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The Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM)
is a diagnostic framework that attempts to characterize the whole person--the depth as well as the surface of emotional, cognitive, and social functioning. It emphasizes individual variations as well as commonalities. We hope that this framework will bring about improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders and will permit a fuller understanding of the functioning of the mind and brain and their development. The goal of the PDM is to complement the DSM and ICD efforts of the past 30 years in cataloguing symptoms by explicating the full range of mental functioning.

The PDM is based on current neuroscience, treatment outcome research, and other empirical investigations. Research on brain development and the maturation of mental processes suggests that patterns of emotional, social, and behavioral functioning involve many areas working together rather than in isolation.