Author: Jonathan Raskin

What About Meaning?


Several writers have presented exciting new ideas for classifying and diagnosing human problems. Peter Kinderman, for instance, has proposed a “problem list and formulation” approach in which clinicians list however many presenting problems a client brings to session. Jeffrey Rubin has put forward ideas for a “Classification and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Concerns,” shifting… Read more »

Speaking in Code


The recent publication of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) has brought several new disorders into the public consciousness while eliminating some old ones. As just two examples, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation disorder is in, but Asperger’s is out. The often-overlooked irony is that when it comes to diagnostic codes—the numeric or alphanumeric… Read more »

The Future of Existential Psychology: After DSM-5, Now What? The Future of Diagnosis in Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology


Photo by Alex Proimos. Part I. The Context: Overwhelmingly Negative Reactions to Publication of DSM-5 The American Psychiatric Association just held its annual convention in San Francisco, and this is not your ordinary gathering of psychiatrists. This convention inaugurates the launching of the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or… Read more »

Can Evolutionary Theory Help Us Define Mental Disorder?


Editor’s Note: Jerome Wakefield gave a presentation on his harmful dysfunction approach to defining mental disorders at SUNY New Paltz in March 2011. Jonathan Raskin served as discussant, and his response, reproduced here, remains highly relevant in light of ongoing debates about how the upcoming DSM-5 should define mental disorder. Video of both Dr. Wakefield’s… Read more »

For the new DSM’s consideration: “Pathologizing Personality Disorder.”


Photo by Steve Balt Proposed diagnostic criteria for a new mental disorder for potential inclusion in the next version of the DSM: 309.XX Pathologizing Personality Disorder A.  Marked tendency to see other people’s behavior as disordered and/or disturbing. B.  Presence of at least four of the following: (1) history of studying psychiatry and/or participating in psychiatric… Read more »

Does Going to a Psychotherapist Mean Youêre Mentally Ill?


Your insurance company wants you to read this Does going to a psychotherapist mean you’re mentally ill? If you want it paid for by your health insurance, then the answer is yes. Why? Because in order to get paid, your therapist is required to diagnose you with a mental disorder. Another way to think about… Read more »