Handbook of Dynamic Psychotherapy for Higher Level Personality Pathology

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Offering a sophisticated introduction to a contemporary psychodynamic model of the mind and treatment, this book provides an approach to understanding and treating higher level personality pathology. It describes a specific form of treatment called "dynamic psychotherapy for higher level personality pathology" (DPHP), which was designed specifically to treat the rigidity that characterizes that condition. Based on psychodynamic object relations theory, DPHP is an outgrowth of transference-focused psychotherapy (TFP) and is part of an integrated approach to psychodynamic treatment of personality pathology across the spectrum of severity -- from higher level personality pathology, described in this volume, to severe personality pathology, described in a companion volume, Psychotherapy for Borderline Personality: Focusing on Object Relations. Together, they provide a comprehensive description of an object relations theory-based approach to treatment of personality disorders, embedded in an integrated model of personality.

As a guide to treatment, Handbook of Dynamic Psychotherapy for Higher Level Personality Pathology provides a clear, specific, and comprehensive description of how to practice DPHP from beginning to end, presented in jargon-free exposition using extensive clinical illustrations. The authors offer a comprehensive description of psychodynamic consultation that includes sharing the diagnostic impression, establishing treatment goals, discussing treatment options, obtaining informed consent, and establishing treatment frame. Throughout, the book emphasizes fundamental clinical principles that enable the clinician to think through clinical decisions moment-to-moment and also to develop an overall sense of the trajectory and goals of the treatment. Among the book's benefits: • Takes a diagnosis-driven approach, presenting a clear model of both the psychopathology and its treatment;• Explains underlying theory and basic elements of DPHP for those first learning dynamic therapy;• Offers an integrated, innovative synthesis of contemporary psychodynamic approaches to personality pathology and psychodynamic psychotherapy;• Describes goals, strategies, tactics, and techniques of the treatment to demonstrate its flexibility over a relatively long course of treatment;• Provides sophisticated discussion of integrating dynamic psychotherapy with medication management and other forms of treatment.

DPHP offers a broad range of patients the opportunity to modify maladaptive personality functioning in ways that can permanently enhance their quality of life. Handbook of Dynamic Psychotherapy for Higher Level Personality Pathology provides experienced clinicians with a hands-on approach to that method, and is also useful as a primary textbook in courses focusing on the technique of dynamic psychotherapy or in courses on psychodynamics.

American Psychiatric Publishing

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Editorial Reviews


As an extension of TFP to the therapy of higher level personality pathology, this text fills an important theoretical and clinical gap in the psychoanalytic literature. To my knowledge, it is the first psychoanalytic work to address work with this population. It expands psychoanalytic expertise into areas covered previously by cognitively oriented authors.

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Brett C. Plyler, M.D.(Northwestern Memorial Hospital)
Description: This is a manual for the treatment of patients with mild to moderate personality pathology.
Purpose: The purpose is present a clear, concise, systematic treatment approach for the treatment of neurotic level patients.
Audience: This book is written for anyone from experienced clinicians to beginning residents.
Features: The manual describes the treatment model of dynamic psychotherapy for higher level personality pathology (DPHP). This is an extension of transference-focused psychotherapy (TFP) which is the authors' treatment model for borderline personality disorder. The book begins with an exploration of psychodynamic therapy for personality pathology and specifically focuses on object relations. The second portion details the three levels of treatment: strategies (principles of DPHP), tactics (session to session guidelines), and techniques (interaction methods from moment to moment in the session). The last section covers patient assessment, phases of treatment, and combinations of therapy/medications.
Assessment: This is a very good book and methodology for the treatment of patients who are functional in most areas of their life but continue to have problems secondary to their personality issues. The breakdown of the guidelines from overall goals to moment to moment interactions in session is well done. The clinical examples are extremely useful in illustrating treatment points. The book is slightly simplistic in some areas as it tries to explain basic concepts to inexperienced clinicians. The references are excellent for anyone interested in further reading. Overall, I would recommend this book to beginning therapists and to experienced therapists looking for a fresh treatment approach with a particular subset of personality disordered patients.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585622122
  • Publisher: American Psychiatric Publishing, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/28/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 284
  • Sales rank: 1,290,785
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Eve Caligor, M.D., is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. She is a Training and Supervising Analyst and Director of the Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Division at Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research in New York City.

Otto F. Kernberg, M.D., is Director of the Personality Disorders Institute at the New York Presbyterian Hospital, Westchester Division, and Professor of Psychiatry at the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Medical College and Graduate School of Medical Sciences of Cornell University, New York City. He is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research and is a past president of the International Psychoanalytic Association.

John F. Clarkin, Ph.D., is Co-Director of the Personality Disorder Institute at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Westchester Division, and Clinical Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Medical College and Graduate School of Medical Sciences of Cornell University in New York City. He is Past President of the International Society for Psychotherapy Research.

American Psychiatric Publishing

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Table of Contents

Preface. Introduction and overview. Part I: Theoretical Understanding of Higher Level Personality Pathology. A psychodynamic approach to personality pathology. Internal object relations, mental organization, and subjective experience in personality pathology. Part II: Psychotherapeutic Treatment of Higher Level Personality Pathology. Introduction. The basic elements of DPHP. The strategies of DPHP and the treatment setting. The techniques of DPHP, part 1: listening to the patient. The techniques of DPHP, part 2: intervening. The tactics of DPHP. Part III: Patient Assessment, Phases of Treatment, and Combining DPHP With Other Treatments. Patient assessment and differential treatment planning. The phases of treatment. Combining DPHP with medication management and other forms of treatment. Concluding comments. References. Index.

American Psychiatric Publishing

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