Where are all the Social Workers?: One Social Worker’s Road to Active Opposition to the DSM-5 (Part One)

Dr. Jack Carney is a SJS Syndicate, and part of the committee to boycott the new DSM-5.  Most recently, his essay “Where are all the Social Workers?: One Social Worker’s Road to Active Opposition to the DSM-5” was accepted to be published in the International Society of Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry’s Journal Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry. Dr. Carney has given SJS the opportunity to publish this piece throughout the coming weeks, in five parts. Part one, the abstract, is below. Please enjoy, and stay tuned for the next part next week. We hope this facilitates some great conversation.- Georgianna Dolan-Reilly, LMSW. SJS Chief Editor.  


            This article consists of a topical/historical compilation of events surrounding the protests that stalked the DSM-5 prior to and since its publication in May, 2013,  including a national boycott launched in February 2013. The new DSM has been challenged for its lack of construct validity and its poor inter-rater reliability; for its reliance on the biomedical model to explain causality, to the exclusion of environmental and psychosocial factors; for its medicalization of the disorders its proposes to include in the new DSM and its consequent reliance on psychoactive medications for treatment of these disorders, again to the virtual exclusion of other, largely psychosocial treatment interventions; and, ultimately, for its continued pathologization of human behaviors ordinarily considered normative. The article concludes by questioning the hegemonic role assumed by Psychiatry in determining the categorization of disordered behaviors with no input from other professions and mental health system stakeholders. Social workers and the organizations that represent them, particularly the NASW, are also challenged for their continued passive acceptance of a very flawed DSM.

Keywords: DSM-5; construct validity; inter-rater reliability; medicalization; patholigization; psychiatric hegemony; social worker passivity; boycott

More information at: www.dxsummit.org/archives/1704 & www.nodsm5diagnosis.com

Written by Jack Carney, DSW
SJS Contributor

Content published with the Author’s permission.


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