Full Course Description

Program Information


  1. Apply a four-step diagnostic process to accurately identify and code a client’s diagnosis.
  2. Specify key symptoms and diagnostic criteria for frequently diagnosed mental disorders.
  3. Determine important differential diagnoses for anxiety, depressive, trauma-related, substance-related, and neurodevelopmental disorders.
  4. Analyze differential diagnoses for children who present with disruptive behavior.
  5. Differentiate between overlapping symptoms and comorbid conditions in order to provide the correct diagnosis.
  6. Utilize the DSM-5® severity tables, assessment tools, and coding notes to improve the accuracy of diagnosis and ICD-10 coding.


Quick Review of Using the DSM-5 and ICD-10

Four Step Diagnostic Method

Differential Diagnosis of Specific DSM-5 Mental Disorders
Clients with Symptoms of Depression 

Clients with Fear and Anxiety 

Clients with Abnormal or Impaired Cognition

Clients with Repetitive Thoughts and Behaviors

Clients with Disruptive Behaviors

Copyright : 09/28/2018

BONUS: Differential Diagnosis Challenges: Clients with Trauma, Self-Injury, Impulsivity and Other Complex Behaviors

Take your DSM-5® diagnostic skills to the next level! This seminar is designed specifically for mental health professionals seeking to master clinical diagnosis and differential diagnosis using the DSM-5®, ICD-10 and online assessment tools. The focus of this workshop is on the key symptoms for each diagnosis, common differential diagnoses and frequent comorbid disorders.

Case examples and studies are provided throughout - giving you the opportunity to learn and apply a four-step symptoms-based diagnostic method. Topics include the clinical intake interview, differential diagnoses, online assessment tools to narrow diagnosis and potential comorbidities.

Program Information


1. Identify client syndromes of poor impulse control, suicidal ideation, suicidal capability, intentional self-injury and symptoms following traumatic experiences.

2. Apply a four-step differential diagnostic method to diagnose the underlying mental disorders of clients with dysfunctional behavioral patterns and/or a history of trauma.

3. Collect the specific information required for an accurate differential DSM-5 diagnosis of clients with a history of trauma.

4. Conduct a differential diagnosis for clients with impulsive, suicidal and self-injurious behaviors.


  1. Clients with Impulsive Behaviors and Weak Impulse Control
  1. Symptoms of impulsivity/diminished impulse-control
  1. Child
  2. Adolescent and Adult
  1. Diagnostic Challenge: Case 8 Wyatt
  2. Substance-related and medical conditions associated with impulse-control problems
  3. Mental Disorders with impulsivity as one of the criteria symptom clusters
  4. Frequent Comorbid Disorders
  1. Clients with Experiences of Trauma or Psychosocial Stress
  1. Definition of Trauma in DSM-5
  2. Case Study 9: Annemarie
  3. Necessary information about the trauma event(s)
  4. The role of Substance-Related and Medical conditions and Trauma
  5. Differential Diagnosis: Trauma-Related?

a. Mental Disorders that follow traumatic event

b. Mental Disorders that follow severe neglect before age of 5

  1. Differential Diagnosis: Does not meet diagnostic criteria set for PTSD
  1. Adjustment Disorder or Other Mental Disorder
  2. Other Specified Trauma Related Disorder
  1. Frequent Comorbid Disorders


  1. Clients with Suicidal Ideation or Behaviors
  1. Clusters of Suicidal Symptoms
  2. Differential Diagnosis of the Underlying Mental Disorder
  1. Mental Disorders associated with Suicidal Capability
  2. Mental Disorders associated with Suicidal Ideation
  1. Medications that enhance suicidal risk
  2. Diagnostic Challenge: Case 10 Marty


  1. Clients with Self-Injury Behaviors
  1. Understanding self-injury, non-suicidal behaviors
  2. Substance Use Disorders that induce self-injury behaviors
  3. Mental Disorders associated with self-injury
  1. Client states motivation for the self-injurious behavior
  2. No apparent reason for the self-injurious behavior


  1. Wrap Up Diagnosis Challege: Case Study 11 Joe Jensen
  1. Working the Differential Diagnosis Process
  2. What About Personality Disorder?
  3. Joe’s initial DSM-5 diagnosis