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Lasky, R. (1978). The Psychoanalytic Treatment of a Case of Multiple Personality. Psychoanal. Rev., 65(3):355-380.

(1978). Psychoanalytic Review, 65(3):355-380

The Psychoanalytic Treatment of a Case of Multiple Personality

Richard Lasky, Ph.D.

Psychonalysis is unique as a scientific field in that its theories have been explanations of observed data rather than the results of deductive hypotheses tested under carefully controlled laboratory conditions. An explanation of clinical phenomena has often been based originally on a single case and then subsequently enlarged upon as reports of more cases confirmed and enriched the knowledge obtained in that first instance. Multiple personality as a clinical entity is currently in that developing stage of expanding knowledge. Case reports that explain the dynamics of multiple personality are infrequent, and it is hoped that this paper will help to make its dynamics better understood. The other goals of this paper are to point up some of the countertransferential difficulties in working with such cases and to suggest a possible model for the analytic treatment of this disorder. In the interest of focusing on these specific issues, some aspects of this case will inevitably be ignored or subordinated in favor of parsimoniously clarifying the issues of one specific clinical difficulty. Another unfortunate aspect of such a presentation is that in a brief case report the richness and subtle detail of the character and personality of the patient may tend to become lost in the relatively narrow perspective required to meet the goal of this paper.

Multiple personality has been a fascinating subject for both the professional community and the general public. We find in the scientific literature case presentations of this disorder going back to the early nineteenth century, and in the popular literature almost everyone must be familiar with Stevenson's story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

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