get reimbursed, but few actually believe in. Can their dissatisfaction be turned into something more than bitter complaints? 
The Book We Love To Hate: Why DSM-5 Makes Nobody Happy. By Mary Sykes Wylie. From insignificant beginnings in 1952, DSM has become a kind of sacred literary monster — the most detested and debated mental health classification scheme ever devised. 
The Debate Over DSM-5:
• A Step Backward: An Interview with Allen Frances. As chair of the DSM-IV task force, Dr. Frances tried to contain the proliferation of unsupportable diagnoses; he argues that DSM-5 has gone in the opposite direction. [March–April 2014]
• A Step in the Right Direction: An Interview with Darrel Regier. Dr. Regier, vice chair of the DSM-5 Task Force, is bemused that the release of what was intended to be a more accurate and rigorously researched manual has raised such an uproar.
Shedding Light on DSM-5: The View from the Trenches. By Martha Teater. While the polemical debates over the new DSM have received widespread coverage, the reactions of ordinary clinicians have yet to receive much scrutiny. 
The Atlantic
The Consolation of a Psych Diagnosis: How labels obscure humanity in mental illness. By Jay Neugeboren.  [May 8, 2013]
The Real Problems with Psychiatry. A psychotherapist contends that the DSM is not scientific but a product of unscrupulous politics and bureaucracy.  [May 2, 2013]

The New York Times

The Book Stops Here: The DSM-5 as a Guide, not a Bible. Dr. Richard A. Friedman’s take on the controversy regarding the new DSM.  [May 20, 2013]
Psychiatry’s Guide Is Out of Touch with Science, Experts Say. By Pam Belluck and Benedict Carey  [May 6, 2013]
Huffington Post
Does DSM-5 Have a Captive Audience? The author argues that the DSM isn’t necessarily “required reading” for mental-health professionals.  [April 14, 2013]
Hark! The Psychiatrists Sing, Hoping Glory for that Revised DSM Thing! Review of Gary Greenberg’s The Book of Woe: The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry (Blue Rider Press, 2013).  [July 1, 2013]
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative
Experts evaluate DSM-5. Specialists address a number of ways the DSM-5 relates to autism disorders in several essays, including some by people who were harshly critical during the manual’s development. Simons Foundation “asked several experts to review the DSM-5 criteria for autism — and their reactions are surprisingly positive overall.”  [May 30, 2013]
Science Fridays (NPR)
Bad Diagnosis for New Psychiatry “Bible.” Guests: Gary Greenberg, author, The Book of Woe: The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry; Dr. Thomas Insel, Director, National Institute of Mental Health; Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, President, American Psychiatric Association  [May 31, 2013]

National Institutes of Mental Health

Transforming Diagnosis. Why NIMH will be re-orienting its research away from DSM categories.  [April 29, 2013]

DSM-5 Task Force chairperson responds to NIMH. Psychiatric News (American Psychiatric Association)  [May 3, 2013]

Psychiatry in Crisis! Mental Health Director Rejects Psychiatric “Bible” and Replaces with … Nothing. Scientific American  [May 4, 2013]

NIMH Director: “We are not ditching or dissing the DSM.” National Eating Disorders Association  [~May 8, 2013]

The New Yorker

The New Criteria for Mental Disorders. By Maria Konnikova  [May 8, 2013]

Psychotherapy Networker

The DSM Revisits Personality Disorders.
DSM-5 and Its Critics.
Mental Health Systems Under Stress. The Revolt Against DSM-5.

Scientific American

Psychiatry’s “Bible” Gets an Overhaul. Psychiatry's diagnostic guidebook gets its first major update in 30 years. The changes may surprise you. [May 2012]
Petition Campaigns Critical of DSM-5
Is the DSM-5 Safe? Web site of the International DSM-5 Response Committee, sponsored by Division 32 of the American Psychological Association—the Society for Humanistic Psychology, calling for signatures on a “Statement of Concern about the Reliability, Validity, and Safety of DSM-5.” Approximately 3,780 signatures as of mid-July 2013.  [started ~March 19, 2013]
Boycott the DSM-5: Do No Harm. Web site of the Committee to Boycott the DSM-5, undertaking a petition campaign in which signers pledge not to purchase nor use the new DSM. Approximately 2,050 signatures as of mid-July 2013.  [started ~Feb. 5, 2013]

Overview of Changes

“Dimensional approaches to psychiatric diagnosis in DSM-5.” Narrow, William E.; Kuhl, Emily A.; Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics, Vol 14(4), pp. 197–200. [Dec. 2011]

Besides a review the process of updating the DSM, this article covers the benefits of adding dimensional measures to the process of diagnosing patients. This would include patient-reported symptoms assessment and would impact patient care, mental health policy and health care funding.


“How to deal with the transition from Pervasive Developmental Disorders in DSM-IV to Autism Spectrum Disorder in DSM-V.” Kurita, Hiroshi; Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, Vol 65(7), pp. 609–610. [Dec. 2011]

The author explains how Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) will replace the five subtypes of pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) which include autistic disorder, Rett's disorder and childhood disintegrative disorder. The diagnostic and severity criteria for ASD are discussed.

