DSM-5 Course: Common Mental Disorders

Who is this course for?

Psychiatrists, clinical psychologists and other mental health professionals who are interested in psychopathology and diagnostic issues and wish to learn how the new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) may affect their clinical practice.

Who offers the course?

Discipline of Psychiatry

Level of assumed/required knowledge

There are no specific degrees or course requirements for this course but mental health work experience is beneficial.

Course overview

DSM-5 was published in May 2013. It is an important document that has attracted both praise and criticism. Although DSM-5 is primarily intended for use in the United States, the experience with previous editions of the DSM suggests that it will have a large impact worldwide and influence the development of the next edition of the International Classification of Disease, ICD-11.

Mental health professionals need to familiarise themselves with DSM-5 because it is likely to affect their everyday clinical practice. It is also important for them to know what has been changed in DSM-5 and what has remained unchanged from DSM-IV and to understand the basis for the decisions made about the diagnostic criteria in DSM-5. This will allow participants to critically assess DSM-5 in the domains covered by the course, which include common mental disorders: depressive, anxiety, personality and related disorders.

Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the organisation and structure of DSM-5
  • Explain the basis for the diagnostic criteria for common mental disorders in DSM-5
  • Critically appraise the diagnostic criteria for common mental disorders in DSM-5
  • Apply the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for common mental disorders to their clinical practice
  • Explain treatment implications of the DSM-5 diagnostic conceptualisations of common mental disorders

This course will cover the following topics:

  • The changes in DSM-5, including criteria that have been added and removed
  • Disorders that were deleted or substantially modified in DSM-5
  • Diagnostic criteria that have been unchanged from DSM-IV
  • The reasons behind all the decisions made in DSM-5
  • Key areas of improvement and controversy
  • Implications of the DSM-5 for psychopathology, education policies, funding, protocols and treatment

This course will not cover the whole spectrum of DSM-5 conditions. It will focus on the following disorders:

  • Depressive disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive and related disorders
  • Trauma- and stressor-related disorders
  • Dissociative disorders
  • Somatic symptom and related disorders
  • Personality disorders

Course duration

1 full day.

How is this course assessed?

Self-assessment sheet.

Can this course contribute to an academic degree?


Course delivery

This course will be delivered in a small group workshop format with a maximum of 20 participants. There will be a lot of opportunities for participants to discuss DSM-5 related issues, apply the new knowledge to vignettes, and rethink current patients’ diagnoses. Participants will be given comprehensive course notes including reinforcing activity sheets to assist in consolidating learning.

Course cost

$385 per participant (inc. GST)

10% discount is available to University of Sydney alumni and staff members. Please call +61 2 8999 9608 to verify your details and redeem the discount.

Course dates

Saturday 23 August 2014
Saturday 22 November 2014

Is this course accredited for CME points?


Further information and enrolment

To enrol in the course, please call +61 2 8999 9608 or enrol online.

Contact person/Course coordinator

Richard He
T: +61 2 9845 7798

Last updated

July 2014