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Fridays @CCP: Rethinking Madness: An Argument for a Dimensional Understanding of Psy-chopathology (Nancy McWilliams, PhD, ABPP)

  • 12 May 2023
  • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM (CDT)
  • Zoom
  • 148


  • If you are a current CCP member, events are free of charge.
  • Non-CCP members who are also not students

Registration is closed


(Details at registration)

Fridays @CCP

Nancy McWilliams, PhD, ABPP

(Newark, NJ)

Friday, May 12, 2023

Rethinking Madness: An Argument for a Dimensional Understanding of Psychopathology 

7-9pm (CST): ZOOM

About the presentation: The intentionally “neo-Kraepelinian” orientation (categorical concepts, with present-versus-absent criteria) of the current DSM and ICD taxonomies are inconsistent with clinical experience. In the DSM, for example, there are only a limited number of conditions labeled as psychotic. Many clinicians, in contrast, have viewed psychopathology dimensionally, inferentially, and contextually, using the term “psychotic” in broader ways. In that tradition, this talk will argue for a psychotic level of many psychological conditions that bring individuals to treatment, not merely the schizophrenic illnesses and psychotic mood disorders. Emphasis will be put on the clinical value of construing psychopathology dimensionally.

Nancy McWilliams, PhD is a retired professor of clinical psychology at Rutgers University’s Graduate School of Applied & Professional Psychology and practices in Lambertville, New Jersey. She is author of Psychoanalytic Diagnosis (1994, rev. ed. 2011), Psychoanalytic Case Formulation (1999), Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (2004) and Psychoanalytic Supervision (2021) and is associate editor of both editions of the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (2006, 2017). A former president of Division 39 (Psychoanalysis) of the American Psychological Association, she has been featured in three APA videos of master clinicians. She is on the Board of Trustees of the Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge, MA. Her books are available in 20 languages, and she has taught in 30 countries.

Learning Objectives

Following this presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Compare and contrast a dimensional, inferential, and contextual conceptualization of psychosis with contemporary descriptive and categorical diagnostic conventions;
  2. Name three psychopathologies for which there is evidence of their existing along a spectrum from healthy to psychotic.

This is an Intermediate Level Presentation


CCP members: free with annual $175 membership, payable at registration.

Students:free with annual $150 membership, payable at registration.

Fellows: free with annual $150 membership, payable at registration.
Non-CCP members, single admission: $50*

*For this event you may invite a friend to register with our compliments.

Continuing Education
This program is sponsored for Continuing Education Credits by the Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis. There is no commercial support for this program, nor are there any relationships between the continuing education sponsor, presenting organization, presenter, program content, research, grants or other funding that could be construed as conflicts of interest. Participants are asked to be aware of the need for privacy and confidentiality throughout the program. If the program content becomes stressful, participants are encouraged to process these feelings during discussion periods. The Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis maintains responsibility for this program and its content. CCP is licensed by the state of Illinois to sponsor continuing education credits for Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Social Workers, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors, Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapy Counselors and Licensed Clinical Psychologists (license no. 159.000941 and 268.000020 and 168.000238 Illinois Dept. of Financial and Professional Regulation).

Professionals holding the aforementioned credentials will receive 2.0 continuing education credits for attending the entire program. To receive these credits a completed evaluation form must be turned in at the end of the presentation and licensed psychologists must first complete a brief exam on the subject matter. No continuing education credit will be given for attending part of the presentation. Refunds for CE credit after the program begins will not be honored. If a participant has special needs or concerns about the program, s/he/they should contact Toula Kourliouros Kalven by May 11, 2023 at: tkalven@ccpsa.org

References/Suggested Readings

Garrett, M. (2019). Psychotherapy for psychosis: Integrating cognitive-behavioral and psychodynamic treatment. New York: Guilford.

Gordon, R. M. (2009), Reactions to the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM) by Psychodynamic, CBT and other non-psychodynamic psychologists. Issues in Psychoanalytic Psychiatry, 31, 55–62.

Lingiardi, V., & McWilliams, N. (Eds.) (2017). Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual, 2nd ed. New York: Guilford Press. 

McWilliams, N. (2021). Diagnosis and its discontents: Reflections on our current dilemma. Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 41(8), 565-579.

Sharp, C., Wright, A. G. C., Fowler, J. C., Frueh, B. C., Allen, J. G., Oldham, J., & Clark, L. A. (2015). The structure of personality pathology: Both general (‘g’) and specific (‘s’) factors? Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 124(2), 387-398. 

Presented by

The Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis/CCP Program Committee: Carol Ganzer, PhD, Toula Kourliouros Kalven,  Alan Levy, PhD.

The Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis is an IRS 501(C)(3) charitable organization, and expenses may be tax deductible to the extent allowed by law and your personal tax situation.

"Nothing human is alien to me"  --Terrence

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Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis & Psychotherapy is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. PO Box 6095, Evanston, IL 60204-6095

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