The keynote address held by Nancy McWilliams on the occasion of the Italian presentation of the Second Edition of the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM-2) is briefly introduced. Nancy McWilliams’ keynote address is defined as "a perfect example of equilibrium between life and thought", and seen in the scientific and interpersonal contexts of the birth of PDM-2. It is emphasized the role played by some authors - such as Sidney Blatt, Jonathan Shedler, Drew Westen, Otto Kernberg, Allen Frances, etc., whose papers appeared also in the journal Psicoterapia e Scienze e Umane - who contributed to the creation of a "diagnostic sensibility" among Italian clinicians. Finally, the overall structure of PDM-2 is described, and Karl Jaspers’ exhortation according to which «every diagnostic system must remain a torment» is reminded, in light of the necessary tension between the unique aspects of the single patient and the need of seeing them within a general theoretical framework.
Keywords: PDM-2; Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual; Psychodynamic diagnosis; Psychoanalytic Diagnosis; Personality organization