This revised edition of the classic work on the hysterical personality begins with a new chapter, introducing the core characteristics of the hysterical personality disorder and providing a framework for the reader that changes and is enlarged in each successive chapter. The second chapter deals with the fundamental diagnostic and formulative issues. The third considers the development of the disorder in terms of childhood and adolescent antecedents. Basic treatment principles are presented in the fourth chapter, and the change process in reschematizing psychological treatment is addressed in the fifth. This last chapter presents a case in detail, indicating development of schemas of self and others; showing how core aspects of personality may change as a consequence of new forms of relationships and new uses of conscious thought. The initial phase of treatment in an average treatable case of hysterical personality is often one that is an urgent appeal for attention. This phase is followed quickly, once a therapeutic attachment is established, by a period of regression, in which unresolved conflicts and childhood fixations are manifested within the therapeutic relationship itself. Ideally, this phase overlaps with a period of working through, the therapeutic antidote to the multiply determined nature of the patient's state at onset of treatment. Finally, termination encompasses the difficult task of separation, itself a phase of important work on self-development for the hysterical personality. The approach here is that of brief or extended treatment guided by psychoanalytic theory, using the basic ground rules of psychodynamic psychotherapy. The main patient type under consideration is the hysterical personality who has developed a separate, although conflicted, self-representation and who has advanced capacity for relationship. This book is a resource for every mental health clinician.
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