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Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manuals' 

Psychodiagnostic Chart 

A Practical Tool to Operationalize the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manuals 

Copyright 2012, 2015, Robert M. Gordon and Robert F. Bornstein

Use: The Psychodiagnostic Chart (PDC) was developed in 2012 by Robert M. Gordon and Robert F. Borstein to codify the highly complex Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM).  They later updated the PDC (Gordon and Bornstein, 2018) for the PDM-2 (Lingiardi & McWilliams, Eds., 2017). The PDC-2 is a quick practitioner rating form that may be used for diagnoses, treatment formulations, progress reports, and outcome assessment, as well as for empirical research on personality. It can be used when the person is not available and assessment is instead based on documents, records, collateral interviews, or other sources of information. Research by Gordon and Stoffey (2014) and Gordon and Bornstein (2018) show excellent validity of the original PDC and the updated PDC-2. Additionally, several other studies support the clinical utility and validity of the PDCs (see references below). 


The PDC-2 assesses:


·  Level of Personality Organization (Healthy, Neurotic, Borderline or Psychotic). The PDM-2 describes the Level of Personality Organization as, “At the healthy end... they can engage in satisfying relationships, experience and understand a relatively full range of age-expected feelings and thoughts, function with relative flexibly when stressed by external  or internal conflict, maintain a relatively coherent sense of personal identity, express impulses in a manner appropriate to the situation, conduct themselves in accordance with internalized moral values, and neither suffer undue distress or impose it on others” (p.17-18).


·  12 Personality Syndromes (P-Axis: Depressive, Dependent, Anxious, Obsessive-Compulsive, Schizoid, Somatizing, Hysteric-Histrionic, Narcissistic, Paranoid, Psychopathic, Sadistic, Emotionally Dysregulated)


·  12 Mental Functioning Items (M-Axis):

1. Capacity for regulation, attention, and learning

2. Capacity for affective range, communication, and understanding

3. Capacity for mentalization and reflective functioning

4. Capacity for differentiation and integration (identity)

5. Capacity for relationships and intimacy

6. Capacity for self-esteem regulation and quality of internal experience

7. Capacity for impulse control and regulation

8. Capacity for defensive functioning

9. Capacity for adaptation, resiliency, and strength

10. Self-observing capacities (psychological mindedness)

11. Capacity to construct and use internal standards and ideals

12. Capacity for meaning and purpose


·  The S- Axis, which reflects a person’s subjective symptoms (anxiety, depression, etc.)


·  Context and Cultural Factors affecting a person’s condition.

 All the versions of the PDC are free use.

How to use:  It Is best to perform (or have access to) diagnostic interview data, history and psychological assessment data to derive optimal ratings. We recognize that this is not always feasible, and in many instances the clinician will code an initial impression, then re-assess as additional information accrues. It may also be used when the person is not available and ratings can be based on documents, records, collateral interviews, or other sources of information. If this is used for progress notes, there will be opportunities to re-assess and revise the person’s diagnosis as well.  

The PDC will be updated along with updates with the PDM.  Minor updates on the Psychodiagnostic Chart will not affect the validity of the PDC. 

The PDC-2 fillable form tallies the M axis scores and can export all the data to Excel for research analysis. Use the reset button to clear the data for a diagnostic assessment of another individual or the same individual over time. 


Research with the Psychodiagnostic Chart 


Biberdzic, M., & Grenyer, B. F. (2022). How Much Training Do We Need? Assessing the Validity and Interrater Reliability of the PDM-2’s Psychodiagnostic Chart among Less Experienced Clinicians. Journal of Personality Assessment, 1-9.


Bizzi, F., Locati, F., Parolin, L., Yael, S. G., & Brusadelli, E. (2022). Advancement in the child attachment interview and the child and adolescent reflective functioning scale using a PDM-2 framework. Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process, and Outcome, 25(1).


Boldrini, T., Masiero, C., & Buglio, G. L. (2022). Theoretically informed, prototypical diagnostic models of psychosis: a narrative review. Programma.


