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Kluft, R.P. (2000). The Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy of Dissociative Identity Disorder in the Context of Trauma Therapy. Psychoanal. Inq., 20(2):259-286.

(2000). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 20(2):259-286

The Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy of Dissociative Identity Disorder in the Context of Trauma Therapy

Richard P. Kluft, M.D.

PSYCHOANALYSIS AND THE STUDY OF DISSOCIATION and the dissociative disorders have had a long, if uneasy, uncomfortable, and often mutually avoidant relationship (Berman, 1981; Kluft, 1995b). Ernest Jones (1953) reports that the index case of the “Studies on Hysteria” (Breuer and Freud, 1893-1895), Fraulein Anna O, suffered a condition with “the presence of two distinct states of consciousness: one a fairly normal one, the other that of a naughty and troublesome child, rather like Morton Prince's famous case of Sally Beauchamps” (p. 223). Breuer and Freud initially hypothesized that “the splitting of consciousness which is so striking in the well-known classical cases under the form of ‘double consciousness’ is present to a rudimentary degree in every hysteria, and that a tendency to such a dissociation, and with it the emergence of abnormal states of consciousness … is the basic phenomenon of this neurosis” (p. 12).

However, as Freud developed what became the foundations of modern psychoanalysis, he dismissed the importance of dissociation and focused his attention on repression, and he withdrew his initial seduction

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Richard P. Kluft, M.D. is in the private practice of psychiatry and psychoanalysis in Bala Cynwyd, PA. He is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Temple University School of Medicine and a member of the Faculty of the Philadelphia Psychoanalytic Institute.

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