Mental health workers who use it the DSM to diagnose the human brain are at less risk for malpractice suits. It is a tool that can help the mental health worker justify a decision (Seligman, 2004).
Yet, the DSM is a tool that has some controversy. It attaches a label to a person and the mental health professional can misinterpret the diagnosis. It can be discouraging for the patient to receive such a label. People who are labeled may tend to view themselves as a mental disorder and nothing more. It focuses on the individual and not the family. The DSM holds a western perspective and is not always culturally sensitive.
The American Psychiatric Association is the party responsible for writing the most used diagnostic tool in the U.S. today. Therefore, it comes from only one perspective. The World Health Organization recommends the use of another book called The International Statistical Classification of Mental and Behavioral Disorders or the ICD Diagnosis. HIPAA guidelines also encourage the use of this book along with the DSM for the diagnosis and treatment of patients (World Health Organization, 1992).
It is important to note that diagnosis of the human brain is not an exact science, especially when just looking at a textbook. Mental disorders and the criteria to meet these human brain disorders change rapidly over time. The DSM, or the ICD Diagnosis are important tools.
However, it is the mental health professionals responsibility to keep up with current research of the human brain and to be in a constant mode of questioning these tools for the benefit of the patient. The American Counseling Association’s rules of ethics state that counselors need to promote the welfare and best interest of the client with psychological assessments and techniques (ACA, 2005). The mental health professional needs to have many pieces of a puzzle to complete the entire picture of a patient’s diagnosis.
Why is it 2018 and we are still not looking at the human brain through the imaging scans available? Yes, the price is high, however, it is even higher when we misdiagnose a client, or patient. The human brain needs to be looked at before a diagnosis can be given!
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