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Complexity of the Self: A Developmental Approach to Psychopathology and Therapy

Complexity of the Self: A Developmental Approach to Psychopathology and Therapy


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In this profound work, Vittorio Guidano expands upon his earlier seminal contributions on the application of cognitive and developmental principles to individuals struggling with various forms of psychopathology. Here, he fully develops the idea that individuals' experiences, both positive and negative, are powerfully influenced by their personal psychological organizations. Guidano illustrates how early developmental experiences and ongoing psychological processes may collude to perpetuate dysfunctional patterns and personal distress. The book contends that the deep structure or core organizing processes that constrain human psychological experience may be at the heart of successful intervention as well as the problems of resistance, relapse, and refractory behaviors. Guidano offers exciting ideas about how to conceptualize and facilitate change in the self system. The volume draws together many disparate themes from object relations theory, ego psychology, attachment theory, constructivist models of human cognition, and lifespan developmental psychology.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780898620122
Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
Publication date: 07/30/2007
Series: Guilford Clinical Psychology and Psychopathology Series
Pages: 268
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.75(d)

About the Author

Vittorio F. Guidano, MD, founded the Rome Center for Cognitive Therapy, where he serves as  Staff Psychiatrist, and is a founding member of the Italian Association for Cognitive Behavioral Therapies. From 1976 to 1986 he was Assistant Professor of Psychotherapy and Psychopathology at the School of Medicine of the University of Rome.

Table of Contents

I. Theoretical Principles
1. Introductory Notes on Self-Organized Complexity and a Systems Approach
2. A Motor-Evolutionary Perspective on Human Knowledge
3. On Selfhood Processes, Attachment, and Identity
II. Developmental and Organizational Models
4. Development
5. Organization
III. Toward a Systems/Process-Oriented Psychopathology
6. Patterns and Processes
7. The Depressive Cognitive Organization
8. The Agoraphobic Cognitive Organization
9. The Eating Disorders Cognitive Organization
10. The Obsessive Cognitive Organization
11. Principles of Lifespan Developmental Psychopathology
12. Concluding Remarks
Appendix: Some Strategic Principles for Cognitive Therapy


Must reading for the practicing professional, the helping apprentice, and anyone interested in glimpsing the cutting edge at the growing interface between cognitive and clinical science.

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