Psychoanalytic Diagnosis Ch.1,2,3

(McWilliams) Ch. 1-3

Ch. 1

Diagnosis can benefit the following aspects when pursued with sensitivity and with adequate training:

  1. treatment plans
  2. prognosis
  3. enabling therapists to empathize
  4. protecting patients
  5. preventing patients from fleeing from treatments

McWilliams argues that faster gathering of information is better than simply (passively?) allowing the relationship to develop. I wonder whether this applies to everyone.


Psychoanalytic Diagnosis is different from Descriptive Psychiatric Diagnosis

  1. DSM lacks implicit definition of mental health and emotional wellness.
  2. DSM’s validity and reliability ????
  3. DSM, really a “medical model?”
  4. too much pharmaceutical companies’ influence…
  5. categorical diagnosis can cause self-estrangement!


Ch. 2

Character Diagnosis: Major clinical paradigms within psychoanalysis

  • Freud: drive theory- basis of fixation (At what early maturation phase is this person psychologically STUCK?)
  • Ego Psychology- Defenses (How does this person typically avoid anxiety?–in conflict with drive theory.)
  • Object relations traditions
  • Jung- archetypes
  • Murray- personology
  • Tomkins- script theory
  • Silberschatz- control-mastery theory
  • recent- attachment research, cognitive and affective neuroscience, …


Ch. 3

Developmental Levels of Personality Organization

  • level of character psychopathology?
  • Kraepelin: Neurosis v Psychosis
  • Ego Psychology: Symptom Neurosis, Neurotic Character, Psychosis
  • Object Relations: The Delineation of Borderline Conditions
  • Neurotic-Borderline-Psychotic Spectrum…





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