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How treatment is possible in the absence of a concept of mental disorder.

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Commonly it is accepted that one of the advantages of the concept of mental disorder is its necessity when it comes to practical treatment issues. It is for this and other practical reasons that the concept of mental disorder is so ubiquitous. However since the adoption of mental disorder by psychiatry there have been sceptics. In recent years there has been a push to abandon the concept of mental disorder citing problems with validity and reliability of any concept that proposes a clear boundary between the normal and the abnormal. There are many potential arguments that a proponent of mental disorder could raise in objection to such a position. One of these arguments is that the concept of mental disorder is necessary for practitioners to provide the most effective treatment, thereby emphasising the necessity of the concept. One response available to these arguments is to argue that treatment issues are not necessarily a matter resolved by diagnosis. The aim in this dissertation is to set out an argument to that effect.


Master of Social Science in Clinical Psychology. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg 2015.


Mental illness--Diagnosis., Mental illness--Treatment., Psychology, Pathological., Theses--Clinical Psychology., Mental disorder.