Diagnosis in Marriage and Family Counseling: An Ethical Double Bind

Judith A. Crews, Nicole R. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The increasing influence of third-party payers over the diagnostic and treatment practices in the field of mental health counseling has created several ethical dilemmas for marriage and family counselors. In particular, the required use of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) for diagnoses places counselors in the position of misdiagnosing individuals in order to provide counseling for the family. This article is the first of two and overviews some of the primary ethical dilemmas associated with diagnosis in the field of marriage and family counseling. Part 2 will introduce case vignettes and apply an ethical lens to the issues described in the overview.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-66
Number of pages4
JournalThe Family Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005


  • counseling
  • counseling ethics
  • diagnosis
  • family

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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