PDF On Being Normal and Other Disorders: A Manual for Clinical Psychodiagnostics

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The relation to the "Other" is central in Verhaeghe's conceptualization of pathology, and he explores the construction of identity, subject formation, fundamental fantasy, and actual pathology versus psychopathology. Verhaeghe then examines selected DSM disorders from a Freudo-Lacanian orientation, conceptualizing them through a three-pronged lens of neurosis, perversion, and psychosis. Language plays a prominent role in Verhaeghe's understanding of the construction of reality and power dynamics in the therapy relationship, and he frequently incorporates a sort of linguistic analysis.

On being normal and other disorders; a manual for clinical psychodiagnostics.

A potential link is there to the "narrative" in postmodern psychology. Many readers will likely be sympathetic to Verhaeghe's critique of pure behaviorism and symptom reduction as meager substitutes for a meaningful and applicable understanding of etiology, psychopathology, and treatment. His call for a research-based metapsychology is laudable.

However, the text is replete with unsubstantiated declarations such as "guilt is a central phenomenon that appears in nearly every form of pathology" or "depression begins when … the subject is convinced that she or he no longer satisfies the Other's desire. Despite the claims of being research based, Verhaeghe acknowledges that "there are no specifically Lacanian research instruments.

On Being Normal and Other Disorders

The language is unassuming, the reasoning is elegant, and the flow of ideas is smooth. Apart from a few points where the discrepancies in meaning between Dutch and English were too great to capture, the translator does an admirable job. Overall, this work masterfully brings to life a somewhat obscure area of psychoanalytic theory. Whether Verhaeghe succeeds in providing the missing metapsychology necessary for meaningful clinical psychodiagnostics will be up to the reader to determine.

But either way, the journey is enjoyable.

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On being normal and other disorders: a manual for clinical psychodiagnostics

Verhaeghe first book on mental illness exhibited in society in capitalist environment ; however this one is was a bit too heavy. Great book on the critique of psycho diagnostics of current methods and DSM , Unfortunately I could not get further than Metapsychology chapters for I found myself getting lost in the labyrinth of Lacan's mind ; Will be back when the time is right!


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