Thinking Outside the Book

Melissa Kee and David Comer
Clinical Mental Health Counseling

As counselors, we face the daunting task of having to diagnosis clients quickly while considering specific criteria for the DSM and insurance companies. Considering that each client presents differently, mistakes may occur and have the potential to profoundly impact clients. For example, Ladsen, Kornegay, and Lesane (2014) note that 69% of people who receive successful treatment of Bipolar Disorder are originally misdiagnosed. Inaccuracies such as this have the potential to significantly impact client lives. Our challenge is to think beyond what the DSM might immediately dictate as a correct diagnosis and consider presentations of trauma in our clients to ensure that we arrive at diagnosis that is accurate and actionable.


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