Clinicians make use of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; DSM-5) classification system to make diagnoses that will guide the choice of a treatment approach. As you read in Fundamentals of Abnormal Psychology, however, the practice of diagnosing clients and the use of diagnostic categories and labels are sometimes subject to criticism. Some argue that diagnostic labels can cause harm. Others disagree, stating that diagnosis is an essential step in the clinical process as the clinician proceeds from assessment to diagnosis to treatment. In this week’s Assignment, you will evaluate both advantages and disadvantages of the practice of diagnosing and labeling psychological disorders. You will decide whether or not you are convinced that current diagnostic practices are acceptable.
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