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Bromberg, P.M. (1995). A Rose by Any Other Name: Commentary on Lerner's “Treatment Issues in a Case of Possible Multiple Personality Disorder”. Psychoanal. Psychol., 12(1):143-149.

(1995). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 12(1):143-149

A Rose by Any Other Name: Commentary on Lerner's “Treatment Issues in a Case of Possible Multiple Personality Disorder”

Philip M. Bromberg, Ph.D.

Lerner (1994) attempted to make a case for what he called “traditional” psychoanalytic treatment of multiple personality disorder (MPD) by contrasting his approach with those of therapists who consider MPD “an extreme form of dissociative syndrome that can be conceptualized as a chronic posttraumatic stress disorder” (p. 563). He argued that active and directed techniques, including hypnosis, lead patients to see themselves as “trauma survivors” (p. 564), and that they are pulled in the direction of taking less rather than more responsibility for life problems. He presented an ongoing treatment of a “possible” MPD patient whom, he stated, he approached “in a traditional psychoanalytic manner” (p. 564) and with whom he “steadfastly attempted to maintain therapeutic neutrality” (p. 564). Although I support Lerner's commitment to the psychoanalytic treatment of dissociative disorders, I take issue with both his clinical approach and his conceptualization of it, and I see both as a fundamental misunderstanding of the basic psychoanalytic situation as a relational milieu.

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