Boldrini, T., Tanzilli, A., Di Cicilia, G., Gualco, I., Lingiardi, V., Salcuni, S., ... & Pontillo, M. (2020). Personality traits and disorders in adolescents at clinical high risk for psychosis: Toward a clinically meaningful diagnosis. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 11, 1258.


Boldrini, T., Masiero, C., & Buglio, G. L. (2022). Theoretically informed, prototypical diagnostic models of psychosis: a narrative review. Programma.


Bornstein, R. F. (2018). From symptom to process: Case formulation, clinical utility, and PDM-2. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 35(3), 351.


Bornstein, R. F. (2018). Reconciling psychoanalysis with other psychological disciplines: How to promote greater PDM-2 influence. Giornale italiano di psicologia, 45(4), 811-818.


Bornstein, R. F., & Gordon, R. M. (2012). What do practitioners want in a diagnostic taxonomy? Comparing the PDM with DSM and ICD. In Division/Review: A Quarterly Psychoanalytic Forum (Vol. 6, p. 35).


Caffrey, J. (2022). The Association between Clinician Ratings of Moral Reasoning and MMPI-2 Clinical Scales in Forensic Psychological Assessment. Chestnut Hill College.


Colli, A., Gagliardini, G., Guerrini Degl'Innocenti, B., Ponsi, M., Rossi Monti, M., & Foresti, G. (2020). What psychoanalysts do in their everyday clinical practice: Empirically derived prototypes of the psychoanalytic process. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 37(2), 136.


Colli, A., Gagliardini, G.,Pepi, R., D'Agostino, Gullo, S., & Monti, M.R. (2023). Psychoanalysts’ Work Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Empirical Study on Teleanalysis During the Italian Lockdown. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 40(3), 1-8.


Durmishi,L ; Ibrahimi, S. ; Ibrahimi,E, & Gordon,R. (2023)  Еволюцията на психодиагностичната диаграма: Развитие на концепцията и психометричните свойства на нов инструмент за оценка на психичното здраве и общественото здраве, Article accepted for publishing in October 2023 in the Psychological Thought Journal,Bulgaria


Durmishi, L; Ibrahimi,S.; Ibrahimi, E.  (2022) An introduction to the Psychodynamic Prototype and Psychodiagostic Chart as a Neo-Prospects for the Psychodynamic Organization. Proceedings Book of the “International Conference on Research in Applied Sciences”, ISBN:978-625-8323-78-8, Barcelona, Spain


Durmishi,L ; Ibrahimi, S. ; Ibrahimi,E, & Gordon,R. (2022) The Evolution of the Psychodiagnostic Chart: Concept Development and Psychometric Properties of a Novel Assessment tool in Mental Health and Public Health. Proceedings Book on 30th September 2022, in the International Ege Congress on Social Sciences & Humanities, Izmir Turkiye


Fortunato, A., Tanzilli, A., Lingiardi, V., & Speranza, A. M. (2022). Psychodiagnostic Chart-Child (PDC-C): a valid and clinically sensitive diagnostic tool for patient-tailored intervention planning. Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process, and Outcome, 25(1).


Gazzillo, F., Lingiardi, V., Del Corno, F., Genova, F., Bornstein, R. F., Gordon, R. M., & McWilliams, N. (2015). Clinicians’ emotional responses and Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual adult personality disorders: A clinically relevant empirical investigation. Psychotherapy, 52(2), 238.


Giovanardi, G., Mundo, E., & Lingiardi, V. (2021). Paola on the couch: The quest for feminine identity in an empirically supported psychoanalytic psychotherapy of a trans woman. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 38(4), 239.


Gordon, R.M. (2009). Reactions to the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM) by Psychodynamic, CBT and Other Non- Psychodynamic Psychologists. Issues in Psychoanalytic Psychology,31,1,55-62.



Gordon, R. M., Stoffey, R. W., & Perkins, B. L. (2013). Comparing the sensitivity of the MMPI-2 clinical scales and the MMPI-RC scales to clients rated as psychotic, borderline or neurotic on the Psychodiagnostic Chart. Psychology, 4(09), 12.


