Shattered but Unbroken: Voices of Triumph and Testimony

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Valerie Sinason, Amelia van der Merwe
Karnac Books, Sep 5, 2016 - Psychology - 310 pages
Shattered but Unbroken is an edited volume focusing on Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), which combines the narratives of survivors of ritual abuse with academic contributions on the causes, correlates and interventions applicable to DID. The book is divided into two distinct parts. Part I begins with the missing memoir of Anna, a survivor of ritual abuse. Anna chose not to publish her memoir for fear of retribution from her perpetrators. The plight of Anna is interwoven between all the contributions in the book, be they life writing or academic contributions. So too are the life writings of Annalise, writing under pseudonym. Instead of using Anna's memoir, the politics of anonymity is addressed by a range of survivors of ritual abuse, who write about their decision to use their real name in their narratives, or to use pseudonyms. Part II of the book contains academic contributions, which deal with the causes, correlates and interventions applicable to the most common response to ritual abuse, DID. These include a range of topics, such as the history of DID, cross-cultural perspectives, DID's saturation with shame, debates and controversies around this diagnosis, and its relationship to culture and memory, a South African qualitative study, co-morbidity and selected reflections on its treatment, among other contributions. This book is original in its combination of life writing and academic content. Treatment for DID remains controversial, and is soberly considered by renowned clinician and academic, Richard Kluft. Other important authors in this collection include Onno van der Hart, Eli Somer, Phil Mollon, Valerie Sinason, Alison Miller, and Lina Hartocollis.

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About the author (2016)

Valerie Sinason is a poet, writer, child psychotherapist and adult psychoanalyst. She is Founder Director of the Clinic for Dissociative Studies and President of the Institute for Psychotherapy. She is an Honorary Consultant Psychotherapist at the University of Cape Town Child Guidance Clinic and Chair of Trustees of the First People Centre, New Bethesda, South Africa. She is a Patron of Dorset Action on Abuse (DAA), editor of 'Trauma Dissociation and Multiplicity' and co-editor of 'Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy after Child abuse'. She has published numerous articles and books, including two poetry collections. Valerie Sinason was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the ISSTD (International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation) in April 2016.

Dr Amelia van der Merwe has worked in the area of violence and its psychological consequences since 1999. Her research has focused on community violence, intimate partner violence, and ritual abuse and its effect on psychological outcomes. She has worked at the University of Cape Town (SA), the Policy Research Bureau (UK), the Human Sciences Research Council (SA) and the University of Stellenbosch (SA) in both research and teaching capacities. 'Shattered but Unbroken' is her fourth book, and she has written many book chapters and journal articles on the effects of violence and abuse, particularly on child and adolescent emotional and developmental outcomes.

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