Jack Gerber (
Tue, 5 Sep 1995 09:46:27 -0400 (EDT)

On 3 Sep 1995, Lindsay Oades wrote:

> 1) Instead of being based on simple symptom listing and categorisation, the
> "constructivist DSM" could employ 'professional constructs' defining disorder
> in terms of imbalances between psychological processes - eg tight and loose
> construing -a la Winter and Kelly
> 2) Instead of listing and categorising symptoms similarities and differences
> in meanings of peoples experiences (and/ or the narratives they employ or are
> employed about them) within the above defined 'disorders'.
> 3)The diagnostic process would aim in no way to adopt any quasi-realist feel.
> That is, it would serve the purpose of a direction for assisting the client-
> a transitive diagnosis- forming the basis of Leitner's dispositional
> assessment.
> 4)"Being constructivist DSM", rather simply matching disorder with treatment
> (and making the mistake of treating the therapist as a fixed-effect) it seems
> that there would be more interest in matching client, therapist and treatment
> approach by epistemic assumptions.
> These are just a few initial ideas. What do people think?
> Lindsay G Oades
> Wollongong

I found both the original paper and these comments to be very exciting.
I personally have been working with an alternative theory of personality
which is in a very early stage but I thought some of it was relevent here.

The traditional theory of personality is based on the idea that the world
is filled with objects and these objects have characteristics that are
inherent to them. Thus, if you are wearing a red shirt, the "red" is a
property of the shirt. This is, in tern, based on the same 19th century
mechanistic science that the DSM comes from.

In my own work, I am examining what would be the implication of applying
modern quantum physics as a model instead of the old Newtonian model.

In my approach, the idea is that personality is NOT a characteristic of a
person. Rather, it is a product of the interaction of the person's
behavior (motor activity) and the observer's interpretation of that
behavior. In PCP terms, personality is the result of the constructs
produced by the observer.

If anyone is interesed, I'd be happy to discuss it further.