Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: Making it Work for Social Work

By Sharon C. Lyter and Lloyd L. Lyter.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The mission of social work includes dual and multisystemic goals, going beyond direct client services to addressing issues of social and economic justice. This philosophy has motivated some to castigate those social workers who use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Disorders (DSM), charging that the DSM is inherently flawed and contrary to social work aims. Yet the ethical demands for competence necessitate that social workers use the DSM effectively and accurately. Drawing on their combined thirty years of experience in teaching psychopathology and their own research (Lyter & Lyter, 2010), the authors examine the controversies and share their strategies to successfully address the compatibility of the DSM with social work values and ideals. The practice focus of this paper is intended to describe and demonstrate the authors’ method of putting research and theory into practice at the baccalaureate and graduate levels of pedagogy.

Keywords: Social Work, DSM, Values, Diagnosis, Ethics

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 6, Issue 6, pp.53-64. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 782.560KB).

Dr. Sharon C. Lyter

Associate Professor, Social Work Department, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, Kutztown, PA, USA

Sharon C. Lyter is an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Work at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Lyter teaches and conducts research in the areas of social work practice, groups and families, supervision, cultural competence, mental health, and addictions.

Dr. Lloyd L. Lyter

Interim Dean, College of Health and Human Services, Marywood University, Scranton, PA, USA

Lloyd L. Lyter is Professor of Social Work and Public Administration and Director, School of Social Work and Administrative Studies at Marywood University. Dr. Lyter teaches MSW, MPA, and PhD classes and presents regularly in the areas of chemical dependence, psychopathology, and ethics.

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