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Hegeman, E. (2009). One or Many? Commentary on Paper by Debra Rothschild. Psychoanal. Dial., 19(2):188-196.

(2009). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 19(2):188-196

One or Many? Commentary on Paper by Debra Rothschild

Elizabeth Hegeman, Ph.D.

This discussion of Rothschild's case history of a multiple personality disorder (MPD) treatment situates the issue of integration versus multiple self states in terms of cultural values, psychoanalytic theory, and transferencecountertransference experience of MPD patients and therapists. Views from autobiographies of multiple personalities are included, and some questions are raised about the relationship of “parts” to traumatic experience: When, and for whom, is integration a treatment goal? When is dissociation a characterological defense, and when do the parts each hold separate traumatic knowledge? How does this question bear on treatment—what gets integrated, the knowledge or the parts? Are termination and integration simultaneous? A recommendation is offered for a wider, more complex view of narrative and historicity in the understanding of narrative reconstruction. A concrete focus on veridicality can be a defense against the overwhelming nature of traumatic experience. A final view is offered which positions the author as more distant from integration as a goal than is Rothschild.

[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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