Gordon, R. M., & Stoffey, R. W. (2014). Operationalizing the psychodynamic diagnostic manual: a preliminary study of the psychodiagnostic chart. Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic, 78(1), 1.


Gordon, R. M., Blake, A., Bornstein, R. F., Gazzillo, F., Etzi, J., Lingiardi, V., ... & Tasso, A. F. (2016). Favored Diagnostic Taxa: What Do Practitioners Consider the Most Helpful Personality Taxa in Understanding Their Patients? 1. In DIVISION/Review: A Quarterly Psychoanalytic Forum (Vol. 15, pp. 70-70). American Psychoanalytic Association.


Gordon, R. M., Gazzillo, F., Blake, A., Bornstein, R. F., Etzi, J., Lingiardi, V., ... & Tasso, A. F. (2016). The relationship between theoretical orientation and countertransference expectations: Implications for ethical dilemmas and risk management. Clinical psychology & psychotherapy, 23(3), 236-245.


Gordon, R.M., Blake, A., Etzi, J., Rothery, C., & Tasso, A.F. (2017). Do Practitioners Find a Psychodynamic Taxonomy Useful?  Journal of Psychology and Clinical Psychiatry 7(5): 00452. DOI: 10.15406/jpcpy.2017.07.00452


Gordon, R. M., & Bornstein, R. F. (2018). Construct validity of the Psychodiagnostic Chart: A transdiagnostic measure of personality organization, personality syndromes, mental functioning, and symptomatology. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 35(2), 280.


Gordon, R. M. (2019). A Concurrent Validity Study of the PDM-2 Personality Syndromes. Current Psychology, 38(3), 698-704.


Gordon, R.M. (2024). Measuring the Mental Functioning of Putin, Trump, and Zelenskyy, a Chapter in Messina, K., (Ed.) A Psychoanalytic Study of Political  Leadership in the United States and Russia: Searching for Truth. Routledge.


Gordon, R. M., Spektor, V., & Luu, L. (2019). Personality organization traits and expected counter-transference and treatment interventions. Int J Psychol Psychoanal, 5, 039.


Guglielmetti, G., & Benelli, E. (2020). Development and Case Study Application of a Proxy-Generated Outcome Measure of Suffering for use with Clients with Illusory Mental Health. International Journal of Transactional Analysis Research & Practice, 11(1), 32-57.


Hinrichs, J., Dauphin, V. B., Munday, C. C., Porcerelli, J. H., Kamoo, R., & Christian-Kliger, P. (2019). Assessing level of personality organization with the psychodiagnostic chart: A validity study. Journal of personality assessment, 101(2), 181-190.


Ibrahimi, S., & Gordon, R.M. (2015). Post-Traumatic Identity within Social Contexts. Balkan Journal of Interdisciplinary Research Vol 1, No 1, 47-51. ISSN 2410-759X, Access online at 


Ibrahimi, S., Dervishi, E., & Gordon, R.M. (2015). Traumatic behavior deviance of individual within social contexts. European Psychiatric Congress, Vienna Austria. 


Ibrahimi, S., Dervishi, E., Muca, V., & Dobra, M. (2018). Psychodynamic prototype through personality organization chart of educational leaders. Anthropological Researches and Studies, 1(8), 125-133.


Joyce, A. S., & Marmarosh, C. L. (2023). 2 Group Selection, Group Composition, and Pre-Group Preparation. Group Psychotherapy Assessment and Practice: A Measurement-Based Care Approach.


Kotan, V. O., Kotan, Z., & Bilgili, G. Ö. (2018). Diagnostic Classification Systems Based on Psychoanalytical Principles. Archives of Neuropsychiatry, 55(1), 91.


MADARJAC, R. F. (2023). Diagnosticare in psicodinamica: la Defense Mechanism Rating Scale, fra clinica e ricerca.


