In comparing and contrasting the definition of mental disorder in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; DSM–5) to the Individual Psychology perspective, one is presented with the dichotomy between the mental illness model and the mental health model. The DSM-5, driven by the use of categorizations and classifications, tends to align with a more strict mental illness, or medical model. In contrast, the Individual Psychology perspective, aims to direct focus back onto the uniqueness of each individual. Individual Psychology returns attention to the significance holistic care plays in the wellness of the individual.
The DSM–5 (American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2013) provides the following definition of a mental disorder, “A syndrome characterized by clinically significant disturbance in an individual 's cognitive, emotion regulation, or behavior that reflects a dysfunction in the psychological, biological, or developmental processes underlying mental functioning” (p. 20). This definition provides clinicians and providers with a set of characteristics that must...
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...inforces the importance Adler placed on social interest. A feeling of connectedness was foundational to Adler’s view of health. This connectedness, or social interest, was meant to permeate throughout the Adlerian life tasks of love, occupation and fellowship. A lack of feeling connected results in the presence of disorder, dysfunction, or disturbance for the individual.
Both similarities and differences exist among the definition of a mental disorder found in the DSM-5’s and within the Individual Psychology perspective. While both recognize the impact a disorder has on the functioning of the individual, the Individual Psychology perspective offers deeper appreciation for the individual and all realms of his or her health. The Individual Psychology perspective acknowledges the holistic view of health while the DSM-5 focuses more on the pathology of the individual.
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