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Gray, S.H. (1996). Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic. LVII, 1993. Dissociative Processes: Theoretical Underpinnings of a Working Model for Clinician and Patient. Jon G. Allen. Pp. 287-308.. Psychoanal Q., 65:677.

(1996). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 65:677

Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic. LVII, 1993. Dissociative Processes: Theoretical Underpinnings of a Working Model for Clinician and Patient. Jon G. Allen. Pp. 287-308.

Review by:
Sheila Hafter Gray

Dissociation is a function of memory through which the self is separated from its own experience. The self depends on autobiographical memory to maintain continuity. Memories of emotionally significant relationships with others are organized around affective nodes, and new experiences are evaluated and memorialized in reference to these nodes. The dissociating individual succeeds in narrowing the scope of his or her attention sufficiently to avert the normal meaningful integration of moment-to-moment experience in higher-order consciousness. Mental processes and contents remain active and impinge on consciousness; but they are not consciously linked with one's history or sense of self. Dissociation appears to be an adaptive skill that is not available to all individuals; it may signal failure to develop appropriate self-integrative capacities. The author suggests that the clinical problem in dissociative disorder lies not in the spectacular shift among distinct mental and behavioral states but in the collapse of the individual's capacity to construct a coherent self in the face of trauma.

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