Handbook of Personality Disorders PDF: Theory and Practice
|Author||Jeffrey J. Magnavita|
|File size||5.79 MB|
THE INSPIRATION FOR this volume emerged from my work over the past 20 years conducting psychodiagnostic assessments and practicing psychotherapy with children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly, first in an inpatient and then outpatient settings. What struck me was that across the spectrum of individuals and families that I encountered presenting with complex clinical syndromes was how many struggled with self-defeating and self-destructive personality patterns that were so difficult to impact with standard methods and techniques. With most clinicians, as it is with me, the compelling force that drives us is to reduce human suffering, and we often gain an understanding of our own suffering and developmental challenges. During a crisis or a major life transition, many have experienced personality “dysfunction,” but for most, this is short lived. Yet, for many others, as addressed in this volume, these patterns or systems are often entrenched, enduring, and chronically dysfunctioning. These dysfunctioning systems cause much disruption to the individual, family, and society. Attempting to understand this complex phenomenon that clinicians are faced with daily is challenging, fascinating, and often daunting. It is my hope that this volume clarifies some of these challenges and adds to our hope. It seems clear that the phenomenon we are dealing with, whether symptoms of clinical syndromes or relational disturbance, rests on the integrity of the personality system. If the personality system is not functioning especially well, trouble looms, symptom complexes emerge, and relationships falter. Clinical syndromes and symptom complexes are expressed sometimes somatically or psychologically but always in the relational matrix. In my diverse clinical work with individuals, couples, families, and groups, it has been clear to me that there is one central system that informs the way in which we conceptualize psychopathology; understand intrapsychic, interpersonal, and family functioning; and formulate our psychotherapeutic strategies. This central organizing system is personality. Although personality has been primarily conceptualized as housed in the individual or self-system, theoretical advances over the past century have underscored the necessity of expanding our conceptual field to other domains such as the interpersonal (dyadic), triadic (threesomes), and larger family and social systems that form the entire ecological system or biosphere.
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