Psychopathology in the 21st century

Michael Musalek, Veronica Larach-Walters, Jean Pierre Lépine, Bruno Millet, Wolfgang Gaebel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives. The present publication sets out to evaluate the position of psychopathology in the 21st century and should also serve as a basis for defining the framework for the future tasks of the WFSBP Task Force. Methods. Review of publications on the various approaches of psychopathology in general and of different tasks, theories and tools of psychopathology approaches in particular. Results. The main tasks of psychopathology are, to record and describe experiential and behavioral abnormalities in their intersubjective context, to explain their origin from an objective scientific perspective, and to attempt to understand them from the subjective perspective of the patient. In order to provide stable fundaments for the work in clinical and scientific psychiatry all three components are indispensable. Conclusions. The future of psychiatry hence lies in the hands of a type of psychopathology that we will call Integrative Psychopathology. The main tasks of psychopathology can only be pursued in close cooperation with other branches of science interested in studying psychiatric issues. Whereas contemporary psychopathology must lay the foundations for that cooperation, Integrative Psychopathology must be complemented by further advancements in Theoretical Psychopathology, so as to enable conceptual new developments, which can then be fruitful for cooperative research and psychiatric clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)844-851
Number of pages8
JournalWorld Journal of Biological Psychiatry
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010


  • Defi nition
  • psychopathology
  • tasks
  • theory
  • tools

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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