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Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual: (PDM) Paperback – May 28, 2006

4.6 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Emphasizes the importance of individual personality patterns...which qualify as full-blown disorders only at the extremes."  —The New York Times 

About the Author

The Alliance of Psychodynamic Organizations is a collaboration of the major psychoanalytic organizations including the American Psychoanalytic Association, International Psychoanalytical Association, the Division of Psychoanalysis of the American Psychological Association, American Academy of Psychoanalysis, and National Membership Committee on Psychoanalysis in Clinical Social Work.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 600 pages
  • Publisher: Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual; 1 edition (May 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976775824
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976775829
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 1.8 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #151,687 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Peter B. Dunn MD on June 16, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Finally the psychoanalytic world has produced a diagnostic manual that describes people in a way that is true to life since it incorporates symptoms, inner experiences and the person's strengths and weaknesses. This book at long last puts into black and white the diagnostic map that analysts have used for the past 30 years, though never as an authorized nosology. The result of the long delay is the sad truth that the DSM has had no competition. Wisely the authors--essentially everyone in field of note who has been interested in questions of diagnosis including Kernberg, Wallerstein, McWilliams and Drew Westen -- present the PDM as complementary to the DSM rather than as a replacement since the DSM is unfortunately too firmly entrenched to be dislodged. However the PDM really boils down to an alternative diagnostic system, which corrects the over-simplifications, some of the omissions and a lot of the implicit biological bias of the DSM. In the correcting-omissions-department the PDM restores some traditional personality types that are very common in office practice - like depressive and masochistic - that were left out of the DSM because politically important factions lobbied against their inclusion. The PDM also has restored 'borderline' to its more usual usage as a level of severity. Still, there are suprises in the PDM. Three new "personality types" are introduced, and without full explanation why. These are the the anxious, the dissociative and the somatizing personalities. Usually anxiety, somatization and dissociation are included as symptoms (which the PDM does as well) but here these pathologies are listed as defining personality types.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
When I first learned about the PDM, I was so intrigued about this much needed and exciting alternative to the DSM that I decided to develop a continuing education online course for psychotherapists, which provides a historical context and a systematized summary of the clinically most relevant part of the new manual. In this process I learned to appreciate that, unlike the DSM or the ICD, which focus exclusively on pathology, the PDM includes descriptions of healthy functional patterns and healthy personality. The new manual insists that personality be evaluated first, and symptoms considered as secondary, because symptoms cannot be understood, assessed, or treated in the absence of an understanding of the personality structure of the person who has the symptoms. While the PDM sees it as important to differentiate "personality disorder" from personality per se, the manual does not present a hard-and-fast dividing line between the two, but suggests a continuum of severity. In contrast to the DSM, the psychodynamic manual considers subjective experiences, typical relationship patterns, and ways of engaging in the therapeutic process in the description of a person's overall functioning. For each personality disorder, clinicians learn what transference and countertransference reactions to expect in the clinical hour and what treatment approach to consider. For many diagnoses the possible psychological roots of the client's problems are mentioned. The manual emphasizes that, depending on their evaluation of a client's location on this severity dimension, therapists need to behave with important differences in emphasis, level of activity, explicitness of boundary-setting, frequency of sessions, and other features of technique.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
This is a bold and accomplished attempt by the psychoanalytic collaborative to produce a diagnostic manual that respects the phenomenological astuteness of the DSM-IV-TR, whilst asssertively departing from it and offering a personality centred nosology for categorising psychological difficulties.

The PDM corrects what has long been the bain of psychologists and psychotherapists, namely, the DSM's prioritising of discreet Axis I disorders over an understanding of how these form a part of a person's overall orientation to self, others and the world. The PDM recognises the personality, both healthy and disordered, (the P Axis) as the basis for understanding psychological problems. It further offers the M Axis, that begins to provide measurable psychodynamic criteria for mental functioning that cuts across personality style. This axis introduces a way of thinking about the developmental (maturational) aspects of our psychology as pivotal to an understanding of psychological disorders. Finally, the PDM in its 3rd S Axis, outlines the Subjective Experience that characterises the typical DSM Axis I-like difficulties. Here the PDM explores affective, cognitive, somatic, and relationship patterns associated with psychological difficulties in a manner evocative of a CBT formulation. In fact, I hope that in future editions, more of the fine cross-sectional formulations that CBT is famous for will find its way into this manual.

Being versed in psychodynamic theory is not a pre-requisite for the use of this manual, although it could help. The PDM has attempted to move beyond and integrate and systematise the divergent streams of knowledge that make up psychodynamic theory today.
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