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Estudos e Pesquisas em Psicologia

On-line version ISSN 1808-4281


PONTES, Samira  and  CALAZANS, Roberto. The beginnings of psychoanalysis and the insufficiency of descriptivism. Estud. pesqui. psicol. [online]. 2016, vol.16, n.1, pp. 240-259. ISSN 1808-4281.

The issue that permeates this paper refers to the investigation, based on a psychoanalytic perspective, of the descriptivist's insufficient that guides the nosography psychiatric, of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), in regard to the establishment of a differential diagnosis. We seek to demonstrate, in Freud's pre-psychoanalytic writings, that in his initial effort of theoretical and clinical systematization, the author has pointed out the inadequacy of a merely descriptive symptomatic nosography, since the pure description of the signs and symptoms of a condition doesn't allow an intelligible articulation between what presents itself as a phenomenon and the structural aspects. We also present the initial formulations of psychosis, showing Freud's effort towards a systematization of its differential diagnosis. If it's at the center of the distinctions of clinical structures that operates a differential diagnosis, the descriptivism prevents this articulation while promoting mischaracterization of structural differences.

Keywords : psychoanalysis; descriptivism; differential diagnosis.

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