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Descriptive and dynamic psychiatry: a perspective on DSM-III
Am J Psychiatry 1981;138:1198-1202.
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Abstract

The APA Task Force on Nomenclature and Statistics attempted to make DSM- III a descriptive nosology that is atheoretical in regard to etiology. The authors believe that a sharp polarity between morphological classification and explanatory formulation is artificial and misleading, and they critically review DSM-III from a psychodynamic perspective. They compare and contrast the descriptive orientation in psychiatry with the psychodynamic orientation and conclude that the two approaches overlap, that they are complementary and necessary to each other, and that there is a descriptive data base underlying dynamic psychiatry which may be usefully included in future nomenclatures.

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