Conference Tackles New Developments in Diagnosis of Mental Disorders


Students and professionals took part in a full day of workshops at the Graduate School's second annual Symposium on Mental Health on Saturday, March 8, at the New Rochelle Campus.

This year's theme was "New Directions in Diagnosis and Treatment: Introducing the DSM-5." The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association, provides a standard criteria used by clinicians, researchers, health insurance companies, the legal system, and more. The latest edition was published in May 2013.

The keynote address, delivered by Graduate School faculty Susan Conte and Diane Spizzirro, discussed the changes from DSM-IV-TR and DSM-5 from a clinician's perspective, using case studies to illustrate how diagnosing various disorders has been transformed.

After lunch, David Hamilton of the state Education Department and Joseph R. Franco of the New York Mental Health Counselors Association participated in a panel discussion of trends in mental health counseling their many implications.

"I enjoyed my session," said Catherine Pearlman, Assistant Professor of Social Work in the School of Arts & Sciences, who led a workshop called "Understanding the DSM Through Film."

"It was a filled room of a nice mix of students and those already working in the mental health field," Pearlman said. "They asked interesting questions and we had some nice discussion about how TV, feature films, and documentaries can be used to learn the DSM-5."