#376 – A Psychodynamic Understanding of Personality Structure with Nancy McWilliams PhD

Nancy McWilliams


Nancy McWilliams PhD, who teaches at the Graduate School of Applied & Professional Psychology at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, is author ofPsychoanalytic Diagnosis: Understanding Personality Structure in the Clinical Process (1994, rev. ed. 2011), Psychoanalytic Case Formulation (1999), andPsychoanalytic Psychotherapy: A Practitioner’s Guide(2004), all with Guilford Press, and is Associate Editor of the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (2006). She is Past President of the Division of Psychoanalysis (39) of the American Psychological Association and is on the editorial board of Psychoanalytic Psychology.

Recipient of many awards, Dr. McWilliams specializes in psychoanalytic psychotherapy and supervision; the relationship between psychodiagnosis and treatment; alternatives to DSM diagnostic conventions; integration of feminist theory and psychoanalytic knowledge; the application of psychoanalytic understanding to the problems of diverse clinical populations; altruism; narcissism; and trauma and dissociative disorders.

Check out the following Psychology CE Courses based on listening to Shrink Rap Radio interviews:
Jungian Psychotherapy Part 1 (6 CEUs)
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Jungian Psychotherapy Part 3 (7 CEUs)
Jungian Psychotherapy Part 4 (6 CEUs)
Jungian Psychotherapy Part 5 (7 CEUs)
Jungian Psychotherapy Package of the Five Above (33 CEUs)
Wisdom of The Dream (4 CEUs)
Positive Psychology (6 CEUs)
Pros and Cons of Positive Psychology (5 CEUs)
Body-Mind: Goodbye to Dualism (6 CEUs)
Brain: Insights from Neuroscience (8 CEUs)
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Insights from Neuroscience (8 CEUs)
Neuroscience and Healing (8 CEUs)

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A psychology podcast by David Van Nuys, Ph.D.

copyright 2013: David Van Nuys, Ph.D.



  1. Dr. Michael Ocana
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    I very much valued Nancy’s books during my training (as a psychiatrist). They were a treasured resource. Loved the interview. I enjoyed the image of a crowd of clinicians (despite their depressive personality organization) descending on the researchers of academia demanding to have a say in the direction of that research. LOL!

  2. John Knight
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Blimey… I was looking for my first podcast to catch up on since being on a break from uni; I gravitated straight towards this one, and boy did I pick a doozey! This episode had a whole bunch of sentiments that have brewing within me for the last few years and it really resonated.

    Firstly, I could really relate to Nancy’s bringing up of the bad-old days of rat running and the narrow, dogmatic spectrum the Behaviourists were drilling into everyone at the time. I think much of the so-called ‘evidence-based’ drives we’re having now mirror that period, but like then, I hope it eventually implodes! ;-)

    Secondly, although I came into the psych world through the Jungian perspective, lately I find myself increasingly drawing on the Freudian perspective, especially in relation to lower-level ‘hardware’ stuff (to use a vulgar computing analogy). Although “Psychodynamics” is usually a term reserved for the Freudian discipline in our psych text books, I prefer to use it as an umbrella term for all of these techniques that are based on the structure and dynamics of the psyche, and as such, I also use the term to relate to Freud, Jung, Klein, Adler, and others. I’ve always wanted to merge these approaches under the term ‘Psychodynamic’, and the way Nancy uses the term seems to do just that. I really like her wise, multi-discipline viewpoint, and it’s nice to hear a Freudian who’s not afraid to throw in a little Jung here and there! ;-)

    I really liked how Nancy amplified on the original meaning of ‘diagnosis’, and found her explanation of primitive and higher-order defence systems incredibly practical.

    I’m going to take on the internet pornography episode next, and may I say that I was really impressed by your listener’s observation about unrealistic sexual influence on females regarding romance novels. I think qualitative studies looking simultaneously at the influence of internet porn on men and romance/erotic novels on women may yield some interesting results.


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