Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Teo

Diagnosis, Overview

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_582


In psychology, diagnosis refers to the process of determining and identifying psychological problems and/or mental disorders. Diagnosis aims at naming aspects of an individual’s functioning or designating the functioning of a group, such as a family or a corporation. Depending on the theoretical framework (psychotherapeutic school of thought, specialist areas in psychology), different interpretations have been given to the term. A major discussion in the field is whether diagnosis should classify psychological problems in terms of standard categories and labels or should aim at describing problems in tailor-made clinical case formulations.


Diagnosis is the process of determining, identifying, and naming psychological problems and/or mental disorders in an individual or in a group.


Mental disorder; psychical suffering; classification; DSM; medical model; psychotherapy psychoanalysis; David Cooper; Michel Foucault; Sigmund Freud; Wilhelm Griesinger; Emil...

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychoanalysis and Clinical ConsultingGhent UniversityGhentBelgium