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Horowitz, M. (2018). Redefining Identity after Trauma or Loss. Psychodyn. Psych., 46(1):135-144.

(2018). Psychodynamic Psychiatry, 46(1):135-144

Redefining Identity after Trauma or Loss

Mardi Horowitz, M.D.

Individuals who experience trauma or loss perceive a seriously altered world. Survivors must revise their mental models of identity and adapt to new circumstances. When emotional disturbances lead to a person seeking treatment, useful therapy techniques include efforts at developing new self-concepts. A particular defense that can interfere with self-growth is dissociative shifting in a binary of self-states. Therapists can share observations of this obstacle and help patients form a balanced, nuanced, and coherent self-organization.

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