The Dissociative Mind
Drawing on the pioneering work of Janet, Freud, Sullivan, and Fairbairn and making extensive use of recent literature, Elizabeth Howell develops a comprehensive model of the dissociative mind. Dissociation, for her, suffuses everyday life; it is a relationally structured survival strategy that arises out of the mind’s need to allow interaction with frightening but still urgently needed others. For therapists dissociated self-states are among the everyday fare of clinical work and gain expression in dreams, projective identifications, and enactments. Pathological dissociation, on the other hand, results when the psyche is overwhelmed by trauma and signals the collapse of relationality and an addictive clinging to dissociative solutions.
Howell examines the relationship of segregated models of attachment, disorganized attachment, mentalization, and defensive exclusion to dissociative processes in general and to particular kinds of dissociative solutions. Enactments are reframed as unconscious procedural ways of being with others that often result in segregated systems of attachment. Clinical phenomena associated with splitting are assigned to a model of “attachment-based dissociation” in which alternating dissociated self-states develop along an axis of relational trauma. Later chapters of the book examine dissociation in relation to pathological narcissism; the creation and reproduction of gender; and psychopathy.
Elegant in conception, thoughtful in tone, broad and deep in clinical applications, Howell takes the reader from neurophysiology to attachment theory to the clinical remediation of trauma states to the reality of evil. It provides a masterful overview of a literature that extends forward to the writings of Bromberg, Stern, Ryle, and others. The capstone of contemporary understandings of dissociation in relation to development and psychopathology, The Dissociative Mind will be an adventure and an education for its many clinical readers.
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Unity and Multiplicity
Janet Freud Ferenczi and Fairbairn
Sullivan Bromberg Davies and FrawleyODea and Stern
Ryles Multiple Self States Model Van der Hart Nijenhuis and Steeles Theory of the Structural Dissociation of the Personality Hilgards Neodissociation...
6 Attachment Theory and Dissociation
A Different View of Splitting
9 Concepts of Psychic Processes Defense and Personality Organization
A Relational Aspect of Dissociation
The Role of Trauma and Dissociation in the Creation and Reproduction of Gender
When the Terrible Is True Not Only Are We Not Safe But More Important We Can No Longer Imagine
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abreaction affect aggressor anxiety aspects attachment figure attachment theory become behavior borderline personality disorder Bromberg child child sexual abuse Cleckley concept conflict consciousness context contrast D-attachment defense described disorganized attachment dissociated self-states dissociationism dissociative disorders dissociative identity disorder emotional emphasizes enactments ence Erdelyi Fairbairn feelings Ferenczi formulated function gender girls Hart helpless Hilgard hysteria infant integration interaction internal working models interpersonal intrapsychic involves Janet linked Lyons-Ruth Meloy mental mind mother multiple narcissism narcissistic Nijenhuis not-me object observed one’s organization pathological patient personality disorder posttraumatic procedural procedural memories projective identification psyche psychic psychoanalysis psychological psychological trauma psychopath PTSD reality reciprocal role reenacted relational relationships repression response Ryle sciousness selective inattention self-care system sense sexual abuse social somatoform dissociation splitting Stern structural dissociation Sullivan superego theory therapist thinking tion trauma and dissociation traumatic memories uncon unconscious understanding understood unformulated experience Van der Hart victim