Click here to download

The long journey of psychodynamic diagnosis
Author/s: Nancy McWilliams 
Year:  2018 Issue: Language: Italian 
Pages:  14 Pg. 183-196 FullText PDF:  61 KB
DOI:  10.3280/PU2018-002002
(DOI is like a bar code for intellectual property: to have more infomation:  clicca qui   and here 

The issue of psychodynamic diagnosis, and its difference from the descriptive approaches of the DSM and ICD systems, are discussed, and the Second Edition of the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM-2) is presented. In particular, some differences from the First Edition of PDM of 2006 are highlighted: a new section for the Elderly, the separation between Childhood and Adolescence sections, the widening of mental capacities in Axis M, the introduction of a psychotic personality organization, the inclusion and description of several assessment instruments, the introduction of borderline personality in addition to borderline level of organization, etc. The conceptualization of personality (Axis P) according to PDM-2 and the levels of personality organizations (healthy, neurotic, borderline, and psychotic) are presented with more detail, and some unsolved controversies are mentioned.
Keywords: PDM-2; Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual; Psychodynamic diagnosis; Personality organization; Bor-derline personality

  1. American Psychiatric Association (1980). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 3rd Edition (DSM-III). Washington, D.C.: APA (trad. it.: DSM-III. Manuale diagnostico e statistico dei disturbi mentali. Terza edizione. Milano: Masson, 1983).
  2. American Psychiatric Association (1994). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM IV). Washington, D.C.: APA. DSM-IV-TR: 2000 (trad. it. basata sulla “Versione internazionale con i codici dell’ICD-10” del 1995: DSM-IV. Manuale diagnostico e statistico dei disturbi mentali, 4a edizione. Milano: Masson, 1995; DSM-IV-TR [2000]: 2001).
  3. American Psychiatric Association (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). Washington, D.C.: APA (trad. it.: DSM-5. Manuale diagnostico e statistico dei disturbi mentali. Quinta edizione. Milano: Raffaello Cortina, 2014).
  4. American Psychological Association (2012). Recognition of psychotherapy effectiveness. Psychotherapy, 2013, 50, 1: 102-109.
  5. Barron J.W., editor (1998). Making Diagnosis Meaningful: Enhancing Evaluation and Treatment of Psychological Disorders. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association (trad. it.: Dare un senso alla diagnosi. Milano: Raffaello Cortina, 2005).
  6. Blatt S.J. (2006). Una polarità fondamentale in psicoanalisi: implicazioni per lo sviluppo della personalità, la psicopatologia e il processo terapeutico. Psicoterapia e Scienze Umane, XL, 4: 743-764.
  7. Blatt S.J. (2008). Polarities of Experiences: Relatedness and Self-definition in Personality Development, Psychopathology and the Therapeutic Process. Foreword by Peter Fonagy. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.
  8. Blatt S.J. & Levy K.N. (1998). A psychodynamic approach to the diagnosis of psychopathology. In: Barron, 1998, pp. 73-109 (trad. it.: Un approccio psicodinamico alla diagnosi della psicopatologia. In: Barron, 1998, pp. 79-113).
  9. Eagle M.N. & Wolitzky D.L. (2011). Systematic empirical research versus clinical case studies: a valid antagonism? Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 59, 4: 791-817., DOI: 10.1177/0003065111416652
  10. Garrett M. & Turkington D. (2011). CBT for psychosis in a psychoanalytic frame. Psychosis, 3: 1: 2-13., DOI: 10.1080/17522439.2010.544403.
  11. Gordon R.M. (2009). Reactions to the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM) by psychodynamic, CBT, and other non-psychodynamic psychologists. Issues in Psychoanalytic Psychiatry, 31: 55-62.
  12. Gordon R.M. & Bornstein R.F. (2017). Construct validity of the Psychodiagnostic Chart: A transdiagnostic measure of personality organization, personality syndromes, mental functioning, and symptomatology. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 34, 1: 1-9.
