Volume 1, Issue 1: (re)defining psychopathology

With the publication of DSM-V, mainstream psychology has continued to expand an increasingly highly scientized categorical system that dissects and divides the human experience into ever-expanding symptom checklists. As theorists, clinicians and researchers here at Duquesne, we address and challenge the epistemological and ontological assumptions of an approach developed to address particular behaviors and not the range of uniquely human factors contributing to what the field of psychology deems and calls psychopathology.

The contributions to this issue approach the topic of psychopathology—both general and specific—from a wide range of human science perspectives and explore the ways in which thinking metaxu or “in between” disciplinary structures has implications for diagnosis and practice.

The first two articles in this issue tarry with the ethical dimensions of treating psychopathology. Julie Futrell’s paper, Affirming the Other in Psychotherapy, explores how a Derridean ethic of hospitality creates a space for difference and the radically foreign in the psychotherapeutic space. Shannon Kelly takes up the particular ethics of Lacanian psychoanalysis and its possibilities for addressing psychopathology—not through a scientific or historical discourse—but rather as an “art of madness.”

Will Hasek and Jose Arroyo contribute pieces that utilize a human science approaches to critique and expand on DSM diagnoses. Hasek puts forth a philosophical and phenomenological critique of the concept of projection, while Arroyo looks at the implications of Lacanian structural diagnosis for the diagnosis and treatment of pedophilia.

Two papers take on controversies around borderline personality disorder and structure. Jess Dunn uses examples from mythology and literature to explore issues around therapist countertransference when working with patients with borderline structure, whereas Celeste Pietrusza suggests a structural and developmental approach to understanding the aetiology and treatment of borderline personality disorder.

Sarah Hamilton and Jonathan Yahalom contribute papers from phenomenological perspectives that go deep into the lifeworlds of individuals diagnosed with ADHD and Alzheimer’s Disease respectively and put forth important implications for psychotherapy and treatment. Finally, Leah Boisen closes the issue with an article that looks beyond the context of the individual to better understand the cross-cultural social and political discourses around schizophrenia and their effects on “truth” and “knowledge” around psychopathology.

About Us

Metaxu is the graduate student journal of the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at Duquesne University.

Metaxu, from the Greek, refers to the “in-between” or being “between the two.” In Plato’s symposium, the priestess Diotima situates love as metaxu—in between poverty & possession, eros between the human & the divine—and reveals the limitations of logic and speech in capturing truth.

At Duquesne, we likewise situate our clinical work & scholarship as in-between: in-between philosophy and psychology, art and science. From diverse theoretical orientations we explore the subject & the human—between life and death, the conscious and the unconscious, immanence and transcendence—to create new possibilities and openings for clinical research and praxis.

Celeste Pietrusza, editor-in-chief
Jose Arroyo, co-editor
Mike Fosnaught, IC-Dev, web designer

Special thanks to: Jess Dunn, Nisha Gupta, Jonathan Yahalom

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