The challenge of shifting current psychiatric conceptualisations
The British Psychological Society’s Division of Clinical Psychology (DCP) issued a position statement on psychiatric diagnoses in May 2013. The statement highlights many of the limitations of psychiatric classification systems, theoretically, empirically and clinically. In making the case for a ‘paradigm shift’, the DCP’s statement draws attention to the impact of psychiatric diagnoses on the life of those in distress including: the marginalisation and decontextualisation their lived experiences, stigmatisation and dehumanisation. Further, the statement alerts readers to the‘Ethnocentric bias’ inherent to current conceptualisations which can lay the foundation for discriminatory practices.
Debates around the statement and the usefulness of psychiatric diagnoses more generally, continue to rage. Many have been heated and passionate. They have been located both within and outside clinical psychology. Much of these have been constructive and necessary. Some, I have struggled with. Many have qualified attempts at problematising current diagnostic…
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