The central argument of On Being Normal and Other Disorders is that psychic identity is acquired through one's primary intersubjective relationships. Thus, the diagnosis of potential pathologies must also be founded on this matrix. Verhaeghe's critical evaluation of the DSM-diagnostic shows that the lack of reference to an updated governing metapsychology impinges on the therapeutic value of the DSM categories. In response to this problem, the author sketches out the foundations of such a metapsychology by combining a Freudo-Lacanian approach with contemporary empirical research. Close attention is paid to the processes of identity acquisition to show how the self and the Other are not two separate entities. Rather, subject formation is seen as a process in which both the subject's and the Other's identity, as well as the relationship between them, comes into being. By engaging this new theoretical approach in a constant dialogue with the findings of contemporary research, this work provides a compass for the practical applications of such a differential diagnostic. --- from the publisher
“A major achievement from a major scholar. For the first time (to my knowledge) it opens a discourse between the intellectual sparkle of Lacanian psychoanalytic scholarship and the far more pedestrian Anglo-American tradition of psychodynamic clinical science. In integrating these approaches a new domain opens up that may take decades and generations of psychoanalytic researchers to fully explore. This book is an outstanding overview of the highest quality Lacanian thinking, creating a firm bridge between two forms of psychoanalytic theorization that have for too long been separated by inadequate understanding.” -Peter Fonagy, Ph.D., F.B.A.
“The themes of his book are real and urgent: they bear directly on everyday forms of suffering….Invaluable for anyone seeking an account of the relations of psychoanalysis to psychiatry; the clarity of the style with which he presents is a rarity.”
-Bernard Burgoyne, Institute of Health and Social Research, Middlesex University
“This book will be a point of reference for both researchers and clinicians for many years to come.” -Dr. Rik Loose, Head of Unit of Psychoanalysis, DBS School of Arts, Dublin