The most widely used diagnostic classification manuals such as the International Classification of Diseases (ICD; see World Health Organization, WHO, 1992) and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM; see American Psychiatric Association, APA, 2000), in their various editions, are based on a descriptive, atheoretic and substantially symptom-behavior oriented approach to psychopathology. This approach aroused various reactions in psychodynamic clinicians: disinterest, dissatisfaction, distrust, or even rejection. The appearance of assessment procedures and psychodynamic diagnostic manuals, well grounded in empirical research [such as the Shedler-Westen Assessment Procedure-200 (SWAP-200; Westen, Shedler, 1999a, b; Westen, Shedler, Lingiardi, 2003) and the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM; PDM Task Force, 2006), promoted a "cultural revolution" in the community of mental health professionals, emphasizing an approach to diagnosis closer to clinical practice and more consistent with psychotherapeutic interventions. There, diagnosis is not only a label, but also an evaluation process that links symptoms to personality context and leads to patient-tailored treatments.
Keywords: Psychodinamic diagnosis, psycopathology, SWAP, PDM, DSM