While a majority of cognitive-behavioural researchers and clinicians adhere to the classification system provided in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association, 1994, 2000), strong objections have been voiced among behaviourists who find the dichotomous allocation of patients into psychiatric diagnoses incompatible with the philosophy of behaviorism and practice of functional analysis. The aim of this paper is to give an overview of the current debate and to analyze the tension between the DSM-IV and functional analysis along the following contrasts: Inductive vs. Deductive, Idiographic vs. Nomothetic, Contextualism vs. Mechanism, Social constructions vs. Real Entities, and Dimensions vs. Categories. Finally, some suggested alternatives are discussed. It is concluded that there is a need for alternative systems to the DSM with treatment utility.
2006. Vol. 10, 67-77 p.