The hypothesis of a general psychopathology factor (p factor) has been advanced in recent years. It is an innovation with breakthrough potential, in the perspective of a unified view of psychopathology; however, what remains a controversial topic is how its nature might be conceptualized. The current paper outlines a semiotic, embodied and psychoanalytic conceptualization of psychopathology – the Phase Space of Meaning (PSM) model – aimed at providing ontological grounds to the p factor hypothesis. Framed within a more general model of how the mind works, the PSM model maintains that the p factor can be conceived as the empirical marker of the degree of rigidity of the meaning-maker’s way of interpreting experience, namely of the dimensions of meanings used to map the environment’s variability. As to the clinical implications, two main aspects are outlined. First, according PSM model, psychopathology is not an invariant condition, and does not have a set dimensionality, but is able to vary it locally, in order to address the requirement of situated action. Second, psychopathology is conceived as one of the mind’s modes of working, rather than the manifestation of its disruption. Finally, the puzzling issue of the interplay between stability and variability in the evolutionary trajectories of patients along with their life events is addressed and discussed

Steps towards a unified theory of psychopathology: The Phase Space of Meaning model

Ruggero Andrisano Ruggieri
Writing – Review & Editing
;
Tiziana Marinaci
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Mauro Cozzolino
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Sergio Salvatore
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
2020-01-01

Abstract

The hypothesis of a general psychopathology factor (p factor) has been advanced in recent years. It is an innovation with breakthrough potential, in the perspective of a unified view of psychopathology; however, what remains a controversial topic is how its nature might be conceptualized. The current paper outlines a semiotic, embodied and psychoanalytic conceptualization of psychopathology – the Phase Space of Meaning (PSM) model – aimed at providing ontological grounds to the p factor hypothesis. Framed within a more general model of how the mind works, the PSM model maintains that the p factor can be conceived as the empirical marker of the degree of rigidity of the meaning-maker’s way of interpreting experience, namely of the dimensions of meanings used to map the environment’s variability. As to the clinical implications, two main aspects are outlined. First, according PSM model, psychopathology is not an invariant condition, and does not have a set dimensionality, but is able to vary it locally, in order to address the requirement of situated action. Second, psychopathology is conceived as one of the mind’s modes of working, rather than the manifestation of its disruption. Finally, the puzzling issue of the interplay between stability and variability in the evolutionary trajectories of patients along with their life events is addressed and discussed
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4750294
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