The InterPsych Newsletter 2(3)



IPN 2(3) Section B: News


                       SECTION B: NEWS

                          * INDEX *


                      1. InterPsych to move to Netcom

Sometime between December 23rd and 31st, InterPsych's mailing
lists will be relocated from Mailbase, InterPsych's current
sponsor in England, to Netcom, a commercial Internet access
provider.  InterPsych's lists at Helsinki will also be moved to
the same location.  This move is viewed as an interim step
while InterPsych sets up its own permanent location.

This move was caused by the announcement from Mailbase early
this fall that they were withdrawing their support at the end
of the year.  Mailbase's rationale for doing so was that the
majority of members on InterPsych's lists were not from the UK.
In particular, Mailbase officials noted that the majority of
list members were from the United States, putting what they
deemed as an unnecessary stress on the trans-atlantic computer

The move should be "virtually transparent" for list members,
Ben Goldhagen, InterPsych's Executive Director states.  All
mailing addresses will be transferred directly over to Netcom
so that members will not have to resubscribe to groups they are
currently on.  The only significant change will be in the
address that messages are sent to.  An announcement providing
this address will be made on the superlist once the move is

One possibility is that some members names might not be
properly transferred.  In the event any member finds their
mailing list uncharacteristically silent around the time of the
move, he or she might want to try re-subscribing to the group.
Such problems however are expected to be minimal.

If all else fails, mail sent to will get
a response from InterPsych's maillist team.

While the announcement that Mailbase was withdrawing its
support was originally met with panic and pronouncements that
"InterPsych would cease to exist", this change has turned out
to be to the great benefit of InterPsych and its many members.
Goldhagen states that the move from Mailbase has caused
InterPsych to become more organized in its thinking, leading to
the creation of many new lists and services once the move is

InterPsych had the option to be sponsored by many different
universities and organizations.  The decision to move to
Netcom, a commercial provider, was based on the organization's
desire to maintain independence and autonomy.

Messages sent to the Mailbase address will continue to be
forwarded for 2 months after the move.  List members should,
however, attempt to send messages to the new address
immediately after the change. [SPS]

                      2. Rorschach conference report

The InterPsych/PsyComNet conference held on Dec. 4, 1994 was
entitled, "The validity of Dr. Rorschach's Test" which was
prompted by a discussion that began 2 weeks prior in one
of InterPsych's groups.  Unfortunately for participants,
attendance was one of the smallest for these conferences,
with only between 4 and 6 people on-line at a time. Dr. Ivan
Goldberg, M.D., was the moderator.

Dr. Goldberg began the conference with the same question
that he posed in the original discussion, namely to see the
sensitivity and specificity statistics of the Rorschach
system.  Some confusion regarding these statistics may have
been due to some participants being unaware that, in general,
the Rorschach is no longer being used to predict individuals'
behaviors or to diagnosis mental disorders, especially using
Exner's Comprehensive System, which was discussed.

It appeared that conference participants were generally
hesitant to concede that some studies (independent of Exner's
own citation of research in both Volume 1 & 2 of his
Comprehensive System) have been performed that verify the
Rorschach, using Exner's system only, can be a reliable and
valid measure.  (See, for example, two meta-analytic studies:
Parker, 1983 and Parker, Hanson, & Hunsley, 1988).  Discussion
ensued over whether other professions, such as psychiatry,
were in any better shape with regards to studies showing that,
for instance, medications are prescribed on the basis
of specific medical tests or not.

The usefulness of the Rorschach was also discussed, with some
ambivalence as to what type of additional information it could
provide.  It was noted that the Rorschach is probably not a
good predictor of treatment responsiveness, and a discussion
ensued over what could best predict responsiveness.  It was
also noted that the Rorschach is rarely used alone and is
perhaps most useful when a part of a larger psychological
assessment battery to confirm or disconfirm other tests'
hypotheses about a patient. [JG]


The lists of the Human Services Research Institute have
recently been moved from to
They are up and running. Current subscribers will already have
received or shortly receive an acknowledgement on subscription
to the new site and software version. They will be "moved"
automatically, i.e. there is no need to unsubscribe-
resubscribe. Normal mail traffic on the lists can continue
after management's acknowledgement, around December 14.
Commands to the listserver will change, as the software has
been changed from majordomo to listserv. A special improvement
may be the format of the digest option. Old subscribers will
be sent notice of changes. New subscribers will get full
documentation once they subscribe. Address questions to Sharon
Shea ( [Jonathan Steven Hurwitz, SK] MORE
in the research section.

                        4. DSM IV Conference Report

After a series of e-mail messages regarding the new Diagnostic
and Statistical Manual (DSM IV, APA, 1994) that sounded more
like MTV's Beavis and Butthead ("DSM IV sucks") than scholarly
discussion, Ivan Goldberg held an electronic conference on
November 20, 1994 to discuss what was at the root of this
sentiment and to discuss "Medical and other models of

Approximately fourteen attendees spent two and a half hours
discussing the merits of the DSM-IV as well as the merits of
diagnosis and diagnostic models in mental disorder.  Ivan
supplied for pre-conference perusal, an excerpted transcript
of the previous several weeks mail lists discussions, and it
proved useful to the conferees.  The following are a sample:

"I must disagree with the above.  The medical model,
the biopsychosocial model, of neurobehavioral disorders seems
applicable to well over "five percent" of people seeking help
from mental health professionals.  Among the disorders to
which the medical model seems especially applicable are:
ADD / ADHD;Amnesic Disorders;Bipolar Disorder;Bulimia nervosa;
Cyclothymia;Delirium;Dementia;Dysthymia;Generalized anxiety
disorder; Major depressive disorder;Obsessive-compulsive
disorder;Panic Disorder; Post concussion syndrome;
Schizophrenia; etc, etc. Why do I include these disorders?
Because they resemble medical disorders such as multiple
sclerosis, or a fractured skull, or rheumatoid arthritis, or
peptic ulceration or tuberculosis, at the "molecular, genetic,
biological, psychosocial, or sociocultural"
levels of observation."


