Character Styles

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9780393701715: Character Styles

How basic existential and developmental issues underlie the severe pathology of personality disorders and symptoms of neurosis in character styles.

Johnson shows how basic life issues underlie the severe pathology of personality disorder, the nagging symptoms of neurosis, and the more functional coping and adaptation of the character styles. Johnson’s dimensional model captures the complexity of the human personality, while allowing for variability not seen in categorical systems such as DSM-IV. His descriptive names of the character styles not only link childhood experiences to later personality and psychopathology but also put flesh and bones on psychiatric diagnosis.

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From the Back Cover:

This book presents a theoretical and research-based integration of personality. But it is not some academic, sterile dissection of the substance of human heroism and tragedy; rather, in describing life's most basic, existential issues, it shows how tragedies in human development create painful psychopathology that requires heroism to overcome. The book shows how these basic life issues underlie the severe pathology of personality disorder, the nagging symptoms of neurosis, and the more functional coping and adaptation of the character styles. Further, it details both an external description of these personalities along the continuum of psychic structure and the internal experience or phenomenology that makes people's behavior understandable and worthy of empathy. Johnson's dimensional model captures the complexity of human personality, while allowing for variability not seen in categorical systems such as DSM-IV. His descriptive names of the character styles - the hated child, the abandoned child, the owned child, the used child, the defeated child, the exploited child, and the disciplined child - not only link childhood experiences to later personality and psychopathology but also put flesh and bones on psychiatric diagnoses. The first part on theory and four of the chapters on the individual character styles have been revised from Johnson's earlier books. The final three chapters on patterns of self-defeat, the histrionic personality, and obsessive-compulsive personality are new to this volume and complete the description of all character styles outlined in his original model. The result is an extremely comprehensive, integrated, and readable account of human personality.

About the Author:

Stephen M. Johnson, Ph.D., is a professor and chair of the faculty at Pacific Graduate School of Psychology in Menlo Park, California. He divides his time between clinical teaching and the private practice of psychotherapy in Menlo Park and San Francisco.

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