Corresponding Author Information: Emanuela Brusadelli

Session Abstract: The Second Edition of the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM-2) highlights the importance of the integration between a descriptive and functional understanding of clinical phenomena in order to enhance a person-based nosology. This presentation aims at discussing a clinical case of a patient suffering from generalized anxiety disorder, that is currently considered a controversial diagnosis, in order to illustrate some of the complexities and advantages of the PDM-2 model for psychodiagnostic description, case formulation, and treatment planning. To do so, we applied the Psychodiagnostic Chart - Second Edition (PDC-2) to an Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) transcript. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that pursued this goal. As a clinical and research method, the AAI represents a useful tool to explore patients’ mental states and internalized object relations, which are crucial aspects of personality organization. Furthermore, the Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition Axis I and Axis II (SCID-I and SCID-II) were used in order to code the S-Axis, and symptoms were discussed in light of the other PDC-2 sections. Results demonstrated how the PDC-2 can add further crucial information to what symptoms-based assessment tools already provide. Although there being no SCID-II personality disorders recorded, finer-grained analysis from the PDC-2 method showed an underlying borderline personality organization with highly relevant consequences on treatment planning. Indeed, this fundamental tool allows us to reflect on a wider range of patient’s issues that need to be addressed in treatment. For this reason, we stress the importance of the PDC-2 as a useful instrument in clinical assessment that could also provide a helpful dialogue frame for scholars with different theoretical backgrounds.


Emanuela Brusadelli | University of Wollongong

Eleonora Patriarca | University of Wollongong

Brin Grenyer | University of Wollongong

Dr. EmanuelaDr. Emanuela Brusadelli

Dr. Emanuela Brusadelli is Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at the University of Wollongong Australia, and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process, and Outcome (RIPPPO). Individual & Group Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist and Consultant of the 2nd ed. of the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM-2) edited by Vittorio Lingiardi and Nancy McWilliams, she's member of the Society for Personality Assessment (SPA), of the Italian Group for the Advancement of Psychodynamic Diagnosis (IGAPSYD), of the Society for Psychotherapy Research (SPR), and of the Society for Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Psychology (APA Div. 39).

Eleonara PatriarcaEleonora Patriarca

Eleonora Patriarca obtained her Master's Degree with honors in Clinical Psychology at the University of Rome "La Sapienza" and completed her post-graduate training in community mental health services for adults in Italy. In her previous positions, she worked as a Visiting Associate Fellow and Research Assistant at the University of Wollongong, Australia where she conducted scientific activities on themes concerning personality disorders. She is currently in private practice as a Clinical Psychologist in Rome, Italy.

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