  13. Grenyer B.F.S. (2002). Mastering Relationship Conflicts: Discoveries in Theory, Research and Practice. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.
  14. Grenyer B.F.S. (2018). Revising the diagnosis of personality disorder: Can it be single, clinical and factorial? Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 52, 2: 202-203., DOI: 10.1177/0004867417741984.
  15. Hirschfeld R.M.A. (1991). Depressive illness: Diagnostic issues. Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic, 55, 1: 144-155.
  16. Hoffman I.Z. (2009). Doublethinking our way to “scientific” legitimacy: The desiccation of human experience. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 57, 5: 1043-1069.
  17. Kernberg O.F. (1981). Structural interviewing. Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 4, 1: 169-195 (trad. it.: La intervista strutturale. Psicoterapia e Scienze Umane, 1983, XVII, 4: 22-55). Anche in: Kernberg, 1984, cap. 2, pp. 27-51.
  18. Kernberg O.F. (1984). Severe Personality Disorders. Psychotherapeutic Strategies. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press (trad. it.: Disturbi gravi della personalità. Torino: Bollati Boringhieri, 1987. Cap. 2: Kernberg, 1981).
  19. Lambert M.J., editor (2013). Bergin and Garfield’s handbook of Psychotherapy and Behavior Change. New York: Wiley.
  20. Lingiardi V. & McWilliams N., editors (2017). Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual, Second Edition: PDM-2. New York: Guilford (trad. it.: Manuale diagnostico psicodinamico. Seconda Edizione: PDM-2. Milano: Raffaello Cortina, 2018).
  21. Lingiardi V. & McWilliams N. (2018). Introduction to the Special Issue on the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual, 2nd Edition (PDM-2). The PDM: Yesterday, today, tomorrow. Psycho-analytic Psychology, 35, 3, in stampa.
  22. McWilliams N. (1994). Psychoanalytic Diagnosis. Understanding Personality Structure in the Clinical Process. New York: Guilford (Second Edition: 2011) (trad. it.: La diagnosi psicoanalitica: struttura della personalità e processo clinico. Roma: Astrolabio, 1999; Seconda edizione: 2012).
  23. PDM Task Force (2006). Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM). Silver Spring, MD: Alliance of Psychoanalytic Organizations (trad. it.: PDM. Manuale Diagnostico Psicodinamico. Milano: Raffaello Cortina, 2008). Precedente ediz. delle pp. 691-764 dell’ediz. orig. (pp. 565-658 della trad. it.): Westen, Morrison Novotny & Thompson-Brenner, 2004.
  24. Sharp C., Wright A.G.C., Fowler J.C., Frueh B.C., Allen J.G., Oldham J. & Clark L.A. (2015). The structure of personality pathology: Both general ('g') and specific ('s') factors? Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 124, 2: 387-398.
  25. Shedler J. (2017). Selling bad therapy to trauma victims: Patients and therapists should ignore new guidelines for treating trauma. Psychology Today, November 9, 2017: https://
  26. Shedler J. (2018). Where is the evidence for “evidence-based” therapy? Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 41, 2: 319-329.
  27. Westen D., Morrison Novotny K. & Thompson-Brenner H. (2004). The empirical status of empirically supported psychotherapies: Assumptions, findings, and reporting in controlled clinical trials. Psychological Bulletin, 130, 4: 631-663.
  28. World Health Organization (WHO) (1992). The ICD-10 Classification of Mental Disorders and Behavioral Disorders: Clinical Descriptions and Diagnostic Guidelines. Geneva: WHO (trad. it.: ICD-10. Decima Revisione della Classificazione Internazionale delle Sindromi e dei Disturbi Psichici e Comportamentali: Descrizioni Cliniche e Direttive Diagnostiche. Milano: Masson, 1992).
  29. World Health Organization (WHO) (2018). The ICD-11 Classification of Mental, Behavioural or Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Geneva: WHO.

Nancy McWilliams, The long journey of psychodynamic diagnosis in "PSICOTERAPIA E SCIENZE UMANE" 2/2018, pp. 183-196, DOI:10.3280/PU2018-002002


FrancoAngeli is a member of Publishers International Linking Association a not for profit orgasnization wich runs the CrossRef service, enabing links to and from online scholarly content