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Medical Errors Avoidance: DSM-5 Resources for Differential Diagnosis

  • 12/16/2022
  • 8:30 AM - 11:00 AM
  • Childrens Services Council 2300 High Ridge Road Boynton Beach FL 33426


Medical Errors Avoidance: DSM-5 Resources for Differential Diagnosis

Aaron Norton, LMHC, LMFT

Decades of research suggest that the misdiagnosis of mental disorders is a common medical error.  For example, individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder are often misdiagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, and many children and adolescents are misdiagnosed with ADHD. Although many people who meet the diagnostic criteria for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) are undiagnosed, as many as 60% of people who are diagnosed with MDD do not meet criteria for the disorder!  Bipolar II Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, specific phobias, PTSD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, OCD, eating disorders, Intermittent Explosive Disorder, and Body Dysmorphic Disorder are often missed by clinicians.  Why is that?  We’re often trained in graduate school to with cookie-cutter, seamless case examples, but in the real world, clients often don't present with "textbook" presentations of symptoms that neatly fall into a particular disorder. Many symptoms of mental disorders are "overlapping," meaning that the same symptom may be listed under several disorders.   With the limited time that clinicians often have, how do we quickly formulate an accurate diagnosis? Find out by attending this 2-hour medical errors update!  We'll use real case examples to show you how to use differential diagnosis resources for overlapping symptoms. 

Learning Objectives

  1. Define "overlapping" symptoms.
  2. Describe how to use the "differential diagnosis" section of the DSM-5.
  3. Use the DSM-5 Differential Diagnosis mobile application to formulate a diagnosis for case scenarios involving overlapping symptoms.

2.0 Medical Errors Hours

Aaron Norton, LMHC, LMFT

Aaron, current president of the Florida Mental Health Counselor's Association is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with certifications in addictions, alcohol and drug counseling, rehabilitation counseling, clinical mental health counseling, forensic mental health evaluation, and forensic behavioral analysis. He is recognized by the American Mental Health Counselors Association as a Diplomate and Clinical Mental Health Specialist in Substance Abuse and Co-Occurring Disorders. He serves as Executive Director of the National Board of Forensic Evaluators, a national not-for-profit board officially endorsed by the American Mental Health Counselors Association that provides training, certification and professional advocacy for licensed mental health professionals specializing in forensic mental health evaluation. He is an Adjunct Instructor at the University of South Florida's College of Behavioral and Community Sciences as well as a doctoral candidate in the Counselor Education and Supervision program at USF. He serves as Southern Regional Director for the American Mental Health Counselors Association and President-Elect and Chair of Education, Training Standards, and Continuing Education for the Florida Mental Health Counselors Association. He also works in a private practice specializing in both therapy and forensic and clinical evaluation, as well as providing clinical supervision to mental health counselors and marriage and family therapist interns as a Qualified Supervisor. He has more than 15 years of experience in the counseling profession. He was awarded Mental Health Counselor of the Year by the American Mental Health Counselors Association and Counselor Educator of the Year by the Florida Mental Health Counselors Association in 2016 and has been published in Addiction ProfessionalAmerican Journal of OrthopsychiatryJournal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, Journal of Individual Psychology, and The Advocate Magazine.

 Proudly Sponsored by:

John Davis, President

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