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The gap between psychotherapeutic practice and clinical theory is large. Therapists still don't know what role interpersonal relations play in the development of the most common psychopathologies. Valeria Ugazio bridges this gap by examining phobic, obsessive-compulsive, eating disordered, and depressive behavior in the context of the family, using an intersubjective approach to personality. Her concept of "semantic polarities," or contexts where specific values and meanings predominate and influence, is groundbreaking and in tune with recent developments in neuropsychology. Four detailed case studies demonstrate how meaning is an open system, susceptible to change and symptom alleviation.