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When the diagnosis “invents” the illness

Giorgio Nardone (Centro Di Terapia Strategica, Arezzo, Italy)
and Claudette Portelli (Centro Di Terapia Strategica, Arezzo, Italy)


ISSN: 0368-492X

Article publication date: 1 March 2005




This paper develops from the constructivistic premise that our reality is a computation rather than a representation. Provides a constructive critique on the rigid psychopathological classifications used in mental health that end up creating a conditioned self‐confirming reality.


Proposes to present an approach, which moves away from the traditional rigid categorizing definitions of mental disorders, to a constructivist perspective that considers human problems as dysfunctional systems of perception and reaction to reality.


Provides literature that demonstrates how humans use interpretative tools to give order and definition to the world around them, but most often, end up forgetting that all their classifications, theories, tests and so forth, are mere human inventions. Presents various distinctive scientific research which evidence how those who are invested with the power of diagnosing mental sanity or insanity, are often trapped in their own theories and resulting diagnostic practice.


This paper puts forward the need in replacing a rigid deterministic model by an elastic and self‐corrective constructive‐strategic model of knowledge and intervention that guarantees the real efficacy and effectiveness of therapy.



Nardone, G. and Claudette Portelli, a. (2005), "When the diagnosis “invents” the illness", Kybernetes, Vol. 34 No. 3/4, pp. 365-372.



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Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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