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Weaknesses of the DSM

Weaknesses of the DSM

Corcoran and Walsh (2020) identify several weaknesses of the DSM. A major weakness of the DSM is its lack of provisions for recording client strengths (Corcoran & Walsh, 2020). This weakness of the DSM presents several potential negative impacts on clients. To start with, the lack of provisions for recording client strengths clearly shows that the DSM only focuses on the symptoms and other negative indicators of a mental disorder. In this case, the DSM ignores any patient’s characteristics and environmental factors that may underlie the symptoms presented. The lack of a provision to record client strengths creates an incomplete client presentation. This means it’s hard for therapists and other mental health care providers to understand the client in terms of their weaknesses and strengths. The incomplete understanding of the client, especially their strengths, means that social workers and mental health specialists cannot base care on the strengths and other favorable factors, such as the client’s environment. It also has the potential to complicate the application of certain evidence-based and effective psychotherapeutic modalities, such as Strength-based Therapy, which majorly engages the patient’s strengths and interests to improve their mental well-being (Yuen et al., 2020).

The failure of the DSM to have provisions for recording client strengths presents a potential negative impact on clients as it allows for them to be labeled and described by their symptoms and weaknesses. Identifying clients only by the symptoms risks stigmatization and discrimination against people with mental health issues (Kudva et al., 2020). Stigmatization is a risk factor for poor health-support-seeking behaviors among patients and other mental health issues related to stigmatization. Notably, this weakness of the DSM means that care cannot be individualized as per the patient’s personal characteristics. Their environment and specific needs contribute to their mental health symptoms. It, therefore, has a negative effect on the diagnosis process as well as the efficacy of the care delivered.


Corcoran, J., & Walsh, J. (2020). Mental health in social work : a casebook on diagnosis and strengths-based assessment. Pearson Education, Inc.

Kudva, K. G., El Hayek, S., Gupta, A. K., Kurokawa, S., Bangshan, L., Armas-Villavicencio, M. V. C., Oishi, K., Mishra, S., Tiensuntisook, S., & Sartorius, N. (2020). Stigma in mental illness: Perspective from eight Asian nations. Asia-Pacific Psychiatry, 12(2), e12380.

Yuen, E., Sadhu, J., Pfeffer, C., Sarvet, B., Daily, R. S., Dowben, J., Jackson, K., Schowalter, J., Shapiro, T., & Stubbe, D. (2020). Accentuate the Positive: Strengths-Based Therapy for Adolescents. Adolescent Psychiatry, 10(3), 166–171.


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Chapter 1 of the textbook
Corcoran and Walsh (2020) list several weaknesses of the DSM. Select one weakness and explain to your classmates the potential negative impact on clients as a result of this weakness. Remember to utilize an academic reference.

Weaknesses of the DSM

Weaknesses of the DSM

Note: pls let the response be a whole full page. The instructor is particular about the number of words. She wants a minimum of 300 words. Thank you

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