Introduction to the JPA special issue: Can the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual put the complex person back at the center-stage of personality assessment? Article (Faculty180)

cited authors

  • Huprich, Steven K; Meyer, Gregory J


  • We briefly introduce this special issue, which focuses both on the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM) and the practice of idiographic, depth-oriented personality assessment. The 7 articles in this issue are diverse in scope but all address these 2 important topics. To set the stage, the special issue opens with a description of the history behind, the purposes of, and the steps taken to develop the PDM, and the next article provides a compelling illustration of depth-oriented personality assessment in the context of a long-term course of psychodynamic treatment. The third and fourth articles describe how the PDM model fosters attention to dynamic processes, not just overt symptoms, and they articulate the challenges and benefits of integrating this model into both the revitalized practice of assessment and diagnosis and the research avenues that will evaluate its validity and utility. The fifth article provides a broad overview of interesting experimental research on implicit processes from personality, social, and cognitive psychology, with implications for understanding and assessing dynamic processes. The sixth article illustrates how a PDM-based assessment of an adolescent boy helpfully contributed to his psychodynamic therapy. Finally, the issue closes with an illuminating article describing a PDM-based training model for the graduated development of assessment and diagnosis skills in a doctoral program. Overall, this special issue helps show how the PDM can invigorate multimethod personality assessment by placing the complex idiographic understanding of a person at the center-stage in the assessment process.

publication date

  • 2011

published in

start page

  • 109

end page

  • 11


  • 93