Phenomenological Psychology

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Entries from May 2009

Borderline Personality Disorder Reconsidered

May 28th, 2009 · 6 Comments

Overview of Disorder Borderline Personality Disorder (“BPD”) is an Axis II Cluster B personality disorder. It is defined at DSM-IV-TR 301.83 as a “pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, and marked impulsivity beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts.” Five or more of the following nine symptoms […]

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Theories of Personality – Freud, Jung, Adler, Erikson, Horney, Kohut, Bowlby – Questions and Answers

May 26th, 2009 · No Comments

QUESTION: You have a few moments to review your notes from your intake last week. Remember Susan, the 42 year-old woman who feels depressed? She was the one whose daughter is happily married and her son is away at college. She now feels alone and unfulfilled in a boring marriage and a lonely house. What […]

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What Are the Similarities and Differences between the Major Mood Disorders?

May 26th, 2009 · 6 Comments

Classification The term “mood disorder” is a misnomer because it suggests a temporary state of mind or feeling, as in “being in a bad mood.”  Another common meaning defines mood as an artifact or precipitate of a socio-psychological situation, as in “the mood of the room.”  The DSM however uses the term “mood” in a […]

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What is Social Phobia (Social Anxiety Disorder)?

May 26th, 2009 · No Comments

Social Phobia is defined at DSM-IV-TR 300.23 as follows: A.            A marked and persistent fear of one or more social or performance situations in which the person is exposed to unfamiliar people or to possible scrutiny by others.  The individual fears that he or she will act in a way (or show anxiety symptoms) that will […]

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What Is Adjustment Disorder?

May 26th, 2009 · No Comments

Overview of Disorder Classification.  Adjustment disorders are a psychological reaction to stress.  They were not recognized as a distinct pathology until DSM-II (1968).  The diagnostic criteria now are set forth at DSM-IV-TR 309 (1994) as follows: A. The development of emotional or behavioral symptoms in response to an identifiable stressor(s) occurring within 3 months of […]

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What Are Some of the Issues with DSM-IV?

May 26th, 2009 · No Comments

Defining who is normal and who is mad is fraught with peril.  The modern history of insanity begins in the thirteenth century when “leprosy” became a popular catch-all diagnosis.  At one time there were as many as 19,000 leprosariums in Europe alone.  By the middle of the fifteenth century however leprosy had spontaneously regressed.  It […]

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Theories of Personality – Klein, Kohut, Horney, Bowlby, Erikson – Questions and Answers

May 21st, 2009 · No Comments

QUESTION: Your last patient of the day is severely depressed. At 41 he still is terrified about getting into a relationship with a woman. As you think about his childhood you recall his father died when he was five. His mother worked full time trying to manage with four children and was not an especially […]

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Theories of Personality – Freud, Adler, Jung – Questions and Answers

May 20th, 2009 · No Comments

QUESTION: “I can’t stand my brother,” your 10:00 client exclaims. “He’s always trying to control me. I can never talk to him without his getting defensive. I can’t share feelings, I can’t set boundaries, I can’t be in the same room with him without his needing to dominate the conversation. He’s totally neurotic!” If you […]

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The Automaticity of Everyday Life

May 9th, 2009 · No Comments

This is a famous 1984 paper by the psychologist John A. Bargh.  In it he advances the hypothesis and marshalls experimental evidence for the proposition that social behavior and psychological phenomena (including the concept of “self” and the idea of “consciousness”) is “automatic in nature.”  By this he means we have no need to postulate […]

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Neurological Correlates for Winnicott’s Theory of the “True Self” and the “False Self”

May 5th, 2009 · 3 Comments

There is no evidence that Winnicott was interested in, or even aware of, developments in cognitive neuroscience.  That being so, his theory of the opposition between the “true self” and the “false self” in the developmental life of the child is remarkably consistent with what we now know about neural plasticity. Brain activity is lateralized […]

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