On Being Normal and Other Disorders: A Manual for Clinical Psychodiagnostics

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Other Press, LLC, Nov 17, 2004 - Psychology - 528 pages
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Winner of the 2005 Goethe Award in Psychoanalytic Scholarship

The central argument of On Being Normal and Other Disorders is that psychic identity is acquired through one's primary intersubjective relationships. Thus, the diagnosis of potential pathologies must also be founded on this relation. Given that the efficacy of all forms of treatment depends upon the therapeutic relation, a diagnostic of this sort has wide-ranging applications.

Paul Verhaeghe's critical evaluation of the contemporary DSM-diagnostic shows that the lack of reference to an updated governing metapsychology impinges on the therapeutic value of the DSM categories. In response to this problem, the author sketches out the foundations of such a metapsychology by combining a Freudo-Lacanian approach with contemporary empirical research. Close attention is paid to the processes of identity acquisition to show how the self and the Other are not two separate entities. Rather, subject formation is seen as a process in which both the subject's and the Other's identity, as well as the relationship between them, comes into being.

By engaging this new theoretical approach in a constant dialogue with the findings of contemporary research, this book provides a compass for the practical applications of such a differential diagnostic. Post-modern categories of anxiety disorders, personality disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorders are approached both through the well-known neurotic, psychotic, and perverse structures, as well as through the less familiar distinction between an actual pathology and a psychopathology. These two outlooks, which involve the role of language and the subject's relation to the Other, are spelled out to show their implications for treatment at every turn.
 

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Contents

Introduction Clinical Psychodiagnostics versus Medical Diagnostics
3
Categorical Diagnostics versus Clinical Praxis A Matter of impossibility
19
The Impotence of Epistemology
37
Knowhow in Clinica Practice Doxa as the Result of Impotence and Impossibility
71
Conclusion The Need for a Metapsychology
127
METAPSYCHOLOGY
149
Identity as a Relational Structure
153
Defense in Double Time A Linear Model
181
POSITIONS AND STRUCTURES OF THE SUBJECT
283
The Actualpathologica Position Panic Disorder and Somatization
289
Between Actualpathology and Psychopathology PostTraumatic Stress Disorder and Borderline
313
The Psychopathological Position of the Subject Hysteria and Obsessional Neurosis
351
Perverse Structure versus Perverse Traits
397
The Psychotic Structure of the Subject
429
DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT
459
References
465

From a Linear to a Circular Mode On Becoming a Subject
207
Etiology and Evolution Nature Nurture and the Theory of the Drive
235
Conclusion The Subjects Position in Relation to Anxiety Guilt and Depression
259

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About the author (2004)

Paul Verhaeghe

Paul Verhaeghe is senior professor at the University of Ghent (Belgium) and head of the Department for Psychoanalysis and Counseling Psychology. He teaches clinical psychodiagnostics and psychoanalytic psychotherapy and works as a psychoanalyst in private practice as well. He is the author of Does the Woman Exist? (1999) and On Being Normal and Other Disorders (2004), which won the Goethe Award for Psychoanalytic Scholarship, all available from Other Press.

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