A possibly interesting development (or is it a stitch-up?) with regard to the DSM revision process seems to be suggested by this press release from the APA yesterday (link here to PDF):
ARLINGTON, Va. (April 28, 2009) – The American Psychiatric Association (APA) Board of Trustees has established a task force on the treatment of Gender Identity Disorders (GID) to address concerns about the relative lack of evidence-based treatment guidelines and to determine if guidelines should be developed. The task force was created on a recommendation by the APA Committee on Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Issues.
The board asked the task force to review the literature on the treatment of Gender Identity Disorder at different ages and to report back with “an opinion as to whether or not there is sufficient credible literature to take the next step and develop treatment recommendations.”
The board asked the task force to communicate with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) work group on Gender Identity Disorder, which can serve as a resource on diagnostic issues during the term of the task force.
After the May 2008 announcement of DSM-V work group membership, the APA received many inquiries regarding the Gender Identity Disorders work group on treatment. These inquiries most often dealt with treatment controversies for GID in children, rather than issues related specifically to the DSM text and diagnostic criteria. While the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders are inextricably linked, separation of the diagnostic mission of the DSM work groups from the evaluation of treatment issues is especially important.
At first reading it suggests that the APA is actually taking seriously the criticism received regarding (a) “the relative lack of evidence-based treatment guidelines” and (b) “treatment controversies for GID in children“.
Both these points seem to refer to reparative treatments for the condition – treatments which don’t appear to have had any meaningful success and indeed may have caused more harm than good.
But, of course, when the Task Force has been asked “to communicate with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) work group on Gender Identity Disorder” – chaired by Ken Zucker – whose reparative techniques are under criticism here – and with Ray Blanchard (chair of the Paraphilias Subcommittee and inventor of the mental illness he terms autogynephilia) – well, it doesn’t really inspire confidence that this will be an unbiased, objective and independent review.
Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose…
(Cross-posted at Questioning Transphobia)
Previous related posts on this blog:
- Close the CAMH Gender Identity Clinic – Facebook group (April 28, 2009)
- OII receives a letter from Dr Zucker’s legal representatives (March 21, 2009)
- Lynn Conway targeted by Kenneth Zucker for speaking out against his appointment to the APA Task Force (March 5, 2009)
- TGEU Policy Statement on DSM Reform (November 3, 2008)
- Developing DSM-V in Secret (October 17, 2008)
- Reminder: Demo against Zucker at RSM tomorrow (1st October 2008) (September 30, 2008)
- Demonstration against Kenneth Zucker at RSM, 1st October 2008 (September 22, 2008)
- Zucker *still* to speak at RSM conference (September 9, 2009)
- Zucker to Speak At Royal Society of Medicine Conference (August 15, 2008)
- WPATH Clarification (July 19, 2008)
- With God on Our Side (July 7, 2008)
- Crazy love (June 1, 2008)
- Still mad: more on DSM-V/Zucker/Blanchard (May 18, 2008)
- Mad as hell (May 6, 2008)