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ISSN: 2161-0487
Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy

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Clinical Judgement and the DSM5

Kathy Sexton-Radek*

Elmhurst College, Psychology Department, USA

Corresponding Author:
Kathy Sexton-Radek
Elmhurst College, Psychology Department, USA
Tel: 630-789-9785
Fax: 630-789-9798
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: March 04, 2015; Accepted date: March 09, 2015; Published date: March 16, 2015

Citation: Sexton-Radek (2015) Clinical Judgement and the DSM5. J Psychol Psychother 5:e107. doi:10.4172/2161-0487.1000e107

Copyright: © 2015 Sexton-Radek. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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One premise that influences the dimensional approach to the DSM5 was a more useful research approach. Evident of this circumstance was the suggestion to make two versions of the DSM5 – one for clinical use and one for research use. However, the resolution of this was to set the classifications up with sections of “criteria sets and axes provided for further study [1].” Herein the reliability for diagnostics are described. Also, the appendices were expanded to include research area. Commonly described examples of this include the 30 dimensions found by five factor model studies of anti-social personality disorder. Thus the constraint of fixed diagnostic criteria in the old categorical model has opened the way for valuable conclusions based on clinical experience and knowledge of psychopathology [2]. Additionally, the Personality disorders classification is considered to have both a clinical and research focus [3]. Research studies have completed Five Factor Model analyses of Personality Disorder types [3].

Given the novelness of the DSM5, controversial and conflictual comments about its formation still appear as relevant considerations. However, a pragmatic view of looking to the clinical judgment emphasis gained from the dimensional nature is advantageous [4]. The constraint of a categorical model with fixed, operational domains, while providing parity to operational definition, gives little to clinical decision making [5]. The clinical experience gained from exposure, understanding and sensitivity to a myriad of individual norms of expression provides essential context to the symptom presentation. The clinical decision making necessary to evaluate the presence of symptoms in a criteria set and determine if the severity level constitutes a mental disorder predicates sound clinical judgment [5,6]. The issue of dimensionality in the DSM5 is not so much to accommodate a research agenda or provide a balance component for operational definition and clinical diagnoses but rather that provides empirical guidelines for clinical judgment.


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