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From The CriticsReviewer: Brett C. Plyler, M.D. (Northwestern Memorial Hospital)
Description: This is the second edition of a book on the Operationalized Psychodynamic Diagnosis system established by a task force in Germany in 1992. The first edition was published in 1996.
Purpose: The purpose is to update and revise the original publication from a diagnostic tool to an instrument for treatment planning.
Audience: The book is written for therapists from analysts to psychiatrists who are interested in a psychodynamic classification system for patients.
Features: This is the result of the work of a task force with the mandate to create a psychodynamic classification system similar to ICD10 or DSM IV that could be used among therapists. The first edition focused primarily on providing a multi-axial, descriptive set for diagnostic purposes. This second edition changes in a number of ways: more focus on therapeutic processes; attempts to take into account a patient's strengths; better interface between axes; and improved to help determine therapeutic foci. The book begins with the theoretical ideas behind the system, then moves on to discuss both the operationalization and manualization of each axis in particular. A thorough section describes how to interview within the system and includes an extensive case example. The last sections deal with treatment planning, measurement of change, and different checklists for its application.
Assessment: This is a complex and interesting text. I wasn't aware of this movement to operationalize psychodynamic diagnoses and I think it shows promise. The book is thoroughly detailed and gives readers a good understanding of how the system works. However, it takes extensive training (60 hours or so) to learn the format for clinical practice. The case examples are excellent and clearly illustrate how this classification system could benefit a therapist. There is also a forensic subsection for those interested. I'm not sure how far this movement will spread, but I would recommend the book for any therapist interested in psychodynamic classification systems.