"The DSM IV (or DSM III, DSM IIIR, DSM-anything) has little,
if anything, to do with science. It has to do with
bureaucracy, government requirements and insurance
requirements. In that respect, it takes on an entirely
different relevance. One could sit at the word-processor and
come up with something =much= simpler to satisfy the number-
crunchers and pencil-pushers."

The discussion quickly began by focusing on the politics of
diagnosis.  The APA's financial stake in publishing the DSM-IV
manual, the impact of third party payments and justification
for same, as well as "turfing" issues between professionals
were raised as possible determining factors in the DSM-IV's
development and implementation.  Ivan Goldberg's attempt to
stop the publication of the DSM-IV was pointed out and Ivan
reported on his "petition drive" to force the American
Psychiatric Association to hold a referendum on the
publication of the DSM-IV.  According to Ivan, "...we
lost...but many of the folks who voted against us now say they
are sorry."  Later in the conference, Ivan noted that, "I did
not start the drive to block its publication because of any
specific dissatisfaction with its structure... the chief
objection was that the USA and the rest of the world should
use the same system (referring to the ICD-10, and noting that
it would not be the case until an integration of both systems
was completed).

Discussion moved to psychiatric models in general and the role
of descriptive versus explanatory models quickly gained the
floor.  Is the DSM-IV merely a descriptive categorization of
behavior(s) or does it have greater utility.  Some argued that
while it may essentially be only descriptive, it offers a
common language for discussing clinical issues.  In addition,
"the DSM-IV gives us a starting point to investigate
causality", according to one conferee.  Discussion also dealt
with the use of diagnosis in the clinical process, and whether
diagnosis artificially even speciously informs the therapist
patient relationship.  Repeatedly, the influence of non-
scientific factors were pointed out.  The increasing influence
of insurance companies, and managed care entities in demanding
more "efficient" treatments coupled with more specific
diagnosis was debated.

Though often diametrically opposite, almost all views suggest
dissatisfication with the present DSM-IV system, yet few
alternatives were discussed.

For a copy of the transcript send the following command to send psychiatry-superlist dsm4.doc

                      5. IPN LIST SERVICE AVAILABLE

To allow people to receive the InterPsych Newsletter (IPN)
without being a member of one of InterPsych's electronic
conferences, IPN has set up its own subscription list.  The
list is meant primary for people who have previously read the
newsletter on Usenet or non-InterPsych lists.

The resources necessary to run the list are donated generously
by the University of North Dakota. The list is owned by Joseph
Plaud, Ph.D., managing editor of the newsletter, and Ric
Ferraro, documents manager for the newsletter.

To subscribe to the newsletter via the listservice, sending a
message to: with the body of the
message: SUBSCRIBE IPN yourfirstname yourlastname.

Please note that if you are currently a member of one of
InterPsych's electronic conferences, you will receive the
newsletter automatically without having to subscribe via this
list. [SPS]


Starting December 3rd, 1994, InterPsych experienced one of the
liveliest discussions ever experienced on the Psychiatry forum,
with the lists Forensic-psychiatry and Psych-current issues
also involved.  The discussion was triggered by a Psychiatric
News article concerning a lawsuit against Thomas Szasz ("Szasz
settles suit for $650,000", Psychiatric News, Nov. 18, 1994).

Dr. Jeffry Schaler offered mailing of two files - the original
Psychatric News article and the log of the discussion - to
members of the discussion forum.

Due to an unexpectedly high number of requests, he had
to withdraw his offer and the InterPsych Newsletter has
volunteered to prepare the files for automatic retrieval.

These files are now stored on the InterPsych Newsletter
listserver and may be retrieved in the following fashion:

Send a message to: LISTSERV@VM1.NODAK.EDU subject
line empty and with the following lines in the body
of the message:


This is the Psychiatric News article concerning the
lawsuit against Dr. Szasz.  Send another message to the
same address with the following subject line:


This is the log file of the discussion, including all messages
directly related to the Szasz discussion, regardless of side of
the argument, compiled by Dr. Jeffry Schaler (9000+ lines!).

IPN would like to thank Dr. Jeffry Schaler for his meticulous
work on maintaining the log, for his collegiality in making
both of these files available, and for his assistance in
obtaining permission from Psychiatric News to redistribute
their original article.


At the annual International Society for Traumatic Stress
Studies Conference in Chicago, Dr. Charles Figley was presented
with the society's highest honour, the Pioneer Award.  This
award is given to honour lifetime achievement in the field of
traumatic stress.

Dr. Figley was the founding president of the International
Society of Traumatic Stress Studies. His role in the
development of the field of traumatic stress research and
practice is well recognized.  His books and articles are
required reading for those wishing to study and specialise in
traumatic stress.  His work has covered a variety of subject
areas including the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
on the family, family therapy and integrated approaches to
PTSD, and most recently, he has been developing the concept of
Compassion Fatigue to describe the reactions experienced by
mental health practitioners who work with traumatized people.

Dr. Figley is a professor at Florida State University and is
Director of the Psychosocial Stress Research Program.  He is
listowner of IP's traumatic-stress list and a member of the IP
board of directors.  His most recent research project is called
the Active Ingredient Series which is examining four methods of
treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder to discover what
parts of the treatments work to help sufferers recover.