ACA Blog

Nov 03, 2011

Anti-DSM-5 Petition Catching Fire

Several divisions of the American Psychological Association posted a letter highly critical of the DSM-5 (see ). They also posted an online petition for mental health professionals to sign in support of their letter. Since it was first posted a week ago, over 3300 mental health professionals have signed the petition.

The letter calls attention to the numerous problems with the DSM-5 proposed revisions:
•lowering diagnostic thresholds that increase the risk of triggering false-positive epidemics
•introducing disorders that place vulnerable populations at risk for inaccurate diagnosis and treatments that include potentially dangerous medications
•the lack of empirical evidence supporting proposed revisions
•the definition of mental disorders overemphasizing biological theory and deemphasizing psychological, social, and cultural factors
The American Psychiatric Association and the DSM-5 Task Force will hopefully listen to and address the concerns outlined in this letter. All mental health professionals rely on the DSM for accurate diagnosis and treatment planning – the manual must be credible to gain widespread acceptance among the mental health community.

I encourage counselors to support the letter by signing the petition (located at

K. Dayle Jones is a counselor and associate professor at the University of Central Florida. Contact her at

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