Psychodiagnosis in Schizophrenia

Psychodiagnosis in Schizophrenia

Psychodiagnosis in Schizophrenia

Psychodiagnosis in Schizophrenia

Synopsis

Psychodiagnosis in Schizophreniais a reprint of a classic volume in assessment psychology that first appeared in 1966. The book concerns the use of psychodiagnostic techniques in the differential diagnosis of schizophrenia. The author first presents a conceptual analysis of schizophrenic disturbance in terms of impaired ego functioning and extrapolates from schizophrenic ego impairments to psychodiagnostic indices that have been demonstrated to assess them. In particular, Weiner refers to the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, the Rorschach Inkblot Method, and the Draw-A-Person test. Clinical and research data delineating the nature of psychological deficits in schizophrenia are reviewed, and practical guidelines for the clinical assessment of these deficits are presented.

The author next considers several differential diagnostic possibilities frequently considered in the evaluation of schizophrenic persons, with separate chapters devoted to the many forms of schizophrenia, such as: acute, chronic, paranoid, nonparanoid, incipient, remitting, borderline and pseudoneurotic. There are also chapters that focus on schizoaffective disorder and adolescent schizophrenia. The conceptual and empirical contributions to these distinctions are reviewed; accordingly, the differentiating characteristics of these subcategories are related to parameters of psychodiagnostic test performance. In additon, the process of differential psychodiagnosis in schizophrenia is illustrated by detailed case studies. In an extended new preface, the author comments on current perspectives and contemporary literature related to the individual chapters of the text.

Excerpt

Schizophrenia is one of the most prevalent and perplexing psychological disturbances in our society. Statistical reports from clinics and hospitals attest its widespread occurrence, and a voluminous literature bears witness to extensive exploration of its etiology, diagnosis, and treatment. Questions about schizophrenia frequently arise in clinical settings, in which crucial decisions concerning patient care hinge on careful diagnostic evaluation, and the psychologist's psychodiagnostic skills are often enlisted to answer such questions. This state of affairs places the psychologist in an unenviable position. If he is conversant with the literature, he is aware that the etiology and phenomenology of schizophrenia are not yet conclusively established and that experimental demonstration of the diagnostic validity of psychological tests lags behind the use to which experienced clinicians feel justified in putting them.

As a responsible professional person, however, the clinical psychologist recognizes that, in spite of our limited knowledge, diagnostic judgments involving aspects of schizophrenia are necessary for adequate treatment planning. He is furthermore cognizant that he will be called on to apply psychological test data to such judgments. To respond effectively, he must be able to relax his scientific stance sufficiently to concern himself with the job that needs to be done. That is, it is necessary for the clinician to focus on the single case and seek conclusions that are practically useful, even if they admit of exception or cannot be thoroughly documented. Without losing sight of the issues that remain unresolved, he must employ what information and skills are available to him to perform his functions as helpfully as he can. Skepticism should not cloud his judgment, nor should the lack of definitive answers paralyze his capacity to venture an opinion.

This book is written to answer the following question: given present . . .

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