Hypersexuality Disorder

Is hypersexuality dimensional? Evidence for the DSM-5 from general population and clinical samples.” Walters, Glenn D.; Knight, Raymond A.; Långström, Niklas; Archives of Sexual Behavior, Vol 40(6), pp. 1309–1321. [Dec. 2011]

The authors report research that found differences in hypersexuality are a “matter of degree” and not “different in kind.” They conclude that the inclusion of Hypersexual Disorder in the DSM-5 should meet a threshold determined from analysis of external data, and clinical diagnostic practice should include a dimensional assessment of Hypersexual Disorder.

Blogs & Such

Sources of ongoing discussion and analysis

OR JUMP TO:  Articles  ♦  Books

American Counseling Association Weblog

Huffington Post (A Web site for the general public about psychological and mental health issues)

Psychology Today, including blogs on DSM-5 by DSM-4 Chair Dr. Allen Frances and personality disorder specialist Dr. Jared DeFife

Scientific American, including its Streams of Consciousness blog

Society for Humanistic Psychology, including its open letter to the APA about DSM-5

APA issues "cease and desist" letters to blogger writing about DSM-5, Antidote blog by health reporter William Heisel


In-depth examinations of DSM-5’s promise and pitfalls

OR JUMP TO:  Articles  ♦  Blogs

The Conceptual Evolution of DSM-5, edited by Darrel A. Regier, MD, MPH; Willian E. Narrow, MD, MPH; Emily A. Kuhl, PhD; and David J. Kupfer, MD. American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc. [2011]

This book reviews the development in the understanding cross-cutting factors that are relevant to the diagnosis and classification of psychiatric disorders. The role of disability in diagnosing mental disorders is also covered. There is a review of the usefulness in using dimensional approaches to psychiatric diagnosis and the empirical evidence for using cross-cutting factors is diagnostic classification, which is a new aspect of DSM 5 diagnosis, is also reviewed.

Reviewed by Rudolf Uher in Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders, Vol. 42 Issue 1, p143–145 [Jan. 2012]: The author reviews the content of the book including the history of diagnostic classification, DSM development to date, and the aims of the DSM revisions. The book is organized into five parts addressing diagnostic spectra, dimensions, impairment, culture and gender, and development. The author states that the book can be considered a textbook, an historical account of the incongruous opinions that had to be taken into account when designing DSM-5.

Developing an Evidence-Based Classification of Eating Disorders: Scientific Findings for DSM-5, edited by Ruth H. Striegel-Moore, Stephen A. Wonderlich, B. Timothy Walsh, and James E. Mitchell. American Psychiatric Association. [2011]

Reviewed by Marla M Sanzone, in “The research regarding the reclassification of eating disorders for DSM-5,” PsycCRITIQUES, Vol. 57(10): Sanzone states that this book is filled with excellent information for professionals, including researchers, educators, and clinicians, who want to understand the progression of eating-disorder research at a very thorough level.

Strengthening the DSM: Incorporating Resilience and Cultural Competence, by Betty Garcia, PhD, LCSW, and Anne Petrovich, PhD, LCSW. Springer Publishing Company. [2011]

The authors state that the purpose of the book is to “increase the accuracy, relevance, and effectiveness of the mental health diagnostic process.” Their goals were “(1) to balance the assessment of pathology with an appreciation of strength and resource in order to understand more accurately the interaction of stressors and resources in the client’s life, and (2) to identify domains to be explored in assessment that illuminate the client’s cultural, familiar, and socioeconomic contexts and enhance diagnostic information.”

Reviewed by S. Irwin, in “Does the DSM need another axis?” PsycCRITIQUES, Vol 57(2) [2012]: Although praise is given for the detail and thoroughness of the presentation, Irwin concludes that the main thesis of the book, that client difficulties should be considered in their contexts (social, political, and economic environments), is not grounded in a general principal or theoretical process.

Religious and Spiritual Issues in Psychiatric Diagnosis: A Research Agenda for DSM-V, edited by John R. Peteet, MD, Francis G. Lu, MD, and William E. Narrow, MD, MPH. American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc. [2011]

This book comprises the contributions of clinicians and researchers who participated in a 2006 APA symposium that focused on spiritual and religious aspects of major diagnoses. The book includes commentaries by other scholars regarding the symposium presentations. From the Introduction: “The principal charge to authors in addressing major diagnostic categories was to expand the current DSM text on ‘Age, Gender, and Cultural Consideration’ and ‘Differntial Diganosis’ to include the impact of religious/spiritual factors on phenomenology, differential diagnosis, course, outcome, and prognosis.”

JUMP TO:   Top of Page  ♦  Articles  ♦  Blogs  ♦  Books

Home   ♦   DSM-5 Online Courses   ♦   Other/Live Classes   ♦   Resources: DSM5   ♦   Supervision/Consultation   ♦   Our Faculty   ♦   Contact Us

f   ♦   Copyright © Rachel Michaelsen, LCSW  ♦   Site by your attention, please! communications