Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual – PDM First Ed. (Hardcover)


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The Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM) is a diagnostic handbook similar to the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) or the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The PDM was published on May 28, 2006.

The information contained in the PDM was collected by a collaborative task force which includes members of the American Psychoanalytic Association, the International Psychoanalytical Association, the Division of Psychoanalysis (Division 39) of the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry, and the National Membership Committee on Psychoanalysis in Clinical Social Work.

Although it is based on current neuroscience and treatment outcome studies, Benedict Carey pointed out in an 2006 New York Times article that many of the concepts in the PDM are adapted from the classical psychoanalytic tradition of psychotherapy. For example, the PDM indicates that the anxiety disorders may be traced to the “four basic danger situations” described by Sigmund Freud (1926) as the loss of a significant other; the loss of love; the loss of body integrity; and the loss of affirmation by one’s own conscience. It uses a new perspective on the existing diagnostic system as it enables clinicians to describe and categorize personality patterns, related social and emotional capacities, unique mental profiles, and personal experiences of the patient.

The PDM is not intended to compete with the DSM or ICD. The authors report the work emphasizes “individual variations as well as commonalities” by “focusing on the full range of mental functioning” and serves as a “[complement to] the DSM and ICD efforts in cataloguing symptoms. The task force intends for the PDM to augment the existing diagnostic taxonomies by providing “a multi dimensional approach to describe the intricacies of the patient’s overall functioning and ways of engaging in the therapeutic process.”.

With the publication of the DSM-3 in 1980, the manual switched from a psychoanalytically influenced dimensional model to a “neo-Kraepelinian” descriptive symptom-focused model based on present versus absent symptoms. The PDM provided a return to a psychodynamic model for the nosological evaluation of symptom clusters, personality dimensions, and dimensions of mental functioning.


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