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Itzkowitz, S. (2015). The Dissociative Turn in Psychoanalysis. Am. J. Psychoanal., 75(2):145-153.

(2015). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 75(2):145-153

The Dissociative Turn in Psychoanalysis

Sheldon Itzkowitz, Ph.D., ABPP

In his response to the Roundtable Discussions on what is effective in psychoanalytic psychotherapy, the author focuses on the renewed interest in the concept of dissociation that began to emerge toward the end of the 20th century. A contemporary psychoanalytic position informed by the impact of developmental trauma has led to an understanding of and interest in the dissociative mind. The actuality of trauma during infancy and early childhood is recognized as a key factor leading to the emergence of dissociative processes, the potential dissociative structuring of the mind, and mind being characterized by multiple, discontinuous, centers of consciousness. The therapeutic goal in the psychoanalytic work with fragmented patients is to establish communication and understanding between the dissociated self-states. The author offers two brief clinical examples of working with dissociated self-states.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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