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Psychology: PTSD and Dissociation


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Many lay people are familiar with phenomenon of multiple personality disorder that in the last decade became renamed Dissociative Identity Disorder or DID for short. Over my 20 years in Psychiatric practice I saw my fair share of individuals with DID.

Very simply the theory as to why DID exists goes something like this:

When an individual experiences repeated incidents of severe trauma such as sexual, physical and/or emotional abuse during their lives, the emotional/physical pain associated with such memories become “split off” or “compartmentalized” in the mind/body as separate personalities.

The supposed purpose of the compartmentalization is to keep the pain associated with such trauma out of consciousness so that the person does not feel overwhelmed by it and therefore can go on functioning to some degree.

Unfortunately, this leads to a whole host of other problems. Specifically, the individual becomes prone to having these “alternate” personalities “taking charge” of the mind and body they exist in thereby overpowering what is called the “host personality”. This is the personality that is supposedly the central one whose mind and body it is.

During such “switches” in personality the host often can lose awareness of what is happening to them, only to find out at a later time that they have been absent. They often experience episodes of “lost time”, being in places that they don’t recall traveling to, wearing clothes they can’t remember purchasing or putting on etc. As expected this leaves them feeling frightened and vulnerable.

Over the last 25 years the phenomenon of DID has received its fair share of skepticism as a true psychological/psychiatric entity but has in recent years become more accepted.

One of the main tenets of treating DID these days rests on the idea that the individual’s personality has become, in a manner of speaking, “fragmented” or broken down into many “sub parts” and the healing process has thereby been directed and “re-integrating” all of the “parts”.

After many years of attempting this approach I, like others, have found that a plethora of personalities begin to emerge from the shadows and that this places the entire process of re-integration in serious jeopardy.

In the last 10 years I decided to take a different tack on this problem which appears to have yielded interesting and promising results. This has involved the use of a new modality called the Mind Resonance Process(TM) (MRP) that is effective in healing PTSD (i.e. post traumatic stress disorder) which can be considered a sub-category of DID.

I recently presented this work at a conference hosted by the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation in Toronto, Canada.

MRP works by helping to permanently release negative beliefs and memories from the mind/body of a traumatized individual. By doing so the individual heals and begins to regain their functional integrity.

Employing MRP I conceptualized the sub-personalities seen in DID as “compartmentalized trauma” in the form of a “personality constellation”. This is equivalent to the idea that a traumatic memory is a “constellation of negative beliefs/images/perceptions/emotions”.

Now since the MRP approach can quickly release trauma in whatever form I focused it on helping individuals “release” their “compartmentalized personalities” from their mind/body.

So rather that “re-integrate” the trauma it was released or more accurately “erased”.

To my surprise this led to a rapid and sustained positive effect on the individual’s emotional state as well as their functional ability. It reduced the frequency of the “switches” that individuals with DID experienced. It also reduced the other problems that DID clients also experienced i.e. panic disorder, depression, suicidal gestures, fugues etc.

I report this here as anecdotal evidence on the effectiveness of MRP but more so as a call to therapists treating DID and PTSD to re-consider their philosophical approaches to the treatment of these disorders.

I feel that much can be gained from an open minded and fresh look at this serious problem.

Nick Arrizza, M.D. - EzineArticles Expert Author

Dr. Nick Arrizza is trained in Chemical Engineering, Business Management & Leadership, Medicine and Psychiatry. He is an Energy Psychiatrist, Healer, Key Note Speaker,Editor of a New Ezine Called “Spirituality And Science” (which is requesting high quality article submissions) Author of “Esteem for the Self: A Manual for Personal Transformation” (available in ebook format on his web site), Stress Management Coach, Peak Performance Coach & Energy Medicine Researcher, Specializes in Life and Executive Performance Coaching, is the Developer of a powerful new tool called the Mind Resonance Process(TM) that helps build physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well being by helping to permanently release negative beliefs, emotions, perceptions and memories. He holds live workshops, international telephone coaching sessions and international teleconference workshops on Physical. Emotional, Mental and Spiritual Well Being.

Business URL #1: http://www.telecoaching4u.com

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  • Posted On October 5, 2006
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