Psychiatric diagnosis: More questions than answers
David Pilgrim argues that recent Society guidance on the use of diagnostic classifications in court misses the point.
DIAGNOSIS is a medical task that creates a simple dichotomy between the sick and the well. By contrast, psychological formulations assume a continuity between the normal and the abnormal. The psychiatric question ‘Is this person suffering from a mental disorder or not?’ becomes transformed by a psychologist into ‘How do we account for this person’s actions and experience in this particular context?’.
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