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Robbins, A. (2017). Treating Dissociative and Personality Disorders: A Motivational Systems Approach to Theory and Treatment, by Antonella Ivaldi, Routledge, New York, 2016, 288 pp.. Psychodyn. Psych., 45(3):414-416.

(2017). Psychodynamic Psychiatry, 45(3):414-416

Treating Dissociative and Personality Disorders: A Motivational Systems Approach to Theory and Treatment, by Antonella Ivaldi, Routledge, New York, 2016, 288 pp.

Review by:
Arnold Robbins, M.D.

Very soon after Sigmund Freud's audacious and illuminating discoveries and descriptions of mental functioning from the perspective of unconscious processes and drives and defenses, concepts of relational dynamics and their central role in human development became the focus of study for many clinicians and investigators. In recent years the importance of relational, object relations, and self psychological modifications, theories, and treatments have grown in importance and popularity among clinicians and researchers.

This fine and enlightening book edited by Antonella Ivaldi is at once an extension of primarily relational approaches and fuller development of them and attempts at integration theoretically of what we see clinically with patients. The multi-motivational schema of Lichtenberg and others is seen as one of the pillars upon which human personality stands and develops from the relational point of view. From and along with these early systems of motivationsexuality/sensuality, attachment, affiliation, self-assertion, exploration, aversion—develop our personalities emerging from and merging with our earliest relationships onward. Ivaldi sees interpersonal motivation systems as inborn goals, evolutionarily selected values that generate functional systems for regulating social behavior during interaction with the interpersonal environment.

Ivaldi calls her method the relational/multi-motivational approach (REMOTA). Ivaldi explains, “The attention for the social context is in keeping with the relational paradigm that we have adopted and distinguishes significantly this type of psychological treatment from the classical approach” (p.

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