Re: A paper on the ideological premises supporting the rhetoric of DSMIV

John Cubeta (
Fri, 1 Sep 1995 23:45:47 -0400

>> Re: A paper on the ideological premises supporting the rhetoric of DSMIV>
>The title of the paper sounds interesting. Did I miss it when it was posted
>or does anyone have the reference as to where I can find it.
>Sy Balsen
>Ichabod Crane High School
>Valatie, NY


Here is a copy of the paper. I thought it was right on the money! I am a
psychologist for the Connecticut Department of Mental Retardation and often
have to submit behavior change programs that include a prescription for
"psychiatric" medication (which our consulting psychiatrist prescribes).
All such medications need to be approved by a Program Review Committee, who
uses DSM-III (and now, DSM-IV) to second-guess the diagnoses that the
prescribing psychiatrist makes. They do this without ever seeing the
client, and are preoccupied with "data" that fit the DSM criteria for the
disorder(s) that the medication is supposed to address.

I have had many battles with this committee, mainly in defense of the
diagnoses that our psychiatrist makes. I try to tell the committee that DSM
is not a cookbook, and that there are many other frames of reference for
construing the presenting behaviors and proposed therapies...but to no avail.

Hope you find this paper interesting, and would appreciate any
comment/suggestions that you may have to share. Good luck, Sy!

John ["Gray are all theories,/ And green alone Life's golden tree." Goethe]
John Cubeta (