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Can J Psychiatry. 1983 Apr;28(3):162-72.

Teaching some principles of individual psychodynamics through an introductory guide to formulations.


One objective of psychiatric education can be to help trainees describe and understand major concerns patients experience in their key relationships, inner conflict and sense of self. A precis of major concepts and principles in this area (usually known as psychodynamics) is presented without the metapsychological framework which makes some of the literature difficult to grasp. This is intended to make learning more efficient and to facilitate the formulation of hypotheses about the presence or absence of specific conflicts, and problems in key relationships. We do not propose that these hypotheses necessarily explain psychopathology but that they (a) supplement formal diagnosis; (b) enrich the clinical data base by providing hypotheses which are testable in part by clinical observation and which can be tested scientifically; (c) provide understanding crucial to psychotherapy.

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