Multiaxial Diagnosis

Getting Started

The Authentic Recovery Center is a dual diagnosis treatment program located in Southern California. We offer multiple levels of care designed to support people in any stage of the recovery process from alcoholism, addiction, drug abuse or dual diagnosis issues.

This section of the website discusses our comprehensive clinical evaluation process which includes a multiaxial diagnostic assessment. If you would like to speak with a counselor call 1 877 415 4673 now.

Learning More

Developing a treatment plan is similar in method to building a house. When building a house, the first step is to develop a sketch of what you want to build. In effective treatment, the treatment planning process is like that design sketch. It’s the vision of where to go and the stages required to get there.

The multiaxial diagnostic assessment is the foundation of the treatment plan, similar in significance to the design plan of the foundation when building a home. Without a strong foundation, a home will not stay standing and without an accurate multiaxial diagnosis a treatment plan will also eventually fail.

Quite literally, multiaxial diagnostic assessments are the most important part of developing an effective treatment plan.

What is a Multiaxial Diagnosis?

In simple terms, a multiaxial diagnosis is a system used to organize, prioritize, and classify illnesses and disorders. In a multiaxial diagnostic evaluation there are 5 levels of assessment that allow the clinical team an overview of a persons problems and potential issues. These problems and potential issues include factors interconnected to the patient’s psychology, neurochemistry, physiology and global level of functioning related to their drug abuse, chemical dependency and social issues.

Multiaxial diagnostic assessments are embodied by a system of evaluation protocols defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fourth Edition, commonly referred to as the DSM-IV-TR. This manual is developed and updated periodically by the American Psychiatric Association.

The five levels of the DSM are called “axes” and are defined as follows:


Axis I is reserved for clinical disorders, along with developmental and learning disorders. Some examples of disorders that may be present on Axis I are:


Axis II is reserved for personality disorders or mental handicaps. Some examples of disorders that may be present on Axis II are:


Axis III is reserved for medical and/or physical conditions and disorders. Some examples of conditions or disorders that may be present on Axis III are:

  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP)


Axis IV is reserved for factors contributing, or affecting, the current psychiatric disorder and treatment outcomes. Some examples of factors that may be present on Axis IV are:

  • Lack of an adequate support system
  • Social issues
  • Educational problems
  • Problems with work
  • Financial difficulties
  • Legal problems
  • Other psychosocial and environmental problems


Axis V is reserved for the GAF scale. GAF stands for “global assessment functioning”. This is a 100 point scale that the clinical team uses to describe and define each persons overall performance level in usual daily activities and social, occupational, academic and interpersonal functioning.

How the Multiaxial Assessment Drives the Treatment Planning Process at the Authentic Recovery Center

In many drug rehabilitation programs, the treatment planning process is one where the counselor “shoots from the hip” in the hopes of getting the treatment plan right. At ARC, the multiaxial diagnostic assessment allows the clinical team to understand from a fact-based perspective what the actual issues are.

This comprehensive evaluation process allows us to create individualized treatment plans that are designed to specifically address each persons precise set of problems and potential obstacles on their journey towards sustainable recovery.

Call to Speak with a Dual Diagnosis Counselor Today

If you would like to learn more about dual diagnosis treatment at the Authentic Recovery Centercall 1 877 415 4673 now. Our credentialed staff will help you learn more about how multiaxial diagnostic assessments greatly increase the effectiveness of inpatient short term rehab, residential long term rehab and outpatient treatment services.

Dual diagnosis treatment isn’t required for everyone, but when underlying issues have contributed to a lack of success in other treatment centers it is often time to consider enrollment in a program that specializes in providing dual diagnosis approaches for effective rehabilitation.

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      I’ve been to 4 other drug treatment centers. ARC provided me with more individual treatment than all the others. I am so very grateful I went there.

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      The experience I had at the Authentic Recovery Center changed my life. I had been to a lot of other treatment centers and none compared to ARC. The program is simply the best out there.

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