DSM and DSM-5 are trademarks of the American Psychiatric Association. The American Psychiatric Association is not affiliated with nor endorses this website.

The Open Letter Committee Calls for Independent Review

The Open Letter Committee of the Society for Humanistic Psychology Calls for Independent Review of DSM-5

January 9, 2012

ATTENTION:                                                                                                                                                                                     

David J. Kupfer, M.D., Chair of DSM-5 Task Force
Darrel A. Regier, M.D., M.P.H., Vice Chair of DSM-5 Task Force
John M. Oldham, M.D., President of the American Psychiatric Association
Dilip V. Jeste, M.D., President-Elect of the American Psychiatric Association
Roger Peele, M.D., Secretary of the American Psychiatric Association

To the DSM-5 Task Force and the American Psychiatric Association:

We appreciate your opening a dialogue regarding the concerns that the Division 32 Open Letter Committee and others have raised about the proposed DSM-5.  Your willingness to do this suggests that both the Task Force and our committee are in basic agreement that we both want the DSM-5 to be empirically grounded, credible to mental health professionals and the public, and safe to use.  In keeping with this spirit of open dialogue, we are writing in regard to what we view as a critically important issue.

You will recall that the Division 32 Open Letter Committee, along with the American Counseling Association, recently asked the DSM-5 Task Force and the American Psychiatric Association to submit the controversial portions of the proposed DSM-5 for external review by an independent group of scholars and scientists who have no ties to the DSM-5 Task Force or the American Psychiatric Association.

As you know, it is common practice for scientists and scholars to submit their work to others for independent review.  We believe it is time for an independent group of scientists and scholars, who have no vested interest in the outcome, to do an external, independent review of the controversial portions of the DSM-5.  We consider this especially important in light of the unprecedented criticism of the proposed  DSM-5 by thousands of mental health professionals, as well as mental health organizations, in the United States and Europe.

Will you submit the controversial proposals in DSM-5 to an independent group of scientists and scholars with no ties to the DSM-5 Task Force or the American Psychiatric Association for an independent, external  review?  

We respectfully ask that you not respond again with assurances about internal reviews and field trials because such assurances, at this point, are not sufficient.  We believe an external, independent review is critical in terms of ensuring the proposed DSM-5 is safe and credible.  If you are unwilling to submit the controversial proposals for external, independent review, we respectfully ask that you provide a detailed rationale for your refusal.  Because the DSM is used by hundreds of thousands of mental health professionals, we are publicly posting this letter and will also post your response.   We believe mental health professionals, along with concerned mental health organizations, in the United States and Europe will be very interested in this important exchange.

Sincerely,

David N. Elkins, PhD,  Chair of the Division 32 Open Letter Committee   (davidnelkins@hotmail.com)

Frank Farley, PhD, Member of Committee
Jonathan D.  Raskin, PhD, Member of Committee
Brent Dean Robbins, PhD,  Member of Committee
Donna Rockwell, PsyD, Member of Committee

 

Please go to the petition website and sign the petition! Spread the word! Thank you!