3.00 CE Credits Available
Diagnosing Depressive, Bipolar, and Alcohol Use Disorders
by Jason Buckles
Volume 3 of our DSM-5 and Psychodiagnostic Interviewing series covers diagnoses that can sometimes overlap and be hard to distinguish from one another: Depressive and persistent depressive disorders, bipolar and substance use disorders.
Depression is widespread in Western cultures but with so many varieties of depression and differences among how people experience it, how do we diagnose it and rule out the myriad other disorders that sometimes masquerade as depression? What constitutes mania? What’s the difference between Bipolar I and II? When is depression “persistent” and when does it became serious enough to warrant a major depressive diagnosis? Can they coexist? How do you know if substance use is causing depression and how do you skillfully ply information from clients about their substance use when they would rather you don’t? All this and more is covered in volume 3 of our DSM-5 and Psychodiagnostic Interviewing series.

Watch as Jason Buckles gently structures his questions and interactions to cover the necessary bases while listening carefully, joining, pacing, and allowing inconsistencies to simply be part of the interactions. Before, during, and after each vignette, commentary and explanations by both Buckles and Victor Yalom enhance the viewers learning experience, as well as voiceovers that describe diagnostic information, and explain skills and interventions as they are happening in live sessions with clients. Mental health professionals will benefit from the comprehensive presentation of symptoms and clinical skills provided in this video. Without sacrificing empathy, warmth, or humor, see how to gather targeted information to confidently arriving at an accurate diagnosis.

What therapists are saying…

“The vignettes particularly bring to life the practice of diagnostic interviewing with an emphasis on therapeutic care of clients. This video series is a crucial example of how to interview clients toward a diagnostic discussion; very useful for social workers, counselors, psychologists, and psychiatric nurses, and all mental health professionals.”

—Carlos M Del Rio, PhD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Bellevue University 
“A highly informative, rich exploration of the field’s current understanding of psychopathology, drawing from the DSM-5 with practical, specific applications and examples that can assist both present and future practitioners.”

—T. S. Hanna, PhD, Counselor Educator and Supervisor  
In Depth
CE Test
Volume 3 in the DSM-5 Diagnostic Interviewing Series provides viewers with clinical interviews of clients with major depressive, persistent depressive, bipolar I, and substance use disorders. These can be complicated diagnoses, sometimes requiring input from medical professionals or significant others in the client’s life. The actual interviews demonstrate the slowed down, or revved up, presentations that often accompany these diagnoses. The interviewer is able to reveal how you can stay on task while at the same time engaging the client with empathy, self-disclosure, and humor.

As in other videos in this series, Yalom and Buckles continue to add richness and texture to the interview itself with their lively commentary, noting how diagnoses have changed over time, and the difficulties inherent in quantifying subjective terms or concepts such as functionality.
In voice-over commentary, Buckles points out how to record client accounts of their symptoms and experiences in ways that are nonjudgmental, factual, and objective. This can be very helpful to professionals learning how to record key aspects of clinical or diagnostic interviews.

Viewers meet three individuals and one couple, all accurately portraying the life struggles and important details that demonstrate what these clusters of symptoms look like when they reach a diagnosable level. Of course, the interviews are not perfect, but we learn from that as well. With humor and insight, Buckles and Yalom note the omissions and discuss what the interviewer might have done differently, or what the interviewer might do in the next session.

Also modeled in these vignettes are skills related to destigmatizing the symptoms and the diagnosis. Further, the interviewer demonstrates how to introduce the notion of continuing in therapy to address the disorder and improve the client’s overall mental health.

By watching this video, you will be able to:
  • Recognize the symptoms associated with major depressive, persistent depressive, bipolar and substance use disorders.
  • Gain skills in conducting a diagnostic interview with clients suffering from these disorders and the lack of insight that sometimes accompanies some of these particular disorders.
  • Expand your differential diagnostic skillset, as well as your understanding of both the overlapping, and the distinguishing features, of these disorders. 

Length of video: 3:02:37

English subtitles available

Group ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-543-2

Group ISBN-13 #: 978-1-60124-543-4

Jason Buckles, PhD, earned his Bachelor’s in Psychology at New York University in 1992. While there he worked on psychiatric diagnostic projects at Bellevue Hospital and the New York Psychiatric Institute. He earned his Master’s in Counseling at The University of New Mexico in 2001 and PhD at The University of New Mexico in 2016. Buckles has a private mental health counseling practice and behavior consultation agency specializing in supports for people with intellectual disability and concurrent mental health diagnoses. From 2012 through 2016 he was the statewide clinical director of the New Mexico Department of Health—Bureau of Behavioral Support. Since late 2016 he has been the executive director of A Better Way of Living, an agency that provides life-wide supports for people with intellectual disability and concurrent behavioral and/or mental health conditions. He has taught psychiatric assessment and diagnosis at New Mexico Highlands University since 2002 and in the Special Education department at The University of New Mexico since 2015.

CE credits: 3

Learning Objectives:

  • List the symptoms associated with Major Depressive, Persistent Depressive, Bipolar, and Substance Use disorders
  • Describe skills for conducting a diagnostic interview with clients suffering from these disorders
  • Prepare interview questions that facilitate differential diagnosis of these disorders

Bibliography available upon request

This course is offered for ASWB ACE credit for social workers. See complete list of CE approvals here

© 2018

Course Reviewed January 2024

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