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This manual is based on current neuroscience and treatment outcome studies that demonstrate the importance of focusing on the full range and depth of emotional and social functioning. Beginning with a classification of the spectrum of personality patterns and disorders found in individuals and then describing a profile of mental functioning that permits a clinician to look in detail at each of the patient's capacities, the entries include a description of the patient's symptoms with a focus on the patient's internal experiences as well as surface behaviors. Intended to expand on the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)and ICD (International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems) efforts in cataloging the symptoms and behaviors of mental health patients, this manual opens the door to a fuller understanding of the functioning of the mind, brain, and their development.
Posted July 1, 2006
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. It becomes clear that there is a continuum from exploratory to supportive treatment that correlates roughly with the level-of-organization dimension. I believe that the PDM is a useful and invaluable resource for psychotherapists of most clinical orientations.
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Posted January 8, 2012
A very helpful alternative to the DSM approach to diagnosis. If, as a clinician, your goal is to help clients improve their lives and not just qualify for managed care authorizations or to prescribe medications, the PDM is a great aid in conceptualizing a case. It is especially helpful when organizing a large body of psychological testing data. There is enough overlap with standard DSM categories to make it easy to learn. You do not need to have a strong analytic orientation to find it useful as long as you are comfortable with a dynamic, developmental view of personality functioning. The fundamentally humanistic view in the PDM as opposed to the mechanistic DSM view makes translating diagnosis into treatment planning much easier. There are separate sections for adult, child/adolescent, and infant/toddler diagnostics, and a wealth of empirical evidence and well presented thinking that supports the effort. Belongs on every psychotherapist's shelf.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 18, 2010
Posted January 19, 2010
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