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Shapiro, Y. (2018). Psychodynamic Psychiatry in the 21st Century: Constructing a Comprehensive Science of Experience. Psychodyn. Psych., 46(1):49-79.

(2018). Psychodynamic Psychiatry, 46(1):49-79

Psychodynamic Psychiatry in the 21st Century: Constructing a Comprehensive Science of Experience

Yakov Shapiro, M.D., F.R.C.P.(C.)

Psychodynamic psychiatry is not limited to psychotherapy practice. It is defined by systematic attention to the “common factors” underlying both psychotherapy and psychopharmacology outcomes, which include the patient's subjective systems of meaning and the complex flow of the patient-provider relationship in addition to the patient's “objective” psychopathology. It allows for a non-reductionist milieu where the meaning of the illness and the full complexity of the treatment process can be explored in order to achieve a qualitative and lasting change in the patient's psychopathology.

The author proposes an integrated psychobiological model of psychiatric care where attention to the patient's subjective experience and the unique flow of the patient-provider relationship stand on an equal footing with the patient's objective behavioral and symptomatic presentation. This model provides a common foundation for diverse psychopharmacological and psychotherapeutic interventions to enable a paradigm shift from symptom- or syndrome-focused approach to individualized, process-oriented philosophy of care. Psychodynamically informed treatment provision helps to unify psychiatric practice by integrating objective, subjective, and intersubjective science in order to construct a systematic science of experience.

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