The Narrative as Assessment

Biographies and Case Histories
  • Leighton C. Whitaker
Part of the Perspectives on Individual Differences book series (PIDF)


The importance of detailed, early understanding of an individual who becomes schizophrenic is made clearest by studying individual persons in their interpersonal and social contexts over time. What appears cut-and-dried when we merely view the person in a cross-section of time or from a distant position takes on a wholly different appearance when we add the rich detail of close familiarity over the person’s lifetime. Although closeness may result in a loss of objectivity—the kind of problem we refer to when saying one can’t see the forest for the trees—an exclusively distant viewpoint results in segregation from and lack of identification with schizophrenic persons (Deikman, 1971). But in the study of “schizophrenia” there has been much more merely cross-sectional study and distancing of “the mentally ill” than overidentification with schizophrenic persons and overinvolvement in their lives.


Tardive Dyskinesia Psychiatric Resident Hard Science Father Figure Chemical Imbalance 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leighton C. Whitaker
    • 1
  1. 1.Swarthmore CollegeSwarthmoreUSA

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