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Psychoanalytic Diagnosis: Understanding Personality Structure in the Clinical Process
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Psychoanalytic Diagnosis: Understanding Personality Structure in the Clinical Process

4.31 of 5 stars 4.31  ·  rating details  ·  1,117 ratings  ·  26 reviews
This is the first text to come along in many years that makes psychoanalytic personality theory and its implications for practice accessible to beginning practitioners. The last book of its kind, which was published more than 20 years ago, predated the development of such significant concepts as borderline syndromes, narcissistic pathology, dissociative disorders and self- ...more
Hardcover, 398 pages
Published April 15th 1994 by The Guilford Press (first published 1994)
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I read this book to learn more about bipolar as I have a friend with this diagnosis. This book was recommended to me by another friend and I was glad I could get my hands on it.
Its written in professional language and sometimes it was hard to understand some things, because I'm not a doctor and psychology is just something of an interest of mine.
But it answered all my questions. It is a very interesting reading, but be prepared to what you might find out, the author just puts the info out there
Melanie Kirdasi
I had ordered this book to write a paper for a class but the book never arrived, luckily I came across the book several months later in the school library. Though it appears studious it is not a dry read. It is a thoughtful and reflective book that shows insight into the patient counselor relationship in a very humanistic way. The disorders that are covered in the book are of the more well known categories that a therapist is likely to encounter with patients but the authors understanding of the ...more
Jon Frederickson
In an era devoted to phenomenological diagnosis (listing observable symptoms), how refreshing it is to find a book like this which helps to explain what actually causes those symptoms so you know what to treat! A list of symptoms tells us what the problem is but not what causes those symptoms, what we actually have to treat in psychotherapy. McWilliams does a wonderful job helping the reader understand the patterns of human behavior that generate different symptom pictures. Further, she shows ho ...more
Nov 23, 2008 Patricia rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone interested in psychology
Recommended to Patricia by: Tony the psychoanalytical god
his is a must have primer for all who practice psychotherapy, counseling, etc. It was written to be such.

Each and every Axis II diagnosis is analyzed from the simply neurotic to the full blown personality disorder. and the good news is that she tells you what to do about it; how to approach each presentation, how to help each presentation.

so read it and find yourself, cringe, move on and read about your clients in a really refreshing and intelligent (not unreadable intellectual) format.

Nancy Mc
What a wonderful and clear picture of modern day psychoanalytic and psychodynamic approaches to understanding and treating the individual! McWilliam's conceptualization of different personality organizations (e.g., Obsessive-compulsive, depressive, anti-social, etc.) demonstrates a non pathological way of understanding how individuals operate in the world, as well as how these personality organizations can become pathological when their defining characteristics move too far along the spectrum to ...more
Without a doubt one of the best books on psychoanalytic theory. Nancy McWilliams is the writer that Freud wishes he was. Yes, I said it. Not only does she understand the analytic process, she makes sure the reader does as well.
Dec 19, 2007 David rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: psychologists
Shelves: psychology
Nancy McWilliams does a wonderful job of filling in the psychopathological gaps left in the DSM with psychodynamic theory. She explains the rich history of psychodynamic theory as well as the development of the disorders listed in the DSM. Her writing style is erudite yet down to earth. She comes across as having a delightful sense of humor which is no small task in a book covering this subject matter. I would highly recommend that all students of psychopathology read this book in addition of th ...more
If I must continuously read psychoanalytic theory for my licensing exam, than McWilliams is the author of choice. Her words flow effortlessly and her passion for her work is most palpable. I groan at some of the texts I've been referred to during my PsyD, however, this is one to which I frequently return to with great pleasure.
Sarah Evan
This book has integrated my first year or so of psychology classes (especially theories of personality, abnormal psychology and developmental theory) with the therapeutic lessons and practice I have had. IT IS SO HELPFUL in bringing all these topics together to apply to therapeutic practice. I can't wait to read more of her work!
Absolutely the best and most referred to explanation of personality structure I own (and I own a many). Clinically, it needs to be used as a supplement to more involved material but the case studies and personal anecdotes included in the book are quite helpful in illustrating concepts found elsewhere.
Nancy McWilliams is a wonderful writer. She writes in a way that makes psychoanalytic theory accessible to people at all levels of knowledge. She is very clear in using cases to illustrate her points, which, unlike your usual textbook, makes it fun to read.
Read this once years ago and loved it. Really helped me get a sense of what motivates some people and what certain behaviors are driven by. Was re-reading it for a while, but haven't picked it up lately. So I'm putting it on abandoned, for the second reading.
It's not every day that you find a writer like McWilliams, who can be so informative (without sacrificing complexity) and readable at the same time. I have never gone wrong with any of her books and this is no exception.
Jonathan Ridenour
I LOVE this book. It's a must read for anyone in psychology who isn't satisfied with the DSM-IV. It goes through the development of diagnosis and its implications for clinical work. Read all of McWilliams books, including PDM.
This is a very readable, accessible, and interesting text. However, without having a psychodynamic orientation, a lot of small things were grating or alarming. Good dimensional conceptualization of PDs.
May 11, 2009 Annalisa is currently reading it
It is a very interesting book, easy to read despite the complexity of the subject. It is intended for beginners therapists to support their diagnostic skills. Very good!
straightforward, clear, and modern psychoanalytic take that does a great job of filling in the gaps that DSM leaves by trying to fit people in neat little boxes
Excellent. Nancy McWilliams is so accessible and so clear in her presentation of material; this book is sure to impact how I practice, now and throughout my career.
Doug Diegert
Hard to imagine a textbook on psychoanalysis that reads like a bestselling novel but there it is. I could not put it down. I hope her other books are as good.
This is a gods-send for my clinical work! She really helps explain a non-pathological way at looking at personality structure.
Rod White
Whew! Intricate read for the budding therapist! I feel like I need to start over immediately! Fascinating and thorough.
Not only is the writing clear (which is a feat given the complexity of the content), but it's actually a good read.
Boy, I can't stand Freudians! But this one is bearable. I like what she has to say about workng with schizophrenics.
So far pretty good. I might even need to reread to take notes.
Whoa. Read what I could before I had to give it back to link plus.
Andria Craig
Andria Craig marked it as to-read
Jan 25, 2015
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Jan 25, 2015
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“Jedna z moich maniakalnych pacjentek opisała siebie jako wirujący bączek. Zdawała sobie sprawę z własnej potrzeby nieustannego poruszania się - bycie w ruchu broniło ją przed odczuwaniem czegoś bolesnego. Jednostki maniakalne obawiają się przywiązania, ponieważ boją się nieznośnego bólu w razie utraty bliskiej osoby. Na kontinuum osobowości od psychotycznej do neurotycznej zaburzenie maniakalne
plasuje się raczej w obszarze borderline i psychotycznym ze względu na zachodzące w nim stosunkowo prymitywne procesy. W konsekwencji wielu osobom w manii, hipomanii i cyklotymii grozi subiektywne odczucie dezintegracji Ja, przez psychologów nazywane fragmentacją Ja. Osoby w manii boją się po prostu tego, że jeśli się zatrzymają, rozpadną się na kawałki.”
“Patients with symptom neuroses feel on the side of the therapist in opposing a problematic part of the self. They rarely require a long period to develop a shared perspective. In contrast, those whose problems are complexly interwoven with their personality may easily feel alone and under attack.” 0 likes
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