Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual, Second Edition

P Axis: Personality Syndromes in Adults

When clinicians talk about “personality” they tend to think about “personality disorders”, describing what someone has instead of who someone is. Diagnostic systems like the DSM focus on disorder constructs and observable behaviors or symptoms, without taking into account the whole person. However, people’s psychological problems are often complexly intertwined with their personality and need to be appreciated and understood in the context of the whole person.

The PDM-2 attempts to bridge this gap. Specifically, the P Axis (Personality) helps clinicians deepen their understanding of their clients and enhance their effectiveness, rather than merely describing “disorder” labels based on observable symptoms and behaviors.

The PDM-2 provides a useful perspective for clinicians of all and any theoretical orientations, who want to address the full range and depth of their clients’ psychological experience.

Click below to access an infographic with an overview of the “p axis”organization and structure


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