 McWilliams, N. (2023). Diagnosis and its discontents. Advancing Psychotherapy for the Next Generation: Humanizing Mental Health Policy and Practice.


 Mirabella, M., Muzi, L., Franco, A., Urgese, A., Rugo, M. A., Mazzeschi, C., ... & Lingiardi, V. (2023). From symptoms to subjective and bodily experiences: the contribution of the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM-2) to diagnosis and treatment monitoring in eating disorders. Eating and Weight Disorders-Studies on Anorexia, Bulimia and Obesity, 28(1), 35.


Mutluer, M., & Erdogan, A. P. D. A. (2022). International Ege Congress on Social Sciences & Humanities.


Muzi, L., Tieghi, L., Rugo, M., & Lingiardi, V. (2021). Eating pathology and Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM-2) diagnostic assessment: Implications for treatment outcomes in a psychodynamic-oriented residential setting. Psychoanalytic Psychology.


Pacheco, R. R., Kim, H., Choi, W. T., Kook, M. C., Cho, M. Y., Karamchandani, D. M., ... & Lee, H. (2023). Unravelling interobserver variability in gastrointestinal glandular neoplasia: a contemporary study of US and Korean pathologists. Journal of Clinical Pathology.


 Patriarca, E., Tanzilli, A., Brusadelli, E., Lingiardi, V., & Grenyer, B. F. (2023). A  multidimensional assessment of therapeutic outcomes: Toward a Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM-2)-oriented approach to psychotherapy research. Psychoanalytic Psychology,  40(2), 128.


Patriarca, E., Brusadelli, E., & Grenyer, B. F. (2021). A bridge between person-based versus symptom-based nosology: A clinical case study using the Psychodiagnostic Chart-2. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 38(1), 31.


Phillips, G., & Raskin, J. D. (2021). A primer for clinicians on alternatives to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 52(2), 91.


Raskin, J.D. (2024). Psychopathology and Mental Distress: Contrasting Perspectives, New York, Bloomsbury Academic.


Rosso, A. M., Airaldi, C., & Camoirano, A. (2021). Inter-rater Reliability and Construct Validity of the Lerner Defense Scale in Clinical and Non-clinical Groups. Frontiers in Psychology, 4155.


Spektor, V., Luu, L. & Gordon, R.M. (2015) The Relationship between Theoretical Orientation and Accuracy of Countertransference Expectations., Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 63(4), NP28-NP32.


Speranza, A. M., Malberg, N., & Steele, M. (2018). Mental health and developmental disorders in infancy and early childhood: The PDM-2. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 35(3), 328.


Tanzilli, A., Giovanardi, G., Patriarca, E., Lingiardi, V., & Williams, R. (2021). From a symptom-based to a person-centered approach in treating depressive disorders in adolescence: a clinical case formulation using the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM-2)’s framework. International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(19), 10127.


Tanzilli, A., Di Giuseppe, M., Giovanardi, G., Boldrini, T., Caviglia, G., Conversano, C., & Lingiardi, V. (2021). Mentalization, attachment, and defense mechanisms: a Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual-2-oriented empirical investigation. Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process, and Outcome, 24(1).


Tanzilli, A., Fiorentino, F., Liotti, M., Buglio, G. L., Gualco, I., Lingiardi, V., ... & Williams, R. (2024). Patient personality and therapist responses in the psychotherapy of adolescents with depressive disorders: toward the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual. Research in psychotherapy (Milano).


Williams, R., Fiorentino, F., Lingiardi, V., Moselli, M., Sharp, C., & Tanzilli, A. (2024). The assessment of pathways towards suicide in adolescent patients: A PDM‐2‐oriented approach. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice.


Wood, R. (Ed.). (2024). Psychoanalytic Reflections on Vladimir Putin: The Cost of Malignant Leadership. Taylor & Francis.


Zingaretti, P., Genova, F., Gazzillo, F., & Lingiardi, V. (2017). Patients’ crying experiences in psychotherapy: Relationship with the patient level of personality organization, clinician approach, and therapeutic alliance. Psychotherapy, 54(2), 159.

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