What are personality disorders? How should they be conceptualized, and how should they be assessed and diagnosed in clinical practice?

For over a century these questions have been at the heart of psychological science. Yet even today, as the recent controversy over proposed changes to the classification of personality disorders in DSM-5 attests, there is hardly consensus on the answers.

This groundbreaking text offers a comprehensive and provocative tour of a field that is ripe for integration. Contributors who rank among the world's most prestigious clinical and personality psychologists guide readers through the state of our knowledge of personality disorders, from conceptual and theoretical concerns to the practical problems faced by assessing clinicians. They address the advantages and disadvantages of categorical and dimensional approaches to diagnosing personality pathology used in the standard diagnostic manuals, as well as the "hybrid" model described in Section III of DSM-5.

Recent advances in statistical, methodological, and biogenetic research strategies are applied to the study of personality disorders, with a focus on clinical and empirical approaches to assessment and diagnosis. Theorists describe how psychodynamic, attachment, interpersonal, evolutionary, and cognitive processing approaches offer surprisingly similar models of conceptualizing and treating personality disorders.

Table of Contents


Introduction: Personality Disorders Into the 21st Century
Steven K. Huprich

I. Current Issues in the Diagnosis and Assessment of Personality Disorders

  1. The Value of Retaining Personality Disorder Diagnoses
    Kenneth R. Silk
  2. A Critical Evaluation of Retaining Personality Categories and Types
    Douglas B. Samuel and Sarah A. Griffin
  3. The Role of Traits in Describing, Assessing, and Understanding Personality Pathology
    Kristian E. Markon and Katherine G. Jonas
  4. A Critical Evaluation of Moving Toward a Trait System for Personality Disorder Assessment
    Kevin B. Meehan and John F. Clarkin

II. Research and Assessment Strategies

  1. At the Nexus of Science and Practice: Answering Basic Clinical Questions in Personality Disorder Assessment and Diagnosis With Quantitative Modeling Techniques
    Aidan G. C. Wright and Johannes Zimmermann
  2. Lessons Learned From Longitudinal Studies of Personality Disorders
    Alex S. Keuroghlian and Mary C. Zanarini
  3. Biological Bases of Personality Disorders
    Susan C. South
  4. Object Relations Theories and Personality Disorders: Internal Representations and Defense Mechanisms
    Caleb Siefert and Jonathan H. Porcerelli
  5. Integrating Clinical and Empirical Perspectives on Personality: The Shedler–Westen Assessment Procedure (SWAP)
    Jonathan Shedler
  6. Assessing Explicit and Implicit Processes in Personality Pathology
    Irving B. Weiner
  7. Process-Focused Assessment of Personality Pathology
    Robert F. Bornstein

III. Moving Toward Integrated and Unified Models of Personality Disorders and Pathology

  1. An Integrative, Psychodynamic Framework of Personality Pathology
    Patrick Luyten and Sidney J. Blatt
  2. An Integrative Attachment Theory Framework of Personality Disorders
    Kenneth N. Levy, J. Wesley Scala, Christina M. Temes, and Tracy L. Clouthier
  3. An Integrative Interpersonal Framework for Understanding Personality Pathology
    Nicole M. Cain and Emily B. Ansell
  4. An Integrating and Comprehensive Model of Personality Pathology Based on Evolutionary Theory
    Theodore Millon and Stephen Strack
  5. The Cognitive–Affective Processing System Model of Personality Pathology: Ready-Made for Theoretical Integration
    Steven K. Huprich and Sharon M. Nelson
  6. The Link Between Personality Theory and Psychological Treatment: A Shifting Terrain
    John F. Clarkin, Nicole M. Cain, and W. John Livesley


About the Editor

Editor Bio

Steven K. Huprich, PhD, is a professor and director of clinical training at Wichita State University. He is the editor of the Journal of Personality Assessment and the 2013 recipient of the Theodore Millon Award in Personality Psychology.

Dr. Huprich also serves as the secretary/treasurer for the International Society for the Study of Personality Disorders. He has authored nearly 100 peer-reviewed publications and chapters and more than 200 presentations, as well as five other books. His work includes a book on the use of the Rorschach Inkblot Test to assess personality disorders, a general textbook on clinical psychology, an edited text on integrating personality assessment with DSM–5, important concepts for new therapists in treating narcissistic personalities, and a text on the conceptual and empirical foundations of psychodynamic psychotherapy.

Dr. Huprich has also published on the assessment of interpersonal dependency and relational influences on the assessment of borderline personality disorder. He also has written about and presented on ways in which to integrate the manner by which personality disorders are conceptualized and assessed.

Dr. Huprich received his PhD from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (1999) and completed his predoctoral internship at the State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. He held faculty appointments at Baylor University and Eastern Michigan University before moving to Wichita State University in 2014.

Dr. Huprich's research interests have focused on the diagnosis, assessment, and validation of personality disorders, with particular attention to the DSM–IV proposal of depressive personality disorder. At the present time, he is exploring the validity of a self-representation construct known as malignant self-regard, which he believes helps account for the diagnostic comorbidity and clinical similarities in masochistic, self-defeating, depressive, and vulnerably narcissistic personalities.

Reviews & Awards

A state-of-the-art, comprehensive review of PDs…an important book and a milestone.

A critically important addition to professional and academic library collections.
—Midwest Book Review