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Naso, R.C. (2007). In The “I”s of the Beholder: Dissociation and Multiplicity in Contemporary Psychoanalytic Thought. Psychoanal. Psychol., 24(1):97-112.

(2007). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 24(1):97-112

In The “I”s of the Beholder: Dissociation and Multiplicity in Contemporary Psychoanalytic Thought

Ronald C. Naso, Ph.D.

The contemporary psychoanalytic concept of dissociation leads paradoxically to the conclusion that the self is both a unity and a multiplicity. Against the normative interpretations of Stern, Bromberg, and Davies, the present study conceptualizes dissociation categorically in terms of two subtypes with two distinct levels. The proposed classification scheme is consistent with the growing body of research on the subject. However, a categorical view of dissociation vitiates the soundness of the argument for normative multiplicity. In the absence of an intrinsic link to pathological dissociation, multiplicity is more parsimoniously understood without reification in terms of conflicting aims, beliefs, and feelings within an integrated self.

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