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Schwartz, H.L. (1994). From Dissociation to Negotiation: A Relational Psychoanalytic Perspective on Multiple Personality Disorder. Psychoanal. Psychol., 11(2):189-231.

(1994). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 11(2):189-231

From Dissociation to Negotiation: A Relational Psychoanalytic Perspective on Multiple Personality Disorder

Harvey L. Schwartz, Ph.D.

A relational psychoanalytic model for conceptualizing the dynamics and treatment of multiple personality disorder (MPD) is presented, integrating trauma/dissociation theories with postclassical psychoanalytic perspectives. MPD is conceptualized as a chronic trauma syndrome and as a particular variation of narcissistic personality organization involving an overreliance on omnipotent defenses, the collapse of intersubjective experiencing and significant derailments of the developmental lines of aggression, fantasy, and the use of transitional phenomena. A treatment approach emphasizing use of the therapeutic relationship, including empathy, recognition, confrontation, and interpretation from within the traumatic transferencecountertransference matrix is recommended to facilitate contactful dialogue and negotiation in the interpersonal world and between traumaticaily dissociated, often opposing, aspects of the self. The MPD patient's capacities for mutuality, paradoxical experiencing, and restorative fantasy are conceptualized a central to integration.

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