What is – “What is?”

By David Joel Miller.

Sometimes words don’t mean the same thing to all of us.

What is? Series

What is?
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

The fields of counseling, therapy, and psychiatry all have some common interests but we don’t always use the same words to describe the same thing. Add in related disciplines like psychology, substance abuse counseling, self-help and life coaching and the field has become a veritable tower of babble.

If you are struggling with, or in recovery from, a mental, emotional or behavioral disorder or if you have a problem with drugs and alcohol you may wonder what the words you hear mean. Many of the people who arrive at the counselorssoapbox.com blog have used a search term looking for information or trying to find out what a particular disorder or treatment word means.

Students in the classes I teach and sometimes the interns also, appear to grasp the concept but then come time for the test and they miss things I thought they knew. Recently I have gone to ending many nights class with a slide about the words, possibly new words, that were used in that night’s lesson.

It occurred to me that it might be helpful to explain some of the terms that professionals, researchers, self-help writers and recovering people use. As time permits there will be posts about all these and other topics.

Not everyone agrees on the definitions of these terms. Some of the labels we use come from the American Psychological Associations book Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM.) The most recent version of this book is the DSM-5. Another source of labels used in the mental health and related fields is the World Health Organizations International Classification of Diseases. The most recent edition of this would be the ICD-10. The ICD-11 will be on the scene soon.

Descriptions of terms that will be in this counselorssoapbox.com What is — group of posts will be my “plain language” versions of these ideas.

The plan to describe and discuss things from the simplest possible perspective so I will paraphrase or use metaphors to explain what I am talking about. For the full text that defines mental illness see the appropriate manual.

Writing all these posts will take me some time but then you were expecting that weren’t you? This group of posts will not necessarily be in alphabetic or any other particular order. I write them as the muse strikes.

As always, comments are welcome, some end up being the basis for future posts. Remember there is only one of me and that I write during that rare period known as “spare time” therefore some comments will get faster replies than others. My goal is to respond to all of you eventually.

If you made it to here, thanks so much for being such a dedicated reader.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life.

You can recover. Your cruising along the road of life and then wham, something knocks you in the ditch. If you have gone through a divorce, break up, or lost a job your life may have gotten off track. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel that explores the world of a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

Other books are due out soon; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page or my Facebook author’s page, David Joel Miller. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.


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