Adult Psychopathology

When I started at MSPP I didn’t know much about the different axes that are used in the DSM. Having come from a more experimentally based background it felt like everyone knew so much more than I did. It definitely didn’t help when I sat down in my Weekend in Residence for the Adult Psychopathology course and I heard people saying things like:

“What about the GAF? Did you want me to include that also?”

“I typically put ‘Deferred’ on Axis II when I am only given one session with the client.”

“I think that Axis IV is helpful, but I usually get a lot of reports where that part is left blank!”

I felt so behind and utterly confused! Was I really supposed to know all of this already!?

My beautiful DSM!

While Dr. Clark and Dr. Orozco did a fantastic job teaching that weekend I still walked away feeling like there was a heavy weight on my shoulders. I certainly appreciated the amount of practice they gave -and continue to give- us, but I just felt this sudden sense of: This is real. I am going to be a psychologist someday. I will have to diagnose people. In a very unusual way it was daunting and exhilarating at the same time.

Basically, I hate being wrong. And then I think: what if I misdiagnose this (fictitious) person that is portrayed in our quizzes!? What if I misdiagnose a real person in real life!? It feels like such a stress-invoking responsibility.

I must say that after having completed all of the quizzes for the class I feel like I am significantly more confident than when I started. I am doing better bit by bit. I also feel more comfortable navigating through the DSM. However, I still have a long way to go. I guess that’s why I’m still in school, right?

(Thank goodness!)

About jgarciamspp

Hello! My name is Jessica Garcia. I am an Arizona native and have moved to the greater Boston area to attend graduate school at MSPP. I graduated, summa cum laude, from Arizona State University (the Barrett Honors College). I received my Bachelor of Science in Psychology. I am currently a 1st year Clinical PsyD student, doing my practicum at FMC Devens. On a more personal note, I love music, theater, reading, learning new languages, and my little dog.
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One Response to Adult Psychopathology

  1. Paul says:

    Wow, look at all those colorful tabs! That would actually make me look forward to opening up that big book!

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