Care Beyond the DSM and an Ill for Every Pill

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Length: 42 minutes

Ronald Abramson, MD (Chair); Thomas Nowell, LICSW; Sol Pittenger, PsyD; Dorothy D. Scotten, PhD, LICSW

NOTE: A portion of this presentation was not recorded due to technical difficulties.

The purpose of this workshop is to provide an approach toward understanding how clinicians can authentically understand and work with patients who have psychotic problems.  This is a continuation of the exploration begun by the presenters’ panel in Copenhagen 2009. In recent years, advances in psychopharmacology and the development of the DSM have provided a more objective framework for psychiatric practice.  Unfortunately in the course of seeking a universal language for research and clinician communication, the language of patient care has been given short shrift.  The newest revision of the DSM on the drawing board raises additional concern that an “ill for every pill” approach has become dominant. In this workshop, the panel will present their methods for understanding and working with the psychodynamic, interpersonal, and social issues patients present to them.  Cases will be presented documenting how neglect of these issues while stressing psychopharmacological diagnosis and treatment has led to misunderstanding of patients' difficulties and put patients at unnecessary risk from side effects of medications.  Then, cases will be presented illustrating authentic engagement with patients in their bio-psycho-social dimensions, and the use of metaphor in understanding patients in these dimensions.  The audience will be encouraged to join the panelists in case presentation and exploration.

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