Understanding and Treating Dissociative Identity Disorder: A Relational Approach

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Routledge, Jun 1, 2011 - Psychology - 330 pages

Building on the comprehensive theoretical model of dissociation elegantly developed in The Dissociative Mind, Elizabeth Howell makes another invaluable contribution to the clinical understanding of dissociative states with Understanding and Treating Dissociative Identity Disorder. Howell, working within the realm of relational psychoanalysis, explicates a multifaceted approach to the treatment of this fascinating yet often misunderstood condition, which involves the partitioning of the personality into part-selves that remain unaware of one another, usually the result of severely traumatic experiences.

Howell begins with an explication of dissociation theory and research that includes the dynamic unconscious, trauma theory, attachment, and neuroscience. She then discusses the identification and diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) before moving on to outline a phase-oriented treatment plan, which includes facilitating a multileveled co-constructed therapeutic relationship, emphasizing the multiplicity of transferences, countertransferences, and kinds of potential enactments. She then expands the treatment possibilities to include dreamwork, before moving on to discuss the risks involved in the treatment of DID and how to mitigate them. All concepts and technical approaches are permeated with rich clinical examples.


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A Personal Note
The Lives and Psychotherapy of Three People With DID
The Dynamic Unconscious and the Dissociative
Personality Organization in DID
Dissociated SelfStates Trauma and Disorganized
Some Neurobiological Correlates of the Structure
Creation and Contextualization
Assessment and Diagnosis of DID
PhaseOriented Treatment
Facilitating Coconsciousness and Coparticipation in
Working With Persecutory Alters and Identification
Multiple Dimensions
Dreams in DID

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About the author (2011)

A psychoanalyst and traumatologist who specializes in the treatment of dissociative disorders, Elizabeth Howell, Ph.D., is Associate Editor of the Journal of Trauma and Dissociation and Co-Director of the Dissociative Disorders Psychotherapy Training Program of the International Society for the Study of Dissociation. Dr. Howell is a faculty member of the National Institute for the Psychotherapies Trauma Studies Program and an adjunct associate professor in the psychology department of New York University. She has written and lectured widely on various aspects of trauma and dissociation. The author of The Dissociative Mind (Analytic Press, 2005), she has been awarded the Print Media Award for her work.

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