The West Virginia University Department of Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling and Counseling Psychology is hosting a free workshop to discuss “significant and controversial” changes to the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

The manual, published by the American Psychiatric Association and considered a ‘Bible’ for the classification of mental disorders, was released as a revised fifth edition in May.

Dr. Greg Neimeyer, of the University of Florida Department of Psychology, will serve as the keynote presenter at the workshop, “Understanding the DSM-5: Problems and Prospects in the Diagnostic Revisions,” set for 1-5 p.m. Sept. 7 at 334 Percival Hall.

“There is no doubt that the most recent edition represents a sea-change in relation to its addition, deletion and modification of disorders,” said Neimeyer, who’s published more than 200 articles and 10 books, primarily on professional training and development in the psychology field. “The only question is whether that sea-change represents a high-water mark or a low-water mark for the manual, and therein lies the rub. This workshop explores the good, the bad and the ugly of the DSM-5 and traces the implications of its changes for the millions of users it is designed to serve.”

The manual is used or relied upon by clinicians, researchers, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, lawmakers and the legal system.

Jennifer Taylor, an assistant professor in the Department of Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling and Counseling Psychology at WVU, says the manual has wide-ranging implications.

“The DSM is a really influential document,” said Taylor, who has conducted research with Neimeyer at the University of Florida. “A diagnosis can determine if someone qualifies for services such as disability benefits, special education or certain grant funding.”

The Department of Counseling and Counseling Psychology is in WVU’s College of Education and Human Services.

The workshop is open to the public. Participants will identify at least 10 key changes and discuss controversies, such as the elimination of Asperger’s syndrome as a mental disorder, from the revised manual.

“The goal of the workshop is to help those in the mental health profession, as well as people in the community, explore these issues and better understand the manual’s impact,” Taylor said.

For more information on the workshop, go to

Free parking will be available that day in Lot 50 by Allen Hall’s main entrance off Oakland Street.

A webcast of the workshop can also be viewed at



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