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Waugaman, R.M. Korn, M. (2018). Lingiardi and McWilliams: Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual(R. M. Waugaman and M. Korn). Psychoanal Q., 87(4):861-873.

(2018). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 87(4):861-873

Lingiardi and McWilliams: Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual(R. M. Waugaman and M. Korn)

Review by:
Richard M. Waugaman

Miriam Korn, (CHEVY CHASE, MD)

In 2006, the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM) was introduced to dynamically oriented clinicians as an alternative to the theoretically “atheoretical” but actually heavily biological DSM-IV. The latter is categorical, whereas the PDM is dimensional, and thus more accurate in coping with the complexity of patients in real-world treatment, as contrasted with the needs of researchers to minimize variables in selecting volunteers for their research needs. The first PDM was a welcome contribution from the late Editor-in-Chief Stanley Greenspan. His co-editor was Nancy McWilliams. She serves as co-editor of this second edition of the PDM, along with Vittorio Lingiardi. The first PDM, like the second edition, highlights the enormous amount of research that supports psychoanalytic theories. It was criticized by a minority of analysts who reject diagnosis and quantitative research as irrelevant to a psychodynamic framework. The research sections of the book will be of special interest to colleagues who conduct research. For the rest of us, it can help sharpen our assessment skills, whether at the evaluation stage, or much later, when unforeseen obstacles arise in psychotherapy or analysis. As the manual admits, “Some of the [research] tools we describe are also time-consuming, and this feature may discourage their use in routine clinical practice” (p. 891). The research focus may indeed enhance the legitimacy of the psychodynamic perspective in mental health fields. All royalties of this best-selling book will help fund future research.

There are 18 chapter editors, and “Consultants” too numerous to count. Half of the chapter editors live outside the United States, which may help shield them from undue influence by Big Pharma (which seems to control DSM).

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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