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Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM): A New Approach to Diagnosis in Psychotherapy

This exciting, first of its kind, new course will teach you what the new PDM is all about and how to apply it to your practice

6 CE Credits/Hours - Online Course - $79.00

Developed by Birgit Wolz, Ph.D.

This course includes materials consisting of:

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General Course Description

Since the middle of the 20th century mental health providers have reached for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) as the prime reference source for diagnosing mental illness. Among other reasons the DSM has been criticized for exclusively relying on symptoms and arbitrarily made up patterns, artificially cutting off overlapping symptom patterns, reifying people and ignoring the subjective experience as well as the complexity of a person. The new 2006 Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM) remedies some of the limitations and shortfalls of the DSM.

The new PDM classification characterizes the whole person, as it allows a clinician to look in detail at each of the client's capacities. The entries include a description of the patient's symptoms with a focus on the client's internal experiences as well as surface behaviors. The PDM also incorporates possible etiologies, case histories and implications for treatment into the description of personality patterns and symptoms.

Because the PDM is a densely written book of 850 pages, learning to apply its content to effective use in clinical practice requires some guidance. Therefore, this course offers a systematized summary of the individual diagnoses and their implications for the therapeutic process. This course also illuminates the significance of the new manual for the field of psychotherapy and illustrates its accomplishments in the context of other diagnostic manuals.

This course is presented in four parts. Part I first describes the history of three diagnostic tools, the DSM, the ICD and the PDM. A summary of the most common concerns with the DSM follows. Subsequently, this part explores how the PDM addresses some of these concerns and other goals of the new manual. Part II represents the core of this training. It offers a systematized summary of the individual diagnoses of adult mental health disorders and their implications for the therapeutic process. The information is presented in a systematically structured bullet-point format that allows the reader to grasp the material easily and to use the training material as a reference tool in the future. In Part III the exploration of experiences with another psychodynamic manual, which has been used in Europe for more than a decade, offers insight into the possible impact that the PDM might have on the field of psychotherapy in the US. Some concluding thoughts about the PDM follow. In Part IV the reader can find references and resources of books and articles in print as well as on the Internet.

Educational Objectives

This course will teach psychotherapists to:

1.    Analyze the PDM in the context of the history of other diagnostic manuals.

2.    Critique how the PDM responds to concerns with the DSM.

3.    Efficiently utilize the information in clinical practice about diagnostic categories, possible etiologies and implications for treatment in the PDM.

4.    Summarize the possible impact of the PDM on the field of psychotherapy.

5.    Review concerns with the PDM.

Course Syllabus

    • DSM and ICD
      • DSM-I and ICD-6
      • DSM-II
      • DSM III and ICD-9
      • DSM-IV
      • The DSM 5 and ICD-10
    • PDM
    • Concerns with the DSM
    • Goals of the PDM
      • Remedy Some of the Limitations and Shortfalls of the DSM and the ICD
      • Provide a Grid for Understanding the Complexity of Health and Healthy Functioning
      • Provide an Analytically Framed View of People's Internal Experiences
      • Offer a Comprehensive Approach to Treatment
    • Dimension I: Personality Patterns and Disorders (P Axis)
      • Spectrum of Health
      • Diagnosing Personality Disorders
      • Healthy Personalities (Absence of Personality Disorder)
      • Neurotic-Level Personality Disorders
      • Borderline-Level Personality Disorders
      • Implications of the Severity Dimension for the Therapeutic Process
      • Types of Personality Disorders
    • Dimension II: Mental Functioning (M Axis)
    • Dimension III: Manifest Symptoms and Concerns (S Axis)
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