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Confusing Clusters: Ambiguity in Diagnosis and Treatment in Mental Health Care | Affective Disorders, ADHD, Borderline Personality, Trauma

In the world of mental health care, treatment is not always precise. In this program, we will examine a cluster of mental illnesses, their common indicators, and the best treatment options.

Key Program Information
Series Focus on Mental Health
Delivery Format Online

Address and Explore Confusing Clusters

How can we better address and identify mental illness in our clients? Due to the lack of biological markers, there is a significant amount of uncertainty in diagnosing certain mental health conditions. Clinicians are left trying to identify DSM-5 syndromes - that is, clusters of behaviors and emotional experiences that cause distress.

Given the lack of robust criteria, care providers are often faced with “confusing clusters” - disorders that overlap and treatments that seem to be treating “everything.” This program will address the confusion that arises in diagnosing and treating disorders in one of those clusters. 

Topics to be covered in the program include:

  • Breaking down “Major Depression”
  • The many types of Bipolar Disorder
  • Youth: ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder
  • The problem of Borderline Personality Disorder and Trauma Disorders
  • Treatment options

Course Objectives:

  1. Discuss the reasons that the boundaries between psychiatric illnesses remain confusing and the diagnoses often remain unclear
  2. Examine specific diagnoses where uncertainty is particularly high and discuss relevant clinical findings and diagnostic scales
  3. List the non-specific treatment effects of various medications used for several different illnesses.
  4. Evaluate the accuracy of the diagnoses of their clients
person conversing with a therapist

Who Should Attend

health and human services professionals, therapists, social workers


  • Headshot of David Mays

    Dr. David Mays (MD, Ph.D.) is a forensic psychiatrist and directed the forensic program at the Mendota Mental Health Institute in Madison, WI for 13 years. He serves on the clinical faculty at UW–Madison. Dr. Mays is the recipient of the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, The Distinguished Service Award from the Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Dane County, and the Exceptional Performance Award from the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services. He has treated patients in hospital and outpatient settings with co-morbid substance use problems for 20 years. He is a seasoned clinician and highly sought-after presenter.

CEU Information

Participants will earn 2 Contact Hours upon completion of this program.

Additional CEU Information by Profession: 

Wisconsin Social Workers

Our programs qualify as continuing education offered by an accredited university. The State Board recognizes contact hours for all listed programs.

Wisconsin Substance Abuse Counselors

The Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services approves contact hours for programs consisting of relevant content taught by qualified presenters. Contact our office with questions about specific program approvals.

Wisconsin Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists

Our programs qualify as required continuing education offered by an accredited university. The State Board recognizes contact hours for all programs.

Wisconsin Licensed Counselors

Our programs qualify as required continuing education offered by an accredited university. The State Board recognizes contact hours for all programs.

Wisconsin Educators and School Psychologists

Continuing education programs from the University of Wisconsin campuses may qualify toward your Professional Development Plan (PDP).

Other Professions

Contact your professional board or organization for specific continuing education requirements.

Disability Accommodations

UW-Eau Claire Continuing Education encourages children and adults with disabilities or other special needs to participate in our programs whenever possible. If you require a reasonable accommodation, please notify us at least two weeks in advance of the program so that appropriate arrangements can be made. Contact Continuing Education at 715-836-3636 / toll-free 866-893-2423, or use the Wisconsin Relay System (711). All requests are kept confidential.

An EEO/Affirmative Action employer, University of Wisconsin provides equal opportunities in employment and programming, including Title IX and ADA requirements.

Cancellation Policy

We understand life happens. Should you need to cancel your registration, you may substitute someone to take your place, at any time, at no cost to you. If we cancel a program, we’ll give you your money back.

If your program is 14 or more days away:
You may transfer once to any currently available program – no charge!
If you have to cancel, you will receive a refund, minus a 20% administrative fee.

If your program is less than 14 days away:
You may transfer once to any currently available program, plus a 20% transfer fee.
If you cancel, you will not receive a refund.

If you are registered and do not attend the program, you are responsible for the full fee.

Substitution, refund or transfer requests must be submitted in writing to UW-Eau Claire Continuing Education.

There are currently no upcoming dates for this program. To make sure you are notified when dates are scheduled, please join our mailing list.

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Phone: 715-836-3636
Toll Free: 866-893-2423

103 Garfield Avenue
Vicki Lord Larson Hall 1108
Eau Claire, WI 54701

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